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3 Steps to Crafting an Origin Story that Captivates Your Tribe

February 03, 20245 min read

Today, we are going through my step-by-step process of how to tell your origin story.

Origin stories are a powerful way to connect with your Tribe. There is a reason many of the most successful superhero movies start with the origin story. As humans, we have a deep need to be from a place and to connect with others through that commonality. A well-told origin story will help you build rapport with your Tribe and start them rooting for your success and wanting to join with you on your journey.

Unfortunately, most founders write their origin story like a resume and miss the point.

They focus on the what of their story instead of the why.

They spend all of their time writing how many years they have been in business and all of the great things they have done that makes them a rock star, and they forget about why they did it. What made them start on the journey in the first place? They refuse to be vulnerable and tell about the struggles and mistakes they made along the way. Batman is one of the most popular superheroes of all time because he didn’t have any superpowers. He was a human being with grit and indomitable determination, and a lot of really cool gadgets. But, everyone loved his reasons for fighting evil, his internal need for revenge for the death of his parents to an evildoer. What could be more human than that? We all have a dark secret or two…or, in my case, 12.

But you are going to avoid all of those mistakes by following the steps below to create an origin story that is vulnerable and dives deep into your why.

Here's how step by step:

Step 1: Understand the reasons why you started your business.

This is the most important part of the origin story of your business, your core reason(s) for founding the company. If you are not the founder you can dive into what you know about the founding and the lore around the ideals the founders had. 

Elon Musk’s why for founding Space X came after he tried to buy a rocket from Russia, and not only would they not sell him one, but he realized the technology was forty years old, single-use, and ridiculously expensive. He set out on a journey to modernize the space industry. 

My reason for helping veteran owned companies get started and grow is because I remember how hard it was when I was trying to get started. I went through a time when I was fairly desperate to earn more money, but it was really hard figuring things out on my own, and I made an entire mountain of mistakes that could have been avoided with just a little coaching and help. Now, I help veterans avoid all the mistakes I made and get off to a run.

Your reasons for starting your business are your own, and more likely than not, there is more than one. Take a few minutes and write them out, and then ask yourself again, what’s the deep reason? Find that tiny core for why you are really doing it. Maybe you don’t want to build a big @#$ rocket to get to Mars on and you just want to help people drive around in immaculate cars so they feel better about themselves and their lives. 

Step 2: Identify ‘the event’ that triggered the founding.

Don’t make the mistake of focusing on your dreams of starting a company to become Elon Musk rich. Making money is an after-effect of why you serve clients. In most people’s lives, they see a problem, often a problem they have themselves, and they solve it, then realize a lot of other people have the same problem. 

For others, they might have had a bad boss who they needed to get away from, and they realized they could do the business better.

In my case, founding Can-Do Ideas came after my experience as the CEO of a technology company. I was a hired CEO, and one day, the founding partners got into a fight. It was a really ugly knock-out, drag-out kind of fight (not literal, but with lawyers and such), and I got caught in the crossfire.  I did nothing wrong, but I left feeling mistreated and angry. As I was contemplating my next career move, I realized I never wanted to work for someone else ever again, and I realized I had marketing superpowers that could be used for the good of mankind. And ten hair raising years later, here I am on a Saturday morning writing to you for pennies.

What was the trigger that made you want to start your business? Dive deep for your REAL reasons, and not just the surface reasons of money, fame, and hot women (or whatever is your thing).

Step 3: Tell the story of your struggle to get started.

This is it. The final step, but you can’t skip this one.

Tell them how hard it was to get started. Maybe you are the .0001% of people, and starting your first business was a breeze, but for the rest of us mortals, it was a grind. I had one business blow up in my face and nearly dragged me into bankruptcy and deep, dark depression. 

The story of your struggle helps your Tribe realize that you might have superpowers in the things that you do, but like Batman, you are still human. You still struggle and toil like the rest of us mortals.

Be honest. Don’t make up some nonsense trying to score points. Just tell them what you went through. Just about every entrepreneur I have ever met has a story or two or even ten of what they went through to get their gig off the ground. It could be as simple as you sucked when you first started, and your first three clients fired you and asked for refunds, but you kept going. People love underdog stories of people who persevered and made it through.

Just like you will with putting your origin story together. 

Until next week!

