Today our expert guest is Andy Janning, a speaker, visual storyteller, and the author of Heroes, Villains, and Drunk Old Men: A Love Story for Real Life. Andy describes himself as “the most accidental of entrepreneurs,” and he’s had a lot of success over the past six years, but prior to that, he spent over two decades in corporate America.


When Andy left his corporate job, he started to blend his passion for talent development with his passion for stories, visual storytelling in particular. And in the process, Andy has created a unique model of talent development that helps people live out their best story and serve others.


Heroes, Villains, and Drunk Old Men isn’t your typical nonfiction book for working adults – there is a narrative thread running throughout, enhanced by Andy’s knack for visual storytelling.


And although Andy’s name is on the front cover, he is not the star of this particular story; “I am blessed to know an amazing number of everyday heroes, and they are the people that I want to lift up.” The end result is intimate and powerful, and the lessons it has to offer were tested in the real world by these real people.


Andy is the first person to tell you that none of the stories or people in his book are perfect, however. It is designed to help people take inventory of their own scars and blemishes, appreciate where they came from, and have a better sense of where their life is currently aiming them.


“Failure is a great teacher, but success is a great wind in our sails – and I want to capture both of those.”


Andy also identifies eight questions that every hero should answer in the process of transforming. They are designed to short circuit our pattern and habit to forget, and help us see the nuance and richness in our stories


  1. What do you really want?
  2. Who is going to be your mentor?
  3. How are you going to fail?
  4. How are you going to succeed?
  5. What are you going to fight for and against?
  6. What will victory (or success) look like?
  7. What are you going to give away?
  8. Where are you going to go next?


You can (and probably should) ask these questions at any point in your life, and they will help you cross the right finish line for the right reasons. (In 8 Questions for Every Hero: The Story of Your Journey, these questions are expanded on and accompanied by the gorgeous art of acclaimed illustrator Jingo de la Rosa.)


The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway


“If you don’t want to be the villain in your own story, have someone in your life who will hold you accountable, knows you better than yourself, and can pull the good things out of you… And you need to mentor others. If you’re under mentorship, and you mentor others, that’s what creates a real sense of community.


“Heroes know that they’re trying to create more heroes – villains are trying to create more followers. When you create more heroes, you create community, but when you create more followers, you just create a cult. And this world has enough of that.”


Thank you for joining us on The Daily Helping with Dr. Shuster. Subscribe to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play to download more food for the brain, knowledge from the experts, and tools to win at life.



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