The sixth grade has been a part of my life beyond the year I spent at Robles Elementary School in Tampa, Florida. I must admit, my tour of duty at Robles was epic and included several first for me including the first big school fight I ever won which made a name for me as I moved on to Sligh Jr. High. I was a happy kid that was peaceful until I saw someone being bullied. I would instantly go into super hero mode and stand up for anyone too afraid to stand up for themselves but thats another story for another time.
I learned about how to run a business starting at the age of ten from Fred Young Sr., my father who had a sixth grade education. My father wasn’t the best reader but he understood math like a human calculator. He could estimate a job by pacing off steps or eyeballing an area without a tape measurer. He taught me more about business by the age of 15 than I learned over the next decade. Not only did this hard working six grader teach me about business operations, he also gave me a Harvard quality lesson on leadership.
I had another experience with the sixth grade during a conversation with an executive from a Hollywood studio. He reviewed my script and told me it was too smart. He recommended that I consider writing for individuals with a six grade reading level. He explained to me that I would only relate to 10 percent of movie goers if they struggle to follow my story and dialog. “Make it entertaining and easy to understand but unpredictable with twist and a big climax” he said. If we make others work too hard to understand what we are doing or selling then its too complicated.
The moral to this experience for me is to be willing to learn from anyone who brings sound business principles and support to your development path. ESPECIALLY from the people you don’t like. Just because they rub you the wrong way or disagree with you doesn’t mean you write them off completely. Some people aren’t good coaches and deliver good information poorly so look beyond their less than perfect delivery. And finally, be clear with your ideas and services so others understand what you do and why? Leave as little as possible to interpretation and if its hard to follow, then simplify it.
Victor Young is the CEO of Human Technology Solutions, V. Young Enterprises and Victor Young Productions. He is co-owner of Lamborghini Sarasota, BMW of Sarasota, Lotus Sarasota, Range Rover Ocala and Jaguar Ocala. Victor is a writer, director and producer of feature films, television series and documentaries with Media & Management Global. He is a Tampa native with three daughters and Married to Tia L. Young, founder of Tia Young Image & Etiquette.
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