58 minutes | Apr 18th 2016

How to Tell Your Hero's Journey

On today’s show I’ve brought on a story telling maestro. Park Howell has been a professional story teller for more than 30 years. He has helped firms achieve epic growth through the power of story to define their brand and connect with customers, all the things we’re going to teach you how to do today. He’s a professional speaker, a marketing consultant and a brand story strategist. He’s going to help us craft and tell a compelling story and then we’re going to hook those ideas together to show how you can leverage this for the media (that’s where I can bring some of my ideas to the table). 

Joseph Campbell: Park was introduced to the work of Joseph Campbell through his son who was going to film school in Hollywood. Joseph Campbell is America’s foremost mythologist. His 17 step hero’s journey can be seen in the movies you love, the books you read and even the songs you listen to. If you really want to see it in action all you have to do is look at the very first Star Wars movie because George Lucas used Joseph Campbell’s blueprint to write that script. When Park started overlaying it in his advertising and marketing work he saw the same hero’s journey, the same story patterns materialize. 

Ten Chapter Story Cycle (also available as an infographic on Park’s website businessofstory.com)

  • Chapter One: Backstory. Park also calls it “where in the world have you been?” This is stage setting to create context around the story. Park asks people to answer three questions: Where have you been? Where are you now? Where are you going?
  • Chapter Two: Who’s Your Hero? We want to know a little bit more about you the hero. Tell us your strengths and weaknesses. Everybody loves an underdog so when you’re telling your personal story tell us what you want, what you’re going after, how you think you’re uniquely equipped to get it and how you think you’re not equipped to get it and how you’re not even sure how you’re going to go about it.
  • Chapter Three: What’s at Stake? 
  • Chapter Four: Your Call to Adventure. Hollywood calls this the “inciting incident”. Everyone has a moment in their life when their world turns upside down and they go from their ordinary world to a new extraordinary world. 
  • Chapter Five: Villains, Fog and Crevasses. This is where the obstacles and antagonists show up. Villains are the people in our lives that try to thwart our progress. Some of them are literally villains that don’t want us to win, others are well meaning loved ones that are afraid and question what we’re doing. They are also the internal voices saying “Am I good enough? Can I really pull this off?” The fog is the blind spots you have moving forward and the crevasses are the gaps in what we’re telling ourselves and how we’re actually acting. Are we living the story that we believe we want to live?
  • Chapter Six: Enter the Mentor. We all have obstacles but we don’t go through them alone. We have a mentor, one or more people at our side to help guide us. They serve a powerful role because they guide us with their wisdom, experience and tools. 
  • Chapter Seven: The Road of Trials. 
  • Chapter Eight: Victory is at Hand. When did you have that first real big victory where you said “Yes, I’m on the right road. This is awesome.” How did you celebrate that victory? 
  • Chapter Nine: The Moral of the Story. What is the truth in all of this?
  • Chapter Ten: To Be Continued. It’s a repeating cycle. You’ve gone through it once now you’re set up for this new revolution of your story cycle. 

Contact Information: Park Howell can be found on Twitter @ParkHowell, on LinkedIn and at Business of Story on Facebook. His website is businessofstory.com

Geeta wants to know your thoughts on this episode. Reach out to her and tell her what you got out of this. She’s on Twitter @lifewithgeeta or you can reach out to her via email or via her website contact form at geetanadkarni.com

Park invited Geeta to be on his Business of Story podcast to take this to the next level and talk about the story cycle as they use it in their companies. 

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