Who’s the Hero in Your Business?

Many businesses are mediocre because they don’t have the slightest desire to be heroic. They just want to get through the day, collect the money, and carry on without too much hassle.

Other businesses fail to thrive due to an overabundance of hero syndrome. “We’re awesome, we beat the competition, we kick ass …” we, we, we.

News flash: No one cares about you or your business.

People care about themselves. They care about their problems and desires. Your business must become a hero to thrive, yes. Just remember that you’re not the hero.

In the world of Jungian archetypes, some people must be treated as a hero in order to be satisfied. But I’m pretty sure every personality type enjoys being taken on a journey that places them in the role of hero, if it means solving their problem of satisfying their desire.

That puts you and your content in another archetypical heroic role — the Sage.

The Sage is the epitome of the likable expert. He or she helps you by seemingly understanding your problems and desires better than you do, and then guiding you along the right path.

The Sage is not some infallible guru. Rather, this is a real person who simply demonstrates the ability and desire to lead you on your particular journey.

The key concept is demonstrate, as opposed to claim. Anyone can claim authority, and we routinely ignore them, online and off.

The Internet makes authority accessible, but also assessable. How do you stack up?

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Reader Comments (20)

  1. says

    Nice post Brian. All of a sudden, I feel like playing a game where I’m the hero!

    But seriously, your right. Our community down to each reader and engager, they are the heroes. Sometimes I think of the writer as the humble leader but a guide or Sage describes the roll well.

    Thanks again!

  2. says

    Brian, I completely agree with you. I decided to give that concept a try with a client of mine and I was amazed by the results.

    People were calling and emailing my customer to tell him how different he is from all other merchants selling the same stuff that he does.

    And not only they were calling and emailing him they were buying from him (and continue to do so).

  3. says

    Brian, give us 3 actionable tips we can use today on our blog or social media to ‘be the sage’. I understand what you’re talking about but it’d be more useful if you told us how to do it.

  4. says

    “People care about themselves. They care about their problems and desires.”

    I’ve been surprised by how interested in ME my customers are. I find that they don’t just want to buy from me, they want to be friends with me. They like my social media updates about my family as much as my career tips. Actually, more so.

    Is that because I sell coaching and courses and I’m part of the product? Or is that universal to a business?

  5. says

    Reading this reminded me of when I used to teach ESL in China.

    Each new teacher I saw didn’t know what to do. They may have taught in their country, but that didn’t help much teaching in China.

    They needed help, and fast. In their desperation they’d turn to any authority, and were quite happy to take ideas from someone like me, who’d been around for 5 years.

    If people can see that what you’re doing is working then they’ll be quite interested in your sagely advice, and come looking for it again.

  6. says

    So funny you write about this today Brian. I was listening to a story about the early gold miners and the ones who actually got rich- the people who sold them picks, shovels and other supplies- the tools they needed to do their jobs. Instead of trying to be the “hero” in my niche, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around developing services and products to serve the heroes in the niche.
    Others can be the heroes. I’m not terribly good at hero-work anyways :)
    Nice article. Succinct.

    • says

      I think that’s a great way of thinking about your business. You are there to make your customers the heroes of their own company because you have the tools they need to do it. Your product makes them look good because suddenly they are more efficient, more cost-effective, more [insert benefit here].

  7. says

    In some ways, being the Sage instead of the Hero takes some pressure off too. Yes, my content needs to be superb. But sometimes that pressure makes it feel like it’s, “all me (and my content) all the time!” But if my job is to “help and guide” through my content, it’s less about me, more about my reader, and that, somehow, is less daunting.

  8. says

    SO true! Made me think of the fact that Sages tend to teach lesson using lots of mediums. For example, a sage may use a story, then turn around and use a prop to teach the same principle differently, then he may put the student in a situation that will reinforce the lessons he has been teaching. As sages we should diversify our “teaching” methods, but with the insight that its not about us but about our “students”.

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