I recently did one of the most amazing talks I have ever done to a group of school children; well I thought it was anyway. I was talking to a group of 6th formers and together we created the beginning to a blockbuster movie – the movie of their life. We jammed about how the structure of films mimics life in so many ways. From my podium I preached about how they were at a threshold in their own hero’s journey and you know what, they got it. And as I was talking about it I couldn’t help but draw the parallels in my mind to building a business; let me explain this.
In films, our hero or heroine will come across many trails but no doubt the most difficult one is the one called the first threshold. This is where own heroes decided to leaves their own world and go on an adventure, which is like starting a business.
However, to get to this point there are a number of things that appears in most good films that try to stop the hero even crossing this first threshold. In terms of you, these are things that will stop you really taking the first step into owning and running a business.
- Firstly, our heroes may not make the stakes of embarking on the adventure high enough. There has to be something at stake; it might be to find their love of their life, a life-or-death situation or maybe just to find their courage or their way home. Whatever the stakes, they have to be high enough to make the hero leave the comfort of their own home. The same for you in your business; you don’t need a plan B. you don’t need a back-up plan, you need to not have the option to fail. This is the only thing that will make you do the scary stuff that is bound to come your way. For me, it is about leaving a legacy for my children; that and that alone keeps me going.
- Our hero, when faced with the option to go on an adventure, may make all sorts of excuses as to why they shouldn’t go. For coaches, I have noticed that these excuses look viable from the outside. They may manifest themselves in the coach not knowing what they are selling, or it not feeling right; perhaps the coach is practicing the law of attraction but nothing is coming to them. I know because I have heard them all and I have said them all. It is all rubbish. All you really need is to know your Big Why and the guts to tell people about your passion. These excuses are all based in fear, all based in the fact that you don’t think you can do it and all based in the rubbish you tell yourself. You can’t coach through this, you can’t change it, the only way to get through it is to step into your big girls glitzy shoes and do the work!
- When our hero is about to cross the threshold, there will be people of power and influence trying to stop them. These people will make them feel that they haven’t got what it takes, they can’t do it, they haven’t got all the weapons they need. These threshold Guardians as they are called may be people we love and care about. In the big scheme of things, in the movies, they are there to test our resolve, to test whether we really are ready for the adventures that lie ahead.
When you, the hero of your own adventure lets one of these things stop or stumble you then guess what? You will never start your adventure and you may blame others, give every excuse under the sun, but the real truth is that you failed.
This happens almost daily to me too, but I don’t panic or think what I am doing is wrong, I just ask myself three questions.
- Are the stakes high enough here?
- Is this excuses coming from the small me or the big me – and it is always the small, as me the big me doesn’t care about such trivia.
- Is this a Threshold Guardian whom I need to slay, well at least in my head?
Then I pick up my sword, speak to my mentor, don my armour and carry on regardless of how scared, uncomfortable or stupid I feel.
And the moral of this story is, if you can’t do this then get a job! I’m sorry to be so harsh, but this is the real world, this is what it takes. It is not easy to be a hero you know!