Want to Do Something Great? This is the First Step

The answer is not what you would expect.

“I believe in the Golden Rule as the basis of all human conduct; therefore, I will never do to another person that which I would not be willing for that person to do to me if our positions were reversed.”
‒ Napoleon Hill

Most people want to do big things. But they don’t know where to start.

Most people look at successful people and have a desire to be in a similar position. But they don’t think about the process that it took to get there.

There certainly is a process. But rather than trying to figure out the entire process, all you really need to know is the first step ‒ or the next step.

In this article, I share what I believe is one of the key steps that allowed me to start doing something that I have wanted to do as long as I can remember: make movies. I am certain that the next step for you is similar to the process that I went through.


The First Step

I previously wrote about the power and impact of giving.

I used to internally roll my eyes when I heard people talk about giving, as if giving could magically solve my problems.

But I have changed my mind.

Giving is amazing.

Giving is so powerful.

Giving should be a part of your philosophy.

Giving is how I started making movies.

Giving is how I met my friend Shane Hagedorn.

Giving is the next step.

My Man Shane

“Treat others like you would like to be treated.”
‒ The Golden Rule

Shane is a Michigan-based filmmaker who years ago was making his first movies.

I have worked in production. I have written screenplays. I have acted in plays. I understand how hard it is to be an artist today.

When I come across an artist in my own town, I have a rule that I will buy as much of their art as I can — without questioning how good it is or whether I will like it.

Why do I do that?

If I were in the artist’s position, I would love for people in my community to support me like that. So I try to be the person who will support the local artist.

One day I came across Shane’s movies and an article about him in the local paper. This was my first exposure to Shane. I had never met or talked with him before.

Without thinking much about it, I bought all of the DVDs for sale on Shane’s website.

The next day, I received an email back from Shane himself. Shane thanked me for my support and offered to hand deliver the DVDs so he could thank me for the purchase.

Shane actually lived right down the road from me!

We instantly connected and stayed in touch, and our meeting developed into a friendship pretty soon.

  • I remember Shane telling me that he wanted to step up his game. He wanted to move his filmmaking career forward.
  • I remember him sending me his next script. And then reading version after version of that same script. And then getting emotional as we tried to do everything in our power to make the movie.
  • I remember Shane leaning on his faith to pull him forward.
  • I remember the elation when Shane found an investor. And then more than one. And then… enough investors to move forward.

When I became an attorney, Shane called me and said he needed a lawyer — an entertainment lawyer. I never planned to be an entertainment lawyer, but Shane needed one.

Of course, I decided to help my friend.

Over time, I helped Shane. And Shane referred some great artists to me. Then, I helped sell a TV show. And then two. And then I helped other filmmakers. And musicians. And authors.

Now, I make movies — all thanks to Shane.


What Started It All?

“Anyone can count the number of seeds in an apple. But no one can count the numbers of apples in a seed.”

Did I get involved with artists and filmmakers because I went to law school? Because I had a legal education?

Was it because of my skill? Or because I love movies?

Or maybe it was because I have spent a lot of time watching movies? Maybe watching 48 of the 53 total Alfred Hitchcock movies made a difference? (The last five are hard to find)

Or was it all thanks to my initial gift: buying all of a local artist’s DVDs because I wanted to do what I hoped someone would do for me.

I had no expectation of reward — I just wanted to be a supporter.

The number of filmmakers I meet that want to produce movies for a living is huge.

But how many give first? How many honor the people who are moving in the right direction?

Not many. Not many at all.

How did I start making movies?

The Golden Rule.

Give — with no expectation of reward.

Give — because it is the right thing to do.


Final Thought

“Do unto others as you would wish they would do unto you.”
— Jesus, Sermon on the Mount

My proposal: whatever you want to receive, give it away. Do for one person what you wish someone would do for you. Or as my friend Jerome Vierling says, “Do for one person what you wish you could do for everyone.”

If you need more explanation, read my article on giving.

Giving is the first step.


Call To Action

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