Doubtless, they will someday say, “Inspired by Roycroft and Bohemian Grove, Pennie and Roy Williams built Wizard Academy…”
But they will be wrong.
Yes, the Princess and I – with the help of hundreds of good friends around the world – began constructing the Wizard Academy campus in 2004. The “wrong” part is that we were inspired by Roycroft and Bohemian Grove.
This error is forgivable, however, because jumping to conclusions is what makes us humans so adorable.
Elbert Hubbard was a marketer whose magazine, The Philistine, was read by subscribers around the world 120 years ago. Likewise, my Monday Morning Memos and the e-zines of Indiana Beagle are read by subscribers around the world.
But Elbert Hubbard did not inspire me to become a marketer or to write these Monday Morning Memos. And I’m pretty sure Indy Beagle wanders the rabbit hole for reasons of his own, as well.
Elbert Hubbard published a book on advertising but I did not write my Wizard of Ads trilogy because of him.
Elbert and his wife, Alice, began building the Roycroft Campus as a writer’s and artist’s enclave in East Aurora, New York, in 1895. But Pennie had never heard of the Hubbards or their Roycroft Campus when she decided to build Wizard Academy. I know this to be true. I was there.
Yet there are definite similarities between our organizations.
Wizard Academy bridges the gap between business and the arts. Like the Roycrofters before us, we celebrate the study of the arts for the furtherance of business.*
San Francisco’s Bohemian Club began constructing Bohemian Grove in 1878. The “Bohemians” in those days were writers and artists. But business people wanted to hang out with them and were immediately attracted to the club.
Oscar Wilde attended The Grove in 1882. Afterwards, he said, “When bankers get together they talk about art. When artists get together, they talk about money.”
Think of the annual encampment at Bohemian Grove as the original TED Conference.
An invitation to The Grove remains the hardest of all tickets to obtain. Security is incredibly tight. The guests invited to Bohemian Grove today are Nobel Prize winners, top-tier artists and authors, Senators, and Fortune 500 CEOs.
Interestingly, Wizard Academy attracts many of these same people, but on a smaller scale.
The official motto of The Bohemian Club is a line taken from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “Weaving Spiders Come Not Here.” It means, “Business deals and any thoughts of ‘networking’ are to be left outside. This is a place of escape.”
Like Bohemian Grove, Wizard Academy is a place of escape, renewal, and inspiration for people who wrestle with giants.
Do you have a dream, an enterprise, a mission, a purpose that occupies your heart and hands and mind?
Come. You have a tribe. Hang out with us. You will be a stronger wrestler when you leave.
Roy H. Williams
* “All literature is advertising. And all genuine advertisements are literature. The author advertises men, times, places, deeds, events and things. His appeal is to the universal human soul. If he does not know the heart throbs of men and women, their hopes, joys, ambitions, tastes, needs and desires, his work will interest no one but himself and his admiring friends. Advertising is fast becoming a fine art. Its theme is human wants, and where, when and how they may be gratified.”
– Elbert Hubbard, from The Cambridge Chronicle, Aug. 26, 1911
Will Donald Trump unwittingly step on a cultural landmine when he meets with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un on June 12? Dean Foster, the writer of the column “Culture Wise” for National Geographic, and the host of a series on cross-cultural communications for CNN, is a widely-recognized expert on the intricate nuances of global business etiquette. Listen in as Foster explains to Roving Reporter Rotbart what every American businessperson needs to know. It’s a wild, wild world at MondayMorningRadio.com