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About The Guest
Saul began his career as an animator for Walt Disney Studios working on the hit films Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, & Tarzan. He made his directorial debut with the hip action-adventure series Spy Groove for MTV. Shortly thereafter, he re-joined DISNEY, directing the films Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo & Kronk’s New Groove- starring Eartha Kitt & David Spade. Saul also consulted in the development of the DISNEY films: Tinkerbell, Fox and The Hound II, Brother Bear II, Cinderella III, and Dumbo II.
Saul has directed high-profile commercials for clients such as Best Buy, Dunkin’ Donuts, ESPN, Subway, Mercedes Benz, EA Sports & Build-A-Bear. He has consulted for animation studios internationally in London, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Seoul, Dublin, Vancouver & China. Saul was a Director on the smash hit Disney show Doc McStuffins, Supervising Director on The Numberlys, and Consulting Producer on The Stinky & Dirty Show; both for Amazon. For Netflix, Saul was Consulting Director on the hit show Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures and was Supervising Director on Llama Llama starring Jennifer Garner. Recently, Saul was the Supervising Producer on the Dreamworks hit show Madagascar: A Little Wild.
Saul speaks around the world sharing practical tools for success, meaning, and fulfillment in all aspects of life, and hosts the inspirational podcast; Life of Awesome!
- 00:00 — Intro
- 02:13 — Saul Blinkoff’s origin story
- 14:52 — How should people think and support their children’s career choices
- 38:19 — Saul Blinkoff’s mindset from the start and where it came from?
- 49:28 — When did Saul Blinkoff start thinking about pursuing animation?
- 52:53 — A mindset of abundance
- 1:00:34 — How has adopting Judaism affected Saul’s life?
- 1:05:14 — The secrets of being successful
- 1:07:07 — The first victim of success in an individual’s life
- 1:10:46 — How does Saul Blinkoff prioritize his days and his life?
- 1:15:03 — What keeps Saul Blinkoff up at night?
- 1:16:46 — The biggest challenge Saul has ever faced in his life
- 1:20:01 — The most impactful person in Saul Blinkoff’s life
- 1:22:52 — Saul Blinkoff’s book or podcast recommendations
- 1:24:22 — What would Saul Blinkoff tell his 20-year-old self?
- 1:25:04 — What does success mean to Saul Blinkoff?
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What is the Success Story Podcast?
On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups, and entrepreneurship.
The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.
Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures, and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas, and insights.
He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their stories to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategies for business professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between.
Host of the Success Story Podcast: https://www.successstorypodcast.com
CEO/Founder of OnMi Patch: https://newsletter.scottdclary.com/
Write a Daily Business Newsletter to 40,000 People: https://newsletter.scottdclary.com/
Contact: Scott D. Clary MBA |416-522-5622 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Machine Generated Transcript
life, Disney, people, day, drawing, movie, Disney world, world, kids, incredible, mom, mickey mouse, listening, grow, dream, big, walk, heard, thought, hakuna matata
Saul Blinkoff, Scott D Clary
Welcome to spinsters a basketball podcast about basketball. I’m Haley O’Shaughnessy, and I’m Jordan Mulligan. Each week we bring in guests that range from our very best friends to former general managers to actors and directors to current and former players, or the girlies as we
were talking about trade rumors and game breakdowns, yes. But also the stuff we really care about, like the cow crews, my bleaching his hair actually derail his time with the Lakers.
Listen every Tuesday and Thursday to spinsters wherever you get your podcast.
Scott D Clary 00:36
Welcome to success story, the most useful podcast in the world. I’m your host, Scott D. Clary. The success story podcast is part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. The HubSpot Podcast Network has other great podcasts like marketing made simple hosted by Dr. Jay J. Peterson. Marketing made simple brings you practical tips to make your marketing easy, and more importantly, make it work. Now if any of these topics sound interesting to you, you’re going to love his show, how to write and deliver captivating speeches, how to market yourself into a new job, how design can help and potentially hurt your revenue and how to create a social media ad strategy that works. If these topics hit home and they’re things that you want to learn about. Go listen to marketing made simple wherever you get your podcasts. Today, my guest is Saul Blinkoff. Now Saul began his career as an animator for the Walt Disney Studios working on the hit films Pocahontas, the Hunchback of Notre Dame Mulan and Tarzan. He made his directorial debut with the hip action adventure series spy grew for MTV. Shortly thereafter, he rejoined Disney directing the film’s Winnie the Pooh springtime with Rue and crocs New Groove. Saul also consulted on the Disney films, Tinkerbell Fox in the hound to Brother Bear to Cinderella three and Dumbo to sell is also directed high profile national commercials for clients such as Best Buy, Dunkin Donuts, ESPN subway, Mercedes Benz and EA Sports and has consulted for animation studios internationally in Tel Aviv, Toronto, Seoul, Dublin and Vancouver. So I was the director on the hit Disney show, Doc McStuffins. And most recently directed the number lease a preschool show for Amazon. Now we spoke about how to overcome rejection lessons learned from Michael Jordan, the power of repetition, the true meaning of responsibility, success as a failure, finding comfort in the uncomfortable the preference of pain in the moment, to the pain of regret luck versus talent in a highly competitive industry, where to put energy that has the highest probability of success, and balancing religion, work and life.
Saul Blinkoff 02:50
First of all, thanks for having me on the show. It’s incredible to be here. Like my story starts out in New York, I grew up in New York. I grew up in Hollywood, I didn’t know any Hollywood filmmakers. I was a kid that loves to draw to draw and everything actually, is to draw on the walls with my father’s lipstick. And when I ran out of wall space, I would draw on my sister’s forehead. Did that with a sharpie marker because it lasted the longest. I loved you. Oh, yeah. And, look, the greatest gallery your art could ever be in is on your mom’s refrigerator. Right? So you said to my mom, you should put my sister on the fridge. But the rest of my sister don’t like that idea. But look, I knew I wanted to be an artist until I was 11 years old. I’m 11 years old. I go to the movies and I watched the movie ET and watching that movie, the credits are rolling. I remember tapping my mom and I’m like, Mom, that’s what I want to do someday. And she’s like, why you want to leave Planet Earth in a spaceship? I’m like, No, Mom, I want to make movies. And like I said, Scott, I grew up in New York. I didn’t know any filmmakers. I didn’t even know that was a job. You could have people I knew were doctors, lawyers, they own businesses, teachers. All I knew is when I looked up to the screen. I was like that’s all I want to do is something creative. So I went to the library. I got books on lenses cameras storyboard, I found out the director of ET was Steven Spielberg. And every weekend he would make movies. So I went and got a film camera. I got my twin sister, my older brother. We started making movies, murder movies, monster movies, I made a kidnap movie tied my sister up to a tree really tight. Loving. Oh, yeah. I still remember going into the house to watch the movie. afterwards. My mom was like, I liked the movie. But where’s your sister? I said, well, she’s still tied to the tree. What’s wrong? So like, I knew I was going to be a filmmaker until I got to high school. And when I was in high school, I’m walking down the halls one day 10th grade, somebody comes up to me and says, What are you going to do when you get out of high school? I said, Well, I want to be a filmmaker. They said no, you don’t. I say no, I really do. They said no, you don’t. Because if you want to be a filmmaker, you’re gonna have to move out to Hollywood, and Hollywood is filled with weirdos. They looked at me and said, you don’t want to end up a weirdo, do you? And I said, No, I don’t want to end up a weirdo. And I’m telling you right then and there. I gave up on my dream of wanting to be a filmmaker because one person told me I would end up a weirdo. And of course today I do live in Hollywood and my four kids would tell you daddy is a weird sounds so much for that. But at that point in my life, I was very impressionable. And I think it’s important for all of us to take a moment and realize so often in our lives, we have a goal or a dream. And we allow another person to say something to derail us from the course that we really want to take. Well, so I gave up on that my parents said, so what else you’re going to do I go, I’ll go back to drawing. I have incredibly supportive parents, my mom and dad hire an art teacher to come to my home private teacher, to teach me to draw from life, she was an amazing teacher. She said, to me, Soul drawing is about seeing you to develop your eye had a look at the world a certain way. You know, a lot of people say, Oh, they drew that it was so good, it looked like a photo. And they painted that it looked like a photo, why spend 100 hours painting something that looks like a photo, when you couldn’t hit a button and made the same image, you just wasted 40 hours of your life. It’s not our job to make things look real. It’s to take what we see, interpreted through our own mind, and give a viewpoint on what’s real, and credible teacher I had, I was also terrible at drawing hands, hands are very difficult for any artists listening. And my teacher said, Oh, you’re bad at drawing hands, take your hand, put it in a different pose every single night before you go to bed and draw it. And in six months, you’ll get better at drawing hands. She was an amazing teacher, she taught me an incredible, incredible tool for life. We need to get out of our comfort zones, and have the goal to turn our weakness into our strength.
Scott D Clary 06:29
Can I ask you something? So when you were when you were shut down by that person, and you basically push the dreams of going into film aside? How did you switch your mindset up? Because then you adopted the same? Same but different, you’re still you’re still going into an industry that is primarily based in Hollywood and animation and film. But still, you obviously did a 180 from your where your head was that when that person shut you down, and then you kept pursuing just something different? Yeah, but you you got over that at some point.
