Category Archives: Wisdom from the Academy

Wisdom From The Academy – March 2015

April is for Spring

April is for a Special Guest

On April 29th and 30th, we are hosting the next Direct Response Ad Writing class. It’s been a sold out class the last 2 times we held it, and this time we have another special guest. Many of you know or have heard of Ryan Deiss. You many know him as

Ryan will be a guest at this year’s class. If you’ve ever wanted to hear from Ryan Deiss in a private room of less than 40 people, this is your shot.

April is for Happy Hour
On April 17th, we are hosting an afternoon class called “How to Sell Upscale Products“. It’s a Friday afternoon at WA. No rooms on campus are available, but we will have wine and treats. As an extra bonus, it coincides with Happy Hour at The Toad and Ostrich Pub where we have the largest scotch collection in Austin, TX.

It would be lovely to see you here.

VC – Daniel Whittington

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Wisdom From The Academy – February 2015

Wizard Academy goes all


We have a special offer coming up in March

If you are into live music, then odds are you know of SXSW in Austin, TX. The world’s largest independent music festival takes over the entire city for 10 days in March. Hotels get sold out, half of downtown becomes a stage, and even local banks become live music venues.

Instead of avoiding it or trying to compete with it, WA is going to embrace it this year.

On March 18th and 19th (Wednesday and Thursday), we are holding Portals and the 12 Languages of the Mind. It’s a once a year class taught by Roy Williams that is the perfect artful focus for SXSW week.

And if that wasn’t enough, we have a special offer for this class only. If you’ve wanted to attend SXSW but didn’t want to float a $1000 hotel bill for the week, this is your opportunity.

If you sign up and attend Portals, we will allow you to stay in your room at Engelbrecht all the way through Monday morning March 22nd.  That means you could experience 3 days of the music weekend portion of SXSW.

We already have 5 rooms on campus gone, so move quick on this one if you want to take advantage.

VC – Daniel Whittington

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Wisdom From The Academy – December 2014

Wizard Academy Christmas


It’s the end of year wrap-up, with an NPR style discussion of donations…

It’s be a great year! We’ve seen a solid lineup of classes, the launch of this newsletter, and a new video update.

There are two final bits of family business to mention before we head into the new year with resolutions fresh on our lips.

The end of year is often a time when people (and their companies) choose to donate to Non-Profits to lower their tax burden for the year. So I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that Wizard Academy is a 501(c)3 non profit and donations to us are fully tax deductible! You can donate by check or by heading to the home page of Wizard Academy and using the Paypal “donate” button.

We’ll name something after you and put your name on a plaque.
It’s what we do.

Many of you may not know that we offer Private Academies. For $10,000/day (and two nights), you can host your own Private Academy at WA. For that amount you get all 18 rooms on campus, all food and beverages handled, your choice of class topic, and your choice of instructors from our faculty list.

It sure beats hotel ballrooms and stale Subway sandwiches.

I mention it primarily because we are about to raise the price to $12,500/day. As of February 1st, that will be the new daily cost for a Private Academy. However, the lower price of $10,000 per day is good for any date in 2015, as long as the Academy is already paid for by February.

Let me know if you’d like to be involved! The schedule is already filling up for 2015.

Have a Happy Christmas everyone. You’ve helped make our year a great one.

VC – Daniel Whittington

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Wisdom From The Academy – November 2014

Wizard Academy Authors


Wizard Academy Alumni are releasing books like carrier pigeons.

In the past month, several of our Alumni have released new books, and it seems like a good idea to make sure everyone knows about it.

I’m only going to mention a few of the 100’s of books out by WA Alumnus, so if you’ve written something and you want everyone to know about it, shoot me an email and I’ll add it to a list that goes on the website version of this email.

Well done and keep writing!

VC – Daniel Whittington

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Wisdom From The Academy – October 2014

Private Academies at WA


Never have a meeting in a crappy hotel ballroom again.

Warning! This is a blatant sales writeup… head down below for Academy Alumni content).

