Remember to Tell Your Founder Story

By Katie Corbett


Founder stories are almost always inspiring. This month, I’m going to blog about the lessons I’ve learned through fiction. Here’s a founder story of sorts that inspires me.


I first read “The Hobbit,” by J. R. R. Tolkien when I was in elementary school. My mom loved the book and talked it up, and even read me the first chapter.


I eventually checked it out from the library and finished it myself. I enjoyed it so much, I read it to my younger brother.


In later years, I ended up stumbling across the story of how Tolkien came up with the concept. He was grading certificates, as professors do, when he came across a blank page in the stack. Suddenly inspired, he wrote, “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” To this day, that is the first line of the book. From that serendipitous story, I learned:


  • It’s OK to start without knowing where you’re going. Tolkien didn’t have a clue what a hobbit was when he wrote those lines.
  • Take opportunities that come your way. He could have thrown the paper aside and kept working, but he seized the moment and wrote the first line of a book that would become more popular than ever.
  • Write things down. If the idea had been ruminating in his head, the book might not have gotten written.
  • Share your story. I bet that was a fun story to tell.
  • Let your projects carry themselves. Tolkien built a beautiful world and inspired so many by letting things be what they would be and following his creativity.


If you have a favorite book, movie, song, or product, I encourage you to learn about how it all started. You never know what lessons you can take away from the story or how it will impact your future.


Which founder story inspires you? What can you do to learn more about the people who inspire you? What is your founder story? How could you share it with the world? Leave me a comment; I’d love to know.


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