Picture credit: Anthony Robert La Penna, Chicago Tribune
In 1989 a 22 year-old entrepreneur named Phil Vischer launched his dream of creating animated Bible-based kid’s programs, starring a cast of talking vegetables. The result was VeggieTales. Starting on a computer in his spare room, Vischer’s company grew beyond expectation. VeggieTales DVDs flooded the globe, and Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber even got airtime on The Simpsons. Then, thirteen years later, it all came crashing down in bankruptcy.
The result is a humble and wise Phil Vischer who has a wealth of lessons to teach us. Dreams are good, but they can also be dangerous. Here’s a crash course in recognising if you’re pursuing the right one.
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In the Interview
In this insightful (and fun!) conversation Phil and I explore:
- How a young Phil Vischer discovered he had a ‘weird’ brain
- How his parents’ divorce shaped his outlook and creativity
- His original idea for VeggieTales (this is hilarious)
- VeggieTales growth from nothing to The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live
- The reasons why his company collapsed
- His feelings on losing everything he worked for
- An important discovery about who we are (and aren’t)
- Why he believes God wants us to ‘let go of our dreams’
‘I thought, “OK, I need naked, bald, limbless characters and I want to sell these videos to Christians?”‘ Tweet this
‘Success has a way of increasing our ambition. I started thinking I was supposed to be the next Walt Disney’ Tweet this
‘All the characters, songs & stories I’d created got packed into a box and sold at auction to the highest bidder. I lost it all’ Tweet this
‘My first thought was, “God, don’t you love me? Don’t you see how much good I’m doing?”‘ Tweet this
‘After it all fell apart and I found myself alone and working out of an office near my house, God started to unwrap everything’ Tweet this
‘I’d made the work I was doing for God more important than my relationship with him’ Tweet this
‘I’ve come to know a God who wants me to let go of my dreams’ Tweet this
“Hey boss, what are we doing with all these bunnies?” Tweet this
- Resurrection Year releases in just 3 weeks! (But you can pre-ordered it now)
- Please give the Resurrection Year Launch Team some social media love.
- Put Tuesday May 28 9.00pm GMT in your diary. We’re planning something fun and different for Resurrection Year’s launch and you’ll be invited!
You may find the following links and resources helpful:
- Podcast: Last week’s Resurrection Year readings got some tears flowing
- Book: Me, Myself and Bob by Phil Vischer
- Book: Open House Volume 2 includes Phil’s story
- Link: Phil Vischer on Twitter
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