may the force be with you

Did you know that George Lucas took a $350,000 pay cut as the director of the first Star Wars film in exchange for retaining the film’s merchandise rights and the rights to any future sequels? At the time, I am sure that 20th Century Fox thought they were getting a great deal.  No one could have possibly anticipated the immense success and cultural impact that Star Wars would continue to achieve for years to come after the debut of A New Hope. 

Fast forward to the present. George Lucas has a net worth of $5 billion. He has spun off several successful film companies and is undoubtedly one of the most revered and influential creators in the history of film. Since the release of the original Star Wars movie over 40 years ago, the franchise has generated a staggering $28 billion in revenue. Less than one-sixth of that revenue comes from ticket sales alone. The majority comes from the merchandise, branding, video games, and various other ventures associated with the Star Wars brand.

Every time a Star Wars product is sold, Lucas receives a piece of the pie. His decision to trade short-term monetary gains for long-term exponential upside has paid off in ways that no one could have predicted. He is now intricately connected to the success of the franchise for as long as it continues to thrive. Lucas had no idea how it would turn out but he decided to risk it because he believed in Star Wars. He traded one paycheck for a lifetime of financial success. Isn’t that the kind of financial dream we all would love to see come true?

This story serves as a powerful reminder of the potential rewards that can come from playing the long game and strategically trading short-term gains for long-term exponential growth. It’s about having the foresight to see the bigger picture, believing in your success and taking calculated risks that have the potential to pay off in unimaginable ways. George was a champion for his own dreams. He recognized a simple but impactful concept that is instrumental to entrepreneurs: You have to believe in yourself first before anyone else will.

As we navigate our own lives and make decisions, let’s keep in mind the concept of trading short-term incremental gains for long-term exponential upside. By embracing this principle, we open ourselves up to the possibility of achieving extraordinary success and creating a legacy that extends far beyond our initial investments. Just like George Lucas and his iconic franchise, we too can make decisions that shape our future and lead us to greatness.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

May the Force be with you, 

Paul David Thompson