Saul Blinkoff 07:01
Yeah, I mean, I got over that. Definitely. I guess it was about it was about the location. You know, growing up in New York, I didn’t know anyone that ever moved out to California. People I knew lived in what we call the tri state area in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. I didn’t know anyone that lived anywhere else. And if you were lucky on vacations, you would go to Florida. That’s it. I never knew anyone that went anywhere else. So when I heard that Hollywood was LA, and it was strange, realize I just thought culturally How am I going to fit in there? That’s not for people like me, people I know, stay on the East Coast, we don’t go to the west coast. So I thought, you know, if I’m gonna go back to being an artist, I’ll just be an artist, but on the East Coast. That’s kind of how it went for a while with my drawing that art teacher until I went to the movies again, and saw another movie that changed my life. I saw the movie, The Little Mermaid, you know that movie? Right? Right. So I’m watching that movie. And I remember watching that film and I’m like, Mom, the credits are rolling. I’m like, Mom, that’s what I want to do. And she’s like, what you want to fall out with a fish? And I’m like, No, Mom, I want to work at Disney as an animator, because animation combines my two passions, my love of drawing my love of filmmaking, put them together animation, and plus, I found out Disney has a studio in Orlando, Florida. I don’t have to go out to LA. So there I was a junior in high school. I had a very specific goal. I knew what my dream was. I had clarity. My dream was to become a Disney animator. I just had one problem. I had no idea how to do it. You know, so often I’ll meet people and I’ll say, what’s your goal in life? What do you want to achieve? And some people who are lucky enough to know, I’ll then ask them, how are you going to achieve it? And sometimes I get a blank stare, they don’t know. You know, we go to a great restaurant, taste an unbelievable dessert, creme brulee, a tiramisu, whatever it is, you like you want to make it at home. You can do it if you have the recipe. I didn’t have the recipe. I didn’t know how to do it today. You want to be a Disney animator. It’s really simple. You go to a thing called Google and you type in how do you become a Disney animator? And you’ll get the answer. Back then. In the olden days, as my kids call it, the days before the internet, there was no Google. So I went to the library and found out all the information I could there was nothing about how to get into Disney. So my mom, check this out. Takes me not my older brother, not my sister takes me to Disney World, just to walk around Disney World to ask Disney cast members. That’s what they call their employees. How can my son become a Disney animator? And even now I hear that story in my head and I say it to you. I still can’t believe that she did that. It was she’s always been so supportive. And if any parents are listening, you know, we want our kids to thrive and to succeed. Are we really doing everything we can to help them get into a place where they can shine? She was amazing. And so we’re walking around disney world getting on the It’s a Small World boat ride,
Scott D Clary 09:50
which I love. I love that. Yeah, I think it’s shut down or the present and now yeah, like every that’s an original that’s an OG Disney ride. That’s just the
Saul Blinkoff 09:59
first one out Ever. There was the first Disney ride ever created by Mary Blair was the art director. Yeah, it was her style. She was the art director and Cinderella and all those old Disney movies and it was created for the World’s Fair. I think 1960 Something in New York. That was the first time that Disney created a ride. He’s like, You know what, I’m gonna bring that ride into Disneyland. And that was his first ride. It’s a small world. Boom.
Scott D Clary 10:20
So your mom, your mom, is that so your mom immerses you in all of this? Oh, yeah. And then this is like your lighting like a fire in you? Because
Saul Blinkoff 10:28
right? Yeah, well, we have to find out how to get in. Right. So we’re getting on the it’s this roller boat ride and the Disney cast members like how many in your party we’re like to we’re stepping on the boat. And my mom says to the woman by the way, my son wants to be a Disney animator. Can you help him was actually very embarrassed. Right? Yeah, it was. So we’re getting the ladies like Ma’am, this is a boat ride. Like we don’t hire animators here. So we go through the boat ride. We finished the boat ride. The lady says, Look, if you want your son to work at Disney, you gotta go to the Disney casting building. That’s where Disney hires all their employees and was four minutes away from where we were in Disney World. So we go to this building. Can you imagine what a Disney office building looks like? How creative whimsical, the doorknobs look like the ones from Alice in Wonderland. That talk right there are made out of brass. I open up these doors. I walk into this atrium. Gold statuettes of Mickey Donald Pluto goofy even the air was was like Disney air like pixie dust in the air. You know, it was amazing. I sit there for this interview. And the woman says What would you like? I’m like, I want to be a Disney animator to get the interview. Because I just walked in. And they were okay. It’s like open call. Anybody can go in there and interview for any job at Disney World. Wow. Well, that’s what I found out is that it’s only jobs for people that want to work in Disney World. If you want to be an animator or an artist or something that’s they don’t You don’t. You don’t try that way. It’s only for people that want to work. The rides that make the Dumbo ride go up and down and things like that. And I said, Well, that’s not really my goal. She goes, Well hold on a second. She walks out of the room comes back in two minutes later and hands me a piece of paper. It became the most valuable piece of paper I ever held in my hands. It was a list of eight schools, eight art schools that Disney recruits they’re artists from she says if you want to be a Disney animator, you need to go to one of these schools. Boom, that was it. That was that was the recipe. And in my head, I heard it as an equation assault plus go to one of these schools will equal dream of becoming a Disney animator. So I went to one of these schools in Columbus, Ohio. It’s the Columbus College of Art and Design. Incredible school. And I’m walking the first day around. And I walk into this into one of the rooms of one of the guys who wasn’t even there. I I actually walked down the hall and I see in this guy’s room. He’s got Mickey Mouse slippers. And I’m like, What kind of guy whereas Mickey Mouse slippers? You know, I’m not judging Scott, if you have Mickey Mouse, I do
Scott D Clary 12:47
not but probably a kind of guy that you probably want to work for. Right? Because he thinks differently than everyone else. Super creative, but that’s who you’re dealing with. That’s
Saul Blinkoff 12:55
right. Yeah. A unique individual. Yeah. Well, in his room, no one could have Mickey Mouse slippers. He had a Mickey Mouse lunchbox and Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse telephones, clock Mickey Mouse bedspread and every Disney movie posters on the wall. It was Disney World in a room. It was crazy. And then I see in the corner. He’s got sketchbooks. He wasn’t in the room. And like, let’s see how good he is. As an artist, I mean, pick up a sketchbook I start looking through it. And it’s all these drawings of Mickey Mouse. This guy’s like a Mickey Mouse fanatic. Then I see Mickey Mouse hands like the forefinger white glove, you know? And I’m like, well, that’s not the way I’ve been drawn. And the guy’s Mickey crazy. I turned to leave the room and I bumped into the guy whose room it is. Oh, I’m busted. I looked at him. I go, Hey, man. I’m sorry. He looks at me goes, Hey, how you doing? I said, Good. What’s your name? He says, My name is Jason. But people call me Mickey Mouse. Jason. I’m like they call you what? He goes Mickey Mouse. I’m like I heard you. You have a Disney nickname. He’s like what you don’t. I’m like, No, I don’t. I go back to my dorm. I get on the phone with my mom like Mom, if I’m gonna fit in in art school. I’m going to need Mickey Mouse slippers and you have to remember Scott, this is before Pixar. Before DreamWorks. If you wanted a job in Disney animation. If you wanted a job in animation at all, it was Disney. And then one week later, Disney representative comes from the Disney Studios to our school. He stands up on the stage in the auditorium. The auditorium is filled with 750 students, every freshman, sophomore, junior and senior. And this guy from Disney was one of the original animators on sleeping beauty from the 50s. He used to hang out with Walt Disney. And he stands on the stage. He looks out to all of us. And he says, How many of you want to work at Disney? And every hand went up? He said just so you know, out of the 750 of you in here. Maybe just maybe four of you will ever work there. That’s how competitive it is. And when he said that, I remember thinking one thing. I wonder who the other three are going to be? Because in life we either believe in ourselves that we can accomplish something or we don’t I don’t mean what we talk about with our friends. I don’t mean what we post on Instagram or if A spoke I mean, deep down, do we really believe in ourselves that we can accomplish? Well, at that point in my life? I did. You know, I did. Yeah, I really believed in myself, people asked me a lot like, how did you get that belief in yourself? I think you have to have it’s like it’s a little naive. I mean, you have if it has to be right, you have to be a little bit, right. It’s like Steve Jobs says, You have to be crazy. If you have to be one of the crazy ones
Scott D Clary 15:28
to be so set in what you’re doing. I speak to a lot of entrepreneurs. And the thing is, like, I went in, I didn’t look back. It’s like the you know, burn, burn the ships burn the bridge, whatever it is, right? You aren’t going back. And there’s only one way forward, right? But that’s not a normal way to
Saul Blinkoff 15:44
burn the bridge, or I just heard that expression the other day, actually, yes, right. Like, I’m committed to this, it’s almost like you have to be a little bit of an idiot to be like, I’m just going all in for this. Sometimes I have parents come up to me, and they’ll be like, Well, my kid wants to go into art. So but you know, I’m sending them to this school. It doesn’t, it’s not really an art school. But it has like a good liberal arts education. But that way, they can have something to fall back on. You know, what I say to the parents, and some people are gonna hear me say this is going to be like, that’s a little harsh. But this is really how I feel. You just told your kid, I don’t believe in you. Like, why not send them to a school that only focuses on one thing, art and get the best education you can. Because if you go to a big liberal arts school, and they’re just a good art program, then you’re not setting them up to be successful in the field that they want. Sometimes in life, we have to go all in. And we all know that for whatever we want to do in life, each one of us has a limited amount of energy. I don’t care if how, what kind of accomplish are you are, if your checklist is 5000 things a day, and you’re able to do it all, you still have a limitation. But it’s incredible what we can accomplish. When we put all of our energy, every bit of it into one goal. And we really focus it. It’s incredible what we can do. Yeah.
Scott D Clary 17:07
I don’t think a lot of parents think like that. I don’t think a lot of people think like that. But I think that people probably kids are trying to figure out their career or starting their thing. They probably don’t realize it. That’s how dedicated how focused they have to be to make it you have to be maniacal about whatever it is you’re getting into. But I think that enabling people to think differently by giving backup options by that, by that behavior, it enables people to not be the best that they could be
Saul Blinkoff 17:32
right? Absolutely. You know, look, I’m a big Michael Jordan fan. He’s the goat he’s the greatest of all time. Don’t tell me it’s LeBron. Okay. Prom is good, but MJ is MJ and his MJ MJ. Yeah, I have a son. He’s 13. He goes to school. And sometimes he has to defend Michael Jordan to his friends, because he grew up in my home and I’m a Michael Jordan fanatic. Right. So but when he has to defend Michael Jordan to his friends who think it’s LeBron, sometimes I think my son’s actually defending his dad more than Michael Jordan, you know, which he should I love that. So Michael, you know, was so committed to winning, we think someone’s in the NBA. Oh, they’re already great and awesome. But you hear those other players on the bulls talk about MJ and they’re like, Wow, he was so focused, he elevated me. He made me he made me a better artist. When Michael lost a very pivotal game against the Orlando Magic. I think it’s right when he came back. It was his first season back after baseball. After he lost that playoff game to the magic. The next day. Now they’re on a break. He calls up his trainer. He goes, I’ll see you tomorrow at 7am. The trainer couldn’t believe it. As matter of fact, Michael got the entire team into the gym the next day. Why? Because we’re not going to waste any time when you really want to accomplish something. You’re all in. And by the way, that first week in college, I remember I went to a party. And I remember everyone was drinking at this party and there was a there was a girl funneling a beer, you know, funnel with the kids, whoever listening to this daddy never did this. Just so you know, it doesn’t
Scott D Clary 19:04
happen anymore, either. Right?
