By Anand Patel
Now that I have your attention, let me explain!
Last month my wife and I took our three-year-old daughter to the Disney On-Ice show that came to our town (Tampa, Fla.). It wasn’t until the day of the event that my wife decided to tell me this show, which was called Disney on Ice: “Dare to Dream,” was going to feature various Disney princesses and their stories. I wasn’t too excited, but anything for your little pipsqueak, right?
As we were walking up to the arena entrance I saw a swarm of little girls seemingly attack a Disney vendor hawking all sorts of princess paraphernalia. I thought to myself – ok, this is strange. Once inside the arena as we were escorted to our seats, I again was confused and shocked as to why all these girls were dressed up from head to toe in princess clothing. Halloween wasn’t for another five months! Throughout the show, as the arena filled with screams of little kids cheering for their favorite princess, I sat there looking around in awe at the powerful business machine that is simply Disney. They had come up with a way to create a very profitable revenue stream from their old characters!
An Idea is Born
Being the business nerd that I am, when I got home I googled the Disney Princess franchise and discovered that the idea of the Disney Princess line came from a man named Andy Mooney. Disney hired Mooney in 1999 to help their consumer products division improve their dropping sales. At that time, while attending his first Disney on Ice show, he found himself surrounded by young girls dressed as princesses in generic, non-Disney costumes. That’s when the idea of capitalizing on Disney’s existing cast of princess characters hit him. The Disney Princess franchise was born. In my opinion, this was genius!
What’s the point?
What does any of this have to do with real estate? As I thought about it some more, I realized how many times I find myself (and many others fall into this trap as well) looking for an outside “shiny object” to help with our business. We sometimes get wrapped up in the next big thing – a new widget, tech gadget, or marketing tool in an attempt to search outside of ourselves for ways to improve. The truth of the matter is, as illustrated above, we usually already have what we need within us. Just as Disney discovered the gem in their existing cast of characters, we also have our own strengths which we should be capitalizing on. Over time and as we “grow up,” we tend to forget our natural talents, instead opting for some other crutch to “help” us.
What is your talent? What is your gift? We each are naturally gifted at something – our “inner princess”, if you will (OK, a desperate attempt at an analogy but you get the point!), that we should truly be focusing on. Are you great with internet marketing? Do you have a way with people? Maybe you are a gifted writer; have a knack for analyzing data and conveying it in a simplistic manner; a natural with video or photography; a great speaker…whatever your natural gift, find out what it is (or in many cases, search back to your past and rediscover it – as Andy Mooney did) and focus your business on exploiting that talent. Don’t get caught up in the marketing hype that we are bombarded with daily as there is no need to search outside for the “next best thing” when all we ever really needed was within us all along. Now go find your “inner princess,” harness it, and use it help your business flourish!
P.S. That night I vowed to my wife I will not have our daughter succumb to this crazy Disney princess nonsense when she gets older. But I have a strange feeling I will be shopping for a princess costume very soon…
Anand Patel is broker and president of Pangea Realty Group based in Tampa, Fla. You can connect with Anand on Twitter: @anand_tampa; Facebook: www.facebook.com/prgtampa; LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/anandpatel1; or on the Web at www.anandsblog.com.