if you don’t believe, nobody else willby scott bundy
With these words, Ron Barassi changed my life.
It was early days for the business and operating an advertising agency during the GFC wasn’t exactly easy. Most companies opted to cut their marketing budgets before cutting staff.
During that time I had a chance meeting with AFL legend Ron Barassi. After talking to Ron about his books, coaching and media career. He asked me what I did and what I was up to. I told him that, I had worked in advertising all of my life and was taught by Australia’s greats. I told him about some of the massive changes going on in the industry and that I still loved it and still really loved creating communications of every form, but pressure was getting the better of me. With things being so tough I was thinking of trying something new.
Ron reached out, put both hands on my shoulders and said:
You have to believe.
If you don’t believe, nobody else will.
These words changed everything. Within weeks we had News Limited on retainer, picked up a great project for BMW, hired a swag of great young creatives and pushed on regardless of what the rest of the world was doing. Believing is the truth behind every success story no matter how big or small.
Walt Disney was fired as a journalist, after being told that he lacked imagination and any good ideas. Walt believed they were wrong and not long after a little mouse called ‘Mickey’ was born.
Elvis was told after one of his first performances that he was ‘Better off returning to Memphis and driving trucks.’ Lucky for us, Elvis believed he had much more in store.
Bill Gates failed at his first business. He believed he could do better and Microsoft was born.
Frank Lloyd Wright believed that creativity has no age limit and created Falling Water when he was 68 and completed designs for the Guggenheim Museum in New York in his 80’s.
Universal and United Artists passed up Star Wars, because they didn’t believe it could make money. George Lucas had other ideas and created one of the most beloved universes in history. In 2012 he sold the Star Wars franchise to the Walt Disney company for just over $US4 Billion.
JK Rolling never stopped believing even after her initial manuscript for Harry Potter was rejected twelve times by different publishers.
Michael Jordon was cut from his high school basketball team. He once said, ‘I have missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the winning shot of the game, and I have missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.’
Believing is the drive that allows us to fail and get up feeling stronger and more focused.
It is the seed that has created many of the world’s most loved pieces of imagination and the foundation of many great companies.
It is the passion that creates great concepts.
Believing is also the vision that accepts great ideas that can forge new and exiting paths for great businesses all over the world.
Recent image of Ron by John Donegan for The Age Sport