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What Are You Passionate About?

June 5, 2013

Posted by Simon Misiewicz on 5th June 2013

Are you loving what you do or are you bored?

Are you following your heart or following everyone else?

What are you passionate about?

What gets you out of bed in the morning and makes you feel vibrant, energetic and happy?

What drives you forward each day with excitement? 

When asked what keeps them going in business, Richard Branson would say “I never went into business to make money, but I found that, if I have fun, the money will come.

If something stops being fun, I ask why? If I can’t fix it, I stop doing it”. Similarly Bill Gates would say “I have the most fun job in the world, and love coming to work each day because there are always new challenges, new opportunities, and new things to learn. If you enjoy your job this much you will never burn out” – Quotes from Your Life, Your Legacy by Roger Hamilton.

The story of Rocky is a very good one, in my opinion, but the story of how the Rocky film came about is even more inspiring.

At the time of trying to become a budding writer, Sylvester’s wife asked him to get a job as they had less than $1,000 to support themselves or their dog names Butkus, which was his best friend.

He rejected the idea and because he knew that he would lose the hunger of becoming a writer if he had a steady job.

Worse still for his wife, he decided to pawn her jewellery to keep themselves going.

A decision that he would later regret.

I am sure that during these difficult times that the only person he could speak to about his writing was his dog.

How would you feel not knowing where your next income would come from, not having enough food in the house to feed your family and pets?

How would you have felt being asked to take a job that was not for you in order to support the family?

I am sure that I would have gone out there to take the next job that came along and forsaken my dreams.

Unfortunately time went by and their financial position worsened and Sylvester Stallone was at an all-time low and went to a liquor store to sell his best friend, Butkus.

How would you have felt to have sold your best friend that loved you no matter what situation you were in, for less than $50?

Sylvester met Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff for a meeting to discuss acting opportunities but they could not find anything that his talents would suit. On his way out of a particular audition Sylvester asked them to read his story “Paradise Alley” but could not sell the story as he sold the rights to his landlord to keep at bay from evicting him from his home.

His luck was not on his side but they asked him to keep in contact.

He later recalled “If I had not stopped on the way out they would not have read my story”, which would certainly be the end of the Rocky dream story.

Sometimes you need to try, regardless of what fears you may have.

If you are passionate about what you are doing then try everything to succeed.

Sylvester Stallone wrote the story Rocky after watching a Muhammad Ali fight, another person that provides me with a sense of inspiration because of his courage, determination and sheer will to the be very best.

One of Ali’s opponents, knocked him down, which was unexpected being a huge underdog.

This gave Sylvester Stallone the concept of Rocky.

He immediately took the script to Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff for them to review.

They liked the story, albeit there were significant amendments to be made in regards to the story and the characters within, so they suggested that they would purchase the film.

Delighted as you or I would have been for someone to finally say that wanted to buy your story, especially not having any money in the bank being worried where the next meal was going to come from.

Sylvester Stallone at that time was also being threatened to be evicted because he was behind on his rent.

I must admit I would be screaming in delight, knowing that someone recognised my talents and more to the point able to put money back into my bank account and being able to support my family.

Sylvester Stallone though was determined and passionate about the film that he wanted to be the main star “Rocky”. Unfortunately, neither Sylvester Irwin nor Robert could see how Sylvester Stallone could do the job as an actor as they thought about Burt Reynolds to play the part.

They therefore offered him $20,000 for the screen play as long as he agreed not to be the main star in the film.

Let me say this again, he had an offer on the table of $20,000 bearing in mind he had little over $100 in the bank and that this amount of money was being offered in the early 1970’s.

Sylvester said “No”. 

Irwin and Robert then started to increase the amounts over time and it went to $330,000 for him not to be the main star in the film.

That must be the equivalent to £500,000 in today’s money. Would you have taken the money and ran?

I know I certainly would have and would have been very proud of myself as being an accomplished writer.

Sylvester Stallone wanted to be the main star, he believed in the character and lived and breathed with Rocky every step of the way.

There was not going to be another actor to play the part of his character Rocky, no way.

Some say that he would be crazy to turn this sort of money away.

Finally Irwin and Robert gave up on this stubborn Sylvester Stallone and agreed for him to play the part of Rocky but reduced their offer to less than $30,000 for the script and for his acting role, which he agreed.

Rocky became a film held in high regard and took over $100m and received 10 Oscars nominations in its very first year.

Sylvester went back to the same liquor store where he in the previous few months sold Butkus, his best friend.

He finally found the man that he sold him to and offered up to $100 to buy the dog back.

The man grew attached to the dog and said “No”.

I am sure that Sylvester’s heart sank and many people including myself would have walked away heart broken.

Again he showed great determination desire to get what he wanted and finally agreed on $15,000 and a part in the Rocky films, a wonderful story.

Sylvester’s determination and passion certainly paid off, but how many of us would have taken second best?

How many times will you in the future take second best when you know deep down that the skills you possess are great and the hunger to be more than you currently are burns on and on?

What are you passionate about?

What motivates you so much that you want to take action but you have not done so already?

Go and take a few minutes and write down all of the things that motivate you and the things that you want to do.

Until you have wrote them down you will never take action to achieve them, the more we write them down and put them in a place where we can see our goals and dreams, the more real they become and beg for action to be taken.

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Email: simon@optimiseaccountants.co.uk