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Paul Kyriazi
writer/director audio/film
San Francisco, California
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Why Your New Business Will be Attacked

Do you feel like a victim when anything you create is attacked? I did until I learned this.
Written Feb 17, 2011, read 1034 times since then.
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Anytime you plant, build, or create something, like a garden, it will be attacked from without (birds) or within (insects). This is not bad. This is the law of nature. And of human nature.

Understanding this should not make you negative or distrustful of people. It's just a natural law. Give a party and there will be party crashers. It's inevitable. And the larger the energy you create the larger the attack.

Just ask any lottery winner. They'll tell you how their winnings we're attacked. Just like Norman Mailer wrote in 'Tough Guys Don't Dance', "Why does everyone think my money is there to make rage on, as if it weren't part of me, like a precious organ?"

This makes one wonder if the old adage, "Blood is thicker than water," was thought up by undeserving relatives. The attacks from outside your garden, like birds and weather, are understandable. But the attacks that come from within, the people that you pay to take care of your garden, always come as surprises.

I've produced movies, that sometimes took two years just to find the financing. Then I hire extras, pay them well, treat them well, and at the end of the day, steal props and anything they can get their hands on. At first I felt the victim. Now I understand that all gardens are attacked. And now I have the prop van locked up with a guard on it.

Another example of this is when I was on location directing a large scene for a martial arts movie. Being it was a run and fight action scene, resolving all the lead characters, it would take many days and many locations to finish while still doing other scenes as well.

In the middle of the day, a young Kung Fu teacher came to me with the five students he brought. He asked to talk to me, so I said okay. Then he comes out with, "We want to kill Eric Lee." "What?" I said. "Yes, our kung fu technique is better than his, so we should kill him in the movie."

I explained that even though their technique is better, that in the script Eric wins. But the teacher threatened to take his men out of the shoot if they weren't allowed to kill Eric on camera. Even though his request sounded ridiculous, I said politely that it couldn't be done. So he took his students and one girl, who was playing a swords woman and left.

His students were sad because they were having so much fun and getting paid. I suspect one of his reasons was that the girls playing the swords women were getting more than the extras, as per my deal with the model agency. I not only paid the models extra, but any girl that was in that group, so the Kung Fu girl was making more than her teacher. That never came up, but maybe that was the problem.

However, I should have saw it coming and never hired him or his group. During casting, that Kung Fu teacher asked to speak to me alone. That was one red flag. Then he said, "We want to show our art in this movie." That was another one. I said, "Well, it's a wide screen panavision film so you'll be seen clearly." He said, "Good", and left. I should have never hired him at that point. Lesson learned.

Why did they steal from my garden? Why did they step on my flowers? The answer is simple. It's the law of nature. So protect the garden that you are now planning, especially once it starts growing prosperous. 

Learn more about the author, Paul Kyriazi.

Comment on this article

  • Certified Public Accountant 
Seattle, Washington 
Laura Dodson, CPA
    Posted by Laura Dodson, CPA, Seattle, Washington | Mar 03, 2011

    This is a must read article for people hiring their first employees and in the first year business. These people are often surprised to learn that once they become 'the man', that employees will try to take advantage of them, misuse resources, and constantly renegotiate pay.

  • writer/director audio/film 
San Francisco, California 
Paul Kyriazi
    Posted by Paul Kyriazi, San Francisco, California | Mar 04, 2011

    A good point Laura. Yes, I was 'the man', but only thought of myself as making my dream movie. And the other actors loved getting to be in the movie, but a few extras had a 'hidden agendy'. Go in and steal.

    I should have mentioned that the porps that were stollen we Chinese 'double daggers' that one of the lead actors was using and they had to be re-orderd from Hong Kong before a particular scene could be filmed.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Holistic Business Coach 
Portland, Oregon 
Taylor Ellwood
    Posted by Taylor Ellwood, Portland, Oregon | Mar 04, 2011

    Good article. I see this sometimes with potential clients, where they will try to get as much from you as they can and give back as little as possible. It's sad when it occurs.

  • writer/director audio/film 
San Francisco, California 
Paul Kyriazi
    Posted by Paul Kyriazi, San Francisco, California | Mar 04, 2011

    Yes, Taylor. Must profesionals are in a 'win win' mode, and these days, 'give more than you get' mode. But you used the right word 'SAD' with the 1 % (or less, that God) that come in with 'malice aforethought'. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • CA certified Massage Therapist 
San Clemente, California 
Erik Jacobson
    Posted by Erik Jacobson, San Clemente, California | Mar 04, 2011

    very good article as a business owner myself I have seen this happen. But it goes both ways. the reason I started my own business is because employers will pay you as little as possible and work you as much as they can.

    It is just like life everything needs to be balanced and you can usually tell when someone is trying to get the best of you. Keep the balance and just remember to breath

  • writer/director audio/film 
San Francisco, California 
Paul Kyriazi
    Posted by Paul Kyriazi, San Francisco, California | Mar 04, 2011

    A good point Erik, employers are probalbly hard on the workers than the other way around. Balance is important. Also when you put on an event or party, there will sometimes come crashers, so it's not just about work. My main point is to not feel like a vicim when it happens. I did, untill I understood this natural law. Any creation a person makes is open to attack. Thank for leaving a comment.

  • Consultant 
Seattle, Washington 
Wendy Gillihan, MAcc, PHR
    Posted by Wendy Gillihan, MAcc, PHR, Seattle, Washington | Mar 04, 2011

    I work with a number of creative professionals and see this type thing happen to them all the time. Overtime they all seem to build a network of people that they prefer to work with and that eliminates a majority of these types of issues. I am trying to use the same technique in my business. My big challenge hasn't been clients or employees - it has been other professionals within my industry. Unfortunately it made to me re-considering my career choice and I had some tearful "why are they being mean to me " moments. Not helpful. I am working on ways to protect myself going forward but as you said - being "attacked" is just part of being in business. Learning to deal with it is part of professional growth. Painful...but useful is handled correctly.

  • QuickBooks And Xero Outsourced Contractors Bookkeeping Services 
Lynnwood, Washington 
Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA
    Posted by Randal DeHart, PMP, QPA, Lynnwood, Washington | Mar 05, 2011

    Paul,

    I have owned serveral business with many employees and your observations are good for all new business owners.

    Warm Regards,

    Randal

  • writer/director audio/film 
San Francisco, California 
Paul Kyriazi
    Posted by Paul Kyriazi, San Francisco, California | Mar 05, 2011

    Yes Wendy, you hit the main point of my message. Don't feel like a victim. I did. Thinking 'Why did they do that to me, when I paid them well and treated them nice. But then I heard that 'every garden is attacted'.

    The guys that stole the valuable prop were some martial artist that I didn't know personally. They asked me if they could drive there camper past the parking lot and onto the field where we were filming. They would go in and out of it. Little did I know they would use that for thier private base to steal things. They didin't come back for the next days filming either.

    Thanks for leaving a long comment Wendy.

    And Randal, we're connected and I sent you an email.

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