What was your inspiration behind writing and naming your book, “The Hollywood Commandments?”
So many people over the years came to me and asked me about success and how to be successful. They’ve seen my success in Hollywood and that has inspired them to a degree, where they are looking for the tips and tools on how to be successful in their life. As I began to really try to articulate the tips and tools of how to be successful, I realize that there was a void out there especially for this generation. So, that was really the genesis of me really wanting to help people fill in the gap on the how. So, many times we understand what we want to do or the why we want to do it, but there aren’t too many people out there teaching us, how you do it. I wanted to write these commandments as a how and the reason why I named it “The Hollywood Commandments,” is because it is literally a merger. The “How” to me is a merger of the spiritual and the secular and too often I have seen some of us where we’re really spiritual, but we have no secular knowledge. Others of us may be really secular, but we have no spiritual knowledge. I believe that the path to real success is a combination of both and that’s why I named it “The Hollywood Commandments.” The Hollywood represents the secular, but the Commandments represent the spiritual. I wanted that to be captured in the title so the moment people hear it they’re like, “Okay, wait The Hollywood Commandments, what is that?”
In reference to this section of Chapter 2, what was is about his words that made you feel, this is something that needs to be mentioned to further explain what, No Discipline, No Destiny means?
First of all, I’m a huge Muhammad Ali fan! One of the reasons why I’m such a fan of his is because of his commitment to greatness and I talk about that in my book, in reference to interning for Will Smith and also being an executive working on many of his films. The thing that sets a Will Smith or Ali apart is their commitment to greatness inside and out of “the ring.” In my experience, I’ve seen so many that want the spotlight, they want greatness, but there are so few people that actually have great discipline and spotlight level commitment to their goal, and without those aspects, it’s very hard for the greatness that you may really want to manifest itself and show up in life. That’s why I really want to highlight that quote from Muhammad Ali to show that here’s a guy who didn’t even like training per say, but he realized that if I don’t do this, then the greatness I want to have will never manifest. He committed himself to training, he committed himself to sacrifice, he committed himself to the discipline required to harness a level of success in greatness that he did. As someone who is pursuing greatness, I can tell you that the only way I’m able to function at the level I function at is because of my commitment to discipline.
Every chapter in your book has an extremely powerful title, which makes you think about it before you read it, such as You Have To Carry A Crown Before You Can Wear It. What motivated you come to come up with such a title?
I looked at the story of David in the Bible and that was very compelling to me because, when you look at his story, he was an anointed king in chapter sixteen of the first Samuel. He didn’t become king immediately. When you pick up the story, you see that he is going to work for the king and I love that I said “wow” that’s fascinating – before he could wear a crown, he had to help the current king carry his crown. When you look at all people who I’ve served during my time in entertainment, from Will Smith, Bene Medina, T.D. Jakes, that has been so motivating to me. This is what I really wanted to articulate with this particular chapter – that too often we want things fast and we are so focused inward of focusing outward. I wanted to write this chapter to show that yes you will have a crown, you will have authority, yet you have to help somebody else manage their authority first. And when you do that, you become prepared you learn about the industry you’re in and you learn what it takes to do that particular job. I’m thankful that I didn’t get the things I was praying for when I wanted them because I would not be where I am now. The idea that I had to have patience, that I had to commit to the process, and that I had to help others do what they were called to do, is what prepared me to do what God has called me to do.
Chapter 8 is titled “Your Difference Is Your Destiny,” Within this chapter, what knowledge would you like people to gain from this chapter as well as the knowledge behind chapter 8’s title?
I don’t quite fit into the faith based world. For some people in that world, I’m too secular and for some people in the secular world, I’m too spiritual. So, as someone who has struggled over the years with all my differences, I began to realize the more I struggled, the more I wasn’t set up for success. Also, Hollywood, interestingly enough, is a place that really does value difference. Hollywood is a place that can have purple hair, you can wear two left shoes – as long as you are great at what you do, there’s a place for you. In some ways, Hollywood can be more accepting than the church. So, as somebody who grew up in the church and struggled to own their differences, I wanted to write a chapter for all those out there that are struggling with owning what makes them different and owning what makes them unique. I wanted to affirm that your difference is going to set you up for your dreams. Your difference is uniquely suited to what you’ve been called to do on the earth, and so I really wanted to write this chapter as an affirmation of that difference and to encourage the reader to cultivate that difference, instead of trying to diminish it or downplay it. So, I wanted to write this commandment – your difference is your destiny – to help motivate anyone reading it, to stop the alternate identity, to put the idea and the crisis to rest and own everything that they were created to be and know that they are more than enough.
Your book officially released September 26, 2017, do you have a scheduled book tour currently available that you can provide the locations to? They can go to www.devonfranklin.com, I have my entire schedule listed there for other events that I will be at as I continue to promote the book.
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