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Be Successful Without Losing Your Faith

SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES AND SECULAR AMBITIONS
DeVon says after the success of the blockbuster movie, Heaven is For Real, he felt the Lord tell him it was time to quit his job as a studio executive at Sony Pictures.  “I came to Hollywood because I wanted to be a producer and make entertainment filled with faith and hope,” he says. “I realized God had been using my time as an executive to prepare me to run my own company one day. Apparently, that day had come sooner than I thought!”             He says though he was raised in church, the church never addressed questions about having faith and being successful.  At the age of 10, DeVon accepted the Lord as his personal savior.  As a teen, DeVon believed what he was taught, but when he expressed a desire to live out his calling by working in Hollywood, he was met with admonition.  He was perplexed.  “How could God’s power stop at the gates of Hollywood?” he asked himself.  Over the years, DeVon says that Hollywood has revealed a more dynamic picture of God than he ever saw within the confines of the church walls.  “The church didn’t teach me how to be successful,” he says.  “Hollywood did.”  In the 20 years, he has been in the entertainment industry, DeVon says he’s learned important lessons about God’s intention for our success. “These lessons have enabled me to build an amazing life and thriving career that glorifies God, whether I’m working on a movie set, meeting with celebrities, collaborating with directors, or negotiating with agents,” he says.

“Prayer is important.  It’s the cornerstone of our relationship with God,” says DeVon.  However, he learned that in getting what we want, we should always begin with prayer.  “If you actually want to see results, you can’t stop at prayer,” he says. “Anything you are praying for, you must also prepare for,” he says.  God told DeVon he would be a producer when he was a child.  “That purpose took years to manifest,” says DeVon. “And it didn’t manifest just because I prayed.”  He moved to LA, went to college and maintained an internship, sometimes working 2 jobs at the same time!  It took 18 years from the time he moved to LA to the day he closed his first producing deal.  “Every day, I prayed for it to happen and then prepared myself for when it did happen by pushing myself to learn everything there was to learn about what He was calling me to do,” says DeVon.

WINNING!
Before you can lead, you must serve.  Having a great purpose doesn’t mean you’re ready to fulfill it.  There is much to learn.  When DeVon was looking for an internship, he had a meeting with the general manager of one of the hottest production companies in the business.  He told her he wouldn’t take the job if it required him working on the Sabbath.  She looked at him and said, “No worries. We can work around that.”  That internship was the key that unlocked the door to his entire career!  DeVon learned that one of the bedrocks of faith is service.  “Serving someone first is an obstacle that many folks can’t get around,” he says.  The key to remember about service is that we all serve someone.  “Even as you are serving, you’re being served in return,” he says.

DeVon reminds us that the world is smaller than we think.  There is a concept of 6 degrees of separation or the small world phenomenon.  “There are zero degrees separating you and your destiny when you allow God to guide you,” says DeVon.  While working for Sony, DeVon says he made a mistake.  A senior agent called him and left a message.  For whatever reason, DeVon didn’t call her back.  When he finally did, she quickly pointed out the error of his ways.  He went into damage control and apologized, then sent her a gift along with an advance copy of his book.  Months later, he got an email from the same agent who loved the book and sent it to Oprah who called him to tape an episode on her Super Soul Sunday! “A life-changing opportunity could be around the corner at any time without you even realizing it,” he says.  “In fact, that’s usually how it happens.”

THE STAR
The Star is DeVon’s latest project. The full-length animated film is the story of the first Christmas from the animals’ perspective.  It opens in theaters on November 17.  It’s the first faith-based animated film to be released by a major studio since The Prince of Egypt.  Gina Rodriguez, Kelly Clarkson, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey and even Mariah Carey lend their voices to this classic tale. 

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Guest Info

Credits

NYT Best-selling author, latest The Hollywood Commandments

CEO, Franklin Entertainment

Award-winning producer, Miracles from Heaven, The Star

Former Exec., Sony pictures (The Karate Kid, The Pursuit of Happyness)

Former Exec., MGM

Graduate, University of So. Cal., Board member

Spiritual Success Coach

Married: Meagan Good

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