You’ve heard of Walt Disney, of course.
You know many of the Disney stories–the Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin…
You probably also know that many weren’t written by Disney. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is this:
Every Disney story is the same.
Every single Disney story follows the same script. The characters have different names; the funny sidekicks have different bodies and songs. But the plot follows one course every time. It’s called The Hero’s Journey. Here it is:
This is the “Hero’s Journey” as described by Joseph Campbell, a mythologist who died in 1987.
In his book, Campbell used the examples of classic myths and religious stories. You can download a version with updated examples from The Wizard of Oz, The Hobbit, the Lion Kin and Star Wars here.
And you can also live the adventure through entrepreneurship.
The call to our adventure is simply the gorgeous opportunity to be our own boss. CrossFit makes that remarkably simple for thousands of first-time entrepreneurs. I felt forced to take the leap because I couldn’t make enough money as a personal trainer, so I opened a gym.
Supernatural Aid is the boost we receive from something other than our doing. In CrossFit, that’s brand recognition (the first ten people through your doors after you hung your sign were drawn by the name.) In my case, a partner lent me $16,000 to buy equipment.
That’s when I left the “ordinary world” of employee and became a business owner…kinda. I really bought myself a job. My “threshold moment” came on a park bench when I realized I was doing it wrong; that I really didn’t know how to build a business; and that my family was suffering because my ego told me I’d just eventually “figure it out.”
Enter: the Mentor.
My first mentor was Denis Turcotte. He’d just turned around a large industrial employer, saving thousands of local jobs and the short-term economy. In a Lee Iaccoca-like move, he had accepted shares in the company instead of a salary in his first year; and when share prices went from under a dollar to over $70 under his guidance, he retired. He decided his legacy would be to help a few local entrepreneurs. I was one.
I wrote about that journey in DontBuyads.com, and then in thousands of blog posts and three books. Challenges and temptations still abounded (I have a closet full of banners from business ideas that didn’t work out) and then the Transformation came: I used my expensive experience to mentor other gyms, beginning in 2012.
What is my Atonement? Taking the calls of thousands of gym owners who wanted help. I still do it–usually ten to twelve times every week. And I carry their message back to CrossFit HQ. Or I lose sleep over it. Sometimes their troubles ruin my workout, because I’m so distracted by their problems. I skip meals, and get up at 4am to answer emails. But when I DO rest, I rest well, because I’m happily exhausted by my service to the community.
I have other mentors now. They charge far more than Denis did back then, because my challenges are no longer at the hundred-dollar level. Many TwoBrain clients are now on the verge of million-dollar businesses, and that means I enter the Journey again, searching for new mentors and experiences to help them reach it. Also to stay slightly ahead, if possible.
That’s more than enough about me.
Where are YOU in the Hero’s Journey of your life?
You already ARE the Hero here, after all.
Are you at the Threshold?
Have you already reached the Abyss, as my friend Brad emailed me about last night?
Are you challenged? Tempted? Starting atonement early?
Respond with your situation in the comments.