Originally, I was going to film this important dealmaking lesson as a short video for you…
But emotions got the better of me and I ended up sobbing like a baby during the filming.
I know… I know… I’m supposed to be a badass – which I am. We all get emotional from time to time.
I was watching the movie The Iron Giant with my 12-year-old son Josh and it took me back almost 20 years to when I first watched it with my eldest son, Ryan, who’s now 23.
(Movie poster courtesy of IMP Awards.)
The movie was originally released back in 1999. I must have watched it at least 100 times with Ryan when he was young.
(If you have kids, you know exactly what I mean. Kids LOVE certain movies or shows and will beg to watch them over… and over… and over again.)
Now – I haven’t watched this movie for almost two decades. When I watched it just now with Ryan’s half-brother Josh, two things happened…
First, all my wonderful memories of Ryan came flooding back (which is why I got emotional).
His mother and I got divorced when he was a toddler, and I will cherish forever the times he and I spent exploring London (where I lived at the time) and hunkering down in my apartment watching great movies – like The Iron Giant. One rainy Sunday afternoon, we must have watched it FIVE times in a row.
Second, I realized that in the final five minutes of the film, there are TWO critical dealmaking lessons.
I can’t believe I didn’t spot these 20 years ago – when I was a young, up-and-coming investment banker closing deals.
I don’t want to spoil the movie for you, but there’s a scene near the end where Iron Giant saves a town from destruction by flying into the path of a nuclear missile (Iron Giant is a 100-foot-tall flying robot if you don’t know).
The robot’s human sidekick, Hogarth – a young boy who reminds me of my own children at that age – builds a great relationship with Iron Giant. They become fast friends as Iron Giant is struggling to create an identity for himself.
At one point Hogarth tells him, “You ARE who you CHOOSE to be.”
In the nuclear missile scene, Iron Giant recalls Hogarth’s words – you ARE who you CHOOSE to be – and he says softly, “SUPERMANNNNNN” as he flies head-first into the missile, saving the town below.
I love this scene because you can apply it to ANYTHING in your life – especially your professional life.
If you are stuck and frustrated working for someone else, you can CHOOSE to become a business owner… strike out as an entrepreneur… and go from employee to employer in a matter of weeks.
If you want to stay an employee – or even become a business owner and STILL work in your business every day – you can. If you CHOOSE to.
But I’d rather choose the benefits of being an owner-investor…
You can choose whichever path you want.
You ARE who you CHOOSE to be.
So choose to be a dealmaker.
Iron Giant is a REAL badass. He never gives up.
Even though he was blasted into a thousand pieces near the end of the movie, all the pieces come back together via a homing signal and Iron Giant rebuilds himself on a remote glacier somewhere in Iceland.
He gets up off the mat and carries on. You can do the same.
What’s holding you back?
I get it – bad s**t happens. You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff I have dealt with in my own life… But what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
I look at adversity, challenges and tough times as lessons to help me grow.
Like exercising a muscle – it’s painful at the time, but by working it out the muscle grows and becomes more powerful.
Your mindset works the same way.
You only truly fail if you quit. Otherwise, consider it feedback.
Take our current situation. There’s no doubt this is a tough period in our lives, but instead of wallowing in it all – use it to do something great.
If you learn to buy a business, you will never be furloughed again.
The last thing I want to leave you with today is something totally surreal that happened the VERY NEXT DAY after Josh and I had watched The Iron Giant.
Ryan video-called me on Skype and gave me some very interesting news.
He’s currently an IT professional working in Australia. Recently, he got accepted to become an officer and fighter pilot in the Australian Air Force.
Here’s what happened: He applied for an IT role and the commanding officer saw something in him – a badass mindset and killer instinct– and invited him to switch careers.
And he’s doing it.
Because – as Iron Giant told him hundreds of times as a kid – you are who you choose to be.
Ryan has ALWAYS wanted to be a fighter pilot. (Yes, we watched Top Gun hundreds of times as well.)
So he’s chosen to do it. He is in control of his destiny.
My two takeaways for you from this story are…
So those are the TWO important lessons to take way from the movie The Iron Giant. Since most of us are stuck at home in quarantine… maybe go watch it with your family.
I promise it holds up.
Until next time, bye for now.
Editor and co-founder, Dealmaker Wealth Society