Reflecting a bit today on my Dad. He passed over a decade ago. He consciously threw in the towel after struggling for over thirty years with a long and debilitating illness. He was a self-taught, self-made man with a 10 grade education who wound up being one of the most successful single-family home builders in the Cook and DuPage county areas of Chicagoland. Above all, he wasn’t afraid of working hard and pushing his limits.
I was the rebellious son, the middle child who would have nothing to do with my father’s rigid ways and pragmatic thinking. My and my reprobate buddies had some get-rich-quick schemes that never seemed to work out.
The odd thing I found was the older I got the smarter I found Dad to be. So, for the past ten years I’ve devoted all my energy and waking hours to learning all I could about the film business, building professional relationships, enhancing my brand and applying it all to the process of making films. I estimate I’ve got about 12,000 hours into this new career.
I have a cousin who ate up my father’s wisdom chapter and verse. He recalls a time when, as a teenager, he told my Dad at a back yard barbecue that he wanted to be a millionaire. My Dad told him, “Nah, you really don’t wan’t it.” My cousin replied, “yes, unc…I really do!” Dad cut him off, “no…you don’t because millionaires and driven people don’t have time for barbecues, goofing around, wasting time…or much else. You have to have drive.”
Today my cousin is a multi-millionaire. He’s a self-taught, avid reader with an academic pedigree of a high-school diploma. And, he’s one of the most brilliant, intelligent and generous people I’ve ever met.