Have you heard of the Hero’s Journey? This is also sometimes called the “Monomyth” because it runs through every fairy tale and most movies and many books.
It also applies to what happens to us when we go into business for ourselves. (It happens when you go to work for someone else also, but because you get a paycheck until or unless you really make a mess, the stakes aren’t as high.)
Look at the diagram above. You might recognize these steps if you’re either in business for yourself or you’re being compelled to start your own.
I’ve simplified the steps, but you’ll get the idea.
Step One on the journey is when you are being called to start your business, but you’re in a double bind. You’re despairing continuing to do what you’ve been doing for work/money, but you’re too afraid to step out. You fear failure—maybe you don’t know where to start, you’re afraid you can’t make enough money, or if you want to make money at a creative pursuit, you think money will corrupt your inspiration.
So you refuse the call.
But the despair worsens. At some point you can’t stand it anymore.
You take the leap.
GUESS WHAT!! Help shows up.
Then..things are cruising along, the help is helping, but suddenly everything falls apart.
You KNEW this was a bad idea. WHY did you talk yourself into it? What a HORRIBLE mistake. You can’t believe it. You’ll just have to wind everything down and go back to your misery.
But wait! People are starting to buy! Sales are going up! Traffic on your website is spiking!
Your plan is working so well that you realize you can even help other people succeed using what you’re learned. LIFE IS AWESOME.
Then, if you let it, the cycle will start again.
The only reason I’m showing you the connection between the Heroine’s Journey and starting a business is that starting a business, plus sticking with it when the going gets tough is an epic pilgrimage that takes massive courage. Why? Because it changes you, if you let it.
Even if the business, God Forbid, doesn’t work out, the journey will still change you.
You may have noticed that the first hundred or so times you get called to go on this journey, you refuse. “No thanks. I’ll gladly hang on to the status quo. Please go away.” This must be why we get dragged into business reluctantly. We get to the point that we can’t stand things the way they are anymore.
If you’re there, email me. I can help.