Supermensch – The Legend of Shep Gordon.
Mensch: \'men(t)sh\ A person of integrity and honor
This past weekend I decided to watch a Netflix documentary that I had been saving in my movie list for weeks. I have a great fondness for Netflix, mainly because of its exceptional documentary selection, and I have learned that anything that has at least four-stars is worth consideration. This film piqued my interest for many reasons – it had unusual cover artwork, was directed by Mike Myers, included famous celebrities, and was about a person that was unfamiliar to me.
Make the most of your opportunities and leave the excuses at home.
Very early on in the movie, I gathered that Shep Gordon had become famous for helping others become famous. His career as a talent manager began with a chance encounter he had with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix at a cheap Los Angeles motel. This opportunity put him on a path to manage talent that would eventually include some of the biggest celebrities in the world.
He had just finished college and wasn't exactly sure what career path he would take, but on the advice of Hendrix, he contacted the soon-to-be-legendary musician, Alice Cooper, who needed a manager. Instead of doubting himself, or finding excuses to hide behind, he quickly met with Cooper and began a lifelong friendship/partnership that helped Cooper become an international star, almost overnight. This amazing story seemed to happen over and over again, with almost every person Gordon encountered.
"Friendships" instead of "clients."
Shep Gordon had a great desire to help people, not necessarily for money or fame, but because he is one of those special human beings that understands what life is all about serving others. Throughout the film, a litany of famous clients described Gordon as being one of their closest friends, someone they could count on for anything. He never did anything solely for money, yet became very wealthy during his career, for always doing the right thing and putting people first. In fact, he used much of his money to help friends in need and never seemed to take credit for all the success he helped others achieve. He spoke of "good chi" and "karma" and it seemed to pay off for him in every way possible.
After the documentary was over, I was truly inspired by his life. The friendships he made throughout his career meant much more than any of the business success he achieved. So maybe business, in general, should be looked at differently? Maybe we should shift the focus away from ourselves and start thinking more about our business relationships and how to help our "friends" achieve greater success.
Tom Lewis, Partner | Creative Director
With over 25 years of professional advertising and design experience, Tom has spent much of his career working with a variety of companies throughout the southeast. His client list includes Lenoir UNC Health Care, Maola Milk, Hutchens Law Firm, Wayne Community College, Craven County Tourism, Nash County Tourism Guardian Repellent, Equifax, Georgia Pacific, Primerica, Weyerhaeuser, The Atlanta Hawks, Randstad Staffing and The Shizzle Jerk Marinade.