Saul Blinkoff 19:06
So I go to this party, this girl is drinking like four beers in eight seconds or something. And next year is this guy with a sketchbook and he’s doing drawings of her funneling a beer. So I go over to this guy and like, dude, what class is this drawing for? Like, why are you drawing her and drinking beer? He says, I’m doing this drawing because I want to get better as an artist. And he never stopped drawing. His name was Andy. And he was so focused like what we’re talking about, like when you’re all in on something that doesn’t mean you go to art class and then you go have a college party. Then you go do your homework, and then you go have a college party means if you want to be great at drawing, you bring your sketchbook everywhere you go. And this guy his name was Andy was by far the best artist in the school as a freshman because the guy never stopped drawing and I’ll tell you, Scott, he became my best friend. And I can tell you his work ethic, the way he approached the discipline of getting better as an artist, that became my work ethic. Because who we choose to be friends with actually affects who we become. The values of a person that I surround myself will become my values. You know, as parents, we always want our kids to hang out with the right kid because we know they’re impressionable. But what about us? We’re also impressionable. You know, I host a podcast. It’s called Life of awesome. And on my podcast, I had this guy Tim’s Story of You know, I
Scott D Clary 20:32
do know, you know, Teddy Great. Yeah, he’s
Saul Blinkoff 20:34
incredible guy. He’s the life coach to like Robert Downey, Jr, Oprah Winfrey, The Life Coach of the stars. And I asked him the question I said, Tim, what do you find is that one thing that separates people successful in the film world, in the Hollywood world, successful at life not successful at winning Oscars? What makes them successful at life or not successful at life? He goes, it’s one thing did the green room, the green room? Who do they keep in their green room before they get called out to Jimmy Fallon? Or whatever show that they’re on? Who do they surround themselves with? Who’s their entourage? Who were the people that are closest to them? Those are the people that you can tell, you know, this person, they’re grounded. They’re gonna stay humble. I’m not worried about them. We have to choose who we surround ourselves with so carefully so Andy and I became best friends and sophomore year, I get my best drawings together, put them in a portfolio, send them into Disney, and I got a letter back from Disney on stationery had a gold leaf Mickey Mouse embossed on that envelope. My name was typed on the front. I remember being so excited to Disney company knew I was alive. They had my name printed on an envelope, right? I open up the letters of salt. Thanks for sending your portfolio in but you didn’t make it. Alright, I was rejected. You know, I didn’t even care because I didn’t expect to get in the first time. I just want to kind of go through that process. I took that letter. I put it up over my desk. You know, people were coming into the dorm room Blinkoff. You’re so lucky. That Disney company knows you’re alive. Right? It was amazing. Another year goes by Andy and I are drawing nonstop. And it was very, very competitive. One day we went to the Columbus Zoo, freezing cold day. Bitter cold. I don’t know where did you grow up
Scott D Clary 22:19
to Ottawa, and then Toronto. So I know, I think probably colder than know
Saul Blinkoff 22:24
what I’m talking about. Colder than Columbia a little bit sometimes. Yeah. So picture that like frigid, bitter, cold day, the kind of day where you go from like the Metro in to wherever you’re going for like even to nose hairs freeze. Oh, yeah. Like, it’s literally painful right now. So it was a Columbus, Ohio freezing day. There’s about 15 students, we go to the Columbus Zoo to draw animals. Because one of the things that Disney said that that guy on stage said was that if you want to work at Disney, you got to get the internship. And in order to get the internship, he said, You need a portfolio filled with figure drawing and anatomy drawings of people and animals from life. No cartoon characters, he said, and especially he goes, No drawings of Mickey Mouse. I remember looking back to Mickey Mouse, Jason the anatomy. You see him, boy. But like this Disney guy said you gotta get good at drawing animals. So me, Andy and a couple of 15 other students, we take a bus to the Columbus Zoo. It was a school project. And we got to go draw animals from life. Now when you guys watch a movie like The Lion King, or any movie with his animals, how do you think Disney people know how to draw those animals? You don’t just wake up one day look at a blank piece of paper go? Yeah, I think I’ll draw an elephant right now. You have to study anatomy books into animals from life. So we go to the zoo. The second we get to the zoo, it’s freezing. We go into the Wendy’s Cafe, and I get a hot drink. And Andy gets out drinking. Everyone goes in there. And the boys are flirting with the girls. The girls are talking to the boys. Then Andy and I sharpen our pencils, like, oh, let’s go out there and find some animals. We find the elephants and this one elephant is just walking back and forth. It’s the greatest thing. Just repeating the exact same motion probably
Scott D Clary 24:01
a dream for somebody trying to draw. Right, exactly. You nailed it. Yeah, it’s dream. You’re
Saul Blinkoff 24:05
seeing him repeat this motion over and over again. So you’re drawing every frame every pose. It was awesome. We stayed there for 45 minutes, Scott, drawing these animals. This elephant is walking back and forth freezing. afterwards. He goes into the bus. I’m showing Andy what I drew. He showed me when he drew and then I said to one of the other guys. I’m like, Dude, we never saw any of you with the elephants. What animals were you all drawing? The guy says to me, but none of us ever left the Wendy’s. Like why not? He goes well, we couldn’t.
Scott D Clary 24:31
It’s freezing. Yeah, that was the excuse. Yeah, he
Saul Blinkoff 24:34
said yes to cold out there. And as soon as he said it was too cold. In my head. I was like, oh yeah. I’m gonna get this one day because if that’s the competition, I will outwork anybody. And for anyone listening right now, you know, if you ever watch a Netflix documentary about anybody that inspires you, maybe it’s the last dance I just watched the last dance the Michael Jordan documentary again for the third time can’t get enough of it. and maybe obsessive but whatever documentary you watch about anyone that does something that you consider great, you know what they all have in common. They push through the pain. Not only do they push through the pain, they have expectations that whatever they’re trying to do is going to be difficult. How often do my kids say to me, Dad, I want to go try this do you think it’s gonna be? It’s gonna be easy? I think it’s gonna be hard, shall I try that it’s it can be hard, as if it’s hard. They’re not going to try it. And I say to them the same thing every time. If you want to be great at anything, it’s going to be difficult. So have the mindset before you try something that I’m going to push through this until it is difficult. You want it to be difficult, because if you can push through that, that’s when you achieve your highest level. You don’t go through the pain. You grow through the pain. And that day freezing, I was like, Yeah, I’m going to get this because I’m going to outwork all that easy to talk about your dreams and where your Mickey Mouse sweatshirts and talk about how much you want to work there. But when it gets really cold, you still going to push through it. Well, Andy and I get our drawings together. We send them into Disney. By this time, everybody in the school knew if there’s two people that are going to work at Disney, it’s all in handy. They knew it. And we send their portfolios in and I remember going home it was Christmas break junior year, I get a call from AMD and like, Hey, man, what’s up? He’s like, Blinkoff. You’re not going to believe this. Like, what am I not going to believe? You just did. I just got a call from Disney and like, yeah, and he goes, I got it. I said, You got what he goes, I got the internship. I’m like, that’s incredible. Congratulations. They but they didn’t call you up did them I know. But they can be trying to call me right now. I gotta hang out, we’d have call waiting back then. Right? It’s the olden days. Like I said, my kids used to call me that you live in the olden days. So I hang up the phone. And I walk into the dining room back and forth. My mom comes in at that moment. She’s like, Honey, what happened? I’m like, Mom, and he just got in. She just got a call from Disney. She’s pacing back and forth. She’s like, you’re gonna get a call any minute. Like what you have to say that you’re my mom, you know? Anyway, they’re not calling. I pick it up the dial the phone, like, Did you pay the phone bill, their dial tone? Like, why did they not call it? They weren’t calling. And I was freaking out. And then I came up with an idea to do something a little crazy. I picked up the phone and I dialed the head of Disney myself.
Scott D Clary 27:20
Good for you smart. I mean, it’s not out of line with everything else that you’ve done. In your career today. You got to put yourself out there first.
