The 2009 Annual Report of Wizard Academy
It’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the bottle. Sometimes you need to get away from it all, step outside your surroundings and make some new decisions. To help you do that, we\'ve built you a business school. Some people think of Wizard Academy as a retreat center. Others see it as a summer camp for grown-ups. But everyone agrees that a clarity of mind comes to them here that doesn\'t come to them anywhere else.
We teach big things quickly here. Our faculty consists of highly accomplished business professionals; men and women who have been there, done that. People who aren’t afraid to give you straight answers to important questions.
In a nutshell: We’re a business school that isn’t boring.
Thirty years ago I began helping small businesses to grow. I was good enough at it that I was soon crushed with requests for ideas and advice. At 26, I had a staff of 32 people, each of them older than me. I hated being a boss. Still do. So I punted the football. Took a job as the director of program development for a broadcasting network. Moved Pennie and our 2 boys to the other side of America. Worst decision I ever made. The analysis paralysis of a big corporation caused me to go home every night muttering, “The answer is obvious. Why can’t these idiots see it?” Punted the football again. Moved to Austin, Texas, where I’d wanted to live since I was 14 years old. Didn’t know anyone here, just liked the place. Still do. You will, too.
I’m often accused of being a self-promoter and the people who make that accusation are absolutely correct: I am a self promoter. It had to be done and no one else was doing it. And guess what? No one else is going to do it for you, either.
Come to Wizard Academy. We’ll teach you how to craft a lever that will move the world.
My first promotional effort was to write a book called The Wizard of Ads. It was named “business book of the year” in 1998, just 90 days after it was released. Not wanting to be a one-hit wonder, I wrote a sequel: Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads was immediately named by the Wall Street Journal as “the #1 business book in America” and became a New York Times bestseller. The third book in that trilogy was another bestseller, but then I laid down my pen when Pennie decided we should build a school to teach men and women how to accomplish their dreams.
Let’s be clear about this: Wizard Academy is a 501c3 nonprofit educational organization. Pennie and I receive no income from it whatsoever. This is purely a labor of love.
According to the Small Business Administration\\'s Office of Advocacy, 5.91 million businesses in America have fewer than 100 employees. These are the most thrilling of businesspeople, the ones who have the freedom and authority to hear a good idea and say, “Absolutely yes, I’m going to do that. And I don’t have to get anyone’s permission.” Do you have that freedom?
We’ve built a breathtaking business school for you. Come, take a look.
The first thing you’ll notice is that Pennie chose an extraordinary architect. His name is Marley Porter. Marley meets with us once a week, draws all the plans for all the buildings, (11 so far,) and doesn’t charge the academy a penny for any of it. Last week Marley and his partners donated some land to a nonprofit organization. In return, Elton John came and treated Marley and his wife and a couple hundred other people to a private concert.
Yes, we have an extraordinary architect.
The second thing you’ll notice is that the entire campus is designed to stimulate your imagination. Everywhere you look, you see archetypal symbols of discovery and adventure.
Architecture and art, music and literature are time-tested tools to open the mind. And no one on earth uses them quite as effectively as we do. When you\\'re at Wizard Academy, you\\'re in a whole other world.
Our techniques are colorful. Our results are astounding. Our alumni support us with enthusiasm. You really should become one.
We hope to finish the academy’s central tower by late spring. Then we’ll take 30 days to build the Lenhard-Murray Windmill Theater, then we\\'ll move the equipment a little futher down into the valley, just below the Garden of Play. There, beneath the towering trees, right where the hillside rises toward the base of Chapel Dulcinea, we’re going to build Bilbo’s house in the Shire, exactly as it’s described in Tolkien\\'s first book, The Hobbit, the introduction to his epic Lord of the Rings trilogy. Bag End will be the 15th guest room on campus. Right now I’m looking for hobbits to help with funding. Will you be one of them?
Do it, and I’ll tell you about all the cool things we’re going to do for you in return.
Roy H. Williams
PS – When the book is written that tells the story of the few hundred people that built Wizard Academy, the reader is going to be fascinated by the fact that it wasn’t funded by big companies or government grants, but by a happy band of small people with big dreams. You know I’m talking about you, right? That book, by the way, is the one I’m writing right now. – RHW
Christmas Event – As you move from station to station across the campus of Wizard Academy (Wis-ard, meaning “wise man”) professional actors tell you of the wise men who just passed by. It\\'s free and it happens nightly for 2 weekends, thanks to executive producer Monica Ballard, Cognoscenti. (She\\'s been working on this for an entire year. You should come.)