About Page Help: Get Into Your Backstory

Are you struggling with your small business about page?

I think a lot of people have trouble writing about themselves (myself included). But, the importance of the small business ‘About’ page should not be overlooked.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer to give my money to small businesses that I feel I have a connection with, or if they have a truly unique or inspiring story.

When it comes to your small business ‘About’ page DO NOT sell yourself short!

If you’ve been thinking about retooling your page, or if you’re just getting started, here are a couple of questions to ponder:

  1. What makes you unique?
  2. What struggles have you faced in your lifetime that have created the person you are today?
  3. Why are you passionate about bread making, bike riding, or shoe selling?
  4. How did you come to own the business you know own?
  5. Why did you choose your business location?
  6. Have you done something astronomical like completing the Hawaii IronMan or climbing Mount Everest?

To help you even more, the story below from my Peace Corps experience is part of my backstory and comes from one of the defining moments of my life.

Outside the Comfort Zone – Papua New Guinea Edition

After three months of intense Peace Corps training in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) my wife and I, along with numerous chickens, sacks of rice, and enough betel nut to power a whole village for a year, were stuffed into a small twin engine plane that looked like it was held together with duct tape and rubber bands.

We were off to our volunteer assignment in Biaru village, which is located in the Lakekamu Basin. Our goal, over the next two years, would be to try to generate some alternative means of income generation based on what the villagers wanted. As opposed to the highly destructive deforestation that was taking place around them.

Note: Twenty years prior to our arrival the villagers were still practicing cannibalism.

After a half hour in the air the bush plane eventually touched down on an overgrown WWII grass airstrip and rumbled to a stop.

Bush huts, the smell of burning embers, and nervous excitement consumed our senses as we tried to grasp what was happening amongst the chaos that was going on around us.

Tribal chiefs, village men and women, and young children had all come to inspect the new ‘attraction’ that had come to live with them for the next two years.

{At this point, I thought that I couldn’t be anymore ‘mind blown’ or outside of my comfort zone…and boy was I wrong.}

About four days later, still during our first week as Peace Corps volunteers, a large crowd of villagers had gathered outside our hut while we were eating breakfast.

It seemed a bit odd and we began to wonder if we had done something really wrong, offended a village chief somehow or made a cultural faux pas of the highest order.

What on earth could be wrong?

We slowly opened our door to our hut and went outside to find out what the problem was. One of the village chiefs began to speak and to the best of our newly acquired language ability it sounded like he was asking for an object that could be used to remove something (perhaps he had a splinter caught under his fingernail?).

Eager as a first grader on the first day of school to be helpful, I ran into our hut to search for our shiny new Swiss army knife, you know, the one with the tweezers in the end.

When I ran back outside to display my pathetic tweezers you could hear a collective sigh from the crowd. No matter what language it was in, the message was the same -

Well, that ain’t gonna work!

I’m not sure about my wife, but it was at that point when I began feeling a bit nervous and somewhat culturally inept. And, just then, a stir began to take over the crowd as people started shuffling out of the way and to our amazement and surprise a person sheepishly emerged from the back.

Instantly we knew why our tiny tweezers were not up to the job.

Standing before us was a grown man with what appeared to be six inches of an arrow sticking straight out of his head!! And perhaps we could remove it…

I’ll stop there. Needless to say, my mind was sufficiently blown. At that moment in time I was further outside of my comfort zone than I had ever been and it was just the first week of a two-year commitment.

Note: For further About page help check out this post from Skelliewag and this one from ProBlogger.)

35 Responses to About Page Help: Get Into Your Backstory

  1. Ed Gaile says:

    Great article and reminder Mark – I am pulling my personal blog together now and have been dreading setting up the About page.

  2. Mark says:

    Ed – have you started writing it yet? Let me know if I can assist with anything.

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  7. gary chow says:

    Hi Mark
    I cracked up reading about your New Guinea back story. Wonderful stuff! It resonate with me because I was born and bred in New Guinea although I never got to the Highlands. So what did you do for the dude with the arrow embedded in head problem?
    Gary

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  14. Mark says:

    Gary – pretty cool you were born in PNG! Did you live in Moresby? The guy with the arrow got sent to Lae and was fine. But he never returned to the village.

  15. gary chow says:

    Hi Mark
    I was born in Rabaul, New Britain but raised in Port Moresby. My family left PNG in 1975 and live in Australia (I live in Brisbane).

    I don’t blame the arrow guy not returning to the village, I wouldn’t either if someone had the temerity to do that to me.

    All the best, and look forward to your posts.
    G

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  35. Simon Joseph says:

    Hi Mark,

    Love your story. You said a Biaru Village in the Lakekamu Basin… The village name is called Kakoro…. and thanks very much for the story…. please upload photos if you have any…

    thanks
    Simon Koum