A crazy Elvis Presley story, aha moments and how to change how you think about business problems
It was 1969. One day, Jerry Weintraub calls Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, to persuade him to take Elvis on his first nationwide tour.
Parker says, "No."
But Jerry was an aggressive talent promoter and concert manager. So he keeps calling Parker every day at 8:30 in the morning. Every single day. For a year.
And every morning Parker gave him the same answer, "You're crazy."
Finally, one morning Parker asks, "You still want to take my boy on tour?" Jerry says yes, and flies to Las Vegas to close a deal with Parker.
When Jerry first meets "the King", Elvis says, “I'm very, very easy. I like to have six Coca-Colas when I get to the building. I don't need a dressing room. I'm coming dressed. And I want all the seats full."
Jerry’s first show with Elvis was in Miami Beach.
Jerry booked a convention center with 10,000 seats. But when he arrives in Miami Beach the day before the show, Jerry finds out it wasn't sold out. There were 5,000 seats left.
Jerry thought his career was over. How could he sell 5,000 tickets in just a few hours?
Jerry barely slept that night. But next day he wakes up early and has an eureka moment.
Jerry suddenly realizes that he’d been thinking about the problem the wrong way. He didn't really have to sell 5,000 tickets. So he figures out a way to take the 5,000 chairs out.
When Elvis comes into the show he asks Jerry, "How we doing?"
Jerry doesn't say, "Sold out.", he says, "Every seat is full."
When trying to solve a business problem, first ask yourself:
Who is it a problem for?
Can I think of this problem in a different way?