LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - July 25, 2017: John Paul DeJoria, Co-Founder of the Paul Mitchell line of hair products and The Patrón Spirits Company, poses for a portrait at the John Paul Mitchell Systems office. ( Photo by Philip Cheung )

Story: John Paul Dejoria, the Once-Homeless Billionaire

Story: John Paul Dejoria, the Once-Homeless Billionaire

Dejoria’s story

“There were a couple of times in my life that I was homeless.” This is the first thing that comes out the today’s billionaire’s mouth.

Homeless Dejoria

He was homeless in his early twenties (he was 22 and half more precisely) with a two and a half year old son. They went around collecting soda empty bottles to make some money and little by little they got out of it.

Jean Paul Mitchell Systems

In 1980, Jean Paul Dejoria and Paul Mitchell co-founded Jean Paul Mitchell systems. He had only a few hundred bucks in his pocket and slept in his car for the first couple of weeks. Those 700 hundred dollars he had invested went a long, long way after that.

Dejoria is now worth 3.000 million dollars, 3 billion.

So the question really is…

“What does it really take to succeed?” (3 tips)

The best advice Dejoria can give is:

  1. Be prepared for a lot of rejection. If people say this is not going to work, this is crazy, this will never work or whatever. If you are prepared for it it’s not going to let you down. “Learn from your failures. I had a lot of failures along the way. But we learned from those things and we get a lot better.”
  2. Have a good product. “Success is having the best product, something good, whether it is a service or a product. If you make it worse or not as good as time goes on and you have money, you are not successful. That’s why Patron has become a booming success.”
  3. Go the extra mile. “Successful do all the things that unsuccessful people don’t want to do. And if you have to work Saturdays and Sundays or late at night or get up early in the morning, just do it.

In Dejoria’s wallet

He only carries his two credit cards from his two companies and only 40 bucks in cash.

Give to others that don’t have

But he since he was a child, had very clear that no matter in which position you where, there is always someone that is doing much worse than you. So, always give to the ones that are worse than you because they need it more than you do.

Today, he has donated to several causes and believes very strongly that he needs to help the ones that really need it. Mostly because he has already lived that situation himself.

Here I leave you a couple of videos of Jean Paul Dejoria so you discover this amazing story of endurance.

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Story: Arnold Schwarzenegger had a Clear Vision

Story: Arnorld Schwarzenegger had a Clear Vision

Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Tim Ferriss Show

The interview with Tim Ferriss in the Tim Ferriss Show with Arnold Schwarzenegger it’s simply amazing. He tells his story in a simple and truthful way, forgetting all the mysticism that surrounds most success stories.

The beginnings of Arnorld Schwarzenegger’s story

And Arnold Schwarzenegger’s story is no exception. He tells that he was born in a little village in Austria. His family and him had to use the same water to bathe themselves. There were times when the water would end up black because everyone else had already took a shower…

But he says that he never grew up thinking he was poor. He came from a very poor environment of farmers and working class where everyone else just had more or less the same or even less, so he never grew up thinking that he was poor.

The bodybuilding competition: a confidence story

When he was young he entered a competition of bodybuilding in a city of Germany called the Junior Mr. Europe. Tim Ferriss when he looked at the photos he was so surprised about how calm Arnold looked in the pictures, the confidence that he could see in his face.

Arnold says that that confidence stems from being a big believer of having a very clear vision. “If you have a very clear vision of where you want to go, then the rest of it is much easier. Because you know always why you’re training five hours a day, know why you’re pushing through the pain barrier and why do you have to eat more, why do you have to struggle more, why do you have to be more disciplined… all of those things become much more clear, it’s not like oh my God I have to do another 200 sit-ups, it’s more kind of like I can’t wait to do another 200 sit-ups because that will get me one step closer to have the abs that I need to win the Mr. Universe. And that’s my goal. I see myself clearly in that stage, winning the Mr.Universe competition, I see myself clearly getting the trophy, standing there with the trophy and raising the trophy above my head and having hundreds of body builders around me, kind of below mentioned on stage, looking up and idolizing me, including the thousands of people that are watching the event.” That was his clear vision. And that always inspired him to go all out.