Saul Blinkoff 27:29
You know, that reminds you when I was like about 13 I went to see Michael Jordan play the New York Knicks. And before the game, he My older brother is standing next to the court. And Jordan standing on the court. He’s got those breakaway pants with the buttons, right and he’s just dribbling the ball practicing and he had this, this game face this focus, just dribbling the ball, chewing his gum, you know, just focus. I said to my older brother, my chair, I’m gonna walk out there and go meet Michael Jordan right now my brother is like you’re not going anywhere. Before he could finish that sentence. I walked out on the court. I’m looking up to number 23. And I said, Hi, Mr. Jordan. And he looks down at me and says quote, yo, how you doing? And quote, and then he shook my hand, this one right here still never washed? Right? 23 sweat. But the reason I walked out on that court is because when there’s something you really want in life, you will do anything to get it for everyone listening, whatever the goal is that you have whether you want to be great in your career, or you want to be better at marriage or raising kids or whatever it is you want to do. If it’s something you really want to accomplish, there’s no excuses. You will do anything to get it. So I called up Disney guy. I called up the guy who runs the Disney animation program. Hi, my name is Saul. I want to find out about the internship because saw I have your name on a list here. I’m like, really? Andy goes, yeah. You didn’t make it. Said what? It was, yeah, you didn’t make it. I’m like, Oh, what about Andy? He goes, Yeah, he made it. You didn’t. Okay. I hung up the phone. And that was a bittersweet moment for me sweet, because I was happy for my best friend. Better. Because my dream was shattered in order and he’s gone. He’s going to Disney World. You know what they call Disney World Scott, they call it the happiest place on earth. There you go. All right. They’re basically telling you if you want to be happy in life, you can be happy anywhere. You can be happy in Miami, la Hawaii. But if you want to be happy, it’s the only place you can do that is in Disney World. And Andy is going to sunny, beautiful Disney World. I’m going back to Ohio in the wintertime. What I thought was the most depressing place on earth. And when I get back to school and walking the halls of the school and people coming up to me they’re like Blinkoff. What are you doing here? Oh, you didn’t make it. I’m sorry. Where’s the end? Oh, he got in. You know, I became known as the guy that was friends with the guy that got into Disney. I became known as the guy who didn’t get what He really really wanted. And I felt like a loser and They came up with a brilliant way to take that feeling of being a loser away. And for anyone listening. there’s ever a time in your life that you really want something and you go for it and you don’t get it and you feel like a loser. You feel like you’ve let people down in your life. You do what I did. That feeling will go away in a second. You know what I did? I gave up. I gave up on the entire dream. Because reality set in reality was Andy was an awesome artist. And I was just average. You know, every single one of us has a shoulder angel and a shoulder devil, all of us do. That shoulder Angel telling us we can do great things. We can change the world. We can aspire for greatness. We can accomplish anything. Dream big. And there’s that shoulder devil that tells you who do you think you are going for that? You’re just you? That’s not for people like you. That’s for Michael Jordan. That’s for Steve Jobs. That’s not for people like you. Well, I started listening to that shoulder devil and I was like, Yeah, who did? I think I was? You asked me earlier, like, Did you believe in yourself? And yeah, I did. But at this point in my life, I didn’t, I gave up on my entire dream. He’s just gonna go be an illustrator, which is, which is a respectable position. But Disney not that wasn’t for me. So I gave up on it. I went through a week of school, trudging through school was not happy. Because when you give up on your dream, you’re actually giving up on yourself. You probably feel
Scott D Clary 31:35
lost. Yeah. Right. And you had the blessing of having this laser focused vision on what you wanted to have early on, right? There’s people that still succumb to that but are much later on in their career. And they didn’t have this since they were watching et when they were right. However many years old right, so this was like a Yeah, it’s a huge crush.
Saul Blinkoff 31:54
It was exactly yeah, I think you now I think hearing you say that I didn’t even realize it until you just said it. Right. It wasn’t just giving up on Oh, that’s that goal of where I want to go I was giving up on everywhere I’ve been Yeah, like since I was a little boy right? Like all those that dreaming through and I’ve given up on everywhere I’d been I’ve who I’d been you know. And a buddy calls me up and says saw I got tickets to go see a movie you want to go like I’m not in the mood. Because but they’re free tickets. I go okay, then I’ll go. They offer you free in college. You take it? Yeah, for sure. So I go to the movies. And I’m watching this movie and tears are streaming down my face. This movie is a true story about a guy who’s five feet tall. He doesn’t have an ounce of athletic ability. And he wants to play football at Notre Dame. What movie
Scott D Clary 32:40
is it? I don’t know what movie this is. Come on. I don’t Okay, you know
Saul Blinkoff 32:44
it most inspiring sports movie ever. The guy is five feet tall wants to be a football player at the University of Notre Dame. He tells it’s a true story about
Scott D Clary 32:54
he’s a hockey fan man.
Saul Blinkoff 32:58
Okay, it’s called. It’s called Rudy. Oh, have you seen that movie?
Scott D Clary 33:02
Have seen that movie?
Saul Blinkoff 33:03
Of course you have. Yeah. Right. It’s like number one sports movie. Right? Other than miracle Sorry. Yeah.
Scott D Clary 33:09
Okay, so beating beating the Russians was like a pretty
Saul Blinkoff 33:13
miracle. Yes. Right. Yeah. Yeah, that’s a great we love them. You
Scott D Clary 33:18
know what? You also you also saw because I’m not I’m not that old. I’m not so I was young when Rudy came out. That was not a you were
Saul Blinkoff 33:25
like 1011 Yeah. You call me all dude. My kids call me the olden days. You call me elderly.
Scott D Clary 33:34
I’m gonna get I’m gonna get roasted for that for sure. But I’ll deal with it. Whatever. I played hockey growing up. I didn’t play football. I’m Canadian. Yeah, that’s awesome.
Saul Blinkoff 33:41
Well, you got to revisit that movie. Now as you’re a man you got to see that yet because now
Scott D Clary 33:46
I know I have to now I really don’t have to vote it out and stuff. Every time I see someone just redeemed myself.
Saul Blinkoff 33:51
That’s right. But look, this guy dreamed of playing football at Notre Dame and if you were friends with the real Rudy ruettiger It’s a true story. And he told you his dream was to play football at Notre Dame. You know what you would have told him as his friend, dude, I love you get a new dream. But Rudy is like, oh, yeah, well, we’ll just see about that. And he tries to get into Notre Dame and what happens rejected tries a second time rejected third time, rejected. But fourth time. You know, if you look at the movie poster for the movie, Rudy, it says when people tell you dreams don’t come true. Tell them about Rudy gets in. And tears are streaming down my face. This is Yeah, because I’m thinking you know, what if an unathletic short kid could get into Notre Dame with an insane amount of hard work than me what I thought was an untalented artists could get into Disney with insane amount of hard work and I vowed to never give up again. As a matter of fact, Scott I called up Disney the next day the same guy on the phone. And I said to excuse me, How close was it getting in? He said saw we pick 17 from over 3800 portfolios them around the world and you made it to number 20. What I had missed it by three. Didn’t you mean times in our lives, we could be so close to achieving something but all we had to do is push a little bit more, but we feel we’re miles away. And I asked him the million dollar question, why did I not get in? You see, we will fail at life at what at just about everything, we will fail, we fail the first time we took our first steps when we were kids, we failed when we were kids, we tried to put the circle block into the square peg, we failed the very first time we held a baseball bat in our hand and tried to swing in a fastball. We fail at everything in life. But when we fail, if we find out why that is the tool to grow, that is the answer key to growing. And he said so can I be honest, I’m like, yeah, he goes, you need more perspective in your drawing? And what do you mean? Here’s instead of drawing the model in figure drawing class or an animal from wherever you’re standing where your eyes are, give us a dynamic perspective, stand on a stool or ladder or go down and look up, give us a dynamic perspective. And I heard oh my gosh, this is amazing. That’s the answer key. And when put more work into this portfolio, more into the drawings, and I went to the zoo. I stood up on this scaffolding when they were feeding the giraffe. I’ll never forget I drew a giraffe from above looking down. How cool is that? Like When have you ever seen a giraffe from above so often? So I put all these new drawings in my portfolio. I sent him into Disney. And boom, When you wish upon a star, there you go. I got in. And it was one of the most exciting moments of my life. As a matter of fact, the way that I found out I got in is I got a call from Andy. He’s like dude, I just saw they put your name on the list here. And you’re one of the next interns. It was so great that he’s the one that got to tell me I got in. And that’s when my dream really started. I showed up at the airport in Disney World happiest place on earth. There’s a guy there with a sign it has my name is a picture of Mickey Mouse pointing to my name. You know you have arrived in life when someone’s waiting at the airport with your name right? Yeah. And he drives me to this room. To the Disney Studios. It says artists entrance drives me into this place I get into this room. There’s all these animation desks. This is before computer animation all hand drawn. And in the corner is a desk, big wooden desk with my name’s Saul Blinkoff kid from New York. And for everyone listening. Don’t think you heard the story today of a really talented artists who achieved his dream. That is not what you heard. You heard the story of a guy who was the worst artist in his school who achieved his dream and outworked everybody. That’s what you heard. You see, nobody wakes up great in anything. Nobody wakes up great at anything. The story you heard was someone who was very average that worked really hard. And I’m telling you Scott and all your listeners, if I saw Blinkoff could achieve getting his dream as a Disney animator, then you could achieve so much more in anything that you want in life. And the only thing that’s getting in your way, is you.
Scott D Clary 38:15
I just want to take a second to thank the sponsor of today’s episode HubSpot. Now, they don’t call it the sales destination. It’s a sales journey. And on that journey, you want the best tools and support to keep you and your customers connected every step of the way. HubSpot is an all in one CRM platform that is impossible to outgrow and ridiculously easy to use, meaning you never have to worry about it slowing you down. That’s because HubSpot is purpose built for real salespeople with real customers and real problems to solve with customizable hubs and tools that you can add and subtract as you grow, and an interface it’s just as easy to use if you’re a team of one or 1000 HubSpot is built for you and your customers to grow together wherever the journey takes you. Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow email@example.com You had an incredible personality which guided you throughout this journey and pointed you and allowed you to take all these actions that eventually led to your success. Not a lot of people have that mindset. Where do you think that came from?
