All great heroes are dragon slayers.
… Reading was once controlled by the elite…
… It was once “true” that the world was flat…
… Doctors didn’t always wash their hands…
Until someone was courageous enough to challenge the old belief system and invent a new way of doing things…
… The printing press brought free thought to the world…
… Science has allowed us to go to the moon…
… Cleanliness standards have saved millions of lives over the years…
You see, dragons are real. And heroes are, too.
Heroes are the creators. The free thinkers. The inventors. The paradigm shifters…
Heroes are entrepreneurs. And in order to create change, we must first find and slay our dragons…
But before you can slay your dragons, we need to put into perspective how large… or small… dragons really are…
Small events affect big change
True or false… a butterfly flapping its wings causes a hurricane on the other side of the world?
A guy overdraws his bank account, ends up talking to the teller, who helps him get a job at a restaurant, where he ends up introducing his sister to his co-worker, who gets married, has two kids, one of which grows up to be a scientist who invents a drug that treats cardiac abnormalities and saves hundreds of thousands of lives each year…
True. Small events do affect big change. So, what can happen if we apply choice and thought? Think about that for a moment…
Stephen R. Covey stated that “all things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things” in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We are all creators. We are meant to create. Therefore… we have the ability to make massive shifts that have the power to change the world.
Dragons… beliefs… changes… can come in all shapes and sizes. Small, cute, baby dragons… or massive, scary… monster dragons.
No matter what the size of the problem is, a small shift can effect big change.
Finding your dragons and creating a paradigm shift
As you’ve figured out by now, the term “slaying your dragons” refers to overcoming the old or current way of doing things, a belief system, or a challenge that has to be overcome.
Don is an entrepreneur. He owns several brick-and-mortar businesses including a very successful martial arts studio and has always focused on building his legacy by making it bigger and better. Until he realized that he wasn’t being fulfilled… no matter how much money that he continued to make… he always still felt like there was more. One day he was asked, “What dragons are you slaying…” and he realized… he wasn’t just teaching kids karate… he was actually changing and shaping the future of the next generation…
… he was slaying obesity
… he was slaying bullying
… he was slaying the belief that kids feel inadequate and mediocre, afraid to stand up for themselves, believing that they aren’t good enough to achieve big dreams…
And when Don found his dragon, he knew exactly how he was going to slay it. Now he is not just building a membership program… he is creating the paradigm shift needed to shape and change the future of our children.
Finding the Gaps in your Industry
Don wouldn’t have found his dragons if he didn’t first understand the landscape of his industry… he needed to understand four core truths:
- Who he was serving
- Why they needed help
- What they needed most
- How to do it differently than anyone else
In essence, he needed to understand why kids were struggling with things like bullying, obesity and self-consciousness… why other solutions weren’t working… what he believed the solution was and how he was going to solve it for them.
Once he knew that, he would understand the gap in his industry and how he could fill it.
And just like Don, every entrepreneur needs to understand the gaps in their own industry…
- What lies are being told in your industry, or parallel industries (that are solving the same problem)?
- Why aren’t other programs working to fix the problem?
- What new problems are arising out of it?
The mental health industry is the perfect example of this…
We all know someone who needs – or has needed – treatment for mental health. Maybe it’s you. Many of us have been there, and it’s nothing to be ashamed about.
But the healthcare industry doesn’t make this easy. And cultural norms don’t help. You can either 1) take medication, or 2) seek talk therapy. There are, of course, alternative treatments out there… mostly not covered by healthcare.
And to top it off, nobody wants to talk about it. If you have mental health problems, there must be something wrong with you, or wrong with your upbringing. Or both.
We could go on for days about the gaps here… but you get the idea.
As entrepreneurs, think about all of the possibilities for filling those gaps… shifting the paradigms… changing the future for our children…
What dragons need to be slain here? How can we help?
This is your opportunity to not just make a difference, but to create lasting change.
And it starts with finding your dragon.
Enter, brand: Paradigm shifts are about public perception
Paradigm shifts have to happen on the belief level to work. That’s why when we say… “what dragons are you slaying”… we are also referring to your brand as an entrepreneur.
Your brand is how you communicate your why to your who… its the glue that takes your message to the world. And your marketing is the wheel that makes it turn…
Just like any good story, a brand has to have a beginning, middle and end. We need to understand where you came from (your origin story), what your mission is (the problem you’re solving) and where you see yourself going (your vision for the future).
What is the beginning for your customer? The beginning is where they are now. What are their pain points? What are they struggling with?
The middle is how they get to the end. What is the process that they have to go through? What bridge are they crossing?
And the end is the transformation. What is the change that will occur for them? How will their life be better?
The key to creating a paradigm shift is to have a brand that is so clear, so concise and so on point that it can reach people on an emotional level. And you change their perception about what they believed before about what they need to do to bring the change that is needed for them.
You (and your brand) need to be the person that they look to when they want to make a change in their lives.
This is what it means to be a leader in your industry, and this is what it takes to create a paradigm shift.
Paradigm shifts create blue oceans
You’ve heard of the blue ocean strategy, right? (A book by Chan Kim).
It’s a business strategy that is all about creating new markets, rather than competing in existing ones.
And it’s the perfect way to describe what a paradigm shift looks like.
When you create a new market, you are no longer competing for attention or customers… you are the only one offering what you’re offering.
You have created a blue ocean.
To do this, you need to look at your industry and find the areas that are underserved, or not being served at all.
These are the areas where you can create a paradigm shift.
Going back to the example of the mental health industry, there are many people who are not being served by the existing system. They don’t fit into the traditional treatment models, or they can’t afford the expensive alternative treatments.
These are the people who need your help. These are the people who you can create a blue ocean for.
And when you do, you will not only be helping them, but you will also be helping yourself.
Because when you create a blue ocean, you are also creating a space for yourself to thrive in.
So ask yourself… what dragons do you need to slay in order to create a paradigm shift in your industry?
Reclaim builds brands that slay dragons
A lot of people ask me if I build websites. Of course, I say “yes”… because that is one of the tools I use to help companies build their brands and share their messages…
…but the truth is that anybody can build a website.
And when it comes to getting new leads, converting customers… and building your visibility… I am more interested in the dragons you are slaying, than what kind of website software you are using to do it.
If you are ready to slay some dragons, RECLAIM your marketing, shift some paradigms… and build a thriving business with customers who are going to be loyal to your brand because they align with you on a belief level… then let’s freakin go.