We haven’t talked about this for awhile, but did you know that you can hold your private company meeting at Wizard Academy and take advantage of all the things you normally get during one of our workshops?

For $10,000/day you get the Wizard Tower, all meals catered, wine, beer, and beverages provided, the instructor of your choice for our current Instructor list, and all 18 rooms included for the night before and the night of your meeting.

Break that down per person, and you’ll have a hard time coming anywhere close to that without shoveling day old Subway sandwiches in your mouth washed down with $10 lukewarm sodas in chairs that make your butt fall asleep and fluorescent lights that give you a migraine.

For smaller group meetings (under 12), you can use Spence Manor to hold your meetings for only $5,000/day. For that you get everything that was included in the previous list and we’ll use the tower for after meeting socializing and tours of the campus.

If you are at all interested, let me know. These tend to move quickly, and we only book 10 or so a year.

Plus, there’s the tour of Scotland. If you’ve done it, you know it’s worth the whole amount on its own.  Just sayin…..

VC – Daniel Whittington

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Wisdom From The Academy – September 2014

The September Tower Update Video is live!

Click here to enjoy the newest episode in which a friend of mine responds to the Ice Water Challenge, and we discuss a short story about the Aberlour Distillery in Strathspey, Scotland.
October is going to be a busy month! 
There are events or classes every week in October, and a few of them still have rooms available on Campus!

Thinking In Business is only two weeks away, and it’s taught by the Brothers Huffman (Mark and Gene). Not only are they fine and intelligent men with a talent for communicating the complicated clearly, but they are also lovers of fine whisky. Enough said.

The Reunion is October 9-11, and you can attend all three days for $100. We’ll have a total of 10 featured speakers across those three days and live music in the evenings.  The music for each evening has been decided, and it’s going to be a grand three days!

The Branding Highway is our first class taught by the famous Gair Maxwell, and he will be joined by the equally infamous Ray Seggern. Spend two days with a former Canadian hockey announcer, and a rock ‘n roll Texas radio host to learn about creating a movement around your brand. We still have rooms on campus for this one as well!
Come join us for a good fall month of Academy crazy, and we will see if we can get the heat on the Texas thermostat turned down a bit for you.

VC Daniel Whittington

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Wisdom From The Academy – August 2014

My brain is tired.

Last week we held the Buyer Legends Workshop, and the room was filled with Wizard-style intellectuals diving deep into a well that the Brothers Eisenberg have been digging for many years.
It was a fresh reminder of one of the things I love about the Academy Alumni. You don’t sit around looking for easy shortcuts and ways to trick people into working with you. You’re not looking for an easy way out.
You are willing to do the hard work that everyone else tries to avoid.
And that’s what makes you our kind of crazy.
Stephen King said, “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.
It’s similar to what I’ve heard my dad, who has published 9 books, say many times over. “A writer is someone who writes. I know a lot of people who really want to be an author, but most of them never actually get down to the writing part.
If we focus on one thing at the Academy, it’s the “doing of the thing”. That’s why I love to spend my time here surrounded by people trying to find other ways of doing their business. You are the kind of people who are willing to take a look at themselves and make the necessary changes to improve your business.
That makes you a rare breed.
Take a bow.
You should be able to hear me slow-clapping in the background.
VC Daniel Whittington

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Wisdom from the Academy – July 2014

A few Insights from your Tribe

You are fascinating!

I don’t mean that in a lets-blow-smoke-up way. As a Wizard Academy graduate you are imaginative, creative, and ambitious. You are now a part of a group that includes Nobel Prize winners, NASA space shuttle engineers, executives of Fortune 500 companies, musicians who’ve opened for Aerosmith, painters whose works hang in museums all over the world, business owners, and NYT bestselling authors. They are among the most interesting group of people I’ve ever met, and there’s not a handful of you there are a whole bunch. A whole bunch of like-minded people may constitute a tribe, but it’s also what I hear from graduates. I never tire of hearing graduates say that when they stumbled on to Wizard Academy they thought to themselves – “I’ve found my tribe”.

