Image Credit : Disney Star Wars

We are moving from a consumer economy based on products and experiences to one of transformation.  There is a convergence of new tools, unlimited abundance, and a reevaluation of consumerism that will trigger the emergence of a global phenomenon of personal and societal improvement called the Hero’s Journey Economy.   

Image Credit: Joseph Campbell

The Hero’s Journey is a story of an ordinary person that receives a call to take on a challenge that will drive personal growth.  Joseph Campbell discovered that this Hero’s Journey was prevalent across all cultures around the globe and dates back to early civilization.  The longing for people to take a  Hero’s Journey is so universal in our current society; we sometimes do not notice it.  Almost all entertainment, from classical dramas to  Star Wars to The Fortnite video game series, taps into these transformational steps to tell a story. 

In this coming transformational economy, consumers will move away from spending on things and activities and will start to pay for tools and experiences to help in their personal growth and improvement.  This shift in purchasing will change everything. The worldwide consumer-based economy of $40 trillion will be turned on its head.  

In this new economy, brand managers and marketers must address the question that consumers will ask when confronted with a buying decision:    

Will this Product or activity help me reach my goals in this journey, or is this purchase an indulgent reward/distraction?

In the coming Hero’s Journey Economy, mentors will play a significant role.  Similar to  Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars and Mr. Miyagi in  The Karate Kid, mentors in this economy will be crucial to helping personal change.  Mentors have vital qualities that make them inherently gifted to assist in these individual quests

  • Have advanced skills in the areas of development
  • Have taken the journey and have learned experiences
  • Have encountered similar challenges and competitors
  • Encountered  aid in their own journey
  • Have  dispassionate facts and a wise perspective of the challenge

Previously mentors have held the position of coaches, professors, and employers, but the engagement of mentors was often random and mentor-driven.   Roles of mentors in the Hero’s Journey Economy will play out much differently. Unlike the mentor-student relationships of the past, that were close personal dealings, many people looking to improve or transform their lives will likely never meet their mentors.  

Unprecedented access through technology allows new quest takers in the Hero’s Journey Economy to all sorts of information and guidance. Imagine if Podcast or Blogs were available during the time of Shakespeare, Jung, or Edison.  Can you envision if Abraham Lincoln could have tweeted out his thoughts and ideas while President? What if Einstein hosted a long format Podcast?

The great thinkers of our time now share their opinions, ideas, and concerns through a broad breadth of technology that is available to learn and apply. On-line classes, Podcasts, and Blogs offer a tremendous amount of free advice and guidance.  Even most of the major universities have their full curriculum, including class readings, lectures, notes, and even tests available online to everyone. The only thing not free and available is the degree.  In this new Economy,  subject matter experts in all types of fields will offer up their rich knowledge on a topic and will morph into the role of mentors.  

Let’s take learning to meditate as an example.   There are several mentors available in this area ranging from people who pioneered bringing meditation and mindfulness to the west like Joseph Goldstein to skeptical adopters/proponents like Dan Harris.  There are also many free phone apps designed to guide both beginners and long-time meditators.  You can even listen to a Podcast to hear the Dali Llama provide his perspective and guidance on taking up a practice of daily meditation.   The comprehensive information on meditation offered up in detail across several methods by the experts in the field presents unprecedented nurturing support to a once elusive mental exercise.

Meditation is just one example where mentors are now commonly available to people interested in taking up the practice.  Here is a list of some mentors available to assist in other personal transformations:

Jocko Willink – Navy Seal, teaches practical guides to mental toughness and leadership  

Steven Pressfield – Bestselling author -directs people past the resistance to write and create   

Ray Dalio – Hedge fund Billionaire,  provides his approach to life and investing

Arianna Huffington – Internet entrepreneur, offers up transformation guidance and sleep advice

Josh Waitzkin – Chess and Martial Arts prodigy – delivers lessons on how to learn and master a skill

Dom D’angostino – Research Professor, a ketogenic pioneer who is rethinking the diet as a way to fight disease

Oprah Winfrey – TV show personality – now hosts podcasts on spiritual and personal transformation   

Tony Robbins – Self-help and transformation guru now provides investment and financial insights

Simon Sinek – Organizational Consultant, reports on transformational leadership in the workplace

Brené Brown – Research Professor,  studies the power of courage, vulnerability, and empathy  

Tim Ferriss – Author of The 4 hour work week Tribe of Mentors – Podcast host and experimenter on optimizing all aspects of life.

In the Hero’s Journey Economy, the individual will be the product. Mentors will be trusted advisors and counselors to these personal journeys.   Marketers will rush to tie their branded products and experiences to these expert counselors.  Mentors to transformation over time will either, intentionally or unintentionally,  become the new global brands.

 For more information/keynote speaking on this topic contact: The Hero’s Journey’s Economy