I’m a reluctant hero.
Let me explain…
I don’t say this to be egotistical. It’s more the identity I took on over five years ago when I became publicly visible through my old podcast, The Foolish Adventure Show.
From Wikipedia, “a reluctant hero is a tarnished or ordinary man with several faults or a troubled past, and he is pulled reluctantly into the story, or into heroic acts.” That’s me. An ordinary guy with several faults who got coaxed into public view by a friend.
For five years I’ve held on to my reluctance, but I’m letting it go. It is an identity that doesn’t serve me nor does it serve my clients or prospective clients.
I’m working on a longer article on Executive Vision — a concept I teach my clients. In the process of writing about EV I realized that I can’t stick to a vision of my company’s future if I’m reluctant to own that future wholly. There will be resistance to the actions needed to achieve that future.
The resistance can show up in small ways such as when people would ask me what I do and I’d say, “I’m a consultant.” I wouldn’t say, “I guide entrepreneurs to higher levels of success in their business and life.” This can then manifest in bigger ways such as attracting clients from a consultant’s perspective (find them, convert them, deliver service, repeat) as opposed to truly owning the vision and help hundreds or thousands of entrepreneurs at once.
Bringing this story back around to you.
After having worked so closely with hundreds of entrepreneurs over my career I’ve found that the ones who struggle the most (limited growth, operational chaos, weak leadership) haven’t fully developed and then owned their vision for their company or how their company integrates and supports their lives.
I’ve had clients that from the outside looked successful, but were immensely unhappy. They built a business that the world said was successful, but which didn’t fulfill the purpose they founded it for. Typically this is voiced as ‘freedom’ or a good lifestyle with more time with my family, friends and hobbies.
These entrepreneurs had to come to terms with their ‘selfish’ desire to live the life they wanted before they could lead their companies to greater financial success all while converting the company into a life-supporting system instead of a life-draining one.
What do you want your life to be like? What kind of business model, organizational structure and management methodology would be needed to support the life you want? Now does this help or hinder the impact of the business in the world? Sometimes our desires can conflict.
“I want the company to help millions of people.”
“I don’t want to have employees (contractors, etc).”
It isn’t possible to impact the world in a big way and not have people working for you. So if you’re adamant about not hiring people to do anything for you then you will only be able to help a small number of people. You could help hundreds (maybe thousands) and possibly even become a millionaire. Would that fulfill you? If so, fantastic. If not, then you need to reframe your beliefs about employees.
Not being congruent with your vision is very common. There are as many ways to be reluctant as there are founders. Look to what you are resisting in your business and see if you too are acting as a reluctant hero.
The Happy Ending
The only way the story has a happy ending for the reluctant hero is if he owns the responsibility hoisted upon him. All through a reluctant hero story the hero fights against having to do what he knows needs to be done and suffers from it.
Then when the hero commits to the quest he is then thrust into new challenges that test him even further than when he was fighting against his fate. But, these challenges have purpose to him. He is stronger because of them.
He isn’t alone on this journey. Those whom he needs to be able to complete his quest, rally around him and come to his aide and toil beside him. They rally because they believe in the hero and the vision he has for the quest.
And in the end he triumphs.
I’ve committed to no longer being the reluctant hero in my own story. I have a vision for helping thousands of entrepreneurs and that’s why the beginning of my story has started with writing the TIM Report.
Next Report will have an introduction on the Executive Vision. Start thinking about yours. Does it support the life you want to lead? Does it have the impact in the world that you wish to leave as your legacy?
Email me with your heroic story. I’d love to hear it. tim at timconley.co.