We had the good fortune of connecting with Lawrence Wood and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lawrence, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
All ventures have some level of risk. Some have a greater tolerance for it. I took a risk when I went from New York to Nashville, TN to attend medical school. When I accepted the invitation, I had no money and no where to live. Imagine if I did not take that risk. It all worked out. I took a risk when my wife and I opened a non-profit for homeless veterans. We used our own money to buy the house. Our financial advisor advised it because of the tax implications. We went forward, anyway, and Fan of The Feather was established with great community support. We helped many veterans transition from homelessness to working an d contributing members of the community. I took a risk when I wrote my first book, Among Pigeons, and now we are in pre-production for a TV pilot, The Featherman based on my crime novels. All of this was the result of taking a risk. My father always told me I could be anything I wanted, and I was stupid enough to believe him.
What should our readers know about your business?
I never, never, never considered being as physician! My teachers never mentioned it. My friends never suggested it. My family never broached the subject. It was one women, Dr. Dworecka who planted the seed, and my life changed. I applied 3 years in a row, finally being accepted the 3rd time. I guess the adage is true. I never considered being an Ophthalmologist, until very late in the decision process, but I initially rejected became one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. There is no better doctor than an Eye Surgeon! Most of my practice was in the United States Navy, but I ended my ophthalmology career working in the civilian sector with some very brilliant doctors. It’s an incredible story for a boy from Harlem to end up an eye surgeon in La Jolla. It sounds like a book title, “From Harlem to LaJolla”. The lessons learned are many, but my top 2 are : 1. If want to know the truth, ask a serious question, then seriously search for the answer. 2. I refuse to accept the labels people want to define me with.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Monday – LaJolla cove. Who can resist the cliffs, the seals of the food! Tuesday – Seaport Village. There’s nothing like being next to the water and smelling the sea air. Wednesday – You can’t come to Southern CA and not visit Disneyland. It is magical. The the imagination of Walt Disney is very inspiring. He shows us all how to envision the future. Thursday – Now that I’m part of “Hollywood” it would be crazy not to visit the place. Gotta go! Friday – If Thornton Winery is open, we have to go and listen to some jazz. Saturday – I like to shop, so we need to visit the garment district in LA, The Forum in Carlsbad Sunday – End up with attending service at The Rock Church and have brunch at Mariah’s.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My father, Lawrence Wood encouraged me to try anything I imagined. My wife Vanessa, from the early days of our dating, encouraged me to write. My friend Gina Robinson, embraced my writing and my ideas and propelled me to the opportunities I enjoy now in Hollywood. I am a member of Kingdom Writers Association and with the monthly meetings I have become a better writer. When I was in school for Physical Therapy, I was approached by Dr. Dworecka who encouraged me to go to medical school. What she saw it me I don’t know, but she changed the trajectory of my life. Most importantly, I thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for placing these and other people in my life.
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