He asked him about it and he replied that before entering the competition he had worked in a gym as a trainer and that he noticed how vulnerable people were to the way they looked. He used that in his advantage and talked to competitors asking if they had put more weight or if they had been eating more days and sugar, because “I thought you were better last year…” He just played with his opponent’s mind, he just planted doubt in their heads to create in them insecurity.

Give back to the community

Afterwards, he talks about how kids should have attention 24 hours a day because that helped how to become who he is and he thinks it’s the only way someone can be successful and if you don’t “get floating around the streets and get involved with gangs, with drugs, with violence and teenage pregnancy, etc.”

He now has a program that helps kids in the same kind of situations.

A great interview that hides many inspiring truths. Here I leave you the whole interview for you to judge:

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Story: Ralph Lauren’s Point of View on Success

Story: Ralph Lauren's Point of View on Success

Do what you love

Do it because you love it. That’s the one thing that will keep you sane. If not you’ll end up doing something that you don’t like and you’ll suck at it.

Trust your gut

Confidence he says is very important. His boss, the first to know about the new line of Lauren’s ties called Polo told him that the world wasn’t prepared for Ralph Lauren. He took it as a compliment.

Be consistent

Consistency and holding your own. Standing for what you believe in. He admires longevity. Meaning that he really looked up to those figures that believed what they believed and stood for what they believed with the passage of time.

When facing challenges…

After 10 years of funding the Ralph Lauren company he faced serious financial troubles were the company was going to crash. He had his artistic vision really clear but he nevertheless was in a very sensitive financial situation. He had saved 100.000$ from the revenue from the company. He took all his personal savings and reinvested them into the company. He went all in his company. He says that this was a decisive decision that helped hire new and more prepared people, and put more emphasis on planning and being prepared for difficult challenges.

Ralph Lauren vs Disney

People buy into Ralph Lauren’s fantasies. No other company other than Disney has convinced so many millions of people around the world to buy into his fantasies.

Took over the world

They joked that he always planned to take over the world. In the end he did. He took risks. He is worried he is going to fail. He is obsessed. He is irascible. He is kind and sweet. He is stays awake at night. He is always pushing the envelope. Today Ralph Lauren is the most famous one man brand on the planet. A brand that is synonymous with a superior lifestyle.

He says he has a very strong point of view.

Great ambitions

He wanted to be a baseball player, a basketball player, a cowboy, an actor, a dancer… but above all he wanted to be Batman. After saying this, Oprah Winfrey laughs.

After Bloomingdale told him that he had to erase his name of the ties, and after he refused, several months later Bloomingdale called him. They told him that they couldn’t find his ties anywhere else and they wanted them. They offered him a deal. After Bloomingdale offered him a deal, other stores did too (Saks and Company, Paul Stuart, Neiman Marcus). Within a year Ralph sold half million dollars of ties…

A bigger vision, tell your story

But the designer had a bigger vision. He wanted to tell a story with his fashion line. He wanted to design clothes that actors wore on the movies. With his clothes he took you to an island, he took you to the Hamptons, he took you to the West…

Before Ralph Lauren, every store just put the clothes on mannequins and hope that everyone understood the message. Ralph told you his story, what he wanted, he told you a story, he is a storyteller.

What is Ralph Lauren today?

In 2017, the Ralph Lauren Corp. made 6,653 billion of dollars.

It is the most famous one man brand on the planet and he achieves this by telling a compelling story.

This is the power that storytelling can have in any business if telling the right story.

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Why Biographies For Research?!

Why Biographies are Great For Research

When looking at the best ways out there to do research for a movie several ideas come to my mind. Books, novels, other movies, history books… but the one that stands out the most for several reasons is biographies.

Why biographies then?

Biographies are the kind of books that most people read and love or hate but that they have a lot of hidden truths. And that’s what people are after. Those ideas that whatever how much time passes by, will always keep being true.

What is a biography?

Because what we are analyzing when reading a biography it’s the actual events that took place because of some definite causes. All told from a subjective perspective (this means a biased perspective).

And that, essentially, it’s story.

