“Nobody’s hustle is like anyone else’s” – Robert Downey, Jr.
A few months back, I watched Downey on “Off Camera with Sam Jones.” It was a great look at how the Academy Award Nominee prepares for a role and how he views his impact on the world. Downey said something during the show that really hit home for me.
I think the greatest gift anybody can give anyone is the opportunity to develop your hustle. Sam, you didn’t
wind up with these great pictures on the wall and documentaries in the can because it was all handed to you. You have to develop that, and nobody’s hustle is like anybody else’s you know?
Think about that for a moment. You can’t fit your career goals, ambitions, and dreams into someone else’s box. So, while you may look to people for inspiration, your trip in this life will not mirror what they have done. Nothing is ever handed to you.
In 2010, I landed hard after getting let go from my job. But, I didn’t expect any handouts and wanted to work for everything. That is absolutely what you need to do, as well. Focus on your hustle… Make your hustle like no one else’s.
Over the coming weeks, I am going to focus on people who have developed their hustle. These will be folks that haven’t been given a handout; they’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into their careers.
I’m excited to feature these hard-working and great folks.
“‘I am Iron Man”. You think you’re the only superhero in the world? Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.” – Nick Fury, Iron Man
The above quote by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in the first Iron Man film was very prophetic. In fact, it actually set into motion a series of monumental successes for Marvel Studios. When Iron Man pulled in $98.6 million on its opening weekend, it not only guaranteed a second Iron Man movie, it put the wheels into motion for the greater Marvel movie Universe. Box office hits since Iron Man? “The Incredible Hulk,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Thor,” “Iron Man 2,” and 2012’s “The Avengers” has marketers excited and movie goers giddy for the follow-ups.
The first Iron Man’s worldwide success, rocketed not only Marvel’s brand back into the stratosphere, it put Robert Downey, Jr. back in the limelight, too. Marvel (and director Jon Favreau) took a very big risk with Downey, who was coming off a pretty rocky few years. Now, when you think Robert Downey, Jr., you think Tony Stark. Downey and Marvel aren’t too unhappy with that fact.. and that’s not bad thing for a brand.
- Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.– Marvel decided to take one of their more popular “Phase One” characters, Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), and create a show around he and his team. The buzz heading into the pilot episode was outstanding. In it’s first week, S.H.I.E.L.D. delivered 11.9 million viewers . That made it TV’s highest-rated drama debut in nearly four years. Ratings have been up and down, but that hasn’t deterred the folks at Marvel, who really understand their core audience.
- The Disney acquisition- While not necessarily something Marvel did right as a brand, it has only helped to enhance its image worldwide. Disney has been able to target males that they weren’t able to before. Now, Iron Man will become the first Marvel character to have a themed ride at Disneyland in Hong Kong.
- Tom Hiddleston– While his name might not have rung a bell a few years ago to many, his portrayal of the mischievous Loki in the first Thor film, and subsequently the Avengers, had fanboys and girls repeating his lines and swooning. There were even some that felt Loki stole the show in the Avengers. Then, there was his epic appearance (in character) at 2013’s San Diego Comic Con. It’s a perfect example of enhancing your brand through a great supporting cast.
- Digital– During 2012’s SXSW, Marvel #1 offered over 700 comics for free. It worked so well that it crashed the site. This year, Marvel was back and made sure they upped their game with big additions to Marvel Unlimited. The features appealed to longtime fans, as well as Marvel newbies, something that helps to continue to spread Marvel’s brand.
In the last five months, Marvel has seen Thor: The Dark World rake in over $206 million at the box office and now Captain America: The Winter Soldier is setting records. As of April 21, it has been number one for three straight weeks, adding over $200 million (and counting) to Marvel Studios’ coffers.
Marvel’s brand is as shiny as Captain America’s shield. That’s something Stan Lee would say “Excelsior” to!