Will Smith movies are a magical tool to draw customers into our store.
This was the conclusion that we came to through observation at Phoenix Games, the game store and community space I founded and ran in my mid 20s.
Phoenix Games was much more successful as a center of community than as a profit generating business, but there were still bills to pay and costs to cover. Getting customers in the door was crucial.
The Power of Will Smith
We employed a few low cost marketing strategies, but the most arcane was deploying the power of Will Smith.
The store had a TV and VCR, so we’d often have movies playing in the background. We observed that when we put on a Will Smith movie, we’d see customers come in during the movie.
Was this a false correlation? Maybe. We didn’t actually track traffic throughout the day to compare, but the mythology became real. If we wanted, or needed, more customers to come in, we’d put on Independence Day, Enemy of the State, Men In Black, or any of a number of other fine films that Will Smith has stared in (because every movie with Will Smith is a good one).
Sure enough, customers would appear.
How would customers know that we had engaged the power of the mighty Fresh Prince? Some speculated that it created a change in the energy of the store that drew them in, but the important thing is that we believed that it worked, and that made it work for us.
The Law of Attraction
It was years later that I would learn of the Law of Attraction. The idea that by putting out a certain kind of energy into the universe will bring that same type of energy back.
Just last week, one of my coaches was discussing the idea of sharing intention with the universe, and it reminded me of the mythical power of Will Smith.
We sincerely believed that the movies drew customers, and that confidence gave us a sense of control over an otherwise random and capricious universe.
Intention Plus Action
Part of the reason we were so excited about this magical ritual was that the business was otherwise fundamentally weak. In my youthful arrogance, I insisted on prioritizing the community space aspect to the detriment of profitability.
Instead of identifying and focusing on the more profitable aspects of the business (particularly collectible card games), I depended on magic and wishful thinking.
This is the danger of concepts like the Law of Attraction. It can be very appealing to think that you can simply push intention into the universe and expect a result. We see what we want to see. When we put on Hancock and people came in the door, we saw it as confirmation of our theory.
The theory was ultimately disproved in 2008 when we had to close Phoenix Games because we could not longer pay the bills. Either that or we just didn’t play enough Will Smith movies.
The Proper Power of Intention
This is not to say that there is not great power in intention.
I have been coaching people and giving good advice for almost two decades. At any point during that time, I could have stepped up and become a professional coach.
I did not believe that I could so I did not.
In June of 2020 I met Brandon Tillia who taught me what I call Solution Oriented Marketing. Armed with that knowledge, I believed that I could be a professional coach.
Of course, part of the incredible growth I achieved came from the effectiveness of Solution Oriented Marketing, but that doesn’t explain why my second client reached out to me out of the blue to ask for my help with his business.
Perhaps it could be explained by the fact that I was making more posts to social media and maybe he’d seen some of them. However, I think that there is some factor of having put out an intention to professionally help people that drew him in.
You need the two together to achieve maximum success. You need to believe and project the intention. You also need to do the work and deploy the right strategy. Neither can work alone, especially simply projecting intention.
What is your Will Smith?
Many people have some kind of ritual. An athlete might wear the same jersey for every important game. You might say a certain affirmation every day. Perhaps even a prayer or ritual before important meetings.
Whatever it is, it has power. Does it have a mystical power? Who can say. But if you believe it has power, then it does have power.
It has the power that you imbue to it. If you believe that your lucky jersey makes you hit better, then you’ll approach the batter’s box with more confidence. You’ll be less distracted, less nervous, more focused.
The magic becomes real because you make it real.
And if all else fails, try putting on a Will Smith movie. You never know. It just might work.
You can find Will Smith movies on your own, but if you need help to figure out the strategy to deploy on the ground, Michael Whitehouse can help you.
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