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I know Kung Fu

Step One:
Humble Thyself

It's not as easy as you think...
by Steve Young

Now I'm not sure if they teach this in business college. I'm not even sure if they ever taught in high school...and for good reason...(I'll get into that later). But for the last year or so, I've learned...and had to relearn the golden rule to making money and succeeding.. "Humbling myself."

Yeah, I know it sounds simple enough, but "darn-it," try applying it to your life 24-7, it's nearly impossible.

By golly...When you're about six years old, you think you know everything. When you're about 15-18, it's even worse. Your teachers know everything, your parents don't know anything. Straight into college ....suddenly, you become brainwashed into thinking the University system is an answer key to the world and that everyone but you...has it wrong. You tell yourself, "Everyone else is an idiot ....I can do it better, because I know I can."

So here comes reality, and it knocks you down. Flat on your butt. You get back up with your arrogant ways....and BAM! You're down on the canvas, drooling ...crying "What happened?" You tell yourself, this doesn't make any sense! I'm always right...BAM! What the....Hey wait...BAM!

Dazed and confused, you're finally willing to listen to the experienced businessmen, the Uncles that have been there...and done that...and your parents "for some strange reason, suddenly...seem to be right all the time." Reality finally sets in and you start realizing, despite all the success you may or may not have had, you don't know everything and can learn a lot more by just shutting up and listening.

About a few days ago I had the opportunity to attend a movie premiere by a friend of mine. The movie was her first. First screenplay, first time directing, editing, marketing....the entire gammit. The movie overall was fun. I laughed. It wasn't perfect, but what movie is. And it was by far equal to the cinematic quality standards you find in the movies. Immediately following the movie, my friend came up to me to ask my opinion. I told her my thoughts, and she listened. It was rather odd because about three months ago, I was listening to her about business advice and asset protection. I wanted to learn then...she wanted to learn now. I believe that she will eventually be able to produce great movies ...because she listens...she learns.

Immediately following the movie I ran into a handful of amateur filmmakers and screenwriters. Our light conversationt unfortunately turned rather uncomfortable. Suddenly, I was being cornered into a position that made me feel that "everything I had done in my life...was wrong." I tried to explain my position, why we loved taping weddings, that we loved the art of storytelling that these different mediums had to offer. The response "Weddings, video games have no story at all! Chris Lee wants to build a video game school! He's doesn't know how to help out the film industry! You shoot commercials, they have nothing to do with storytelling.." Agghhh....

This amateur filmmaker didn't give me much time to explain my position. If he would have have listened to me, I would have told him that weddings probably have more story and conflict than most dramas I've seen in Hollywood. Chris Lee, our local boy who produced everything from Jerry Mcguire to X-men is a genius, not to mention a nice guy.. And an investment into the video/computer graphic and digital cinema is a way to stay ahead of the curve of the evolution of film. As far as shooting commercials, or music videos, or weddings....they all involve the same elements of storytelling you find in movies. If he would have humbled himself, he would have learned...

If this filmmaker would humble himself and take other work than non-paying public access TV gigs, wedding in particular...he may actually see growth in his aspirations. But for the last two to three years of his life, his career as a filmmaker has not accelerated. He has to learn that filmmakers, are ultimately storytellers...and story comes in all forms, not just scripted films. But ultimately, again he has to learn how to listen and to humble himself in order to go forward.

I've had my foot in both worlds, and I've noticed that the great businessmen are extremely humble. The arrogant, are usually the wannabe's. But lets be real honest here. I am not the most humblest of people at times as well. Politics, theory of gravity....and when it comes to football, the Philadelphia Eagles is the best team in the world. Suck, no way...we kick ass.






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