The Hero’s journey

If you read my last blog, you’ll know that Opportunity Peterborough supported Enterprise Nation’s StartUp 2016 event in Peterborough on the 16th January.

The event was a huge success and completely sold out; standing room only at times. Everyone was able to make valuable contacts and speak with business experts, helping to get a room full of people inspired to start-up and grow their business.

I was honored to be able to kick off the day with a talk focused on how starting and growing a business follows the path of the Hero’s Journey (and of course how the support for the stages on that journey are all around you in Peterborough).

If you’re not familiar with the concept, bear with me; it’s all about to become clear…

The Hero’s Journey is a near-universal story structure that takes someone ordinary and turns them into a hero (Think Luke Skywalker, Dorothy Gale, Bilbo Baggins, Simba etc).

How does this compare to starting a business?:

1 jdnOrdinary World– this is where you are before you start your journey. Just you, being you.

2 Call to adventure – but now you’ve come upon your business idea, something that kicks you out your ordinary way of thinking and shakes you into feeling that you could do something interesting.

3 Refusal – the fear of the unknown, where you’re not sure if you’re up to the task at hand, and doubt your own ability.

4 Mentor – luckily there are people along the way who can offer you advice and guidance to take you over the threshold into creating your business.

5 Crossing the threshold – this is where you’ll now find yourself – launching your venture!

6 Tests – but this doesn’t come without challenges; it’s said that no business plan survives first contact with the customer, so you’ll need to cope with what reality throws at you.

7 Innermost cave – eventually you’ll face your biggest challenges where you’re not sure if your venture will survive and you’ll be face to face with ‘conscious incompetence’, that is – you finally know what you don’t know.

8 Ordeal – you may face a huge test that changes the direction of your business, but out of this comes…

9 Reward – a stronger sustainable business with your confidence at an all time high.

10 Route back – this finds you integrated with the business community and finding your way, although…

11 Resurrection – there may be some more challenges ahead, but this time you’re ready for them. You know how to deal with the stresses and you’ve come back stronger.

12 Return – now you know the path you can help others. This is where we find all those inspirational entrepreneurs that seem superhuman.

All they really are though, are ordinary people with extraordinary experiences.

Born out of something they’ve pushed themselves into that caused them to grow and deal with challenges.

They didn’t give up,

They embraced change,

They embraced challenges,


Where are you on your Journey?


David Simpson