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Of Character and the Culture

Of all of the entertainers across modern day pop culture, the most influential to me is the greatest martial artist of all time: Bruce Lee.

Here was an immigrant boy, poor, discriminated against in a foreign country, not the most fluent English speaker and yet using the sheer willpower of his mind, he especially dominated the 60s and 70s as an actor, director, martial artist, martial arts instructor, and philosopher.

His philosophy of Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid martial arts philosophy drawing from different combat disciplines is credited for giving birth to what we presently know as MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). In fact if one looks intently across modern pop culture in the Western and Eastern World, globally too - it will be found that Lee has influenced music, dance, philosophy, music, fashion even - by simply being his truest authentic self and embracing his purpose.

In 1969, Lee penned the following affirmation to himself entitled:


The letter read,

I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States.

In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor.

Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000.

I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness. Bruce Lee Jan. 1969

Guys, this was 1969.

$10,000,000 IN 1969.

Four years after writing that affirmation to himself Bruce Lee died at the young age of 32. By then he had not only achieved ALL his written down goals, he had far surpassed them. He had cemented his place firmly in the history of martial arts and modern pop culture. An outsider had become a global icon.


Character defined influences culture.

True character is developed through a never ending, consistent process of self awareness.

How do we relate this to personal business ?

Well, I have a surprise for you: when it comes to developing your product for your intended customers, they (the customers) do not just buy your products. They buy YOU.

People buy people. Customers buy into the CULTURE around a brand, product or service and that culture in turn is something that is largely developed by the character of the business owner, FIRST.

If you want to attract a certain type of clientele, first work on your intended character, values and habits because that in turn will inform the cultural environment towards which a specific caliber of customers will gravitate.

And yes, in the process you will ACHIEVE your personal goals and far surpass them.

“Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.” - Bruce Lee


5 STEPS towards building recognizable self character

1. Stay Humble

  • Empathize with your clients

  • Avoid confrontations

  • Seek feedback to improve

2. Make a list of principles you believe in and make those part of your values

3. Be Patient in the process, Intentional and Self Disciplined

4. The moment you take on a project take full responsibility and accountability for it

5. Be Accountable

  • Accept your mistakes

  • Apologize and make right

  • Learn from errors

  • Improve yourself, daily. Adopt a high income skill, and focus your energy 100% on learning it for the long term.

This article is an excerpt from page 28 of my FREE E-Book : The Start-Up Survival Kit

Need more information on how character can influence culture? Download the book FOR FREE by clicking on the below image.



1 Comment

Daphine Okonji
Daphine Okonji
Jun 17, 2020

This story of Bruce Lee is incredible. It gives me goosebumps just seeing how much he achieved within 4 years! Am tremendously encouraged to go beyond myself every day and not to let human limitations dictate how far I can go. Thanks Jan for sharing this!

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