More than a decade ago, Roy and Pennie Williams planted the first seeds of what would become the Academy you know and love. Those seeds were then nurtured by hundreds of others as they grew from small seedlings into solid oaks towering on the hills of South Austin. Since then it has become more than anyone could have first imagined. It may have started as their vision, but it has grown into a home for the misfits and creatives who’ve made their way here from the various edges of the earth.

We’re starting the most fascinating newsletter in the world

Don’t worry! You’ll love the newsletter and if you don’t you’ll simply let us know and we’ll stop sending it. Nevertheless, you will never receive a newsletter more than once a month.

It’s time that we start shining the light on the voices in our own community and reminding you of the resources that surround you as an Academy Alumni.

Welcome to a new kind of newsletter from the Wizard Academy. Once a month, we will curate a list of articles written by fellow members of your tribe. This will not be only for faculty or instructors. We will also highlight fellow Alumni with unique perspectives on the world around them.

Below is the first collection of writings, music, and art that we chose as great examples of current thoughts from our illustrious gathering of friends. If you’re alumni and you have any interest in submitting an article for the next one, drop me a line:


-VC Daniel Whittington

Disney’s Four Keys To Shareworthy Service

Tim Miles interviewed a Disney Cast Member, and it led him down the rabbit hole into the secrets of Disney’s success. Learn how to create Disney-level experiences for your customers that will turn them into evangelists.

Estimated time to read: 2 minutes, 46 seconds.

Advertising with Heart (and balls)

Jeff Sexton writes about how good advertising takes guts. Read about the lessons he’s learned in decades of ad writing and working with independent business owners.

Estimated time to read: 8 minutes, 15 seconds.

Tom Bluemlein is an extremely talented painter. In 2013, he brought a painting that he created especially as a gift for Roy and Pennie, and it’s beautiful. Next time you’re on the campus, you can find it in the Welcome Center hanging above the entrance to Pennie’s office.

Estimated time to browse: as long as you like

Everett Joseph Smith Was A Real Boy

Don’t read this story in public. It will rock your foundations. Gordon Atkinson started one of the first blogs on the Internet and used it to voice his anonymous thoughts and fictional stories. Gordon is a recent alumnus of WA, and this is one of my favorite stories from his early blog days.

Estimated time to read: 8 minutes and 27 seconds

Branding with Distinction

Gair Maxwell teaches businesses all over the world how to be remarkable with their branding. And he used to be a pro wrestler. Gair is also one of the instructors in a class called “The Branding Highway” at WA in October.

Estimated time to read: 6 minutes, 58 seconds.

Peter Nevland – No One Told Me

Peter Nevland teaches the “Young Writers” Workshop at WA with Scott Fraser. This is one of my favorite spoken word performances that he’s done.

Estimated time to watch: 3 minutes, 38 seconds.


Melodies and vibe and presence reminiscent of Bjork or Frou-Frou. These two sisters, Kelly and Kamile, have been rocking and rolling in 2013, and here’s a video to wet your appetite.

Estimated time to listen: limitless.

The One Technique You Can Use Tomorrow To Get Amazon Results

Bryan Eisenberg talks about the use of narrative in Amazon’s success story. Learn how to make use of the same techniques to create a legendary brand in your marketplace.

This is an essential theme to the special one-time-only class the Eisenbros will teach at the Wizard Academy in August.

Estimated time to watch: 3 minutes, 6 seconds.


Inside the VC’s Office

It’s a busy few months at Wizard Academy.

We’re just finishing the only two kid-focused classes, Young Writers and Common C$ents.

In a few weeks, Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg will be teaching their first class at the Academy in several years. This special event is almost sold out!

To finish August, we’ll be holding our first Online Video class to walk through the world of online media with Roy Williams, Tom Wanek, Rex Williams, and a few guest speakers.

Check out the class listing to get signed up before we run out of rooms!