Christopher Columbus was a mediocre sailor at best.
He could never figure out the longitude and latitude of where he landed.
He would confuse islands for continents.
His crewmen knew more about the seas then he did.
And unlike most explorers of the time, he wasn’t from a noble background.
His father was a weaver who owned a small wine shop and sold cheese for a living.
The odds were stacked against him.
But Columbus did one thing that set him apart from the rest.
He believed in himself.
Almost to a delusional extent.
And his self-belief allowed him to ask for the impossible.
In 1492 he approached Queen Isabella of Spain with a daring request.
He wanted to lead an expedition for a new route to the Indies.
He asked for three ships.
He wanted to be declared ruler over any land he found.
And to top it off, he wished to be named The Grand Admiral of the Oceanic Sea.
Columbus’ request was outrageous.
He lacked the skills and expertise expected for such demands.
Yet as we know, his request was granted.
Precisely because it was so outlandish.
Precisely because it was so bold.
Now, I don’t condone what Columbus did to the lands he colonized.
But we can learn this from him: you have to ask for the impossible.
That’s what we did with Will Smith.
We could have challenged him to a cook off.
To a simple, easy collaboration.
But an average ask wouldn’t have gotten his attention. Let alone a reply..
It wouldn’t have gotten him to ask, ‘Who the f*** are these guys?”
You can’t be timid.
You have to be bold and assertive.
You have to ask for more than you feel comfortable with.
The crazier the better.
Ask for what you want.
Not for what you think people will give you.