The Magic Connection

Stan and I at San Diego Comic-Con.

Someone once asked me what it was like working with Stan Lee.

Specifically, they wanted to know what the “magic” moment was. What was the special sauce that made Stan a legend? What made the fans love him so much?

Was it his business savvy? Yep.

Was it his showmanship? Yep.

Was it his “friendly grandpa” persona? Yep.

Was it his personal and sometimes frank “Soapbox” columns written for the Marvel fans? Yep.

All of these were a portion of what made Stan a unique creative force. But for me the true special sauce…

…that magic moment?

It was the deep, 1-on-1 connection he was able to have with his audience.

And nothing in Stan’s toolbox did more to connect him with his audience than…the autograph table.

Stan would sign almost anything for his fans

An autograph table? Really?

Imagine being there.

You’re in a massive room. Thousands of other fans standing in front of you. Pictures. Joyful screaming. Everyone is waiting to meet a legend, have a brief conversation, and have him sign something they cherish.

You wait…

And wait…

And wait…

Finally it’s your turn.

Publicly, Stan was always upbeat & happy. Always a gracious professional. Always had a conversation with the person in front of him. He didn’t see the fans as a collective Borg-like monolith. He saw people. Up on that stage at the autograph table it was just you and him. He saw you.

And he recognized you.

It was a magic moment.

For a short time, it was bridge between worlds.

For some it was almost like Odin, King of Asgard, came down from for a moment to say hello, ask how you are, to ask you a question or two, to shake your hand, to thank you for your support, and then provide his signature.

The autograph is special.

It’s a memento of that specific moment in time.

It’s a snapshot of a new memory.

It’s a moment in history that you bore witness to.

It’s a freshly minted rare collectible.

Millions of new stories were created at Stan’s autograph table. A collaborative lore created together by the fan community and the master storyteller. It was generational in scope, and made Stan unforgettable.

No matter what business you’re in, whether you’re an entrepreneur or you work a 9-to-5, you can benefit from Stan’s teachings. Make those same connections with your customers in your own way.

Create a memory.

Create a story.

Become impossible to ignore and use that magic to become unforgettable.

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