Culture > Q&A

Keep running the race

"Keep running the race" Continued...

Issue: "2012 Daniels of the Year," Dec. 15, 2012

Did you have to propose specific films? Phil Anschutz asked me, “What movies do you want to make?” I said, “We have an extensive list, we’ve done focus groups, why don’t we talk about that after lunch?” I called my wife and said, “I haven’t thought it out this far: What movies should we make?” 

My wife, a teacher, said, “Hold on, let me take out my reading list. She says, “Here are the books my kids love: Charlotte’s Web; The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe; Holes; Bridge to Terabithia.”  

I went back and said, “These are the books our focus group is showing us.” Those films have become our biggest successes.

How do you decide on projects? After our initial success we got super cocky and made Around the World in 80 Days: Jackie Chan, Arnold Schwarzenegger in a hot tub, you can’t miss. It was a disaster. We learned to outsource decisions to librarians, teachers, pastors, and parents, people who know best. When we rely on our own understanding, that was Around the World in 80 Days and other disasters. We’ve been humbled plenty.

What should these Patrick Henry students take away from how you started Walden Media? Back to Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” If I didn’t have that strong belief in providence I never would have gone out and thought to do this. When I speak to students, they’ll say, “It’s amazing you were able to start this company and you’re so down-to-earth.” I express a little false modesty and they say, “No, you’re really unimpressive. It makes no sense that you would be able to start this company. It gives me hope.” I say, “I’m glad I can inspire you with my inadequacies.”

So, these students should work hard and think big? When in doubt, get in the ring. Get in there and learn. Don’t doubt your own potential, but also don’t be too proud and figure you deserve success or you’re entitled to it. Through trial and error you have to discover what the Lord’s plan is for you. Each thing is just a step in a larger part of God’s plan. As Paul said, keep running the race until it’s over. 


Watch Marvin Olasky's complete interview with Micheal Flaherty:

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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