Saul Blinkoff 39:14
You know, my parents were divorced. And I have an older brother younger sister. I have middle child syndrome, right. And I you know, I didn’t have any friends growing up. You know, this is where the violence come in. I had like almost no friends growing up. I was bullied a lot called a loser called all kinds of names. I remember one day I was in high school. I was putting my books in and some kid ran by me just spit right on my face. A bully spit on my face. Like real bully. And this kid is actually shorter than me. But he had that confidence. And because I had I had a tough childhood when I had moments that weren’t when I was being bullied or weren’t being called a loser or whatever. Those moments were so sweet. You know, I have very loving parents, incredibly loving parents. And you know, they would take us places or trips or vacation or whatever. And those moments, they felt so good to me even just being in the car listening to music. You know, when I was in the car, even now, I can’t be in the car out listening to music with my wife and my kids, like, we love putting on music in a car. But when I hear music, it just lifts me up and uplifts me and gives me this taste of how glorious it is to be alive. And I think, for me, like where that belief came in myself is, I just saw Disney as the answer to my sorrow in life, you know, you’re asking me that question I’m thinking about I’m like, you know, it really felt like, I thought that if I get into Disney, I wouldn’t be good. If we’ll be good. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I remember going down to Disney World on a tour just to walk through the animation studio actually, what they used to have something at Disney MGM studios today, it’s called Disney Hollywood Studios. And you could look through the glass. It used to be a tour, you could watch animators working there working on beauty, the beast, I think it was, and I saw some animators sitting by the glass drawing bell. And instead of just going through the tour, and then going on, like space bound, or whatever the next ride was, I spent like half the day by the glass watching that guy draw. And it wasn’t just watching him draw. I saw his Walkman, his Sony Walkman. That’s the olden day. That’s the old that’s the old. He had that I saw, he had like a coffee mug. And like, wow, these are real people. He had flip flops on and I’m like, wow, I could live in a place where I could wear flip flops, have a coffee mug, and listen to music at a desk living at Disney World. It wasn’t just that I love drawing or wanting to be a Disney I wanted the whole life. I wanted to live in a place that was called the happiest place on earth. Because I thought if I could get into Disney, then it would fix everything that was broken in my entire life up until then. The truth is,
Scott D Clary 42:05
though, the chip on the shoulder. Yeah, but a little bit. But looking back
Saul Blinkoff 42:09
at that now. I would tell myself, you need to grow up. You know, life is not about escaping your problems, you never going to move somewhere, and everything is going to be perfect. Life will always be a challenge about me. When I got into Disney, I had some bosses that were tough on me. You know, I was made to feel like a loser again, in certain areas of my life. You know, you when you go to a new place, you never escape yourself. We should never allow our happiness to be dependent on outside experiences. It’s really important, right? Because there’s always going to be something that’s going to test us every day. And if I can go back to myself. When I remember actually the second time I tried to get into Disney and I was rejected. I remember calling my sister up on the phone. And I said to her one day, you know, she was calling to see how I was and I was like you know, if I get into Disney remember saying the word starve. I eat into Disney. I could sit at the same desk and draw the same drawing and Mickey Mouse all day every day and I would be happy. That was the goal. And I think for most of us in the world, if you ask people, what’s your goal in life, probably everyone will tell you what my goal is, I just want to be happy. I just want to be happy. But what we’re really saying is when this happens, I’ll get happy. When I meet the love of my life, I’ll get happy when my company makes this amount of money, I’ll be happy that I have control because I think if I make enough money, I have enough power and I have power I can do what whatever I want to do. And that will make me happy because my whole life I didn’t get to do what I wanted to do. My parents told me what to do. And then my teachers told me what to do. And then my last boss who was a jerk, they told me what to do. But now if I make a lot of money, I can do whatever I want and then I’ll be happy. But the goal of life in my humble opinion should not be going for a life of happiness. I think there’s something a lot sweeter you know, you’re old enough to have seen the movie The Lion King
Scott D Clary 44:02
I am old enough to have seen all the versions of the lion
Saul Blinkoff 44:07
so look you know Disney movies are a big part of my life and Lion King to me is still the best animated movie of all time. You know I mean BF before
Scott D Clary 44:18
frozen okay that is that that is that
Saul Blinkoff 44:21
that’s that’s that’s how you that’s how you rate right it’s all about fruit because frozen just took it to another level. Yeah, but Lion King, you know that movie. It’s all about teaching us an incredible message Simba can’t wait to be king. One day he sings a song about it just can’t wait to be king, right? He wants to be king but he thinks being a king is he can do anything. He wants to have all this power. Even when he’s this young cub. He says to Mufasa you know Mufasa like son, there’s more to being a king then getting your way all the time symbols like there’s more. Wow, what could be better? And then something happens to dad. I don’t want to spoil it for anybody listening. But if you haven’t seen the movie now it’s over 30 years. Guess why? My dad dies right? Look at the Disney movie they always kill a parent off right right. Damn Yeah, they shoot the mom right? Actually I was just thinking about it you know any Disney movies don’t have moms at all right? Aladdin has no mom. The Little Mermaid has no mom. Israel has no mom. Bambi they shot the mom, right? Yes, that’s true. Yeah. Something’s gone wrong with the moms anyway. dad dies Simba goes off to Kona Hakuna Matata world right remember Hakuna Matata? You know the song? Yeah, of course. Wonderful. He goes off to Hakuna Matata world. And what does Hakuna Matata mean you remember what it means?
Scott D Clary 45:36
It means no worries for the rest of your day.
Saul Blinkoff 45:39
Worries your other anxiety guy. Good. I got one. I got one. Hakuna Matata world. No worries. And Hakuna Matata world is lush, beautiful. There’s waterfalls, flowers, you got Pumbaa and Timon living there. It’s amazing. Right? And midway through the movie who shows up to see somebody remember who shows up who comes in finds Allah. Yeah. So now this shows right? She was a little lioness that he grew up with, but now she’s all grown up, right? Yeah, she’s got the big eyelashes now. They got their song can you feel the love and it right? They’re rolling around the sun setting they’re gonna kiss. It’s always a weird scene when their heads are going for and I was covering my kids eyes. It’s lions. I know my kids like that. We can watch the signs like No, that’s a little inappropriate. So anyway, but they have their little moment and then she’s like Simba Good to see you. But you gotta come back with me. No, no, no, look where I live. I’m living in the Garden of Eden mean he’s in a Jacuzzi sleeps on a hammock. It’s why would ever leave this? Hakuna Matata. I’m staying here she’s like, No, no, no, me, but it made myself clear. Scars taken over everything. And if you don’t come back, everyone is going to die. And you are responsible. Then you know what he says? Hakuna Matata? I’m standing right here. She goes, What do you mean? When are you going to grow up? Because what what will you be doing act like my dad. She goes at least one of us does. She even sings it. She goes, Why won’t he be the king. I know he is the king I see inside. She sees his greatness and he doesn’t even see it himself. And then you know what she does? She leaves him. She leaves him. And he’s left alone. We’re freaky cubs hits him on the head. He sees his father in the clouds. Remember who you are
Scott D Clary 47:23
and all the voices. I mean, like you’ve been there for a long, long enough to
Saul Blinkoff 47:29
remember who you are Simba goes back to feed scar and lion king becomes the biggest animated movie of all time, BF before. Not because we love movies about lions. Because that movie gives us all a taste of what true greatness is. And Simba goes back. And that movie becomes the biggest animated movie of all time. Not because we love movies about lions. But because that movie gives us a taste of what real greatness is, you know, greatness is not waking up every day and saying how can I live a life of comfort. All of us want to work hard so we can get to Hawaii and be on that beach and be in that Jacuzzi, just like symbol was in Hakuna Matata world. That’s what we think life is if I work now, I can have what life’s really about, which is what? Comfort, decadence, luxury, no work, no responsibilities. But what that movie shows us is you know what life is really about taking responsibility for the world. You see, we shouldn’t wake up every day and think that life’s about becoming happy. There’s something sweeter than happiness. And that’s living a life of meaning. And meaning only comes from one thing not waking up every day and say what can I get? But it’s how can I give How can I serve humanity. There’s a beautiful quote, my wife and I love from Winston Churchill. He said we make a living by what we get. But we make a life by what we give. And each one of us each one of us listening to this has to figure out in our own hearts. What’s my passion? What’s my ability? What makes me unique? And how can I take what makes me unique and serve humanity and give to the world because then your happiness isn’t dependent on any outside experiences. Your life is meaningful, not because of what you accomplish. But because of what you’re striving to accomplish. That every day when you put your head on the pillow. Maybe you didn’t. You weren’t successful in getting your company at the numbers you wanted. Or maybe you had an argument with your spouse or maybe you realize you could do a better job as a parent, but at least if you have the clarity that you’re trying to grow and to grow who you are as a human being trying to become a better person to take responsibility to give to other people. Then you can at least Put your head on the pillow at the end of the day know that yeah, my life matters. It’s meaningful. When did you
Scott D Clary 50:05
start to think like that because this is leadership lessons, it transcends growth, it transcends accomplishment. There’s many people that are highly successful that don’t think that way and I were aligned with everything that you’re saying, but you achieved what you wanted to achieve. And you could have just killed it at Disney and never really taken a second thought as to what you wanted to accomplish in life outside of that.
Saul Blinkoff 50:27
Yeah, you know, it’s so you asked it beautifully. I mean, I was at Disney. I got my dream. I had worked on Pocahontas, which was the first movie I worked on. And I worked on the Hunchback of Notre Dame and then Mulan for four years I worked on Milan remember that one divorce let’s get down to business right? To defeat some people are singing in their cars, the Huns? Right. Some people have never heard the song. So after Mulan before I went on the movie, Tarzan, we had a Disney what’s called downtime. Basically, they were figuring out the script on the movie Tarzan for like a year. So the animators would come into work with nothing to do and they said, You know what, we’re gonna pay you. But you don’t have to come into work at all. This is amazing. Like I said, it’s called downtime. I was telling my kids if anyone ever offers you a job, and they say we have downtime, take the job. Pay it. You’re getting paid to do nothing. And you know what downtime is in Disney World. You ride roller coasters all day. It’s Space Mountain, Splash Mountain Thunder Mountain, right became quite the mountaineer in Disneyworld, right? And downtime went to six months. They said you don’t even have to come in. So me and my buddies would go to the pools at the Disney hotels is over 15 hotels in Disney World. And they had one of those lazy rivers at the Beach Club Hotel. I love those you know, you don’t have to be alive and you can swim. Right. And that moves you moves you for years. Yeah, right. Yeah. Hold pina colada in my head. I remember my brother was in law school freezing, and he’s like salt. What are you up to these days? I’m like, Jay, you don’t want to know,
Scott D Clary 51:53
living the dream, living the dream. But actually living the dream. I really was.
Saul Blinkoff 51:57
And I had a checklist of every single thing I ever could have wanted. You know, what if you could make a list and check off every single thing you want. I had my dream job. I had this incredible girlfriend who I later married, right? My friends. I’m living in happiest place when I had everything. But something felt like it was missing. And you know, I grew up. I’m Jewish, and I grew up, you know, not so religious. You know, my parents definitely had a love of Judaism and a love of connecting to Judaism. But as an individual who is now an adult, I didn’t really understand my own Jewish identity. So I got out of the pool one day, and I found myself in Israel on a program to learn about Jewish history and my place within the Jewish people. And when I went on that trip in Israel, I started learning about tapping into what makes us unique. And really, like you asked, what changed, it was really that one word responsibility. I never, I really never, I always saw my life as like, if I get to Disney, I’ll be happy, then I can make money and I can have my name and a movie. I can buy a sports car and this is I can get more what I want, you know, is a big buzzword you hear right now and a lot of people’s podcasts, a lot of motivational speakers, they’re going to use this word, I think it’s a turn off or I don’t like it. I hope I don’t offend anybody. The word is abundance.
