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Upstartist Diaries

Be Yoda

We all want to be the hero.

But when it comes to business, always remember, your customer is the hero. Not you or your brand.

You are old, shriveled, hairy Yoda who teaches Luke Skywalker to use the force. You are the eccentric guide dedicated to helping your customer – the hero – reach his ultimate destiny.

We pursue the self-employed, creative life for freedom, adventure and meaning.

But we must never forget that to support this life, we must make our customer the hero. 

Your customers aren’t looking for another hero. They’re looking for a guide. 

In the world’s great myths, the hero needs a guide. As writer and marketer Donald Miller explains in Building a Storybrand: “A character has a problem and meets a guide, who gives them a plan and calls them to action, that helps them avoid failure and ends in success.” The need for guides permeates the human psyche.

How can you best guide customers on their heroes journey?

By seeing the world from their point of view:

  1. What does the hero (customer) want?
  2. What is preventing the hero (customer) from getting what he wants?
  3. What will the hero’s (customer’s) life look like if he gets what he wants?

Marketing is about ruthlessly pruning your offer so customers immediately know you can help solve their problems. More than anything, this requires empathy.

Peter Drucker, the legendary management theorist, wrote that marketing begins with the questions: “What does the other party want? What does it value? What are its goals? What does it consider results?”

Don’t be the hero. Be Yoda. Your livelihood depends on it.

“You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” – unknown

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