The Hero’s Journey – Or How to Connect with Your Story
How do you compare with Luke Skywalker?
But, if you are a network marketer, some of your friends and family think you have gone over to the dark side.
So, maybe you are Luke’s father.
It’s all good.
It is part of your story after all.
And you have heard it before.
So, let’s learn how to tell our stories well.
If you are worried that I will beat the Star Wars theme to death, don’t worry. I don’t know it well enough.
I want to get down to the basics of what we need to understand to make our stories sell.
When I read about crafting our stories using the Hero’s Journey, I googled it. And that is what I suggest you do. You will see many drawings to explain this model that works well for movie producers, novelists and the ancients who started telling myths.
Here is one of my favorites:
Before we move on, just a bit of explanation. The Hero’s Journey started with an anthropologist named Edward Taylor. Since his foundation was laid, many people have studied and used the Hero’s Journey.
And you and I must do so as well.
There are twelve stages in the Hero’s Journey. Some of the diagrams I saw on Google divide those into three acts. But I think if we focus on the twelve stages that will be good.
Here they are:
- THE ORDINARY WORLD. The hero, uneasy, uncomfortable or unaware, is introduced sympathetically so the audience can identify with the situation or dilemma. The hero is shown against a background of environment, heredity, and personal history. Some kind of polarity in the hero’s life is pulling in different directions and causing stress.
- THE CALL TO ADVENTURE. Something shakes up the situation, either from external pressures or from something rising up from deep within, so the hero must face the beginnings of change.
- REFUSAL OF THE CALL. The hero feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure, however briefly. Alternately, another character may express the uncertainty and danger ahead.
- MEETING WITH THE MENTOR. The hero comes across a seasoned traveler of the worlds who gives him or her training, equipment, or advice that will help on the journey. Or the hero reaches within to a source of courage and wisdom.
- CROSSING THE THRESHOLD. At the end of Act One, the hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World and entering a new region or condition with unfamiliar rules and values.
- TESTS, ALLIES, AND ENEMIES. The hero is tested and sorts out allegiances in the Special World.
- APPROACH. The hero and newfound allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world.
- THE ORDEAL. Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear. Out of the moment of death comes a new life.
- THE REWARD. The hero takes possession of the treasure won by facing death. There may be a celebration, but there is also danger of losing the treasure again.
- THE ROAD BACK. About three-fourths of the way through the story, the hero is driven to complete the adventure, leaving the Special World to be sure the treasure is brought home. Often a chase scene signals the urgency and danger of the mission.
- THE RESURRECTION. At the climax, the hero is severely tested once more on the threshold of home. He or she is purified by a last sacrifice, another moment of death and rebirth, but on a higher and more complete level. By the hero’s action, the polarities that were in conflict at the beginning are finally resolved.
- RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR. The hero returns home or continues the journey, bearing some element of the treasure that has the power to transform the world as the hero has been transformed. ¹
Here is a simple drawing of the Hero’s Journey.
Now I will tell a network marketer’s story using the Hero’s Journey:
Stage 1. Our Hero (network marketers are heroes) was living her ordinary life in the summer of 2010. She may not have been typical though because she had been sharing a home with her mother for several years. Let’s call her Connie.
Connie had been privileged to be the director of a small but meaningful nonprofit organization. But her first priority was her mother. And her mother was aging. Connie sensed her mother’s increasing need for Connie to be at home with her.
At the beginning of 2010, Connie had cut back her hours to give her mother more time. That unfortunately caused increased stress. When Connie was at home she felt guilty that she wasn’t at The Center. When Connie was at The Center she felt guilty that she wasn’t at home with her mother.
Stage 2. Connie knew that she needed to resign from the position she loved. But wondered how to make it work. She knew that change had to take place.
Then Connie’s daughter sent her a message, “Mom, there is a video I’d like for you to watch. Here is the link: uipqrq;kzslf.com.”
Stage 3. After watching the video, Connie messaged back, “That look’s interesting, how much does it cost.”