Custom HTML/CSS/JAVASCRIPT
origin storieshow to write your origin story for your business

Anthony Butler

Back to Blog
blog image

3 Steps to Crafting an Origin Story that Captivates Your Tribe

February 03, 20245 min read

Today, we are going through my step-by-step process of how to tell your origin story.

Origin stories are a powerful way to connect with your Tribe. There is a reason many of the most successful superhero movies start with the origin story. As humans, we have a deep need to be from a place and to connect with others through that commonality. A well-told origin story will help you build rapport with your Tribe and start them rooting for your success and wanting to join with you on your journey.

Unfortunately, most founders write their origin story like a resume and miss the point.

They focus on the what of their story instead of the why.

They spend all of their time writing how many years they have been in business and all of the great things they have done that makes them a rock star, and they forget about why they did it. What made them start on the journey in the first place? They refuse to be vulnerable and tell about the struggles and mistakes they made along the way. Batman is one of the most popular superheroes of all time because he didn’t have any superpowers. He was a human being with grit and indomitable determination, and a lot of really cool gadgets. But, everyone loved his reasons for fighting evil, his internal need for revenge for the death of his parents to an evildoer. What could be more human than that? We all have a dark secret or two…or, in my case, 12.

But you are going to avoid all of those mistakes by following the steps below to create an origin story that is vulnerable and dives deep into your why.

Here's how step by step:

Step 1: Understand the reasons why you started your business.

This is the most important part of the origin story of your business, your core reason(s) for founding the company. If you are not the founder you can dive into what you know about the founding and the lore around the ideals the founders had. 

Elon Musk’s why for founding Space X came after he tried to buy a rocket from Russia, and not only would they not sell him one, but he realized the technology was forty years old, single-use, and ridiculously expensive. He set out on a journey to modernize the space industry. 

My reason for helping veteran owned companies get started and grow is because I remember how hard it was when I was trying to get started. I went through a time when I was fairly desperate to earn more money, but it was really hard figuring things out on my own, and I made an entire mountain of mistakes that could have been avoided with just a little coaching and help. Now, I help veterans avoid all the mistakes I made and get off to a run.

Your reasons for starting your business are your own, and more likely than not, there is more than one. Take a few minutes and write them out, and then ask yourself again, what’s the deep reason? Find that tiny core for why you are really doing it. Maybe you don’t want to build a big @#$ rocket to get to Mars on and you just want to help people drive around in immaculate cars so they feel better about themselves and their lives. 

Step 2: Identify ‘the event’ that triggered the founding.

Don’t make the mistake of focusing on your dreams of starting a company to become Elon Musk rich. Making money is an after-effect of why you serve clients. In most people’s lives, they see a problem, often a problem they have themselves, and they solve it, then realize a lot of other people have the same problem. 

For others, they might have had a bad boss who they needed to get away from, and they realized they could do the business better.

In my case, founding Can-Do Ideas came after my experience as the CEO of a technology company. I was a hired CEO, and one day, the founding partners got into a fight. It was a really ugly knock-out, drag-out kind of fight (not literal, but with lawyers and such), and I got caught in the crossfire.  I did nothing wrong, but I left feeling mistreated and angry. As I was contemplating my next career move, I realized I never wanted to work for someone else ever again, and I realized I had marketing superpowers that could be used for the good of mankind. And ten hair raising years later, here I am on a Saturday morning writing to you for pennies.

What was the trigger that made you want to start your business? Dive deep for your REAL reasons, and not just the surface reasons of money, fame, and hot women (or whatever is your thing).

Step 3: Tell the story of your struggle to get started.

This is it. The final step, but you can’t skip this one.

Tell them how hard it was to get started. Maybe you are the .0001% of people, and starting your first business was a breeze, but for the rest of us mortals, it was a grind. I had one business blow up in my face and nearly dragged me into bankruptcy and deep, dark depression. 

The story of your struggle helps your Tribe realize that you might have superpowers in the things that you do, but like Batman, you are still human. You still struggle and toil like the rest of us mortals.

Be honest. Don’t make up some nonsense trying to score points. Just tell them what you went through. Just about every entrepreneur I have ever met has a story or two or even ten of what they went through to get their gig off the ground. It could be as simple as you sucked when you first started, and your first three clients fired you and asked for refunds, but you kept going. People love underdog stories of people who persevered and made it through.

Just like you will with putting your origin story together. 

Until next week!

Custom HTML/CSS/JAVASCRIPT
origin storieshow to write your origin story for your business

Anthony Butler

Back to Blog