1967 – A little boy leaned on his elbows in front of a black-and-white TV in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, unaware that Walt Disney was dead.
How could he be dead? I was watching him on TV.
Looking right into my eyes, Walt told me about his purchase of 43 square miles of Central Florida, an area twice the size of the island of Manhattan, and his plan to build there an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT.)
He was standing in a Hollywood film studio in front of a floor-to-ceiling map of his Florida project when he said,
“Welcome to a little bit of Florida here in California. This is where the early planning is taking place for our so-called Disney World Project. Now, the purpose of this film is to bring you up to date about some of the plans for Disney World.”
A little later, he said,
“The sketches and plans you will see today are simply a starting point, our first overall thinking about Disney World. Everything in this room may change time and time again as we move ahead, but the basic philosophy of what we’re planning for Disney World is going to remain very much as it is right now…”
That was the part I never forgot: Walt Disney knew his plan would evolve into something different than he imagined.
Eighteen years ago Princess Pennie decided to buy some land and build a non-profit school for entrepreneurs, storytellers, and educators. We knew it would have a classroom tower with a library mezzanine and on-campus housing so that students wouldn’t have to sleep in hotel rooms.
Everything else was an afterthought.
Chapel Dulcinea was chosen by 1,111 brides in 2017, making it the most popular wedding chapel on earth. A free wedding chapel wasn’t part of the original plan, but if you’ve ever walked the campus at Wizard Academy, it’s hard to imagine it not being there.
A certification course for the training of whiskey sommeliers (storytellers) wasn’t part of the original plan, either. Nor was The Crowded Barrel whiskey distillery.* And we could never have dreamed that Wizard Academy’s YouTube channel, The Whiskey Vault, would become the #1 whiskey-review channel on earth.
We couldn’t have imagined it because streaming, online video did not exist in the year 2000.
And now the Rocinante gym.
A couple of years ago, Brian Clapp donated state-of-the art gym equipment but it never got used because it was housed in a part of the campus where students never go. The solution? Build a sleek, cantilevered gym covered in glittering silver metal with an 18-foot glass wall looking at Chapel Dulcinea, and put it next to the sidewalk between Spence Manor and Engelbrecht House.
And of course we’ll be starting The House of the Lost Boys – your third student mansion – as soon as the gym is complete, probably in about 60 days.
But that’s not the big news. No, not by a long shot.
In late spring, 2019, the American Small Business Institute will be launching an important new certification course, The Ad Writer’s Masters Class, a one-year online course – 26 modules, followed by 26 essay assignments – followed by a three-day, face-to-face working examination by a board of Master Ad Writers.
This is a really big deal.
And very expensive. (12k, minus alumni discount)
When you finally pass your board exams – and you can try as often as you want – you will be certified and admitted into The Ad Writers Guild, with appropriate pomp and fanfare and physical glitteralia.
Because after all, the American Small Business Institute is an extension of that wonderful dreamscape called Wizard Academy.
Indy says you should visit him in the rabbit hole. You know how to get in, right?
Roy H. Williams
PS – If you want to be notified when the Ad Writer’s Masters Class is about to be officially announced, email Daniel@WizardAcademy.org
* The Crowded Barrel whiskey distillery isn’t technically located on Wizard Academy property. It was built with private funding on property owned by the academy’s very friendly next-door-neighbors, Roy and Pennie Williams.
Punk Rock and successful businesses have much more in common than you might imagine, starting with authenticity and a refusal to conform. If Jeremy Dale hadn’t spent the last eight years as a vice president of Microsoft, people might dismiss his new book, The Punk Rock of Business: Applying a Punk Rock Attitude in the Modern Business Era. Weirdly, Jeremy’s interview from London with roving reporter Rotbart comes on the very day that Jeremy is officially launching his latest venture – Otro, a digital fan club for worldwide soccer fans that is designed to be a Punk Rock business. Do you have what it takes be a fast-paced, hard-edged punk rocker in business? Find out. Right now. Monday Morning Radio.com