Revisiting the Site: Motivation for Old Geezers Like Me

(CS: The plan is to start movie reviews and pop culture articles very soon. I'm just trying to get some client work in order and arrange some crucial medical appointments. The Summer of Awesome will commence soon. For now, here is a piece I wrote to try to motivate those creators who feel like late bloomers when it comes to success.)

I am approaching 45 years old with long-held but not yet fulfilled dreams of becoming a novelist. (CS: Now, 46 going on 47 in November.) On my journey to become one, I have fallen in love with this site and The Movie Breakdown podcast that I now aspire to launch into a pop culture media empire. Well, maybe empire is overplaying my vision, but I'd love to expand the site to be able to bring in more voices, grow the number of podcast episodes a week, sell various forms of prose that I create and even have regular YouTube videos. The hope is to use that collection of pop culture media to launch opportunities for novels, non-fiction historical books and even screenplays. I want to be able to tell stories that entertain, enlighten, inspire and enrich. I want to champion various other amazing creators and unknown creative geniuses while also having the chance to create my own original work. 

But I get discouraged because none of these things are taking off. I've published work and have had well-paying clients, but I suffer from droughts. My personal projects like the site and podcast have an audience, but it is not exploding to the level of wooing well-paying sponsors or believing that I can monetize my work through Patreon. Though thanks to the deal with Spreaker Prime my podcast for the first time since it started in 2013 does make enough money for a cup of coffee now. (CS: I am well aware it is a chicken and egg syndrome when ti comes to my success and growth. Lack of success beats down my self-confidence, but lack of self-confidence means I don't push myself or do the legwork necessary for success.)

I've spent the last few years during this pandemic gobbling up positive thinking advice and trying to embody the idea of envisioning my dreams and trusting they are there just waiting to hit reality. I keep pushing myself each week to work hard and find ways to always improve my craft. I keep telling myself to be patient and stay optimistic. But when you have big dreams and a family you feel obligated to support, and have passed 40, then sometimes it can be a challenge to avoid discouragement and crippling self-doubt.

Will Smith, who isn't exemplifying the image of a role model at the moment, uttered and believed that 'Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity.' If I want to bring beauty to the world and realize dreams, so that I can pass them on to others, then I need to not allow 'reality' to hold me down. The true greats and geniuses thought beyond what they were told and what they saw and worked their asses off to make their vision the new truth. (CS: I wrote this before I shocked myself by performing in two musicals when I just assumed I would never return to the stage and especially, never sing in front of an audience. You never know what is in store when you push yourself.)

I may be getting up in the years and pulling muscles when I get out of bed, but there are several inspiring success stories about people my age who achieved greatness. Maybe you are past 40 too with big dreams and so, here are inspirational people to let you know that you can't give up.

Samuel L. Jackson was in the movie business for a long time, and you can see him in several bit parts in the 1980s. He has been a legitimate movie megastar ever since his break-out role as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction. He was 46 years old. (CS: Hey there!)

I've never really been on team Martha Stewart but for a time she was one of the biggest celebrities when it came to things like cooking and crafting and other domestic activities. She was a celebrity on TV and an award winning author. She didn't start becoming a household name until her 40s.

There is a good chance you have either owned or been driven in a Ford. It is one of the most well-known car manufacturers in the world. The founder Henry Ford didn't start the company until his 40s and it took him 5 more years after founding the company to really break out when he introduced the Model T 

Reid Hoffman was over 40 when he hit billionaire status when his little social networking site LinkedIn finally took off.

R. Lee Emery put on an iconic performance as Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann in Stanley Kubrick's classic war picture, Full Metal Jacket. He was 43 years old, and it was his first major big-screen performance.

Ray Kroc had been a travelling milkshake salesperson for most of his life, which probably isn't anyone's dream. But at 52 years old, he met the McDonald brothers and proposed they launch their little restaurant into a national and then global franchise. He could say that maybe some of his actions were questionable and The Founder does not make him look like a hero, but he was a great success and launched one of the most well-known brands in the world.

Richard Adams is a particularly big inspiration for me because he proved you can get your first novel published at 50 years old, and even better, it also can become a literary classic in the case of the children's novel, Watership Down.

There were a few weeks during college that I got by on ramen noodles. I can thank Momofuku Ando who invented the staple at the age of 48.

Not to celebrate Walmart but it is another global powerhouse brand and one of the most successful businesses in the world. After many failed attempts at running stores, Sam Walton finally opened his winner at 44.

Alan Rickman has been acting for years but never landed a big Hollywood role. Until after he turned 40 when he landed the part of the iconic Hans Gruber in Die Hard.

I am sure most can agree that one of the highlights of Seinfeld was Estelle Harris' appearances as George's mom, and she was nearly 50 years old before realizing her dream as a professional actor.

Colonel Harland Sanders didn't bring Kentucky Fried Chicken into the world until he was over 65 years old.

Don Quixote is one of the first American novels and one of the most influential works in literature. Miquel de Cervantes didn't publish it until he was 58.

A what age will one of us earn a spot on this list and what great dream will you realize? (CS: Prove them wrong!)