We've all seen it before....(in the movies)....
A regular Joe / Siti / Abu....who suddenly wakes up and wants to do/has to do something *extra* in his/her life....
Along the way, Joe / Siti / Abu meets many challenges, many naysayers....plenty of cringe-y/heartbreaking moments....with only himself/herself (and usually max of 2 good friends) to support their efforts....
Joe / Siti / Abu achieves something good....BUT DID HE/SHE?....
Something awful happens and Joe / Siti / Abu nearly gives up hope....but someone somewhere says something wise....so Joe / Siti / Abu pushes through....and finally, FINALLY, succeeds.
Joe / Siti / Abu ends the movie with a smile.
It's the most common plot used by writers and screenwriters all 'round the world: The Hero's Journey.
LOTR. Harry Potter. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. (I like the chocolates in that movie)
All using the same plot -- the underdog triumphs.
I want to ask you something. Have you ever wanted to do some cool project, but you DON'T want to show it to people until it's ready and awesome?
I do that all the time.
I used to fantasize about the day when I'd *suddenly* show up at a high school reunion and look all fit and strong and accidentally do some totally casual parkour.
And my old classmates will be like, "WHOA AINA!! You're so cool and strong!!!"
BASICALLY, I didn't want to tell people I've been working out. I wanted to do everything secretly and one day have a BIG reveal.
Like, Tada!!! *cue jaw drops by the audience*
It's so satisfying to fantasize about that big reveal isn't it? Skip all the cringe-y, pathetic parts and go straight to the happy ending.
Don't go straight to the happy ending.
But if Joe/Siti/Abu had skipped those unpleasant parts, would there have been a movie? Would anyone leave the cinema feeling inspired? Would anyone say that the movie inspired them to change?
There's a reason why the Hero's Journey is the most commonly used plot.
People root for the underdog. People relate to the unpleasant parts. Without those unpleasant parts, the movie couldn't touch people's hearts. No one will say, "If he can do it, I can too!".
OK, lemme give you an example. Lisa wants to be a watercolour artist.
Lisa just wants to practice painting secretly and only wants to start posting her paintings on Instagram when she feels that they are "up to her standards".
But the problem is, progress takes time. Should Lisa just stay quiet until she's finally to ready for the big reveal?
Shouldn't Lisa share her underdog journey?
For YOUR brand, do not wait until you're perfect before you start sharing your journey.
- Don't wait until your cake looks perfect.
- Don't wait until your singing sounds perfect.
- Don't wait until people say your painting is perfect.
Share now. Share even if you feel that whatever you've created is pathetic.
You may think that you're just another regular person wanting to do something extra, but you don't know who's watching your efforts.
Your perseverance will get you to that happy ending AND inspire someone else to pick up the brush (or some other instrument).
And when you have a brand that's inspiring and makes people feel good, it will ALWAYS be relevant. Just like the Hero's Journey is always relevant.