Step by step: How we wrote business origin stories in 45 minutes

Jul 03, 2023
Part of an old-fashioned watch representing the time it takes to write a business-origin story

By Rhea Wessel

My focus is on teaching writing in the thought-leadership style, but occasionally, I teach people copywriting for their business.

In April, I taught my Business Origin Story Crash Course to members of Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs. In this session, people created a first draft of their business origin story, a text that helps their readers understand where their business came from and why they are pursuing it.

This was a fun session with people from diverse fields, including justice, medicine, and beauty & wellness.


Following a template

We started with a bit of theory on origin stories. They’re stories that are mostly backward-looking but do open up possibilities for the future.

Then I showed the group an example of my own business origin story, and we looked it line by line.

Finally, I provided a template based on my own story, I set the timer, and participants all began writing.

Here’s a beautiful story that one participant wrote in my workshop.

Meet Sylvia Clute, a former prosecutor who is now the president of the Alliance for Unitive Justice.


For 28 years… 

I was a trial attorney. I can tell you from personal experience that we have a broken justice system that produces way too much injustice.

Ours is a system of proportional revenge—it answers harm with more harm and calls it “justice,” as long as the harm we do is equal in measure to the harm for which we seek revenge.

When we say, “the punishment fits the crime,” or “I’m going to get even,” we are talking about proportional revenge.

Instead, we can implement a justice system that has no punitive elements, a system that may be called “justice as love.”

I discovered this concept in 1987 when, while practicing law and exploring my spiritual journey, I encountered the idea that there are two models of justice: vengeance and love.

 Read the rest of Sylvia's story on the Institute's website here.


Want to know more?

The Institute for Thought Leadership helps you scale up thought-leadership writing in your firm and turn your experts into innovators.


-Rhea Wessel is the Founder and Head of the Institute for Thought Leadership. She can be reached at [email protected]