When I first launched my advertising and idea agency in 2016, I knew great things would happen. I just couldn’t predict the pace at which those great things would unfold. Despite my confidence, had I been grilled under oath by a great lawyer like Ally McBeal or Jackie Chiles, I would have had to admit that I had no hard facts, and no physical evidence to support my original assumptions about our imminent success.
Today, The Weaponry has indeed been a great success. Our rate of growth, roster of clients and level of talent is tracking with my lofty expectations. Most people who know the details of our story are impressed. But not everyone. Namely, my 11-year-old son, Johann.
Last week, as I drove Johann home from his piano lesson he asked, ‘Dad, what’s new at The Weaponry?’ Which he always pronounces as Webonry. (I’ve noticed about 25% of the population does this.) I excitedly told him about our latest news, the number of employees, the new clients, the new lease and more. I concluded with, ‘It’s pretty great huh?’
Johann responded with, ‘Not really.’
It seems a 2-year old advertising agency, launched from dust, now rolling fast and picking up steam, still has a hard time impressing a 5th Grader. I wanted to know what would seem more impressive to my elementary-aged son. So I asked Johann. And here are his answers.
11 Things Johann thinks would make The Weaponry way more awesome.
1. A Better Building Johann said, ‘Dad, nobody even notices your building. You need a much taller building. Either move into a building 20 stories high, or build one of your own. (He liked that my old office in Atlanta was on the 22nd floor.)
2. A Breakfast Buffet I couldn’t argue with this.
3. Promote Yourself! ‘You need to advertise The Weaponry on billboards all over the city! You need big signs with your logo that say “The Weaponry is for hire!”‘ I think all the personal injury attorney ads have gotten to him.
4. More People ‘Dad, don’t be an average business with very few people working for you. You need more than 100 people to be a big business. And the more people you have the more money you will make.’
5. More Clients ‘You need more clients. Like hotels and resorts. You should work with Coca Cola, Ramen Noodles, Fortnite, oh, and movies!’
6. More Offices: ‘You should have offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Houston, Atlanta and Orlando. You know, the big ones.’ I said, ‘You know I have employees in Atlanta, right?’ He responded, ‘Yeah, but they just work with you online. You don’t have an office there yet.’ Touché! #appealdenied
7. Even More Offices ‘You really should have international offices in Tokyo, London, Paris and Sydney.’ Me: ‘What about Greenland?’ Johann: ‘Greenland has a very low population.’
(Yet I dream of my blog one day being read in Greenland. It is the largest country on Earth that has never viewed my blog. #popularitygoals)
8. Celebrities: ‘You should work with celebrity spokespeople, like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Justin Timberlake and the woman who plays Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns. Jack Black and the guy who plays Remy in Ratatouille. Oh, and Rachael Ray and Jimmy Fallon! But Not Miley Cyrus, because she was naked on a wrecking ball.’
9. Athletes ‘You should also work with sports people like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick, Aaron Rogers, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, LeBron James and Gronk!’
10. Directors: ‘You should work with directors like Brad Bird and John Lassiter. And you should also make memes.’
11. Real Weapons: ‘And Dad, The weaponry would be cooler if you actually made weapons. Like swords with skulls on the handles. That would be really cool. And you should have a sailboat that has your logo on the sail!’ Apparently I would be cooler if I was a pirate.
It is always helpful to have someone remind you that you are capable of more. It is easy to spend time counting your successes, and to surround yourself with those who tell you how great you are doing. But if you want to really accomplish amazing things that are universally impressive, find someone who will tell you all the things you have not yet done. You know, the things that would make you a worldwide success. And if you can’t find someone like that in your circle of friends, try stopping by an elementary school. Because as the saying goes, kids and the dumb ones tell the truth.