It’s either your left or right foot. 

There can be none other.

Taking it is the hardest thing in the world for some. The cause of countless trepidation, anxiety, depression, and fear. 

It leaves some debilitated and incapable of moving, frozen in their safety zone with all of the imagined dangers looming in their minds.

But the truth is, it is just one step. You can take many of them. Some will lead further than others. Others will undoubtedly hit a dead end.

It really doesn’t matter. Some dead ends are merely yet another lesson along a much larger journey that has yet to be defined.

Yesterday, The Illusion Factory turned 43 years old. It was the anniversary of my opening a bank account, and going to the city of Van Nuys to apply for a business license. I was 19, and invincible. I knew for certain what I was, what I was going to do, how I would do it and where I was going. 

None of the above was remotely accurate. But at the time, it was the first step. It was a bold move. It empowered me to believe I could own a real business beyond those I had done as a kid without governmental reporting, etc.

Yesterday I spent a giant chunk of my day reviewing decades of work, trying to build the next Illusion Factory promotion reel to show off who we are and what we are doing. It was like watching my life pass before me. Countless memories of clients, employees, friends, experiences, fears, stress, drama, disappointments, exhilarations, trepidations and so much more…..

Then, as my friend Lynn suggested, I started listening to the 3 Minute Rule and made a list of 41 bullet points that are the ultimate distillation of what The Illusion Factory currently is. Almost none of it was part of my first step.  The anniversary day was coming to a quiet close for me and a late night call with a new business colleague illuminated the potential of something so vast, and incredibly disparate from what that first step had prognosticated, as to make my perspective on the first step really stand out in my mind and give cause for use of today’s aphorism. 

I was starting by creating the world’s first blank photographic note cards. When, 43 years later, Sizzle grows into one tenth of the models that are starting to come to life around me, then it will have well been worth the journey.

I was positive I knew where I was walking at age 19. At age 62, none of it was what I had expected. The only consistent variable in all of the journey was a devout belief in myself and more important, in my team of friends and collaborators. Our collective vision has propelled us through dangerous waters, and delivered us to shores unforeseen.

If you have a dream, be bold and pursue it. Take that first step. You genuinely will have no idea where that may take you, but if you believe in yourself above all else… wherever you go, it will be the journey of a lifetime.

Happy Thursday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!