Scott D Clary 53:15
Abundance here all the
Saul Blinkoff 53:16
time. It is everyone talks about like, Oh, if you do this, you’ll have more abundance. You know what abundance means? It means the word more. If you listen to my seminar, you can have more of what have whatever it is you want. Is that what life is
Scott D Clary 53:29
about me? I’ve actually heard it in a different context. Me. So I’ve heard it in the context, you want to live a mindset of abundance where everything you you have is meant everything you achieve is meant to gift others. Oh, so your mindset is towards giving everything I think that’s the right mindset for it. I’ve never so I would say that, that the way you just define it as that’s a horrible right representation of
Saul Blinkoff 53:50
hearing it. But I like the way you’re saying it. Interesting, because you’re sharing, it’s a mindset
Scott D Clary 53:55
of giving as much as you can like, like, there’s so much in the world, right? That even if you make a million bucks or 10 million bucks or 100 million bucks, like give it as much as you can, they’ll always be more beautiful. That’s the way that I’ve heard it. Okay.
Saul Blinkoff 54:06
I mean, to what you just said, Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah, love it.
Scott D Clary 54:09
That’s, that’s how I’ve heard it described, you want to live a mindset of abundance. There’s so much like, for example, if you know if you’re in, I don’t know, say you’re in business with somebody, and you and you have to be ethical and you’re going to lose a deal. You lose that deal, because there’s so much more out there that you shouldn’t be worried about compromising who you are as a person. There’s more. Yeah, there’s other opportunities. Yes, but not personal abundance, just like the world is infinite. Right? So much. There’s so much of everything right? That’s a different form.
Saul Blinkoff 54:39
I love that. Well, I wish I had your definition back when I was starting because I needed that. Well that’s what Israel gave me they gave me that kind of understanding more in line with exactly what you said Scott, more about the idea of of his of the other people of how do you serve other people and by the way that changed everything in my life because now I didn’t just see myself as a filmmaker, making whatever movies it was like, Well, what The values that I’m putting in the projects that I work on. And I’ve turned down projects from studios that I don’t think are in line with the values of what I want to do like right now today, I’m a supervising producer at DreamWorks Animation. And I look back at the projects that I’ve done, and I got to direct a show called Doc McStuffins. Some of you know this show, I don’t know, that’s okay. So this was probably the number one preschool show in the world, that’s fine. But it was about eight years ago,
Scott D Clary 55:22
I am older, you are not that young.
Saul Blinkoff 55:25
But like this show, which is an incredible show created by Chris knee and incredible show creator, this show made a huge impact, because it’s a show about a little girl who’s a doctor to her toys. And because of this show, it had the goal of letting kids know that they can be comfortable when they go to the doctor’s office, and how many people have come up to me over the years and said, I’m so grateful that you made this show. Because it shows kids it’s okay to go to the doctor’s it really made an impact. And now as a filmmaker, I try to use my love of being a filmmaker to make stories and tell stories that I think are going to impact others and to make a difference. And that’s really how I look at my life. Now, you know, because someday I hope this doesn’t sound morbid, but the reality is someday, we’re all gonna die. Like we’re all going to be in the ground. That’s a fact. It’s, it’s true. You know, in Judaism, there’s an idea it says if you have to choose to go to a wedding, or a funeral, choose the funeral. And some people hearing that are like, are you crazy? Like why would you do that? Go to Eleni get to dress up, eat, pursue shallow Fe celebrate, give a cheers, drink champagne, sing, dance, beautiful eat steak. That’s what you want to do, who wants to go to a funeral. But you see, when you go to weddings, you have a glorious time. And it’s wonderful. Yeah. And you give the bride and groom all this great pleasure. Sure. But when you go to a funeral, every single one of us stands there. And for at least a moment, we have a realization that someday that’s going to be me, that I’m going to be in the ground. And when we leave a funeral, hopefully we have the mindset of thinking, You know what, I’m on limited time. What am I waiting for? What else do I want to accomplish? And that’s what I have to ask ourselves, what are we waiting for?
Scott D Clary 57:16
Different the concept of stoicism? No. What is that? That’s that’s the concept of stoicism. It’s being very cognizant of your own mortality. Yeah, I think that it goes back to Roman Roman philosophers. And I could be misquoting because I don’t have a computer to fact check. But one of the concepts of stoicism is always be cognizant that one day you’re not going to be around anymore. And always to humble yourself to that fact. So you can hop as much as you can to the point where I think there was this, this is a story that I’ve heard through a friend of a friend, so excuse me, if it’s not 100%, factually accurate, but the story is, when people when when generals would come back from war and cities were celebrating them and whatnot. They were in chariots, and they were going through the city and people there was like a big parade, right? Because they just were successful in their conquest of whatever part of the world they conquest, then they would have somebody in the chariot there would always be whispering in the generals ear, like you’re only human, you’re going to die to make sure they didn’t think they were gods. So that was something that was what awesome.
Saul Blinkoff 58:13
You know, Steve Jobs, I think said a quote about that he was at the Stanford University address he was giving. I know this, I know that I’ve seen this clip. He does. Yeah, right. Yeah. It says like one of the greatest gifts to humanity is having the awareness that one day, we’re going to die. And that that should give us the understanding the clarity that we need to not wait. You know, we don’t have the rest of our lives, we don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring. And that’s why when you go to a funeral, you leave that funeral with more clarity of what’s important in life, and what what matters in life. And that’s the kind of clarity that I try to put into everything. And I do and I know that someday my kids are going to see my name, scroll down on a gravestone, the same name that’s been in the credits of Mulan, and Tarzan and all these big Disney movies. But who cares about those? My kids are gonna want to know what you know, did my dad try to become a better person? Did he try and live the values that he talks about? Did he try to become a better human being? Because at the end of the day, I really think that’s what life’s about. How do we grow? You know, I had on my podcast, George Foreman, the boxer heavyweight champ, you probably think he’s from the grill you don’t even
Scott D Clary 59:24
know I do know he’s the Vox but I know on the grill,
Saul Blinkoff 59:29
the grill more. Yeah. You’re that gentleman? Yeah, right. So Right. He was a heavyweight champion in the world twice with a 20 year interval, by the way. I didn’t know that he was heavyweight champion the world at 20 years old. And then 20 years that goes into retirement after he got in at 40 doesn’t get me it was a laughingstock and he was even trying he does it again. He made for the Foreman Grill because first year on that grill $138 million. The guy is doing okay. He was a gold medal. Olympian. That’s incredible gold medal Olympian heavyweight boxer. Fortune 500. The grill? Yeah, he’s on a TV show. I mean, he’s done everything. And I asked him one question, George, what’s the legacy? You want to leave your kids? How do you want the world to remember you? What’s your legacy? He didn’t mention anything about money. He didn’t mention anything about grill or boxing. He says, There’s one thing I want people to remember about me. And you know what it is that I loved humanity, that I loved human beings, that when I walked down the street, I had the mindset that I wanted to smile at a person and make their day just a little bit better. You know, I said earlier about the word responsibility, I heard a beautiful thing about that word, once it says response ability is really the ability to respond. response ability is the ability to respond. And wherever in life, we have the ability to respond, we should we’re responsible, how can we make a difference in another person’s life, because when we do that, we get that real pixie dust, we get that life of meaning. And so this
Scott D Clary 1:01:10
is so to take it back to where you were in your story, when you chose to have more responsibility, you understood that you had to have responsibility, you understood how you wanted your life to sort of pan out professionally, personally, spiritually. Where did that take you? So you’re now in Disney, you’re working on all these projects? You adopt more Judaism into your life? And how does that affect your I’m assuming that’s where most of the things that you speak on now come from? Yeah, a lot of a lot of wisdom. A lot of wisdom comes from that. So how did that impact your life? And what does that look like? And how does that affect? And also potentially? Could it? Could it hurt a professional aspiration in any sense? Or talk to me about?
Saul Blinkoff 1:01:58
Yeah, great question. Yeah, well, first of all, my Jewish identity, impacts every moment of my life, it’s an awareness. And, but I’ll give you a practical way of how it really does help me be more successful at life, not at business at life. You know, in the Jewish religion, there’s a concept of the Sabbath. And we are obligated to observe the Sabbath. What does it mean, don’t work. And by the way, for all my Christian friends listening right now, they also don’t work on Sunday, they have the Sabbath also. And if you think about that, for a moment, that the Bible was written by the creator of the world, the One who created us to want to have the greatest lives imaginable. And the creator says to us, if you want to be great at life, stop working for one day. Yeah, but I got to do all these things. I got to change the world. I got to make money so I can give all this charity. I’m trying to heal people. I’m trying to cure cancer. That’s my life’s work. You know what he’s saying to us? Stop working. You need one day to stop working, not to rest. No, to clarify what your life is really about. I come home on a Wednesday night. And I’m sitting at the table with my family and my iPhone gets a ping or whatever it is. My kids know, it’s daddy’s work, I gotta go. Or if I’m in the car with my kids, and daddy gets a work call. Everyone knows Schreibtisch work Oracle. My kids know there’s nothing more important than a work call. Why? Because work calls pays for our home pays for you to eat pays for you to have clothing. But guess what? I have to get away from the table during dinner. It shows my kids you know what, you are not the most important thing in my life right now. I gotta go do this. And even though I could tell them and justify why I’m going to do this, I can make money because I do love you. It’s still it’s my time. My time will always go to work before you. And before what life is really about the Creator. The world comes and says you know what? You’re going to shut off your phone. That’s right. People listening want to know what I do? For 24 hours every week from Friday, sundown to Saturday, sundown I shut off my phone. Some of you are hearing that you’re like oh, I would never be able to do that. Yes, you can. And you don’t need to be Jewish to do it. You don’t need to be Christian. You hear Oprah talk about it all the time. We have to disconnect in order to connect connecting to what to what our real potential is. And my kids know Friday night when I come to the table. That phone is away the iPad away. And we sit as a family and have like a two or three hour dinner. It’s incredible. And just carving out time. That window of time to be with my family and to connect with my purpose. And by the way, if you’re not if you don’t have kids, and you don’t have a spouse, still he should take a day. When you shut off your phone for an entire day. You will breathe better. You will under Stan your clarity better, you will be able to take that pressure away that pressure, I know that every second I’m alive, I can be doing something to further my career. I can always do another post on Instagram, I can always email somebody, another potential client. But for 24 hours once a week, take that pressure away from you, how much can you really bear? You know, I have a brother, who he’s working so hard at this business right now. And he’s like, 24/7, he stresses and he’s working hard. He’s an incredible Dad, it runs an incredible business, but he’s got so much pressure on him. I just want to tell them shut off your phone for one day, watch the impact it will have in your life. That’s how I tried to incorporate my Jewish identity and make it a part of my life so that it’s real.
