761. West Point Veteran Captures the Power of Stories
Samuel P.N. Cook
When his business as a tour guide in NYC began to take off, he realized, “This is what I loved about the Army and leadership and the chaotic and uncertain nature of Iraq. I was finding the risk was there again in entrepreneurship. And it was only financial risk, which can be quite stressful, but it is not life and death.”
Samuel. P. N. Cook is the founder and creative director of James Cook media, a documentary filmmaking marketing agency. He is also the creator of the story funnel software, which helps business owners tell their story online.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“My childhood was framed by an intensive experience as a very competitive personality type. Once I got into playing trumpet, I wanted to be the best. I remember practicing trumpet hours upon hours and creating quite an expertise. It was a very physical instrument. I found it incredibly gratifying just going through lessons with a teacher and mastering it with discipline. And I continued that all the way up until my senior year in high school. Then I became a singer. “
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“As high school was ending, I was searching for what to do next, what I could do best. My brother asked me if I had ever heard of West Point. I said, ‘Of course! I’ve read all the Civil War histories and even been to some of the battlefields.’ He asked, ‘Did you know it still exists?’ And I said no. He said it is where the best young men and women in the country go to school. And I just got it, right then. I said, okay, that’s going to be my mission. I’m going to get into West Point. And I did.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“Every setback or massive disappointment in life creates a chance to do one of two things: to wallow in your misery or to look and see what life is telling you. Whether you have a belief in some higher power or not, you do need to take everything in life as feedback to learn who you are, where you are going, and what you need to do.”
Steps to Success from Samuel P.N. Cook
1. Develop and practice self-discipline.
2. Learn about yourself, your strengths, your personality and where you can do best.
3. Read history and biographies, and learn to appreciate the tremendous power of stories to shape the lives of individuals and civilizations.
Connecting With Samuel P.N. Cook
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Careers: Army Officer, Entrepreneur, Film Maker, Marketing
Topics: Storytelling, U.S. Army, West Point