In 2011 Alec McNayr and Alan Beard were dirt poor. Today, they run the most successful social media campaign company in the entertainment industry and they love what they do. McBeard Media has run the social media campaigns for films like American Hustle, Monsters University, Wall Street, Life of Pi, the Great Gatsby, and Avatar. You see a billboard, a poster, a Facebook page–McBeard Media is behind it. They’ve had the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a room full of the very best creative minds at Disney Pixar, and the way things are going, they will probably be running the social media campaigns for five out of the top ten films this year.
But things didn’t work out for Alan and Alec on their own. So how’d they get here?
In the talk Alan admitted that he and Alec were not “big believers in the idea that undergraduate students come out of college knowing anything,” so I asked him in a round about way: “Are you saying I shouldn’t go to college? What’s college good for then?”
Alan reaffirmed his previous statement, but noted that college is great for learning how to communicate with people, how to lead, and how to speak in public. He also said that the contacts he made were crucial to the place he’s at in his life right now, and that without having attended Pepperdine, he and Alec would not be business partners. Simplified: In college you learn good communication and you network; your major doesn’t matter (unless you aim to be something like a doctor of course!); you will learn from actual experience working a job.
I filled more than three pages of cramped handwriting with the wisdom and advice that was pouring out of Alec and Alan’s mouths, but for now I’m just going to share one thing that Alan said that stood out to me that night: “Crush the little opportunities.” This advice is rooted in the scripture in Luke 16:10 that says “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…” I’ve also heard it this way: “Be faithful in the little things and you will be made ruler over much.”
When Alan and Alec were given their first film–Vampires Suck–they were told to get 100,000 people to like the Facebook page. Instead of meeting this expectation, Alan and Alec exceeded it by 700,000 more likes. Seven. Hundred. Thousand.
To put it nicely, Vampires Suck is not the kind of movie that is nominated for academy awards. But Alan and Alec chose to treat it like it was the biggest movie of the year. That’s why today, Alan and Alec actually campaign for the biggest movies of the year–they crushed their little opportunities.
In my life, “crushing the little opportunities” looks like aiming to be the best Jamba Juice employee at my school. It means treating everyone I meet with respect and honor. It means going to events where I might learn something from someone cooler than me–as often as I possibly can. It means being consistent with a blog that may only be read by my mom. I do this because I know that in the long run, if I crush these small opportunities, God will give me bigger opportunities to crush.
What little opportunities can you can begin to crush this week?