Doing My Happy Dance
Last Thursday the Wall Street Journal published a story about a new book written by two of our faculty members, hinting strongly that if the biggest advertising agencies on Madison Avenue would just buy a copy and read it, they would find the answers to all the questions that have eluded them. That story was a very big deal. On Friday the Wall Street Journal bestseller list revealed Jeff and Bryan Eisenberg's Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? to be the top-ranked business book in America.
Six years ago, Jeff and Bryan were regular folks. Struggling. Hopeful. Doing the best they could with limited resources.
Jeff came alone his first visit to Austin because the brothers had only enough money for one plane ticket. He sat in the small meeting room of our old facility with a couple dozen other people who had come for a free public seminar. Jeff and I spoke briefly that day. He shared his dream and I encouraged him. A couple of months later, Jeff was back for a 3-day class and he brought his younger brother, Bryan. They obviously grasped the essence of what Wizard Academy was teaching, so when they asked permission to expand my work and apply it to the Internet, I said, “Delighted to see you do it.” They smiled. I smiled. And in that moment I was sure of something. “Someday your company is going to be a whole lot bigger than mine,” I said. They had no company at the time.
When Pennie and I launched Wizard Academy Press, the Eisenbrothers turned in a manuscript called Persuasive Online Copywriting. We published it, sold some copies on Amazon.com and kept our fingers crossed that a real publisher might take an interest and give the book brick-and-mortar distribution. It never happened.
When I flew to New York to visit them in their cramped little office in the basement of an old house in Brooklyn, they showed me their fancy new coffee maker. They were really proud of it. I sipped a cup and talked about how all their hard work would someday pay off. Soon their strange, new methods began paying big dividends for clients and thousands of people began to lean forward with their hands cupped behind their ears. The Wizards of Web curriculum was born when the brothers presented us with a fabulous syllabus for a course on Internet marketing.
Their second Wizard Academy Press book, Call to Action, made the bestseller lists a year ago in spite of the fact that it also had no brick-and-mortar distribution. Finally, the brick-and-mortar publishers began to take an interest. Last week's trumpeting of Waiting for Your Cat to Bark, published by Thomas Nelson, couldn't possibly have made Wizard Academy more proud. Today Jeff and Bryan's client list includes many of the largest companies in the world.
Craig Arthur, Chris Maddock, Michele Miller, Mike Dandridge, David Freeman, Dave Young, Holly Buchanan, Juan Tornoe, Thomas Tucker, Mark Fox, Walter Koschnitzke, Lisa Davis, Steve Rae, Jeff Sexton, Sonja Howle, Steve Clark, Michael Drew, Chuck McKay, Peter Nevland, Ron Love, Paul Finley, Clay Campbell, Sean McNally, Tim Miles, Greg Farrell and others have graduated from Wizard Academy, pursued independent research in an area of interest, created something for Wizard Academy Press, then gone on to become extremely successful.
Wizard Academy throws gas on the fire and Wizard Academy Press fans the flames, but you've to provide the spark.
Have you got a little fire that burns within you? If so, you, too may someday own a fancy coffee maker.
And then we'll have a cup.
Roy H. Williams