Connie said she couldn’t afford the product because she was about to be unemployed.
Stage 4. Connie agreed to a three-way call with her daughter and her daughter’s up line. Connie told the up line she couldn’t afford to buy the product much less join the company.
Stage 5. But a couple days later, Connie found the money and joined to the great surprise of her new up line. She said to herself as she paid the amount that had seemed impossible and was a big leap, “I’m all in now.”
Stage 6. Connie had misgivings about network marketing and the training she received did little to dispel her misgivings. But she was told: make a list, call everyone on the list, get them to watch the video and then get an up line on a three-way call.
Connie made some lifelong friends as she learned to trust her up line. She grew to respect the company leadership and loved the quality of the products she represented.
Still, she dreaded making phone calls. Some people were pleasant and agreed to watch the video, some said no and some sounded so awkward about saying no that Connie grew to dread the phone calls.
She faithfully attended all the events she could, even though that meant a three-hour drive one way. She got better at making phone calls and reaching out to strangers, which was good because she had called her list numerous times. Connie didn’t see how she could call them anymore.
Stage 6. Suddenly, all that changed when Connie’s mother needed her full time. Connie could no longer get out to recruit and add to her list. Connie had to find a new approach.
She tried several options before she found Attraction Marketing Formula. She saw an ad like this one:
When she clicked on it a whole new world of coaching and training opened up to her.
Stage 7. Connie was challenged by her new coaches to boldly see herself as a hero with a hero’s calling. Connie was forced to step way out of her comfort zone.
Stage 8. Connie saw that she had personal issues that she needed to overcome. It was terrible at the time and wonderful as she looked back to see a new Connie emerge. Network marketing had begun the process but Connie knew that to become all that she needed to be as a businesswoman she had to follow the coaches call to be herself – to acknowledge that she had greatness to offer. It was terrifying and wonderful.
Stage 9. Connie was essentially a new person. She was full of joy and eager to share with everyone. As with all new converts, Connie thought she had “arrived.” Truly she needed her coaches and training all the more as she embarked on the mission to share with others.
Stage 10. Was Connie ready to face the most challenging obstacle towards her ultimate success? Connie’s nemesis was the technology of the internet. Even though she had tools that simplified the tasks at hand her days often ended in failure.
There were days when defeat seemed complete and final. But the cry of network marketers was her mantra, Don’t quit. It isn’t eloquent but it is crucial. And Connie didn’t quit. It was one step forward and two steps backward somedays. But she kept going. Connie kept plugged into her mentors, her coaches, her training. And the daily victories came more often. The defeats became fewer.
Stage 11. As Connie worked through each step of the training, she became aware of a vision that she had. Connie realized that she had key skills that would empower all network marketers to become more effective recruiters and confident closers. The skills were indeed a system that anyone could use and teach. She had a way to offer those skills and that system to anyone.²
Stage 12. Connie has so much to offer her family and friends. This morning she offered to help her sister market the Christmas and Easter plays she has been writing for the small church her husband pastors. You have no idea how much joy that gave Connie.
What do you think? Is it a compelling story?
I hope it inspires you to get busy and write your story. I recently wrote my story using the Pixar Hollywood Blockbuster formula. The formula gives a simpler story.³
You should have both ready to share.
When time is short use your short version. Like when you are taking Uber to the airport.
When a longer version is called for, use the Hero’s Journey. That would be for when you are in front of the room sharing your story.
I wish you well in the making and telling of your story.
Network marketing is an awesome Odyssey. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
I want to read or hear your story. Send me an email – email@example.com – or call me – 720-507-8231.
God bless you,
¹ The Twelve Stages of the Hero’s Journey are copied from: http://www.thewritersjourney.com/hero’s_journey.htm
² Connie is close to launching her Five Listening Skills that become a system on theintentionalrecruiter.com. When you check it out she will reward your patience with some generous discounts when you use the code: PRE17 .
³ Here is the link to that blog: https://prezzurepointz.com/2017/10/09/what-do-croc-brain-and-pixar-have-in-common/