I was a newbie at Banfield-Seguin Advertising & Design in Ottawa back in the late 80’s when I met Bill.
I had heard so many epic stories about Bill and his antics before I got to know him.
Working with him every day was a hoot. I have never met anyone with more spirit and sense of adventure. He could figure anything out. He had an idea for every prank - no matter how complicated - and a costume for every event. Bill was legendary.
My favourite Bill story took place in 1988.
Bill was contacted by Randy Travis - actually, it was Randy’s “people” - they wanted to do a photo shoot at Bill’s barn. (Yes, THE Randy Travis, the country music star.)
The day before the photo shoot, Bill told Randy’s crew that he was going to call his boss and let him know he was doing this photo shoot at his barn with Randy Travis so he wouldn't be coming in to work.
Well, Randy's people freaked out when he said that! No! You can't tell ANYONE we're coming. It needs to be super secret. TOP secret. We’ll pull the plug on the whole thing if anyone finds out about this.
Bill said, “Trust me.”
So Bill called into work the next day and said, "Hey! Randy Travis and his team just rolled up the driveway with a couple of large trucks and they want to shoot an album cover in my barn, so I won't be coming in to work today. I'm going to stick around here and help them out."
When he told Randy's people what he'd said to his boss, they were shocked. But Bill knew this was the way to go.
Bill knew no one would believe a single word of it. Not one word.
The photo shoot went off without a hitch. No prying eyes or zoom lenses peeking through the bushes. No one from Banfield-Seguin drove out at lunch time to get autographs or sneak a peek.
Bill showed up at work the next day with some interesting Polaroid pictures from the photo shoot. (Way back then, before digital cameras, we used polaroid cameras for test shots. They were handy for taking pictures of dinosaurs.)
Randy Travis got his privacy and a nice album cover. Bill pulled it off.
Bill, as it turns out, was predictable, except when he wasn’t. Always pranking, pulling our leg. And he was hyper aware of how people perceived him. He used this superpower to his advantage.
Do you have a superpower? It can be a skill, a special mindset, or perhaps a unique perspective. Something that comes naturally to you.
Not sure what your superpower is or how to find it? Look at what energizes you, what inspires you! How do you save the day? What feels effortless? How do you amaze others? When do you feel most confident?
Here are a few superpowers I’ve noticed in people I know - clients, friends, and colleagues. See if you recognize some of these traits in others, or maybe in yourself?
Is your superpower...
Figure out your superpower and start spending more of your day wearing your cape!
You probably noticed that I didn’t include superpowers like invisibility, x-ray vision and shape-shifting on my list. If you have any of these special powers then I can’t see you, you can see too much of me or you aren’t what I just thought you were.
The Small Business Guide
Kim Houlahan is a marketing consultant who loves helping small business owners improve their marketing.
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