In a story, even if there isn’t a character or characters telling the story, there is an author behind the keyboard that sets up certain situations that end up having definite consequences.

It’s the same with thing a screenplay that is a screenwriter writing a story about some definite characters that are in some definite situations and they take actions that have direct consequences within the world of the story. It is almost a thesis on a theme that results in a very specific even biased conclusion.

So why biographies stand out so much for screenplay research?

Because they are all the same than a screenplay in the sense that they are mostly “visual” and that they are based on conflictive situations and character driven stories.

In what sense do I mean visual?

They are visual stories in the sense that in biographies you focus on facts and on what actually happened, not on the thoughts and the feelings of the main character. This is what novels can do that movies can’t. In a movie what you see is what you get, in a book you can get inside the character’s head and know exactly what he is thinking.

What are conflictive situations?

Conflictive situations are the ones where the motivations and actions of certain characters clash. Then a conflict is created. This means that each and every character must want something and that desire gets into conflict with the desire of other characters.

What are character driven stories?

In biographies they usually skip all the thoughts, almost all the feelings of the main character and focus on specific situations in his life that had specific consequences. And these specific situations that I am talking about are usually turning points in his or her life’s story that change the course of their story. Most of these turning points are conflictive situations in which the person in hand has to choose between several options that will change the course of his life.

So I hope that you give biographies a try and find the hidden truths that helped those people become great at what they did!

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Choose A Topic That Motivates YOU

Choose A Topic That Motivates YOU

Before writing anything – Theme

This is a great thing to take into account before you even place a single finger on top of a keyboard.

The topic of the film if the spine of your project. It is what embodies your vision. It is that on which you have a definite perspective. It is what ties up all your stories within your screenplay. It is what gives sense to all the conglomerate of scenes that make up your screenplay. It is what interests you the most . It is a topic that captures your attention in such a way that you cannot think on anything else during your day. It is your living obsession that transforms and adopts different forms with time but essentially stays within the limits of a what is a topic.

A 2 hour movie takes a long time to finish, so prepare for the long run. This means that even if you finish shooting in a month, you would have prepared for it a long time and you’ll spend even more time in post-production. This means that you will be dealing with the same story, with the same characters, the same places, the same dialogue that you once wrote on paper (except exceptions).

So you better like everything about your story, the way in which it develops, the characters, the dialogue and above all the vision, the unique perspective I was talking about, your perspective on the TOPIC.

A topic that motivates you – start within

So you should choose a topic that actually gets you hard. Maybe I’m exagerating. But close enough. It should be almost an existential topic for you, something that touches you deep down, in the heart of your soul, a doubt, a thought, a desire, an impulse… that you can articulate into a story with characters and a narrative.

So search for something inside you that consumes almost all of your energy that even exhausts you and try to overcome the thought by sharing it, by making something from which other people can benefit from.

Even if you think that is not as interesting as you think share it, you’ll be amazed of the reaction. Even if it is a crazy action movie that you think nobody is going to watch, even if it is a deep and troubling story with existential doubts and that you think it won’t be appealing to most people… Do it IF it gets YOU hard.

What is the audience is looking for?

Because that’s what the audience is searching for in the end. A way to connect. Connect with other people, with other ideas that touch people’s soul and heart.

And the only way someone can pulled that of, that history has shown us, is to speak from the heart and soul. From your heart, from your soul.

Speak loud because people will listen, see you the next time!

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Search for Key Words, FORGET THE REST

Search for key words, FORGET THE REST

Speed Reading Books – must reads!

The above are must reads!

In this post what will be discussed is the process through which you can devour books and texts through a speed reading technique that will change the way you read.

The Speed Reading technique

The technique consists on focusing only on nouns and adjectives today real importance for the understanding of the phrase. Forget the possessifs, the conjunctions, etc.

Speed Reading excersice

Let’s beggin with an example so you quickly catch up with the main idea behind this technique. Imagine you just read the first two paragraphs of this post, the thing is to try to spot all the nouns in these paragraphs:

  • Post
  • Process
  • Books
  • Texts
  • Way
  • Technique
  • Nouns
  • Adjectives
  • Understanding
  • Phrase
  • Possessifs
  • Conjunctions

With these nouns you can get a pretty decent understanding of what the text is all about. But what you cannot really grasp the message the author wants to get through.

