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Who Is Michael Willett? Just Another Country Boy...I Think Not

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Michael Willett and Daughter Owner of Atlanta Special FX
Does CO2 cryo jet, cryo gun, confetti cannons, fake snow, fake fire, fake rain, cloudvertise, or cryogenic fog special effects perfectionist mean anything to you? Probably not, but to small town Arkansas country boy Michael Willett, Owner of Atlanta Special FX and Atlas Special FX, it means alot.
This interview has been over 9 years in the making, but I was finally able to catch up and interview Michael Willett.  I hope you are ready for a ride, because this blog post will most certainly open your eyes.  You will experience a first person point of view on how life is when you come from below the poverty line in rural Arkansas, to navigating the ship of a garage based startup turned multi-million dollar operation that services over 90 countries.
I asked the question, "Who is Michael Willett?" and he simply looked at me.  He sat there staring at me and said "What a question, and I don't even know where to start." Willett followed up with "Do you want me to start from the beginning or do you want me to start from the present?" to which I responded, lets just start from beginning.  He laughed and exclaimed "I don't think you have that kind of time, nor do I think the person reading this will care!" I simply said...."Then lets just try."
I asked Willett questions about success, and how he decided to pursue a career in special effects.  I asked how do you go from a graduating class of 52 kids in rural Arkansas to running a multinational special effects manufacturing, and distribution company.  I asked so many questions along the lines of how would you instruct the next person on what it takes to be successful.  Here is a list of the questions I asked:
  • Where do you come from?
  • Who inspired you when you were young?
  • What advice would you give to someone who is pursuing their own dreams?
  • What were some of the trials you faced when starting out?
  • Where do you see yourself going from here?
  • What's your greatest accomplishment?
  • What's your greatest blunder?
  • Would you change anything if you had to do it over again?
  • What inspires you now?
  • What are some of the trials you face now?
  • What would you want to be remembered by most?
  • How has your background influenced your motivation?
  • What are your focuses in life?
  • What do you feel is the best approach when starting a business?
  • What lessons have you learned in your time running your business?
  • What are your top three books?
  • What are your top three movies?
  • How do you find a good balance in life between work, family, leisure, etc?
  • What's your ultimate goal for your business?
  • What's your advice for leaving the world a better place than when you found it?

As you can imagine, anyone who is asked these questions could give you a million different answers, and these answers could be all over the place...right?  Not Willett. At the end of the day there is one resonating core value that crossed over through each of his answers.  In my lifetime I have not personally every met anyone who has had to overcome so much adversity, and disadvantage, and then push through to success. The story I'm about to tell you, and the video to follow, will make you a true believer in the law of attraction.  It will make you rethink everything you are doing at the moment and just know how lucky you are.  It will make you realize that you are taking your life, and upbringing, for granted.  You will step back and ask yourself "What the heck am I doing?" Even I was going back and forth asking myself these kind of questions.  I found myself looking around and becoming aware of all the excuses people were making in life.  If excuses were what stopped dreams from becoming reality, and goals from not being reached, then Willett would have been out of the game right from the beginning.  He had every reason to use an excuse and bail on his dreams and goals; but he didn't! Stay tuned and learn how Willet become the "King of Cryo"

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  • Jeremy Ives on

    It is adversity that challenges the dreamer to conquer whatever lies before him and his vision. Dreams are the impossible thoughts and desires we know to be out of reach. Those bold enough to believe that their dreams are obtainable, will overcome obstacles and achieve great things. Michael Willett seems to be a great representation of this.

  • HArrison on

    I really like that he is very humble.

  • Donna Rae Mangis on

    And I’m a lucky person that got to watch him grow….Love him and his whole family

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