Building a StoryBrand

“Building a StoryBrand” Review

By: Chad Wooters

Building a StoryBrand – By Donald Miller

How many times have you wanted to be saved? When was the last time you just wanted a hero to come save the day for you? If you’re like me, I would say this doesn’t happen too often.

There have been a few times that I have been down in the dumps, but for the most part, I have always wanted to be the hero.

The premise of this book is simple and surprising: the people you are engaging with (whether friends or potential clients) don’t want to be saved, they want to help save someone; they want to be the hero in someone’s story. 

So how do you put those individuals in the position to be the hero? That is what the book covers in a seven-step framework, the same framework that is used to make movies, write books, and tell stories.

SPOILER: Every Hero has their guide, the one that helps them to see success while also avoiding failure: Luke Skywalker has Yoda; Batman has Alfred, Superman has his fortress of solitude and the spirit of his dad.

So who can you guide? Are you willing to hang out in the swamp while they go save the day?

Everyone should read this book. However, this book will benefit anyone who works in these areas: marketing, sales, management, leadership, church/ministry, dental treatment planning, communication, or anything to do with people! 

An interesting fact is that they started the StoryBrand Podcast before they had launched their book! Here is the link to the basic framework of their idea. It is a worthwhile listen, but the book provides much more insight!

Before the Book

When I was in more direct consumer sales, I remember that there were a lot of motivational pitches that put me, as the salesman, as the role of the hero; we were saving families and changing lives. I was extremely effective in recruiting and bringing new people into the cause and created a salesforce of passionate people (which works well with the Start with Why Concept). As many people would come to work with me over these years I had a hard time teaching some of them to communicate with others in a way that moved them to action. What I was missing was the clear understanding that the reason people would sign up with me was a result of me empowering them to be the hero in their story.

Even though I was often empowering people to the hero in their story it was mostly luck and logic. I understood that people wanted to be empowered but I didn’t know what it was that made them feel that way. It wasn’t until having read Storybrand that it helped me see what was causing my good and bad results.

After the Book

After reading this book I started thinking about how I could use the idea of helping others feel like a hero in everyday life. One of the first places I was able to apply this was in helping with children’s ministry at my church.

Instead of asking the children to simply help me for the reward of candy, I could instead invite them to help me by being a leader; then explain to them how when you’re a leader you’re supposed to lead by example. The children were always more willing to pick up trash, participate in games, or follow directions when they knew that it showed they were leaders! How do these examples sound:

“Hey, I need everyone to pick up trash because we all helped make the mess!”

~ Pre-Book "Negotiations"


“If you want to be a leader then you need to lead by example, can you show the other kids how to pick up 5 or more pieces of trash?” 

~ Post-Book "Negotiations"

Doesn’t the second example sound better? It came from the thought of positioning the student as the hero or as an aspirational identity and it’s empowering for them. 

Personally, I always wanted to save the day, be everything for everyone, but I’ve come to realize that credit is nice, but I would rather see someone else succeed. So even when I am encouraging someone now, I try to keep the focus on showing them that they can be the hero. I don’t mind stepping back and letting someone else save the day, especially if I was just the one that showed them where to go.

I Went a Little Hardcore

Now I work in a different line of work, I am one of the Co-Founder of the Sleep Hero Network, empowering dental providers to be the hero in their patients’ stories. The cool part is that dentists really are the heroes, and we are the guides.

But I have a question for you: 

Can thinking a little differently allow you to make more of a significant impact?

 If that’s not your cup of tea, then one more: 

Who can you help today? Go save the day, go be a hero, someone is waiting for someone who thinks just a little differently to give them a smile or a hug.