Scott D Clary 1:05:50
And how was it? Was it difficult for you at first? Because yeah, I think that now actually, we’ve we’ve gone through various levels of this. So I think that for a while it was all hustle culture with a lot of high operating individuals. And then I think it’s I think that concept maybe even five years ago, or 10 years ago for somebody that had no introduction to that concept be very difficult. But now I think that there’s there’s probably scientific benefits to to shutting off to taking breaks to decompressing to. And it’s funny how, like, all the secrets to being successful. They’ve already been there for 1000s of years. Right? And we just were not looking in the right spot. I always found that very interesting.
Saul Blinkoff 1:06:30
Yeah, we had to tap into it. By the way, let’s say you’re listening to this, you’re like, look, I mean, I’ll tell you right at the beginning, when I first heard about the Sabbath, for example, shutting off phones, like there’s no way I could do that. Yeah. And I remember for the first couple years, all I did was stop working just Friday night. And that was a big change. You know? Like, there’s certain we try when we’d go out to eat with our kids, my wife and I tried to keep our phones away from the table. Sometimes we’ll go out to eat, we don’t even bring our phones. That’s right. We don’t even bring them. And how many how many kids do you have? We got four kids, our oldest is 17. Our youngest is nine and we got a puppy snuck out. Yeah. But look, I’m a busy guy. Yeah, you know, I’m a busy guy. And I want to give my kids more time, I want to give my wife more time. So the fact that I try to carve out time, not even just one day a week, but even throughout the week, just to have what I call windows of time. Yeah, you know, you pick up your kid from carpool, right? Don’t have a mindset of you want to do a work, call in the car, try to be there with your kids listen to their day, you know, you’re sitting down to dinner with your kids, try to have a mindset that you want to connect with them or connect with your spouse or whoever. So yeah, I do try to have these a windows of time where I let my self control my time instead of my time controlling me. You know, I think
Scott D Clary 1:07:43
that that’s the first victim of success. It’s your it’s your health and your family. Yeah, usually. And it’s unfortunate. But I like having these conversations, because I don’t think that religious or not, I think that being very cognizant of, of all the different things in your life that are important, right. I mean, a lot of executives that I know are divorced, a lot of also executives that I know have heart issues or die from heart attacks at young ages. So I think that just like you’ve, you’ve done it right. workaholics. Yeah. But you like all the things you structure in your life. Like when you take when you take that day off. Like there’s there’s physical benefits to your body, there’s mental clarity benefits, your mental health well being plus your family benefits as well. So it’s just I think that it also like you because you do it every single week, it puts it top of mind every single week. So then all the other parts of your life, you start to be more aware of what’s really important, because every single week, you’re forced to be reminded about what actually matters. So now you’re saying even when it’s not, you know, not sad, but that much about like on like a Wednesday or you if you try to have dinner with your family, you’re still trying to be more present, which is a huge issue. And that’s and technology moves quick, right? That’s why it’s very difficult, right? Like, there’s 1000 Notifications we get from every single thing every single day. Right? And I don’t think we’ve been able to really process and keep up with the things that constantly, like just bombard us. Oh,
Saul Blinkoff 1:09:03
by the way, you mean, you don’t? I don’t know if you remember it, but it wasn’t like that, always. And you look, I remember when I started COVID made it worse to COVID. Me and let me go back to the 90s for a second. In the 90s. When I worked at Disney starting out as an animator I had there was no computer, no one had an email address. Okay, can you imagine? That’s all that’s all right. And you’re not really right. But you’re not really that old? It’s not that old. Mankind has been around for 1000s of years. And only in the last somewhat, what? 3020 years. Not even are people able to access each other and connect the way we are right now. That’s a crazy, it’s really a blink of an eye. It’s a very small amount of time. But I can tell you I remember when like I had a desk and I would draw I was working on Mulan and I had a phone and I would finish work. I believe I go home, hang out with my friends go to play basketball, swim, whatever. There was no work no one could contact you for work outside of work. So Sometimes you would check your messages, if you were expecting a big call, you would have to call a number just to hear a message. But other than that, that was it and you come into work the next day, there’d be a red light on your phone, like, oh, there must be something in my inbox, so to speak. And then you did your job. But today, when I leave work, I got Instagram, texts, WhatsApp, email, Facebook, I mean, this, everyone’s trying to contact me, tons of people contact me they can contact. So work is now 24/7 People are always contacting you. So like you said before, like whether you’re religious or not Jewish, Christian or not, it doesn’t matter. Trying to find a time in your lives, where you will set up a parameter that you will not work and you will not take any phone calls or texts. A lot of people meditate in the mornings when they wake up. But do like a half hour meditation session, you can find out about how to meditate, how to pray, whatever it is, whatever floats your boat, but to set up a time that at least your day starts where you’re breathing. And you’re focused. And you’re thinking about clarifying what life is about not just what meetings you want to get to, or how you want to further your business, but really, the whole balance of life and how you want to achieve more meaning in your life. And then go create, then go into your phone and then go ahead and kill it. But at least set those times where you can disconnect so that you can connect.
Scott D Clary 1:11:23
Now how do you prioritize your day your life? And the reason I asked that is because you didn’t just stay in your lane as a career professional. So now you have a podcast now you speak right? You’ve done all these other things. So where have you chosen to spend your time and why is that important to you? Yeah,
Saul Blinkoff 1:11:38
thank you. Well, look, yeah, I do have I basically have three full time jobs right now. I’m a supervising producer at DreamWorks animations. Number One. Two is I have the podcast life of awesome, which the episodes are some of them are just me sharing ideas about life and personal growth. Why the title? Why the title life advice? Well, you know, like, if somebody comes up to you, and they say how things gone? You’d say good things are good. Most people. Yeah, these are good. But if they come up to you they go how things going to be things things are great. Oh, that’s good. I’m really happy for you. But if they come up to you and say how things gonna go, me too, how things are going things are going awesome. They’d be like, why? What happened? Did you win the lottery? Did you meet the love of your life? Did you just get that job promotion? What have you said, No, it’s just, it’s just awesome to be alive. I want every day to feel awesome. I don’t want to just feel like when I’m walking into a Disney theme park. Wow, this is incredible. I want to feel that when I leave a Disney theme park. Life is incredible. Life is awesome. And so I came up with the name of it. And some of the episodes are me sharing ideas. And some of them are me interviewing great people like George Foreman. I had Alan Menken on he’s the Tim story to Tim story. Yeah, just great people. Christina coos Mitch, she’s amazing.
Scott D Clary 1:12:52
Just it’s fun. Oh, it’s
Saul Blinkoff 1:12:54
it’s fun. It’s fun. And it’s an insane amount of work. You know, it is.
Scott D Clary 1:12:58
But yeah, it’s like anything. Oh, I
Saul Blinkoff 1:13:00
love it. I love it. Yeah. And I also, you know, my wife helps me a lot with my social media. And it’s really like a family affair. Even one of my teenagers is like, Mom, no, Instagram has to be like this mom, you know. So, you know, I have the producer at DreamWorks job, I have the podcast. But the third full time job I have is as a inspirational speaker. So I do travel the world, speaking, giving keynotes talking to communities or corporations, talking about all aspects of life. So if anyone is interested in that, you can check out my website, by the way Saul Blinkoff
Scott D Clary 1:13:30
all that stuff, too. Yeah, yeah, link that that’d be great. What’s in what’s the social. So soul
Saul Blinkoff 1:13:35
Blinkoff.com is my website, then I’m also on Instagram saw that Blinkoff. But look, I have I tried to balance those three things. But let’s put those aside. I have a fourth full time job. I’m a husband and a father, you know. And I know that childhood is a blink of an eye. Because I went through it. I have just a couple more years where my kids are young enough for they’re out of the house. And I want to spend those times with my kids, I want to spend time with my wife, I want the balance. And I feel and I’m just telling you, Scott, I feel so empowered. When I make a decision in my head that I am not going to look at my phone. It’s the most empowering feeling to know that I have control over that device as opposed to that device is controlling me. Sometimes I get a team or whatever. And I don’t even look at it. Because I’m I’m not in that zone right now. Like whoever’s in there. If my wife is actually my kids are there. It’s all that matters, right? You know, I got through something happens to my parents, like they’re gonna call me like three times in a row and I’ll pick up the phone, but other than that, whoever’s texting me, they’re not going to die right now. My career is not gonna get destroyed right now. I don’t have to run to it. And I love that feeling. So look, I do try to balance my life. And look, I’ve enjoyed talking with you. I love the work that you do. Thank you, man. And yeah, it’s and I commend all your listeners for tuning in. You know, Scott’s doing great work and you should share all of his episodes. And you know, Scott You said to me before the interview, which I thought was really inspiring, your listeners didn’t hear it, but I want to, I want to convey it to them. You said, you know, I like to interview people who aren’t just successful at business, I want people who are successful at life. And the fact that you said that shows that you have the sensitivity of how to balance your life. So I wish you continued success on your podcast and all the people who are listening to continue to listen and share this with other people. And to continue to create this incredible community.
Scott D Clary 1:15:34
Thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah, you’re doing great. I really appreciate that. And I do a couple of rapid fire articles. The first thing I always like to ask, you’ve accomplished a lot in your life, you operate at a very high level. What are the things that keep you up at
Saul Blinkoff 1:15:46
night? The things that keep me up at night? Why I thought I was the only one I haven’t you know, I was up at night. You’re right.
