I’ve imagined this day for more than ten years. When asked, “When are you going to leave Sony Pictures and start sailing around the world?” my reply was, “In two years.” For ten years I was always two years away from leaving the studio. Just as a broken clock is right twice a day, eventually my “in-two-years” prediction was correct. Today, looking back two years, it happened. Today, after more than twenty years, I no longer wake up and prepare myself to go to the studio.
Imagining what this day would be like, I thought it would feel like the first day of a prolonged vacation, liberating and invigorating. But it doesn’t. Over that past few days, so many of my colleagues wrote and/or met with me to thank me for my service and wish me well on my upcoming adventure. Not wanting to cry throughout the day, the last day was an exercise in burying my reflex to connect with my emotions, as I looked my friends in the eye, thanked them, and hugged. I was on the verge all day long. I love these people and I love what we’ve done together. I made them all promise to stay in touch, to read our blog, to write in. As the day came to a close and I walked out from my office for the last time, I felt vulnerable. No longer would I so easily be able to provide for my family. Income and insurance will no longer by at our fingertips. We’ll have to develop other ways to support ourselves. When I told them how I felt, my co-managers reminded me how well I’ve always done with anything I’ve started at the studio. Any endeavor I started at the studio, when supported by the studio, did very well. That these skills I take with me. This venture would be no different. Because I have the complete support of my family, especially Leslie, this endeavor should be just, if not even more, successful than those at the studio. In writing this, I find myself not stating that I’m no longer “working,” for I will be working just as hard, if not harder than I did when I was at the studio.
So, this first day, I am not excited about sailing around the world. I am concerned, just as I was concerned when I started every business venture at the studio. And just as I have done with every business venture, I will pour my complete attention and effort into making this adventure, and sharing this adventure with an audience I hope to build, a success. Along the way, I will reach out to like-minded experts at every step, for I know that my best work is achieved through collaboration, that the whole is often greater than the sum of its parts. You, the reader, are probably an expert in something that can make this trip better, so help us; use your expertise to turn this trip into something wonderful for young people, to inspire them to reach beyond and see what’s on the other side of the rainbow.