Talk to your players, see what their expectations are, tell them what yours are. Work together to create the setting, the heroes, the villains and the world. It takes stress off of you and players tend to really enjoy having some creative say in the setting. I wouldn't ever allow them to stat out a villain, for example, but having a back story were Wonderguy's first public appearance saw him battling Terrorlady is a good bit of background. Talk to the player, see what Terrorlady's general powers were, then stat her out and have her appear later to confront the team. Fun stuff like that.
Also, I have found that starting as a team is also very handy and avoids the contrived "meeting at a bar" scenario that D&D has made so tired.
Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana.