Owning Your Career

Emmitt was born in New Orleans to a caring mother and abusive father.  Growing up, he was sexually molested by three men.  He attempted suicide to escape his father.  While he never completed high school, he did receive his GED.

While watching Oprah Winfrey’s show, he learned that writing could be great therapy.   He kept a journal based upon this advice.  From his journal entries, he wrote his first play.  Working a number of jobs, he raised the money to stage the play, but unfortunately it failed.  After going through six years of extreme poverty, he restaged the play.  This time it was a major success and a groundbreaking play describing the African American experience.

He went on from there to write other plays and eventually film scripts.  He wrote, produced, and acted in the movies he created.  His most famous movie role was an outspoken elderly woman who appeared in many of his movies.

As the success of his movies grew, he produced shows for TV, joining into a partnership with Oprah Winfrey.  His TV shows have increased in popularity.

He purchased a former confederate military base and is now the owner of one of the largest movie studios in America.  He has been quoted as saying:  “I own everything:  the lights, the sets, everything.”

Forbes magazine added Tyler Perry to its billionaires list last year.  He got rid of his original name of Emmitt to distance himself from his father.  His philanthropic efforts have quietly helped those in need in his hometown of Atlanta.  One of those gifts was to pay for the college educations of the four children of Rayshard Brooks, a man killed by a police officer.

One of the most important lessons for those seeking career success is that you have to own your own career.  Whining about your disadvantaged background will not lead to career success.  Complaining that you are not respected by others will not lead to career success.  Waiting for opportunities to come to you will not lead to career success.  You have to own your career success.

This means taking prudent career risks.  It requires a no excuses attitude.  It means that you won’t be swayed by criticism meant to discourage you.  Having a privileged background is no guarantee of career success, nor is a prestigious academic credential.  You must simply own your own career:  the lights, the sets, everything.

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“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
– Thomas Edison

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