Now, to get around this what we’ll do is spot the verbs in the same first two paragraphs:

    • Will be discussed
    • Can devour
    • Will change
    • Read
    • Consist
    • Focusing
    • Forget

With these verbs now you can really understand what the author wants you to focus on. Now you have a perspective.

If we now blend our nouns and verbs list together in other what we have is:

  • Post
  • Will be discussed
  • Process
  • Can devour
  • Books
  • Texts
  • Technique
  • Will change
  • Technique
  • Focusing
  • Nouns
  • Adjectives
  • Understanding
  • Phrase
  • Forget
  • Possessifs
  • Conjunctions

So now that you have read the list, imagine you weren’t allowed to read the first two paragraphs of this post but you were allowed to read the list from above.

I bet you would have almost the same understanding of the text than the one that actually read it, word by word…

If you were to become a pro speed reader, what you would do is only read the nouns and only the verbs that are in cursive from the list and forget the rest.

Speed reader gods, because they have a very good understanding of how texts are constructed and their structure, they just read the words that are underlined and forget everything else. They have a very selective eye that searches for the key words in a text while, at the same time, painting a picture of the general context.

Read a book in an hour!

Essentially, that’s why some people can read a book in an hour and enjoy it the same way and even better than someone who takes a week or two, even a month…

This the principle, in general terms, that most speed readers use, now it’s up to you to polish the technique and build the necessary eye and brain muscle to make it work!

Happy speed read and see you next time!

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SPEED Reading. WHAT is it?

SPEED Reading: WHAT Is It?

MYTHS of Speed Reading

Speed reading should be something that every one who needs to read voraciously because of their job should use.

This is a multidisciplinary technique that can be used by filmmakers and non-filmmakers to boost the number the books they read a year, the number of books they read a month, the number of books they read a week or even in a day.

First of all, most of what you know about reading is most probably wrong. People believe that in order to understand a text, you need to read every single word in it and understand it’s meaning and reading fast undermines your ability for understanding the text.

This is simply NOT true.

And the contrary is true:

  • You don’t have to read every single word in a text to understand the text

  • You don’t have to know the exact definition or meaning of a word in order to understand a text.

  • Reading fast helps to understand the text better.

Most people that read at an avarege speed of 400 words per minute think that reading faster will distract them, but the contrary is true. These people most likely when they read at night they do so to get asleep.

If you get bored or tired while reading, it means only one thing: you could read much faster and that you are not reading fast enough.

In essence, speed reading is about building the necessary muscle for your eye and brain to retain as much information in a glance that it can.

EXERCISE Speed Reading

For that what you need to do is first start to boost your reading speed by forcing yourself to read faster, even if at first you don’t understand anything.

If that is the case, first, pick a book that you have read and read for a minute straight without anything distracting you, truly focused on what you are doing. When you arrive at the 1 min mark, stop reading. Then count the number of words you have read in that minute. This will give you the number of words you read per minute, duh.

If your mark is around 400 words per minute you read as fast as an avarege college student.

Now try the next thing: as you are reading follow with your finger what you are reading.

Then measure how many words have you read in one minute applying that technique. You, most probably, in just a minute, have, for some people, almost double your reading speed.

This is one the tricks you first use to read faster, but it won’t take you a long way.

But speed reading is not only about reading fast is about understanding in depth a text by knowing how to spot the important ideas. And for that you need to either take notes along the way or be able to read fast and voraciously.

The true goal is two both if you can, that way you’ll become a fast learning machine!

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How To Start Research

How To Start Research

How to get around research?

Research can be very daunting or very encouraging in the beginning, it depends on one’s personality. Some people find the task huge and others find in it an excuse for not writing.

The first ones do not even start to do research and write dull stories about too common things that draw from personal experience. The others do not even write they stay connected, binge watching every new series streaming on Netflix thinking that that is research…

So…

How to do research without that becoming an excuse for not writing?

