Willy Wonka was onto something. By the time his story crossed my path at age 9, I’d already been adequately trained to regard with heavy suspicion a grown man offering candy to children, yet even I could see that the guy had a really good thing going. He was master of his domain, lord of the castle – and what a delicious castle it was! Still, I never stopped to consider how, exactly, Willy Wonka arrived at such a prestigious position – how he became Top Dog at Willy Wonka, Inc. (or whatever he’d chosen to name his booming business). I mean, who put him in charge?
The answer, if you’ll recall, is nobody. NOBODY put Wonka in charge, because nobody else had a say-so. Wonka carried all the cards. He had all of the power to decide why, how and when things were done, and which golden ticket holder should succeed him. He could shape reality to his liking – decide that geese should lay golden eggs, wallpaper should be edible and rivers should be made of chocolate – because he inhabited a reality that belonged entirely to him. He believed that hard candy should last forever and that bubbly drinks should make you fly. He believed that life should be about fun, excitement and adventure – and so, he made it that way.
Willy Wonka used a winning combination of Oompa Loompas and sugar to mold his reality and share it with the world. I use a keyboard. When it comes to creating new worlds or changing this one, words are every bit as powerful as small, orange men in tiny overalls. They hold the weight of our experiences, give voice and shape to our thoughts and bring our ideas to life. Words can heal or cause harm, bridge the distance between people or incite an entire generation to follow a dream. Words can set us free and carry our journey forward or empower us to begin an entirely new story. Words do more than just communicate a message – they spark movements, enabling us to see the world in new and different ways, envision it better and brighter and then work together toward fulfilling that vision.
I have a dream.
I’m not in the business of selling products or services. I’m here to help change the world, and I suspect that you are, too. You aren’t in this just for the glory, fame and fortune – you’re looking to make things a little bit better than they are, to express your vision of how the world ought to be. And me? I’m here to give shape and voice to that vision; to take what’s inside of you and paint a picture worth 1,000 Oompa Loompas. I’m here to put the weight of words behind your dream, because they shouldn’t be just an afterthought in your business model – they should be front and center. This isn’t about simply telling your story or cranking out a glitzy message; it’s not even really about winning over an audience – it’s about so much more than that.
Together, we can help shape a new reality beyond what Wonka even thought possible.
But perhaps that chocolate river is worth revisiting, yes?