January 27, 2016
In 1989, when Mustang Marketing wasn’t even three years old, I set my sights on doing some work for Disney. I thought it would be prestigious to have them on our client roster, which, as it turns out, it was. Early on, they did not respond with equal enthusiasm about the idea of our working together, but I eventually finagled an introduction to the man responsible for the video release of the Bette Midler movie, “Beaches.” He “allowed” us to do the work for free (actually, he literally gave me a $1 bill so that I could say Disney was a paying client) and we killed it. That did lead to about two years of actual paying work, which never panned out to be profitable for us. Tight budgets and even tighter deadlines made it challenging. Disney had a well-deserved reputation for wringing every dollar and hour out of their vendors — and we were no exception. Once the excitement of working for Disney wore off and we looked at it as a pure business decision, it was easy to walk away. But there is no denying that early on, it was exciting to walk down those hallways, get an inside glimpse of upcoming movies and feel, in some small way, a part of the “movie business.” I had that $1 bill framed and kept it in my office for years as a reminder to me to chase my goals, but to be careful about which goals you have. It was also a reminder of how much fun we had as a young company, working on “Beaches.” Every once in a while, I hear Midler singing “Wind Beneath Your Wings,” and it always brings a smile to my face.