Everyone loves a good underdog story. It’s always inspiring to walk with the underdog through the perils of their adventure, the road blocks that they demolished or went around, and the little things they did consistently to make it to the finish line. In the many blogs I read every day in creating new headlines for Atlanta Tech Blogs, I see a lot of underdog stories going on right now in the Atlanta startup community. For some of these ventures, we’ll be able to say, “I knew them when…” For others, we won’t. For those of you who are in one of those potential fairy tales, here’s something that may help you:
I remember when I got my first pair of Nike shoes. It was 7th grade. I wanted the leather ones like all my cool friends had, but my mom said there’s no way she was spending $40 on a pair of shoes that I would destroy and/or grow out of in less than a month. She was right, and I got the canvas Nike shoes. They were disintegrated in a few short weeks, since, at the time, the favorite activity on our street was playing street hockey. At the time, we didn’t care about Nike the brand. We cared about getting the newest coolest shoes on the planet.
Jeff Hilimire has been summing up his experience reading Phil Knight’s book about how Nike began. Now that I’ve been there and done that on a few startups, I can look back and relish the experiences Mr. Knight walks us through in his book. There is so much inspiration in Knight’s stories that new and experienced entrepreneurs alike can take into their startups every single day. As Mr. Knight says, “It’s all the same drive. The same dream.”
So what brands do you love? I like to dig into the brands that I love, but also the brands that I use every day. Have you ever read the story behind Comcast? They don’t have the best reputation, but the story of how they grew from one tiny cable provider to more than $60 billion in annual revenue is overwhelming. I love to experience the outdoors, so learning how companies like L.L. Bean and Orvis grew into well-known brands fascinates me. What about more recent stories like Instagram, Facebook, Google? Yes, we all hear bits and pieces about how they did what they did, but reading and engrossing yourself in the details of their stories is different.
As you consume their stories, you’ll find tons and tons of points of inspiration that can and will help you get through whatever it is today or tomorrow that your startup or small business is going through. Then you can understand how important it is to tell your story in both your pitch and your blog. People love stories. Stories inspire. Your story is no different. Who will you inspire today?