Recently I’ve been taking a social innovations class at BYU-I where we are encouraged to keep a journal of what we learn each week. Welcome to entry six of said journal. I’ll be using Joseph Campbell’s theory of The Hero’s Journey as a framework for my posts, each week will be a different stage. I hope you like it!


On the Road of Trials

“The road of trials is a series of tests that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.” Wikipedia

Campbell: “Once having traversed the threshold, the hero moves in a dream landscape of curiously fluid, ambiguous forms, where he must survive a succession of trials. This is a favorite phase of the myth-adventure. It has produced a world literature of miraculous tests and ordeals. The hero is covertly aided by the advice, amulets, and secret agents of the supernatural helper whom he met before his entrance into this region…The original departure into the land of trials represented only the beginning of the long and really perilous path of initiatory conquests and moments of illumination. Dragons have now to be slain and surprising barriers passed — again, again, and again.” [7]

under gaurd

On Testing Allies and Enemies

“You can’t do good business with bad people,” – Brother Gwilliam

In this stage of the journey, a lot of your time will be spent finding out who your true allies are, and who are your enemies. If you unite yourself with someone who is an enemy in secret your entire adventure could be compromised in a matter of moments. The reverse is true for allies. It is so crucial as we start our businesses and start taking steps towards making that impact we hope to make, we are ever careful of who we bring in. The people we bring along for the adventure have the potential to make or break the company, and define the overall success or failure of our impact.

“Usually that is what people need most- that connection, that love.” – Brother Gwilliam

I believe that it is important to not only thing about the legacy I want to leave, but also the legacy of those who are being impacted by my life and work. What will my impact be on their legacy? Will it be for better or for worse? As human beings, and especially as human beings on adventures, we need human connection. Not only do we need it, we need to foster it. It’s important that as we start our businesses we think with the end in mind, and strive I believe that it’s crucial to our businesses that we find the allies that will help create a culture where we can foster connection and love within our adventure. We aren’t the only ones who need that, so do our clients or customers. I believe that the success of our businesses will depend on how much connection our customers feel when they use the solutions we are providing, or support our efforts.  Thinking with end in mind. The question is, how do we foster that connection in an increasingly disconnected society?


Asking for Help

“You already have the no, go get the yes.”

In class we talked about the power that asking for help has to foster connection in a very organic and authentic way. As was explained in Joseph Campbell’s quote, often times during this stage as the hero struggles and asks for-and receives-that supernatural aid or help that we mentioned in a previous post. The hero is sent help over and over again.  As we were discussing asking for help in class, we discussed the fear that often comes with the thought of asking for what we need. At this point one of our class mates shared something his mom used to tell him “You already have the no, go get the yes.” Meaning, by not asking you already have a no answer, so go out and ask and get the yes answer. It was also brought up that we live in a society that views asking for help as weak. For some reason we have the misguided belief that we are supposed to go through this life completely independent with no weakness and no need for help from any outside force whatsoever. As we were discussing this brother Gwilliam said the following.

“Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness”

It is so important to view asking for help as the strength that it is, and as a mutual benefit and success. It’s a sharing of strength to ask for and to give help. We need more of that in this world.

I can't

The Time is Now

“I started my business in my junior year and I couldn’t start that today…today you have the greatest opportunity to be a social entrepreneur than you will have in your entire life”

I feel like this was the most important takeaway from our lessons this week. We have the power to make a change now, and now is often the right time. The more we wait, the more emotional and physical overhead we have to work around and support. Ultimately, we have to put off that fear and take a calculated step out into that darkness. We have to embrace to road of trials, and maneuver them the best we know how, and most of all- we have to ask for help.



Why is dependency such an issue for non-profits?

When a non-profit is dependent on outside support, they start to rely on that support and when that support is removed it can be the fall of the organization and therefore, their impact is lost as they fade.

How can you balance and sustain triple bottom line in any business? You have to have a clear vision and be the keeper, caretaker, and advocate of that vision. You have to look at the big picture of your business, and see every aspect and look at those three areas and how they are succeeding or failing. Then, you have to have the courage to delegate those things that need to be done in those areas-or even the areas themselves- to others so they can help you. It’s all about balance, and delegation helps with that. No man can be an island.