Scott D Clary 1:15:52
Yeah, I think we all our
Saul Blinkoff 1:15:54
support group now. The things that keep me up at night is only one thing. It’s it’s when I have the awareness, that time is just slipping. And just thinking of all those things I want to specially as a dad, yeah. Nothing keeps me up at night with my career. I mean, I’m telling you, nothing. Nothing. And by the way, there’s definitely a lot I want to do in my career. I want to speak in more places. I want to make bigger movies that are going to impact me, but all those things, I have those goals and I work very hard. But the thing that keeps me up at night is like did was I present with my kids this week? Did I? Did I? Was I there for my son this week enough? Was I there for my teenage daughter enough? Was I present enough for them? That’s the biggest indicator I have that time is fleeting, because I see my kids grow. Not just physically every day, but I see them grow as human beings. And just like, wow, they don’t need me as much anymore. Maybe that’s my own ego, you know? But yeah, that’s what keeps me up at night. Just just feeling like time is slipping. Steve Miller band had a song way before your time. Time keeps on slipping. So I know the song number into the future. That sounds like plays in my head when I when I get to
Scott D Clary 1:17:09
be optimized for the right stuff. You optimize for the right tray.
Saul Blinkoff 1:17:13
I try. So you wanted rapid fire that wasn’t wrapped? No. I
Scott D Clary 1:17:16
say rapid fire just because there’s like, you don’t actually have to do. I’m not I’m not stressed out. All right, biggest challenge that of all the challenges. You mentioned a few. So biggest challenge. What was it? And how did you overcome it?
Saul Blinkoff 1:17:30
Biggest challenge. Many years ago, about 15 years ago, my wife and I had moved to Toronto. I know it you know, I know it. Yeah. And I had left Disney was offered this big movie directing deal for a company called IDT entertainment. I don’t know that. Yeah, they only made one or two movies. And they shut down that division, their technology company, but they got me they gave me this huge offer to direct a movie in Toronto. My wife was pregnant with our second kid, I moved to Toronto, and my whole family. We rent this huge house, I spent 1000s of dollars to redo this house because we’re going to be there for like two, three years, I get this painter I’m getting new knobs I’m glazing the bathtub like all this stuff. And our stuff from LA hasn’t even come yet. And I go into work one day, and me and my directing partner find out that we’re fired.
Scott D Clary 1:18:27
But what happened fired,
Saul Blinkoff 1:18:28
they just didn’t like the vision we had for this movie. Like we had a vision for the story we wanted to tell. It was a movie called sheepish about these sheep that are being terrorized by these wolves. And we had this really creative vision on it. And the executives were not there to support us and they let us go. And I had to walk into this cafe. It was a rainy day in Toronto, my wife was sitting there smiling with our little one into my breakfast, like I said, was pregnant nine months pregnant. And I did tell her I lost my job. And it was one of the toughest days of my life. And I felt like I let her down. And she just took my hand and she was choked up and hug me and reassured me. And what is the greatest life partner that I could ever ask for? It was a great challenge from that day. I we lived in Toronto for the next couple of months because we couldn’t fly back and she was so far along in her pregnancy and after with a newborn you couldn’t fly back. So we were stuck in Toronto for six months. I turned that into just an incredible opportunity to be with my wife as we were giving birth to our next child and to write a project. So I wrote a project during that time and I pitched it to DreamWorks later sold it to DreamWorks that I’m still developing right now. But yeah, that was one of the greatest challenges and how did I get through it? Because I married the greatest woman in the world.
Scott D Clary 1:19:50
It’s there’s there’s wisdom there to the lesson there. Yeah, I
Saul Blinkoff 1:19:54
mean, the lesson really is you know, don’t just commit to someone because they’re successful right now. Because you don’t know what life’s gonna give you life has ups and downs, you know, but if you’re looking for a partner in life, then you’re going to need that partner to help you through those dark times through the rain, so to speak. Make sure if you have a relationship that your values are aligned, and that the relationship is not dependent memory I said before, don’t let happiness be dependent on outside experiences. Don’t let relationships be dependent on financial success or not. You’re either looking into the eyes of this person and knowing this is my life’s partner that I can build a life with, or you don’t. It’s not dependent on your bank account. Yeah,
Scott D Clary 1:20:37
yeah. Get the choose one person in your life who’s had a major impact. Who was that person? What did they teach you?
Saul Blinkoff 1:20:42
So when I started at Disney, the greatest Disney animator that ever lived is a guy named Glen Keane. He single handedly designed and animated Ariel The Little Mermaid. Yeah, Aladdin. The Beast beating the beast, Tarzan. Pocahontas. You’ve
Scott D Clary 1:20:56
heard of his like, he’s, he’s he’s there. Right? Yeah, he’s the goat. The LeBron
Saul Blinkoff 1:21:01
is the Michael Jordan right. of animators. And my, when I was in college, I wanted to find out what kind of pencil he was. I heard to use a special pencil. I thought if I get the pencil that Glen Keane has, I can draw a blank here. So I track down the name of the pencil. This is before the internet, so it wasn’t so simple. And I find out that the company that makes that pencil, they’re out of business, they’re not making the pencil anymore, and they sold their last 10 boxes to Glen Keane himself, so I can’t get one. Three years later, I’m working on the movie Pocahontas. I get called into the office of Glen Keane himself. Amazing. He picks out a piece of paper starts drawing Pocahontas and teaching me and as he teach me I’m distracted. Why? Because I’m staring at the pencil. And to me, it wasn’t just a pencil. It was like the paintbrush of Michelangelo. Right? Because when someone does something incredible than the tools that they use to accomplish it, take on a whole new level of majesty themselves. You know, Michael Jordan Shaq all these guys that give their sneakers away to a kid after a game. The kids not just like, Wow, I love sneakers like No, no, these aren’t just the these are the ones that might go use the fly. It’s amazing. So I had watching Glen Keane drop Pocahontas. He can tell him distract. And he’s like, What am I is that the pencil? He’s like, Yeah, that’s the pencil. Like I hold that. He’s like, Yeah, like, wow, it’s got teeth marks in it. It’s like half us. He looks at me. And he says, Saul, it’s not the pencil that makes the animator. And he pointed to two words on his desk. That’s what makes the animator and those two words are two words that you can apply to every aspect of life. The words are, be sincere. You know what it means? It means if you don’t feel it, they won’t feel it. If it’s not real for you, it’s not going to be real for them. And this applies for everything in life. You work for a company, you have a product, you know, the first thing you need to do to sell that product is you need to love it. You need to love that product. If you don’t love it, how are they going to love it? Look, I’m an inspirational speaker, I travel the world speaking. I speak about things that are real to me. I speak about real challenges that I go through. They say that words that leave the heart, penetrate the heart. You want to make an impact on somebody, you have to be real. That’s what I learned from Glen Keane, be sincere.
Scott D Clary 1:23:24
It’s a good lesson. Yeah, it’s a very applicable lesson. Thank you. Book, a podcast and audible doesn’t matter what one source material that had an incredible impact on your life. But was it?
Saul Blinkoff 1:23:36
Yeah, there’s a amazing poem from Robert Frost. And it’s called stopping the woods, stopping in the Woods on a Snowy Evening. And in this poem, which is my favorite, my kids will have it memorized. He talks about how he’s on this journey. And he’s stopping in the snow, to look through this farmhouse. And he’s seeing how beautiful it is. He’s listening to the sounds of the snow falling. And the world is just filling up with snow around him. And he’s stopping on his journey, just to see how beautiful the world is. But at the end of the poem, he says, But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep. He’s saying yeah, as we go through life, sometimes we have to stop the stop and see how beautiful is to be alive. But don’t forget what life is really about. It’s not so that we live in comfort. It’s not that that we sit in a Jacuzzi in Hakuna Matata world or Hawaii. We have promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep. We gotta get back to life. We want to build our relationships. We got to keep going. We got to keep working at it. We want to build ourselves as human beings. We got to keep going. Then the most impactful poem of my life. Yeah.
Scott D Clary 1:24:58
If you had to tell your story One year old self one thing what would it be?
Saul Blinkoff 1:25:02
Invest in Pixar.
Scott D Clary 1:25:04
That’s not a good advice just invest in
Saul Blinkoff 1:25:07
Pixar. Dude, I remember the day that someone said you want to invest in a two story story just come out with right almost gonna come out. I’m like, I’m okay. Idiot. Damn. Yeah, that’s what I would have told myself.
Scott D Clary 1:25:18
I was expecting. I was expecting the most like, like wisdom filled like, yeah, like like, oh, no, he’s been doing that for the first like the first hour in
Saul Blinkoff 1:25:30
Pixar. And by the way, maybe right now people are like invest in Apple like even now maybe I didn’t miss the boat invest in.
Scott D Clary 1:25:37
You ever missed the boat? Yeah, it’s gotta keep your eyes open. Right? Yeah. Last question. What does success mean to you?
Saul Blinkoff 1:25:47
Success means to me only one thing. I don’t have to think about it. It’s something I think about every moment of the day. And I have true clarity on this. This isn’t. This isn’t something that I’m I’m questioning in my head. Maybe it’s that now I have complete clarity to success is only one thing. It’s Am I becoming a better person. That’s it. It doesn’t matter what how many zeros are on your bank account. If you don’t have sensitivity to a person that you walk by on the street, someone serves you food in a restaurant, and you don’t take a moment to empathize for the amount of tables that he or she has. And you’re just focused on filling your face with food, then you’re not alive. You see, we don’t live to eat, we eat to live. The clarity that I have for my life is that I try to work on myself to become a better human being. That’s it. And each one of us should make a list of our negative character attributes. So we all have them. Nobody’s perfect. That’s what it means to be alive. And you know, life is about only one thing. Try to take that list and make it smaller. Try to grow as a human being. If you’re a giver, be a bigger giver. If you’re a humble person become more humble. If you have a touch of arrogance, make that attribute less. Just try to work on ourselves as human being. That’s what life is about period that success in anything less. It doesn’t matter.