The Virtue of the Superhero’s Journey in Business & in Life

Pete Sena
7 min readMay 30, 2019

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell

Like the other approximately 120 million folks around the world who spent $1.2 billion to see Avengers Endgame opening weekend, I walked out of the theater inspired.

No spoilers, but it had all the elements of the greatest superhero stories: The simple pleasures of life, ripped away. Devastation. Destruction. Humor. Pathos. Humility. Struggle. Renewal. Redemption. Triumph. Loss. Peace.

These are also the core aspects of the hero’s journey, on steroids. A voyage from the known into the unknown and back again… a wiser, stronger, transformed person who realizes their potential and makes meaningful contributions to humanity, thanks to the help of mentors along the way.

As a founder who’s made a career designing digital demand for brands, it was a great reminder that in the end, it’s all about relationships.

You don’t need a special utility belt or an arc reactor — or any superhuman ability, actually — to power up positive change. Just a creative, flexible mindset that aligns your personal ideals and true gifts with what others need.

This allows you to leap past your own psychological hurdles to serve with a full heart, committed spirit and laser focus on the greatest good for all involved.

Part I: Departure

Everyone has an “origin” story. Your worldview usually dates back to childhood, where your values and philosophies were shaped by both positive and negative factors. How you become your own version of a superhero comes not from your inherent strengths, but from early struggles and challenges.

In my case, I was a scrawny, nerdy, red-headed kid born just before the age of geek chic, and superheroes were my salvation.

Everyday after school, I would ride my bike to the local comic book store and spend hours there. The ancient, musty newsstand dating back to the ’80’s was a sight for sore eyes, but I couldn’t care less. I was too busy diving into graphic novels to emerge another character altogether — one better fit for the world.

Pete Sena

I help founder-led businesses design demand 📈 ⚡️3X Founder / Operator / Investor | Ready to design demand for your brand? 👇