Set a schedule for research

Well the first thing is to set a schedule. A time frame in which you sit down in front of your computer and search, read or write about the topic or central idea of your film. Even if you think you won’t write, even if you actually don’t write, even if you don’t investigate, even if you don’t do any research, even if you do nothing an schedule is really necessary to give to a chaotic task some structure.

To learn about where to find good material, check out our other posts, we explain how to do research on books, films, documentaries, etc.

How do I personally go around it’s very simple but methodical so I think that the BEST way to explain what I know about the process of research and how do I come around it, is by telling you how a day in my life looks like when I am researching a topic.

MORNINGS

Personally, I work better in the mornings so my schedule starts at 9 and I start watching videos during breakfast on the topic I’ve chosen.

Then, when I’m done watching a couple of videos (usually ones that really nail the perspective, or that inspire me to research in depth the topic that I’m looking for) I begin by reading books that I’ve already found that are related to the theme.

That process of reading gets me going fast so I usually have a paper and pen beside me to write down the ideas that I find interesting. Then I make connections between those ideas and try to synthesise as much as I can everything I write. This is key: only write what is REALLY important. Everything else is secondary; do not write it.

I usually spend all of my mornings reading and and writing about what I read.

-EAT-

This my break, where I really disconnect.

AFTERNOONS

Most afternoons I feel tired in the beginning, so I usually watch a movie or documentary and relax by working in a relaxed way. Always search content related to your project, do not watch TV because it’s entertaining.

After I’ve finished the movie/documentary/video/podcast/audiobook (usually 2 hours) I read again. In this case I read news, articles, papers etc (if I’m really into a specific book that I’m currently reading, I keep on reading. (16:00 u2013 21:00)

I always keep a paper and pen beside me and only write down what is IMPORTANT. Every single word matters and has to make sense and have meaning.

If you are writing down words that make no sense and, more importantly, have no meaning, only for the sake of writing, then do not write.

Be methodical and only focus on the important stuff, forget the rest. Because if not, you’ll start research and never finish it.

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How To Do Research?

How To Do Research?

My personal approach

What I personally do when it comes to research is to almost obsessively focus on a theme or a subject that I find really interesting. It is a process that accompanies me along the creative process and progressively fades away as I am deep inside the story.

It does not mean that you should quit research as soon as you think you’ve grasped the meaning of your story or that you should focus on it so much through the creative process that takes up more time than the actual process of writing. It depends on the person, some great directors focus obsessively in this part of the process as Kubrick and others dwell on personal experiences that they remember or imagine to create their story, more like Lynch. So test and try yourself, see what fits you best.

For now, I will tell you how do I come around this process and hope it is of some use to you.

Types of research media I use

For me, the beginning of creation starts with long hours of research of almost any form/kind on a particular subject or theme. Those may be:

  • Scientific Books
  • Films
  • Articles
  • Studies
  • Youtube videos
  • Podcasts
  • Radio
  • Biographies
  • Philosophy books
  • Novels
  • Plays
  • Screenplays
  • Personal experiences

And in the end, for each movie is different, a mix of the ones cited above.

The principle is:

The more the better.

Because in the end what you really want is to keep you going, write your story and that is true and compelling, for you in the process of making it and for an audience when they get the chance to watch it.

Organization of research

Then I organize myself.

I make a schedule in which almost obsessively I devote most hours of my day for investigation. (Most people have jobs and need to do several things during their day, but as I am still studying I can invest vast amounts of time to what I wish. And I acknowledge it is a huge asset but it shouldnu2019t be an excuse for the really passionate ones that do not necessarily have 12 or 18 hours a day for making a movie)

My schedule goes more or less like this (it varies from one project to another but you get the idea):

Mornings (9:00 u2013 14:00)

  • Reading: I read biographies, philosophy books, articles, news, and academic sWriting and synthesising everything I have gathered

Afternoon (15:00 u2013 21:00)

  • Documentaries
  • Movies/ films
  • Interviews
  • News
  • Reading
  • Writting and synthesising everything I have gathered
Night (22:00 – 24:00)
  • Movie/ Film /
  • Documentaryu00a0
  • Interviews

I get some sleep and I repeat the process the next day.

But I insist, it is a very personal process that varies.

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