A Monday Morning Memo for the Clients and Friends of Williams Marketing
“I don’t know whether you have ever seen a map of a person’s mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a map of a child’s mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There are zigzag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card, and these are probably roads in the island, for the NeverLand is always more or less an island, with astonishing splashes of color here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with six elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose.”
(Chapter 1, Paragraph 18, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.)
Sterling Randall Alexander Benningfield is celebrating the 46th anniversary of his 7th birthday this year and I’ve decided to help. Like all of Alex’s birthday celebrations, this one is expected to last exactly 365 days. Then Alex will begin celebrating the 47th anniversary of his 7th birthday. As you can see, Alex has been 7 for a very long time.
In that tiny place where his world overlaps with mine, Alex is a self-made multimillionaire who owns a large corporation and is well known for his daring raids on Wall Street. But in the world where Alex lives alone, he is an adventurous pirate who wears an eye patch and a sword and keeps a knife firmly clenched between his teeth.
Following Alex through the strange oval door that leads into his private office, I notice that the opening is barely one inch higher than he is. Anyone who is taller than Alex must lower their head as they step through the portal. Raising my head, I see that I’m now in the Captain’s wood-planked cabin on an ancient sailing ship where I’m surrounded by swords and maps and flintlock pistols and a real treasure chest that’s overflowing with treasure. The Captain’s desk and chair sit on a raised platform that’s 8 inches higher than the rest of the room. “Alex,” I ask, “do you have any idea how psychologically transparent all of this is?” Of course I do,” he replies with a devilish grin as he steps up onto his elevated platform.
You’ve heard the story of a boy who lives in NeverLand who claims that he will “never grow up.” Most versions attribute that quote to Peter Pan but they’re wrong, it was Captain Hook. Grown-ups who have met the Captain recently usually call him “that nut who flies the Jolly Roger from the flagpole above his mansion.” But all of us children just call him Alex. We’re delighted to have been invited to his party.
My question for you today is this: Do you wish that you knew Alex Benningfield, or are you glad that you don’t?
How long has it been since you visited NeverLand?
“All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, “Oh, why can’t you remain like this for ever!” This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.”
(Chapter 1, Paragraph 1, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.)
Roy H. Williams
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