Breakdown Of A Better Business Backstory

rogue mogul business backstory

This week I promised to share the Rogue Mogul backstory with you. Before we dig in, I’d like to make sure we’re on the same page about your business backstory.

First, your business backstory doesn’t have to be long. The Black Spire Output backstory we referenced is four sentences.

Your business backstory isn’t the literal story of your business. Rather, it’s about creating context for your ideal customer.

Your business backstory isn't the literal story of your business. Rather, it's about creating context for your ideal customer. Share on X

Finally, a good business backstory will answer some of the basic questions we know to ask but often overlook.

We’re talking about: who, what, where, when, why, and how.

Let’s take a closer look:

The largest settlement on the planet Batuu, Black Spire Outpost is an infamous stop for traders, adventurers, and smugglers traveling around the Outer Rim and Wild Space. Off the beaten path, this outpost has become a haven for the galaxy’s most colorful — and notorious — characters. Widely known for the petrified remains of its once towering ancient trees, the spires now stand guard across the river valleys and plains and have long captured the imagination of travelers to this planet. To the first settlers, these petrified spires became more than just landmarks; they became the heart of the outpost itself.

Who: …traders, adventurers, and smugglers… the galaxy’s most colorful — and notorious — characters.

What: The largest settlement…an infamous stop…

Where: …on the planet Batuu, Black Spire Outpost…the Outer Rim and Wild Space. Everything else is descriptive and added for color.

If they wanted to beef it up even more they could have added:

When: …after the fall of the Empire…

Why: …easy to avoid the First Order… (Note: Imagineers implied this by placing Black Spire Outpost in the Outer Rim. But you’d only know that if you’re a big Star Wars fan). Also, …a good place to connect with rebels looking to recruit for the cause…

Put those elements together and you have the context necessary to answer creative questions that shape other parts of your business. These are the same questions Imagineers ask when creating an immersive experience for guests.

Questions like:

What kinds of shops would exist on Black Spire Outpost? The kind of shops that cater to “..traders, adventurers, and smugglers… the galaxy’s most colorful — and notorious — characters.”

Of course that also means there has to be a cantina!

What ships would you find at Black Spire Outpost? The Millenium Flacon, an X-Wing, speeders, and a First Order ship or two.

By now you get the idea.

How To Build A Backstory – A Breakdown of the Rogue Mogul Backstory

Rogue Mogul is a rag-tag bunch of independent souls on a mission to control our time and create opportunity for ourselves and others. Hailing from the Island of Misfit Toys, we can live and work from anywhere.

Here, we’ll forge the tools and discover the ideas to build the businesses which provide the money we need to live life on our own terms. Through those businesses, we give back to the world in ways that matter most to us.

We do more before noon than most people do all day, and we do it in our sweat pants if, we’re wearing pants at all.

Many of us have had jobs but don’t fit into a culture that exists to build someone else’s dream. So we choose a different path. We see the opportunity provided to us by modern technology and are using it to build a better life.

7 sentences, that’s the story.

Keep in mind this is less than a week old so it’s subject to change and refinement. Don’t feel like you can’t adjust this story as you go.

Now let’s break the story down.

Who: Independent souls who value their freedom and helping others find the same.

What: A resource of tools and ideas for those who want to control their destiny. We understand that owning our businesses = money = freedom.

Where: Digital nomads, we’re location agnostic. We may or may not be on the go, but we always have the option. If asked where they fit it, most would answer “The Island of Misfit Toys.”

Why: We don’t belong in corporate culture. We own our failures and successes. We can’t stand the idea of getting paid to build someone else’s dream.

When: There’s not time like the present. (Implied, not explicit).

How: By taking advantage of the speed, scale, and reach of the digital world we now inhabit.

Also note, I wrote out my who, what, where, why, when, and how first, then crafted it into a story.

I’m now using that story to reshape Rogue Mogul and you’ll see those changes rolling out over time. The questions I’m asking are:

Based on the Rogue Mogul backstory:

  • what should the website look like?
  • what kind of language and tone should the copy have?
  • what kinds of images, iconography, or video fit the story?
  • where does my “who” hang out online?
  • who do they follow?
  • …and more.

This model also fits the classic “Hero’s Journey.”

In this case, I am the guide. You are the hero.

Together, we’re on a quest to break free from the old ways so that we can reach our goal of living life on our own terms.

Business Examples To Inspire You:

The idea of story is powerful in business. The guys at Tumbleweed TexStyles built their business by tapping into the Texas story and identity.


Founded by two Frisco, TX high school teachers in 2011, Tumbleweed TexStyles is nothing short of a Texas culture ambassador.

Jeb is an art teacher and a Brian a marketing teacher who is now full time in the business.

Tumbleweed started off with fun, handcrafted, and very comfortable t-shirts. Since 2011, they’ve added a host of products to their lineup and struck deals with Texas-based companies like Dr. Pepper and Whataburger.

They make it a point of giving back to their community and donate a portion of every sale to the Frisco Education Foundation. In true Rogue Mogul spirit, they’re creating opportunity for others.

From 2 guys, to a team of 8+, Tumbleweed TexStyles opened their flagship store in 2020 and are still going strong.

Disclaimer: Tumbleweed TexStyles was a long-time customer and partner of, a business I am part owner of.

Current Experiment

Newsletter Growth: 66 – 73

Things picked back up this week and we’re within shouting distance of our first 100 subscribers. Six people joined this week and no one dropped out.

  • Improving SEO of existing content. Traffic keeps ticking up. SEO is a long game but there was a 35% jump in traffic over last week. SEO and social signals both contributed to the jump.
  • Social promotion. The new “click to tweet” box yielded a couple of shares last week so we’ll keep that going. If you see it above give it a try. Twitter continues to be the main social channel for now.
  • Better CTA on all sign-up boxes. I’m going to continue to tweak this as I go. I’m getting on a call tomorrow where I’m going to get grilled on my CTA and looking forward to it. I’ll let you know what kind of feedback I get. I also think the changes to language and adding an “See an example newsletter” link helped with the uptick this past week.

If you’re inclined to help, feel free to forward this newsletter to someone you think will enjoy it.

Tools & Resources

Superhuman: It’s the email client you never knew you needed but can’t live without. I’ve been using Superhuman for over a week now and you couldn’t take it from me. It’s fast, convenient, and I spend far less time dealing with email than ever.

The team at Superhuman seem to have thought of everything. Features like Quick Quote are what make using Superhuman so fast and efficient.

If you’re someone who’s comfortable with keyboard shortcuts, Superhuman will supercharge your email. If you’re not comfortable with keyboard shortcuts they have an interface to access them that’s fast and easy to use.

Either way, you’ll be a power user in no time. And their training/onboarding is second to none!
Right now Superhuman is invite only. But if you’re interested in checking it out, reply to this email and I’ll send a referral for you.

5-Bullet Friday: I’m guessing most of you know Tim Ferriss. But if you’re not on his newsletter it’s worth signing up if only for the 5-Bullet Friday. I always look forward to the interesting things Tim shares on Fridays. Some of them are helpful for business, some on a more personal level. Some have value for being fun or interesting.

If you’re not already a subscriber, it’s one of a handful or newsletters I’d recommend. Best of all, it five bullets and very quick to get through.

Your questions or comments are always welcome and if you know someone that might enjoy this newsletter please share it with them.

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