Tyler Perry is known for making the world stop and pay attention to what is right in front of them. His Christian message sprinkled with drama, passion and conflicts never disappoints. With the release of his new movie “Temptation,” opening March 28, he is sure to step on a few toes, invoke a few tears and more importantly- inspire people to communicate.
“No matter what type of relationship you are in be it friendship, spiritual or romantic, you have to talk things out” mentioned Mr. Perry during our recent get together. I was able to discuss the importance of developing a plan of action that aligns with ones supreme passion as a recipe for success. Mr. Perry is never shy about giving credit to the root of his belief system as the real conductor of his faith and felt that he could offer a few tips for fellow entrepreneurs.
Jessica LaShawn: What is the importance of entrepreneurship?
Tyler Perry: Whats is clear about it is that with this wave of what is happening within the country, you want to own your own future. What happened with the economy a few years ago- the ones that really survived and made it were the ones that owned their own businesses. It is best to be your own boss and to own your own life.
Jessica LaShawn: Most people rely on credit, as an entrepreneur what are your thoughts on that? (Mr. Perry recently did a tour sponsored by American Express to sit down with top entrepreneurs around the country for a one on one on how to enrich communities and support small businesses. )
Tyler Perry: Well, I think too much of anything is not necessarily a good thing. The thing I love about American Express is that at the end of the month the whole bill is due. That helps you to manage your debt and your wealth situation. As far as dealing with credit, you have to be very responsible. That is why I am such a fan of American Express, it is not only a great card company but having it teaches you how to be responsible. You know you have to pay it right back so you wont spend as much.
Jessica LaShawn: How can you advise people to promote their businesses without giving away the key components that allow them to stand out amongst competitors?
Tyler Perry: What gives you power is the fact that THIS is the best time for an entrepreneur because you can utilize social media. Ten or 20 years ago social media wasn’t around. So, I think this is perfect timing for anybody who is trying to start a business to get things going. What is important to do this is to gather enough people on Twitter, Facebook and online in order to have power so that when you have a product that you want people to buy or whatever, you will have some support.
Jessica LaShawn: Whats the one thing you want people to walk away with after seeing your movies or hearing you speak about how you made it?
Tyler Perry: Hope. To see the look of hope upon peoples faces is a gift.
Jessica LaShawn: Is there a difference between the young entrepreneurs and the older ones you come into contact with?
Tyler Perry: There is the same amount of hope within the kid I met who is 22 years old and started his own company delivering healthy foods to people within the community as the 78 year old CPA who owns her own firm. They all have the same thing and it is hope, it shows within their eyes and says I can make my dream bigger, I can make my business bigger just by a conversation had in a room.
Jessica LaShawn: Early on within your career you had a few financial obstacles, can you pinpoint an example and offer advise?
Tyler Perry: There have been tons of examples, not necessarily financial obstacles but what they were was a lack of understanding. Not knowing or finding out things the hard way. For instance early on I didn’t fully understand taxes, not knowing what a true write off is and the ones you take before you have a business. I have taken the time to learn about tax laws and had my accountants walk me through things by showing me what is a fair deduction and what is not. That was one of the biggest challenges within my life.
Overall, Mr. Perry encourages his fellow business owners to do the research necessary to establish their business. Know what you can and can not do within your industry and network in order to successfully promote yourself. Stay close to your passion so that every day that you put into your business will feel more like destiny and not like work.