By Wendy O’Donovan Phillips, Big Buzz

Okay, I’m a little obsessed with Will Smith these days.

In a recent interview with Senior Living Foresight’s Leigh Ann Hubbard, I told her all about how my family is enjoying his Disney+ documentary, Welcome to Earth. I’ll let you read the piece she and her team are putting together for his viewpoint on patterns in migration and how I believe they relate to collaboration on the marketing team.

In the meantime, I’m also reading his memoir, Will. It was there I came to understand that three decades ago my buddy Will articulated a clear goal to his manager: “I want to be the biggest movie star in the world.”

Goal setting is one thing. Goal getting is entirely another.

In his memoir, he explains, “Clarity of mission is a powerful cornerstone of success. Knowing what you want gives direction to your life – every word, every action, every association, can be accurately chosen and harnessed to precipitate your desired outcome. What you eat, when you sleep, where you go, who you talk to, what you allow them to say to you, who your friends are, can all be corralled and launched toward your wildest dreams.”

How to Get What You Want

He insists that it’s knowing how to get what you want that is the real challenge.

In the months after Will said his goal aloud, he and his manager took the right high-level steps to make that goal a reality:

  • His manager read every screenplay in Hollywood to uncover the pros and cons of each.
  • They asked themselves, “What makes someone a movie star (as opposed to simply an actor)?”
  • They uncovered the three F’s of movie stardom: “You have to be able to fight, you have to be funny, and you have to be good at sex.”
  • They asked themselves, “What are the key elements of the biggest movies?”
  • They analyzed the top-10-grossing films of all time and saw patterns: special effects, creatures, and a romantic story line.

They knew what they were looking for. Then they set out to find it and convince whoever had it to give it to them.

Your Goal-Getting Assignment

In this spirit, I set my internal marketing team on a Goal-Getting assignment, which I will share with you:

What is your very clear goal for 2022? What are you looking for?

Now, what is one thing you can do in your highly expert role to get clearer about how you get to that goal?

To help you brainstorm . . .

  • What are one or two high-level questions, like Will’s questions above, that might help set you on the right course?
  • What data, like Will’s study of the top-10-grossing films, can you seek out that might give you clarity on trends to pursue?
  • What patterns do you detect in the work you have produced in your career, and how can you distill those patterns down to clear, actionable pursuits like how Will identified special effects, creatures, and a romantic story line?

Keep it simple. Go to your team sometime this week and verbally share your one thing. No write-ups, no presentations, just high-level thoughts. There are no wrong answers!

It’s moments like this one, stepping back and looking at the big picture, that gives way to the magic in marketing.

Oh, and one last note on Will Smith. If you have a child between the ages of 8 and 18, next time they sass you, shout, “Alexa! Play ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand’!

You are welcome.