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Robert Bell

Uh Oh… Here Comes the Bad Guy!

Part 3 of 4 in Robert Bell’s series on how to tell your story to strengthen your brand.




Uh Oh… Here Comes the Bad Guy!

THE BAD GUY. The bully. The person who tells you, “You’re crazy, you can’t do that!” (My personal favorite!)

As much as we hate “the bad guy,” he’s the one responsible for us saying “truth is stranger than fiction” and “you can’t make this sh*t up!” The nature of “the bad guy” is that he is essential to making your story powerful and compelling!

Now, “the bad guy” doesn’t necessarily need to be a guy. Sometimes, it’s a gal. Sometimes “the bad guy” isn’t necessarily even a person. Sometimes, it’s a situation. Sometimes, it’s circumstances beyond our control. Sometimes, it’s a combination, thereof.

In the simplest of definitions, and in regard to storytelling, it’s the obstacle standing in your way, it’s the challenge you need to overcome. Without the bad guy, your story is less compelling. As strange as this sounds, we need the bad guy!

Why? Here is what the bad guy does for us:

  • He makes us work harder to achieve our goals… makes us more determined.
  • He makes us stronger; stronger than we ever knew we were.
  • He helps build and shape our character.
  • He helps make our victories even sweeter when we overcome the obstacles he throws in front of us.
  • He makes us learn from our mistakes.
  • He makes us smarter, especially when we fail to defeat him.

Look, all of us love a Cinderella story. We not only root for Cinderella; we lose our minds when the shoe fits. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s look at a modern day “Cinderella” story. How happy were you when Rocky knocks down Apollo Creed? Or when Rocky is still standing after 15 rounds and the love of his life falls into his arms and he’s sobbing to Adrienne, “I love you, I love you”? Even the unknown (at the time) Sylvester Stallone’s true story of how he risked everything to play the Rocky character when the studios wanted to go with an established movie star is Cinderella-like.


What’s the takeaway? We love an underdog! Not sure why, psychologically, but we do! There’s the good guy (the underdog) versus the bad guy (representing unbelievable obstacles and odds). There is no way the good guy wins. No way. Yet, we find ourselves rooting for him anyway (What’s wrong with us?). Then we lose our freakin’ minds when he actually comes out triumphant in the end, our hearts are bigger and lighter and we feel like we’re floating. What a great story!

Hello, my dear eyecare professionals. Know what my questions are for you, now? Yep, what’s your Cinderella story? What made you an underdog?

What obstacles did you overcome to become the amazing optometrist or optician you are now? What did it take for you to get here? What were the trials and tribulations you had to endure and conquer to get where you are today?

Here’s what I’d like you to do. Write those answers down. Remember the fear you had back then? Remember how unsure you were? Remember how little you felt at the time? Now, remember how you mustered the strength to move forward? What was it — inside you — that carried you through? Embrace that! Wrap your arms around it and give it a hug!

Write it down. “The bad guy” is helping you craft your compelling story!



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