If you can't beat them, join them
Thomas Andrew "Colonel Tom" Parker was Elvis Presley’s manager.
He was an entrepreneurial genius who played a key role in making the young musician from Tupelo, Mississippi into a huge star.
Indeed, Elvis became so successful that he’s often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll".
Despite his immense fame, Elvis nevertheless attracted some haters. Naturally, Parker was protective of his artist and it would upset him to see anti-Elvis messages.
Fortunately, “Colonel Tom” was never short of a good idea.
He knew that aside from the record deals and sell-out concerts, a significant amount of revenue came from merchandising deals. T-shirts, posters, autographed prints and so on.
If he could make money from selling Elvis memorabilia why not also make some money from anti-Elvis memorabilia?
One of the best-selling items were round badges that said "I Like Elvis". Adoring fans would pin them to the clothes they wore and the bags they carried.
So “Colonel Tom” ordered some that looked like the ones that were already being sold but instead read "I Hate Elvis" and "Elvis is a Jerk."
Now he could be happy that any negative messages about his star were now earning him money.
The lesson here is that if he had thought conventionally about the problem, he wouldn’t have come up with such an inspired solution.
It seems that sometimes it truly pays to think laterally.