Terry grew up on a council estate. His father worked in Tesco and his mother worked for a scaffolding company as an office manager – so he originated 100% from the working classes.
Growing up was tough as Terry was bullied, so he took up boxing to even up the playing field. He describes his childhood as fun though and says that looking back on his early years, everything he learned from being brought up in this environment – from resilience to persistence to patience to hard work and never giving up were life lessons that everyone should be taught and experience. In a crazy way, all these experiences become invaluable to his career.
“Make your own luck, never give up…”
Terry says, “I personally think you make your own luck by working hard and never giving up. I’ve been up and down like a yo-yo over the past 33 years and I’ve always somehow got to where I need to be by being persistent and somehow managing to stay alive. There are lots of people who have helped me along the way – like the mate who kept on and on about me going with him to a rave when I’d lost my job and I was on the dole. After months of asking, I finally gave in and got a taste for the rave scene and after years of hard work and many jobs within the rave scene I eventually became the biggest club promoter in the World”.
“Sometimes you have to take risks…”
A friend of Terry’s who was an actor offered him a small part in a film and that got him in the door, but he still had to personally fund the first few years of his acting career, he had to go to acting school, find an agent and go for the auditions. Terry has now been acting for 19 years, and still has to audition just like everyone else, he admits, “it never gets any easier”.
“I helped myself by identifying an opportunity and then deciding to make it happen, I’ve taken huge risks, some of them insane and some have paid off and others haven’t. I’ve had great partners as well as bad ones and great staff as well as bad staff, but I’ve always had to find them in the first instance and pay them and get through the ups and downs. None of these people just turned up and worked for free.”
Believe in yourself. Think on your feet…
Terry worked on an animated film called “Saving Santa” – it started off as a 70-minute 2D Animated TV Film. As he & the team were making it they decided it would work better turned into a 3D 90 Minute Theatrical Film – which meant they had to raise a further £1m of funding to achieve this. He recalls, “I remember people around me asking me if I was fucking mad, but I said we have to go for it… and I’m glad we did as it was one of Netflix’s Top 10 Christmas Films of all time and was released in every country Worldwide.”
The keys to success…?
For Terry, success means doing something you enjoy and getting paid for it.
“Be patient, work hard, never give up, always be up for trying something new, if you fail in anything you don’t worry, just work out what went wrong and go again. Winning isn’t everything – it’s the ONLY THING! Learn to say “No”. Surround yourself with good people who want you to succeed and get rid of any people who bring you down with negativity or their own personal agendas.”
He acknowledges that you will frequently find yourself in tough situations and that rejection is hard, no one likes to hear “No”.
“One thing the film business has taught me is patience and resilience and I’m sure these are great life lessons for whatever you do in life. Like anyone, there are times I feel like giving up – but that is the trap – if you give up you lose. Winners never quit and quitters never win. This saying is true. You never know how close you are to success at any given point. James Dyson said he had 5,127 prototypes of his vacuum cleaner and he got 5,126 wrong and one right, that says it all, hang in there and never give up!”.
He agrees that identifying your motivation is key. Terry has a family to take care of and his life goals are constantly changing. He never stands still and is never satisfied:
“I will never say ‘I’ve achieved everything I’m going to retire now’. I just want to ensure I leave a legacy so that people say ‘wow look what Terry did!’. I hope my work inspires anyone in the World that comes across my acting or producing, I hope it inspires my Children and their Children not to be afraid to have a go and achieve their goals. Aim for the stars and never give up.”
Stone is always involved in multiple projects – from his first-ever computer game based on the Rise of The Footsoldier True Crime Franchise to the recent launch of FilmCoin –the world’s first-of-its-kind blockchain-powered film creation and television production cryptocurrency. Filmcoin is shaking up the way films are financed and empowering filmmakers and fans. Terry is also working on a slate of new films, including an epic film about The Shah of Iran with an Oscar-winning Director.
“Never giving up no matter what is the best lesson. Adopt a Marathon Runner’s mindset…”
He closes by sharing, “It’s so easy to say ‘I can’t do anymore’… you’ve got to adopt a Marathon Runners mindset. When they are aching all over, they keep pushing forward. Professional Sports Figures and Fighters hit the wall and have to go through this to achieve greatness. It’s how bad you want it you have to give it 100% and don’t let anyone beat you”.