What is Your Endgame?
So have you seen “Avengers: Endgame” yet? By the time this post goes live, statistically speaking, you have. Over the past week alone it has made over a billion dollars in ticket sales worldwide. It has broken previous opening weekend records both domestically and abroad, and it is on track to become the highest grossing film ever. I didn't set out to talk today about the big screen in particular, about the Avengers, about the MCU, about exactly how tall a stack of 1.2 billion dollar bills would be, or even about the talented and gorgeous Scarlett Johansson.
See I'd actually started to write about the small screen, particularly the seminal but less well known show Babylon 5, which is celebrating its 25thanniversary this year. I planned to talk about what a big deal it was at a time, how nobody thought it would work, how it almost didn't several times, and how it shaped the way we now watch television. I planned to mention how its multi year serial story formula is now, well, everywhere on TV, from “Lost” to “Breaking Bad” to “Game of Thrones”. It pushed the envelope in terms of story, of graphic effects, even casting and budgeting.
But Endgame makes many of the same points for me, and it's the big thing right now, and yeah, we're all still kind of excited about it. So let's use that.
The Avengers series is the current cornerstone of the MCU, or Marvel Cinematic Universe. By the end of the year, the MCU will encompass 23 titles. This current iteration was set up 20 whole years ago with the first “Iron Man” movie, which already contained the building blocks of the eventual Avengers supergroup.
Certainly it is not difficult to go to a Hollywood studio and sell them on a big flashy blockbuster style film with sequel potential. It's kind of their bread and butter. But 22 films over 20 years, with similar themes and interweaving plots, with obscure characters and previous bad press, that's a different magnitude of project. It's a visionary project, a long-term investment, and it's been paying off big time for the Disney stockholders.
That is what I'm getting at. Maybe it's a well worn path, or maybe it's completely unheard of, but you need to identify and stick to your vision to succeed. It's a bit of a cliché, when you're interviewing potential employees, to ask “Where do you see yourself in five years?” It's a good question, and lets you see a bit what motivates a worker, how they intend to apply themselves, and what they're looking to get out of a job. When was the last time you asked that of yourself?
I'd suggest every morning. “What is my long term plan? What have I done to achieve it? What can I do today to bring it into reach?” If your goal is always make it through the next quarterthen it is always going to be about the next quarter. Take the same tricks from the MCU movies or TV serials and apply them to your business plan. There's something you can be doing today that will generate sales, interests, or clients today...and three months down the road. Six. A year. Ten years. Maybe it's a new promotion, or a customer retention and loyalty initiative. Maybe it's something boring and old fashioned, maybe it's brand new and never been done before.
Take your idea, identify that dream and where you want to bring it to light, and then...work your butt off for it! Putting your passion at the heart of your business and being willing to defy conventions are related points I'm going to be revisiting over the next few weeks, so be sure to keep an eye out for those entries.
Until then...what did you think of Endgame? Are you a fan of the MCU? What is your five year plan? Let me know in the comments. No spoilers though, I think there's about 17 people out there who haven't seen the movie yet.
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