“God defies the idea of any degrees of separation.” ~ DeVon Franklin
There is absolutely no way that anyone can convince me that God is not the orchestrator of my life after reading DeVon Franklin’s latest book The Hollywood Commandments: A Spiritual Guide to Secular Success. For those who may not have been following my blog since the beginning, DeVon has been a virtual mentor of mine since 2013. I’ve written many thought pieces on him and how his words have had an impact on my career and life choices dating back to his first book Produced By Faith. However, this particular entry holds a bit more weight than anything I’ve written in the past. There’s so much to glean from that I can’t simply write a few paragraphs outlining my takeaways from The Hollywood Commandments. I’d rather share just a few of the gems by telling the story of what led to this moment in hopes to create dialogue and reveal how Chapter 10, “Your World Is Smaller Than You Think,” has shown itself true in my life.
In Chapter 10, DeVon speaks about how one mistake ultimately led to one of his biggest breakthroughs. After neglecting to return a call from a senior agent at CAA in a timely manner, he decided to send a copy of his book Produced By Faith as an apology. That agent read and loved the book which later led to Oprah’s team engaging him to appear on her hit show “Super Soul Sunday.” The episode that derived from his mistake is the same episode that introduced me to his work and confirmed the seed that God had planted in me around my role in producing faith-based content. I had just completed my thesis documentary “To God Be the Glamour” and I was at a loss to what could possibly be next.
I continued to follow him on social media for his daily inspirational posts that seemed to always be right on time and eventually led me to experience The Merge Summit in 2013. There were many influential speakers that dropped impactful nuggets into my spirit and DeVon was one of them. I came equipped with his book Produced By Faith in hand and managed to muster up enough courage to ask him to sign it and take a picture. I remember telling him exactly which chapter I wanted him to sign because that was indeed the space that I was in. He did so with pleasure and that was it. I wrote a blog titled “Follow the Leader” about that experience and included a powerful video of him speaking at Wavemakers 2013.
The following year I would write three more posts inspired by him: “Connect the Dots,” “Hunger Pains,” and “Are Your Toes Wet Yet?!“. The latter one was written almost a year to the day that I decided to follow the unknown path that God laid out before me and headed to New York completely unsure what lied ahead but choosing to walk in faith and not fear. Don’t be fooled though! I had plenty of fearful days and they still arise every now and then but my confidence in God has matured and for that I’m thankful. In Chapter 5, “Your Gut Is Hiding God” DeVon speaks to how to operate in your gut instincts and one of the important steps noted is – “When God says move, move” and another is to “Anticipate discomfort.” It took me a while to make the move but when I did it was 100% out of my comfort zone!
So now I’m in New York for about two years and after embracing my new role in marketing and trying to still stay true to who I am and who I know God’s called me to be (which DeVon also beautifully describes in Chapter 8 as “Your Difference Is Your Destiny”) I’m not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel. I’m in a super secular, money driven industry where the only time people care about offense or being “politically correct” is when you offer ideas centered around “God,” but I digress. Since July 2015 I’ve been honing my skill as a writer, producer, and integrated marketer but it wasn’t until I overheard the whispers around the office that Meagan Good’s husband (lol) was in the lobby that I saw a real opportunity. After quickly correcting them by prounouncing his entire name, I grabbed my phone and headed to the lobby to make my introduction… that was until I saw him in the chair, got cold feet, and zoomed passed him towards the ladies room! Hahaha! I had to get my words together and calm my nerves. Keep in mind, this is the guy that’s been used by God to speak directly to my life and encourage me through some of my darkest days. So I managed to get it together and made a lukewarm intro at best. It came out nothing like I planned BUT I at least had it together enough to let him know that I had signed up for a lottery to be a part of his launch team just a few days ago and hoped to be chosen. In one quick swoop, my name was being forwarded to his team to be included as a member! I was stoked even though my mind was telling me not to get too excited just in case it didn’t work out… but it did! Now I’m a part of an enthusiastic community of supporters of his work and expanding my network of like-minded individuals across the world. It’s truly exciting!
The Hollywood Commandments also speaks to being assertive. Asking for what you want and not being afraid to hear “No.” In his words, ” No isn’t always NO.” In my case, at least for this moment, I went in bracing for a potential “no” but was over the moon that my request would actually be granted. After DeVon’s visit to the office I made a b-line to the president’s office to stake my claim in leading whatever marketing efforts in partnership with DeVon and his new book release. I didn’t have a clue what was discussed nor did it matter. I just knew I wanted in. A few weeks went by before I received an email announcing a potential partnership opportunity and a request that I lead the charge. The timing couldn’t have been worse as I was about travel and was already swamped but in no way was I turning down this opportunity! In true DeVon fashion his words later confirmed my actions. In Chapter 4 “You Have To Know the Rules to Play the Game,” DeVon brilliantly describes how to win:
“Winning starts with opportunity. Opportunity leads to experience, and then to authority. Opportunity – Experience – Authority: with the three factors in hand, you can play the game and be certain to win.” ~ The Hollywood Commandments (p.105)
I’m telling you now, I’m here to win! But before I close out, let me share the icing on the cake. In Chapter 2, “You Are the Talent,” he describes how talent isn’t enough and that one must pray and prepare.
“No Discipline. No Destiny.” ~ The Hollywood Commandments
In 2015, I packed up my house with intentions of landing a job in California. People thought I was crazy because they’d come by and see boxes and ask where I was moving and I’d say, “I don’t know but I’m preparing.” At the time I didn’t have a job lined up but I decreed and declared that by July 4th I would be out of there. It happened just a few weeks passed my declaration and in the exact opposite direction of California but I was faithing it until I made it!
Fast-forward to 2017. Out of all the Barnes & Nobles in the country and despite the fact that his life resides on the West Coast, DeVon is in New York the day of his official book release… on a TUESDAY! (ahem). He’s not just coming to New York, but his signing and talk is being held in Brooklyn where I currently reside… on a TUESDAY! (ahem, ahem). You can’t tell me God doesn’t make ways out of no ways. I’m not in Hollywood. I can’t attend his numerous speaking engagements on the West Coast. He doesn’t even know my name but God saw fit to put me in position to receive whatever He has in store for me in my near future and I’m here for all of it!
Go get The Hollywood Commandments: A Spiritual Guide to Secular Success in stores TODAY!