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What we learned about business and life from Stan Lee

Stan Lee life lessons

For millions of comic book fans across the globe, we lost a legend Monday. Stan Lee, was a writer, editor, and publisher of some of the most popular Marvel Comics including Spider-Man, the Hulk, Black Panther, Daredevil and X-Men.

I remember as a kid watching the Public Broadcasting Network’s portrayal of Spider-Man for its kid-friendly shows. In fact, we would watch those during school. Later, in the early 80’s, Spider-Man became a prime-time show.

I also remember the series of the Hulk in which Lou Ferrigno played Dr. Banner when he was the Hulk. Like many, I watched the huge success of the Black Panther this past year when it debuted on screen in the cinemas.

Lee, of course, was known for many things including the cameo appearances he made in the movies bearing his characters as well as the Big Bang Theory.

Media publisher The Verge talks about the cameos that Lee appeared in and shared this video from SuperHeroesEvolution. Take a trip down memory lane.

Stan Lee taught us about life and how to live that life. In doing so, he taught us about business and the important things in life.

In the trailer for Netflix’s The Defenders, Lee narrates,

Lee says “Heroes show us that you don’t need to be perfect to do what’s right. It’s not about living without fear or fighting injustice. It’s not about being powerful but finding your calling. When you least expect it, they show us it’s okay to be vulnerable, no matter how tough you are. Because even though they’re heroes, they’re still human.”

In a way, we are all like The Defenders. Imperfect, yet still overcomers, fighting adversity, and being a hero while still being human. Today we are going to look at 5 things that Stan Lee taught us about life and business.

How to tell a story

Stan Lee taught us how to tell a story. One of the greatest skills of entrepreneurs is storytelling. Why is it so important to tell stories. Alaura Weaver calls it the ultimate persuasion hack,

Neurologically speaking, storytelling is the ultimate persuasion hack: it not only grabs people’s attention, it also convinces buyers to convert and gets them hopelessly smitten with your brand.

Lee captured our imaginations with characters who swung through the city using spider web, doctors who instantly righted the wrongs he saw by growing large and green, and a captain who was preserved in ice for nearly 100 years who had superhuman strength.

How to overcome adversity

Overcoming adversity is one of the greatest lessons in life. The question is not if, but when will that adversity come. Every hero overcomes adversity whether it is his or her own insecurities, a true villain (see Thanos), or something unexpected altogether.

Whether in life or business, we will undoubtedly overcome adversity. We can then put on our superhero costumes, push through the anguish, and vanquish our foes while finding the strength within ourselves which often comes from our weaknesses.

How to believe you can make a difference

One of Lee’s most famous cameo’s came in Spider-Man 3. Peter Parker (Tobey McGuire) stops to read a sign in New York City detailing the news of his alter ego, Spider-Man, receiving the key to the city. Lee looks at Parker and says, “You know, I guess one person can make a difference. Nuff said!”

You can see the video here

So many times in his stories, someone has to step up, and they do. It happens over and over again. We can make a difference in this world with our lives and with our businesses.

How to work with others to overcome the villains

Sometimes, the villain is too much for one person. When that happens, you need to find others to help. Just like the Avengers teamed up with each other to help defeat Thanos, we need a group of fellow superheroes to help us overcome our adversities.

Lee taught us that. For all of the successes we can have in life and business, it is when we team with others that we are truly the most successful. Don’t neglect to team up with others.

How to value the important things

One thing about Lee’s stories, they taught us to be the best versions of ourselves. They taught us about rejecting bigotry, standing up for what’s right, overcoming adversity, and embracing the love of our family and friends.

At the end of the day, what matters most are these values. These are the important things in our lives. It is easy to focus on things without long-term significance.

Chris Evans who plays Captain American, Steve Rogers, in the Marvel movies, says this in a quote

I think he sums it up well. We learn about values that transcend anything we can do as a person or businesses when we learn about “adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship, and joy.” Well said, Captain Rogers. Well said.


Wrapping it up

We really can learn a lot from storytelling. The form of communication has been used for at least a millennium.

According to Leo Widrich of Buffer,

When we are being told a story, though, things change dramatically, according to researchers in Spain. Not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too.

Our entire brain allows us to experience the events. For millions across the world, we lived the stories that Stan Lee told. We wanted to be Spider-Man or Black Panther. We wanted to make a difference. We learned to be team players.

Today, what superhero will you be? What was your favorite Stan Lee story?

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Todd Jones
Along with being the resident writer for MainWP and content hacker at Copyflight, I specialize in writing about startups, entrepreneurs, social media, WordPress and inbound marketing topics.
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