Other than awesome superhuman powers and skin-tight costumes, that is. (Unless there’s something you’d like to share…? 😉 )
All the greatest superheroes have unforgettable origin stories. They have all gone through some sort of transformative experience that clearly defines who they are and why they do what they do.
It’s their origin stories that make them great – not their actual powers.
Spiderman isn’t “Amazing” because he can climb walls, swing from buildings, and pound on bad guys.
He’s amazing because he’s a total nerd who got bitten by a radioactive spider and then used his new powers to get back at bullies, impress girls, and score some easy cash—until the night his uncle died, shot by a thief Peter Parker could have stopped but didn’t.
Batman is one of the top two most popular superheroes of all time, and he doesn’t even have any special powers. He’s rich and has a lot of time on his hands – those are his biggest strengths. He can afford to buy expensive high-tech weapons and spends more time than any “normal” person ever could working out and learning martial arts so he can be the best fighter he can be.
But when you discover that the reason he has sacrificed his entire life to fighting crime in the city of Gotham is because his parents were shot right in front of him by a petty thug when he was just a small boy, you understand why he’s so dark, driven, and obsessive.
Even the relentless do-gooder Boy Scout known as Superman is awesome only because of his origin story. His near invulnerability – Super strength! Super speed! Super eyesight and hearing! Laser vision! Ice breath! He has it all! – is so over the top, he’s almost boring. But the fact that he’s a lonely orphan, the last of his species, struggling to find his place in a world where no one can ever truly be his equal – that’s what makes him interesting.
So what’s your origin story?
Businesses need kickass origin stories just as much as superheroes do. If you want people to be interested in your business, communicate your own origin story in a personal, compelling way – and make sure it threads through all of your business communications and marketing messages.
Why did you decide to start your business? What major events and lifelong passions have led you to where you are now? How have these shaped your philosophy and purpose—and the impact you want to have on the world?
Provide unforgettable answers to these questions and you’ll have a story that engages and inspires people and motivates them to root for your success. And that kind of community support is what transforms an ordinary, mild-mannered business into something superhuman.
So what’s your story? Feel free to share it in the comments. Or you could tell us who your favourite superhero is, and why. I’d love to find out!
Mine = Wonder Woman. DUH. What I wouldn’t do with that golden lasso of truth…
UPDATED TO ADD: Check out these great business origin stories