Tyler Perry.com


Why Did I Put All My Money Into This?

Why did I put all my money into this? Is this going to work? God, do you hear me? Where are the people? I’m so scared. How will I pay these people? Why did I do this? I can’t pay my rent, they are going to repossess my car…

The year was 1992, July 8th-12th. All these questions were crowding my mind.  I was a 22-year old wannabe... but what I wanted to be I didn’t know. All I knew was that I had written this play about adult survivors of child abuse and I wanted the world to see it. I was so sure that it was going to work that I put my own money into the show.

I had worked as a used car salesman and a bill collector and saved my income tax check and my bonuses. I took that money and hired a cast and built a set and rented a very small theater in Atlanta called the 14th Street Playhouse. I had done all the math in my head: I was going to perform 6 shows, 200 people a show, for a total of 1,200 people. The tickets were $12 and I was going to make $14,000 and be rich… LOL. I was going to give my tithe to the church, give my mother some money, pay my rent (that was two months behind), get my car payment caught up and live happily ever after. I knew as sure as I am sitting here that it was all going to be all right. I had prayed that thang out, as they say in the Baptist church… LOL. Looking back on it now I can laugh, but back then it wasn’t so funny. What I quickly realized is that prayer alone will not always get the results you want. As much work as I did, I didn’t do enough to promote the show. More work was needed to go along with my faith.

I was expecting 1,200 people but only 30 showed up. I was devastated. I thought my dreams were dead. Based off this one thing I thought my life was over. Based on this one failure (what I thought was a failure but it clearly wasn’t), I thought that the rest of my life would be ruined. Needless to say, looking back on it, it was all a part of God’s plan and amazing design for my life. And God has a plan for all of our lives.

Today I celebrate my 20th anniversary in show business. It’s been an amazing journey, one that I will detail in my autobiography one day. You would be surprised, inspired, angry and blown away with what I’ve endured to be here, but until then I’d like to share a little inspiration with you. So many times we think that because one thing didn’t go as planned we should give up on it. So many people leave their dreams dying on the floor, gasping for air because it didn’t work out the first time. Be it marriage, business, children, faith, whatever your dream is, you can't give up because it didn’t go as planned. If I had walked away because it didn’t work you wouldn’t be reading this. I had to keep moving. Yes, there were setbacks. Yes, it was difficult, but I got to see my dreams come to pass because I never stopped moving forward, I never stopped praying and most of all I never stopped believing. DON’T STOP BELIEVING!!!! PLEASE DON’T STOP BELIEVING!!! Say this to yourself out loud right now: “DON’T STOP BELIEVING”, and repeat it to yourself whenever you doubt that you can make it.

What you must understand is that everything, all of it, the good the bad and the ugly, it all works together for your good. If you love the Lord you are called according to His purpose. What’s His purpose for you? If you’re not sure, seek it and all your dreams will come true.

To all my dreamers, to all the people who have invested in themselves, to all the people who have the same questions that I did, hear me when I say this: YOU CAN DO IT!!


God Bless you, in Jesus' name, AMEN!


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  • angeline. green summervillesc

    Tyler. I will miss you all take care l will see you when you return. Please keep. Your fans in mind I know when you come back you will have something good. I love you!!!!!!!!!!!

  • SHelby philly/Houston

    @tylerperry Please PLEASE PLEASE check out - written by Lasha Martin - Very talented writer.....

  • angel rhoades Woodstock, GA

    Tyler, I want to thank you for reminding me and encouraging me not to give up on my dream. I am an actress working in corporate america trying to pursue my dream. Just recently I have been really going through b/c I realize that I am just going through the motions of getting up going to a job that is not fulfilling and I feel like I have waited to long sometimes, But then I realize that its not over untill God says so. I have even auditioned for you(lol). I just recently applied to work for your wonderful company and Im looking forward to hearing from your staff. I would much rather work in an enviorment that will encourage me everyday to pursue my dreams in the industry and teach me than to work and get pushed in the ground and let my dreams die. So, Again thank you and I always say to myself everyday TODAY COULD BE THE DAY THAT CHANGES THE REST OF MY LIFE...God Bless you my brutha and I really hope that there is a place for me within your company. Looking forward!

