You’ve probably heard it before. People will often ask this simple question: “How did you start?”.
Or if they haven’t asked it yet, they are certainly wondering about it.
Depending on the context, “you” might refer to your company, your project, your product, your team, or yourself as a person.
What people want to hear then is your “origin story”.
Whether you’re the company founder or not, this is a very human question that shows up because people are curious about the deep reason why your business came to exist in the first place.
Your origin story is an important way to keep your relationships as human as possible. It creates an emotional connection with others. This is your chance to show up as your authentic and vulnerable self, so people know who you are and what you stand for.
Writing your origin story is important for at least two main reasons.
1 – You need to be able to tell it concisely, so people remember it.
2 – Before you get the concise version, there is value in exploring your past again to regenerate the purpose of our company and make it your strategy.
There is certainly value in hitting the first goal quickly–get to a concise version as soon as possible.
But there is even greater value in lingering in the exploration phase, which leads to the creation of the concise version. It will help you discover the source of your company’s purpose. The connection between your purpose and your future vision highlights a trajectory that will fill people around you with meaning about your company.
So, if you are tempted to make the writing of your origin story a quick exercise because you don’t have a lot of time, that’s fine. But if you have a moment, permit yourself to wander around a bit in the process. You might re-discover an event or an idea that used to seem insignificant, but that might, in reality, become a breakthrough for how you connect with your community.
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – Tolkien.