Origin Stories

Donna Saylor Crowe was a classmate of mine from Loveland. She posted an amazing story a few days ago on Facebook. She just received her bachelor’s degree in business.

Did I mention she was a classmate of mine?

I know men aren’t supposed to discuss a woman’s age, but I’m 51 and she was a classmate of mine. You can do the math.

Stories like this make my heart sing. She accomplished this goal and raised two amazing kids at the same time. Donna ain’t no quitter. Donna is an overcomer. Donna is a hard worker. Donna is an inspiration.

Folks who stay the course and accomplish goals despite life’s obstacles are superheroes. Their stories need to be told to inspire the rest of us mere mortals.

Donna has a great origin story.

What’s an origin story? You know, a story that explains how the superhero came to be. How a skinny teenage boy gets bit by an irradiated spider and becomes Spiderman. How a young boy is born on another planet but is evacuated before the planet is destroyed. How he ends up on Earth only to discover his strength and abilities are extraordinary–kind of Super.

While doing research for my book, Salesperson to Superhero, I learned that many superheroes have multiple origin stories.

Over the years these superhero origin stories get changed or updated into more modern versions. I was quite surprised to discover how many of these comic characters had multiple versions of their origins.

As it is with me.

Today I’m going to share with you my multiple origin stories. Hopefully, they will give you full context for who I am and hopefully challenge you to contemplate your own story.

My book introduces you to eight year old me who grew up poor in subsidized apartments in Loveland, Ohio and started my first business from an advertisement I saw in the back of a comic book. A kid who went door to door selling garden seeds, Grit Magazine, Mason Shoes, and started his own paper route.

Although that origin story is a good one, there are others.

There’s the 16 year old kid who got into trouble and ended up in juvenile detention due to the chaos at home and his rebel instincts.

There’s the young man who fell in love, got married, and moved to Texas at 17 years of age.

There’s the 19 year old who seeks out his father who he’s never known.

There’s the young man who started college but couldn’t finish because, well, because he doesn’t finish anything.

There’s the 21 year old who gets a phone call that changes his life. A phone call from his wife announcing he was going to be a father.

There’s the 22 year old who gets the news he’s been accepted into the management training program and he and his young family would be transferred to Findlay, Ohio to start a new life.

There’s the 26 year old who finds his way back to Cincinnati with yet another child. How he settles down with two precious children, one boy, one girl, and decides he’s going to provide for these kids and their mother and be the best dad he can be. How he decides to go back to college, but he doesn’t finish, because, well, because he doesn’t finish anything.

There’s the 33 year who adores his wife and his kids and decides to become a coach in baseball, basketball, football, and martial arts.

There’s the 35 year old who gets a real estate license to chase the dream of entrepreneurism that is so deeply engrained in his DNA.

There’s the 40 year old who purchases his own cabinet business only to lose it three years later in an epic failure.

There’s the 43 year old who after spending a few months feeling sorry for himself determines to start over and starts his own real estate brokerage.

There’s the 47 year old who decides to stop performing. To stop chasing. Who decides to just be himself. Who decides to become a storyteller and invite people into his life. Who decides to share his trials and tribulations. To become a writer. A podcaster.

There’s the 50 year old who wrote a book designed to tell his story and encourages others to tell theirs.

You see, we all have origin stories. These are only a few of mine, there are literally hundreds more.

Like Donna Saylor Crowe, our stories need to be told. You never know, it just might inspire someone.

So proud to know Donna. So glad she shared her story.