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Drowning in Success
How to Think Like W.C. Fields
by Mitchell Ditkoff
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W.C. Fields was always an exceptionally gifted performer. But some of his most unforgettable performances took place off-camera. Like most actors in the beginning of their careers, Fields found himself short of funds. A problem? Not to him. The illustrious Mr. Fields simply created a job for himself in Atlantic City one summer as a professional drowner.

Here's how it Worked:
Several times a day, Fields would feign a drowning accident and then be "rescued" by his accomplice. Invariably, a large crowd would gather at the scene. Once it was clear that this "poor fellow" was going to live, the gathered masses would turn to the frankfurter vendor (who just happened to be standing nearby) and treat themselves to an "I'm-so-glad-he's-alive" snack. Needless to say, Fields split the take with his good buddies - the lifeguard and the hot dog vendor.

(NOTE: We're not asking you to fake anything with your customers, vendors or friends, but we ARE asking you to think more deeply about what you can do differently to attract more attention to your product or service. Something unique. Something fun. MAYBE Something just a little bit risky. After all, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

This article is excerpted from BANKING ON INNOVATION, a 172-page workbook that accompanies Idea Champions' 2-day creative thinking training.
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