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Last week I enjoyed a uniquely wonderful experience with Magnus Walker.
Thanks to her photography business, my daughter Aliana struck up a friendship with Magnus and Hannah Elliott when she worked on a project at their Hollywood Hills home.
While I was in Santa Monica for a speaking gig, Ali arranged a tour of Magnus’ stunning warehouse car collection.
Who is Magnus Walker?
According to Magnus’ website, he’s “…a British fashion designer, real estate entrepreneur, and car builder, collector, and driver.
Magnus designed clothes for everyone from Alice Cooper to Madonna and Bruce Willis. He’s the subject of the award-winning documentary film, Urban Outlaw, the author of the best-selling memoir, Dirt Don’t Slow You Down, designer of more than 25 Hot Wheels cars, a signature sneaker for Nike SB, and other projects for Tag Heuer, Mobil1, MOMO, and Need for Speed. Plus, he’s shooting season two of his Hagerty show, The Next Big Thing, and developing a podcast called Get Out and Drive.”
Magnus’ TED talk, Go With Your Gut has more than 8.8 million views, and he has more than 1.2 million followers on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Besides all of that, he’s a helluva nice guy.
What does Magnus Walker do?
When we walked up to his sprawling warehouse in LA’s Arts District, the solid metal gate slid open, and Magnus welcomed us in. He spent the next two hours showing us the restoration work he’d done on the property, his incredible car collection, and lots of his other projects. These included custom road wheels and steering wheels, the collaboration with Nike, work for Hot Wheels, art prints, and so much more.
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Despite his intimidating rockstar aura, Magnus was friendly, approachable, generous, gracious, and charismatic. Most important, he was both interesting and interested. And even though we’d never met before that morning, he instantly made us feel like welcome guests and friends instead of wide-eyed voyeurs.
Even when he and I geeked out talking about the different details of different years of Porsche 911s, Magnus made sure Ali and Gloria were always involved in the conversation, patiently showing them the little details and uniquenesses that I have to believe he’s pointed out to other visitors thousands of times before.
What if you don’t care about 911s?
Of course, this was a magical morning for a Porsche freak like me. But it was equally wonderful for someone like my wife, who cares enough about Porsches only to describe my little fleet of carefully curated 911s as, “the red one, the black one, and the stripey one.” Magnus was careful to talk to her interests also, discussing the plants he’d cultivated on the property and pointing out other things she’d care about.
In the more than 200 “Marketing Minute” videos I’ve shot, I end with the same message every single time: “Good brands make people feel good. Great brands make people feel good about themselves.
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In all the books and blogs I’ve written and the speeches I give, I always remind my audiences that: “People don’t choose what you do. They choose who you are.”
That morning in Los Angeles, I thought I was going to look at some cool cars and architecture. I didn’t know that the time I’d spend with a fascinating dreadlocked and tattooed creative powerhouse would confirm these concepts as much as any time I’ve spent working with Discovery Channel, Bacardi, Miami and Puerto Rico tourism, Realm-Global, American Express, and so many other wonderful clients.
Thank you, Magnus.
Ali, Gloria, and I can’t wait to see what you do next.