  • He's able

    This comes right on time for me. Just today I was ready to give up, just quit on everything. I work a full time job and I'm in college full time. I have four kids, married 9 years, 33 yrs old and life was great....until my husband was laid off a little over 2 yrs ago. We lost almost everything. Now we can barely buy groceries and the bills stay overdue. Some days I don't even eat so I can spare money to feed the kids. I've never been on government assistance and I don't plan on it! I have a good job in the business field even. It just seems that even though I work everyday its still a struggle. I filed chapter 13 bankruptcy after the layoff to keep our home, downsize and regroup but some days all I do is cry and think I should just stop trying. See my dream is to build a youth center and food pantry in the old neighborhood I grew up in. It seems Im always working to help my boss succeed when I can run my own company. I just have to get my own company, Lol! With all that I have gone through financially my credit took a n*** dive which makes my dreams seem hopeless, but God! My husband has found a job but nothing compared to his old job but thank God I have a man that will work at McDonalds cleaning bathrooms if he has to! Hey, I'm getting encouraged just typing this email!!! Things aren't so bad after all ;o) Thank you soooo much for sharing your email. It really inspired me to press on through because at the end of it all I know God is still able.

  • wanda palmer Newark, New Jersey

    Hello, Tyler Perry, I really admire you so much. I want to give up. I am about to lose my things in storage, and become homeless. I am a fashion Designer. I was just offer a fashion manufactory in GA. I am so sad,beacuse I don't have a truck,too move my things too them. Can you give some some advice. I have been reaching out too family and friends, no one can help me. www.zalarmardesigns.com you so much for takeing the time to read my comment Wanda Palmer The house of Salimah's Design Zalarmar Internation~NALL

  • Patsy Dailey Northampton, MA

    Congratulations on your 2 decades of hard work. You did not give up & you let God take control. In God all things are possible. I was at a desperate time in my life too, had given up, angry at God. Than years later He put the Holy Fire in to me, I was burning so bad. He wanted me back from the worldly things as I had strayed. I went & rededicated myself to Him. I would come home from church There would be messages on my answering machine for prayer. I would say God why are you doing this to me? I am studying for the Children's Ministry. However I believe He looks for faithful servants, so with that in mind I did the hardest prayer, I ever had to pray. I felt so hopeless I called but couldn't contact my fellow church members. Finally I managed to get 1 on the phone, after leaving messages. I had my sister on the phone & let her do the prayer as I stood in agreement. She stated she didn't feel good about this situation ( a horrid car accident to a guy I never met). I cried when she prayed. But, 1 thing I remembered was, do & think the opposite of your feelings as a human. Let God take control. This guy Steve, that I never met, came out of his coma to the amazement of everyone & the following day turned over. Thank you, God! Congratulations Tyler Perry on your success I see God working in you.... You are anointed. Thank you & Thank you God. Believe in your purpose & let God lead you, a true testament is you, Tyler Perry! Blessings to you Mr Tyler Perry for many more years of success.

  • La'Shay Harris Chicago

    I read this and teared up,I think its because i know what im meant to be doing and i havent even began the leg work my earlier part of my life started out somewhat like yours but you just inspired me and I want to say thank you....And continue to be great because God will continue to bless you"Dont Stop Believing"is my new motto!!!!!!11

  • Gwendolyn Jordan United States


  • Jeanne Johnson Atlanta, GA

    I am proud of you....and the one thing that I think you get the most, is the relationship of men and woman, and how that is a sacred relationship. Unfortunately, the world has corrupted this relationship to be something bad. I appreciate all you have done and the way that you help the world to laugh again through your comedy. I do know that our success is not always financial, but spiritual. God bless you and your work.

  • Lynn W. Annapolis, MD

    Congratulations on your 20 years in the business. I am so thankful you decided to give it another go. Your shows bring so much joy and laughter into my life. Out of curiousity, have you reached out to those 30 individuals who did show up 20 years ago? It would be nice to do a video of Madea talking to (interviewing) them. Continue to be blessed!

  • Tina Bell Phoenix, AZ

    Thank you Tyler. The Lord blesses us minute by minute and we ignore those blessings when we focus on what we think is a failure. This message inspired me today to keep trying praying and believing.

  • Therice Denby Phildelphia

    Mr. Perry your story is so inspirational. About 8 years ago my dream was to have a bakery. Well, my husband, sons and I started selling our homemade baked good from the back of our car. Going to hair salons, barber shops and other local business. Well, like you, I continued to dream and now we have a soul food restaurant, bakery and specialty cake shop. We celebrated our 1 year anniversary this May. Yes the road is hard to climb but I believe. Sometimes changes have to be made to the original plan. The bake goods were not selling enough to sustain so I went back to my roots and started cooking. Now the baked goods are selling with the meals. Our specialty cakes speaks for itself but it's very challenging to sell our product in certain areas. I'm always up thinking of ways to sell Denbys because I believe in our product and what we do its from the heart. So, thanks for the encouraging words. Keep up the great work we are praying for your continued success.

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