NR 022 | Follow the Yellow Brick Road



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New Rules for Your Life and Your Business Podcast
Episode #22 with Greg Centineo

Meet Greg Centineo, Executive Producer

Bio and Story:

If Greg Centineo had a title, it could be catalyst for life change, project promoter or seeker of meaning. His career is indefinable, but a series of seemingly unrelated experiences brought him to where he is today: aiming to increase people’s wealth by raising capital for one of Hollywood’s most exciting and monumental projects, the “Legends of Oz” 3-D-animated-film franchise.

Greg was never interested in working in the space of filmmaking. Implored repeatedly over the course of months to conduct the funding by the CEO of Summertime Entertainment, the film and franchise’s production company, he declined as many times. He didn’t think movies were good money makers, and he was already involved in private-equity endeavors. But a “what if?” feeling prevailed and sleepless nights grew more frequent. He recalled his first job in which he encouraged a devoted constituency to think, to question, to challenge and to reach for new experiences.

He delved deeper into the Oz franchise’s documentation. With the tens of millions of dollars required to make a 3-D-animated franchise, it was far-fetched and improbable. But the investment structure of the deal was sound. And he knew a good deal about franchising having opened the Two Street Coffee Garage, originally an organic underground coffee movement intended to go head to head with Starbucks, then two more. Concluding it might be “crazy in a good way,” he began to raise some equity for the project.

Greg knew quite a bit about that, too. After he sold the coffee franchise, he had moved into the arena of residential lending and structured financing with Washington Mutual. Strongly influenced by his own father’s teachings that it took money to make money, he quickly gained rank in the bank. He built a company within the larger company that taught consumers leveraging principles. Years later, many of his clients are still with him professionally, as friends and as part of his team.

In 2008, as the funds for Legends were coming in, his role in the operation grew. The investment presented multiple ancillary opportunities due to its being a multi-industry franchise, and people could see the potential that a typical live-action movie didn’t offer. Captivated and undaunted by Greg’s honest approach (“This is the greatest opportunity of a lifetime in which you will lose all your money.”), client after client bought in—and eventually bought in big—to what has now become a $110 million unprecedented global phenomenon.

As the first phase of the Legends project draws to a close, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-raised father of two reflects on what he calls his greatest accomplishment of his lifetime by far and his multi-faceted career. “As a leader, I was looked to for answers, and then as I matured, I came to understand that true leadership is about helping people ask better questions and letting them lead themselves,” he says. “I approached this project, building a serious community of investors the way I built everything else. Whether it was leading large constituencies, opening the coffee shops or educating people on money, I have learned to apply the same universal assumptions.

“In everything I have done in my life, I had the privilege of creating it with others and giving them a different paradigm of the world we live in.”


Connect with Greg:




NEW RULE; the Big Idea/ Strategy to help with this new world we live in:

“Create a new one”


Why it’s important; benefits both personally and professionally:

The choices we make affect everyone around us.

Leave an amazing legacy for your children.


How to accomplish the above:

“It all begins with belief and passion.  You almost have to will your dreams into existence.  Constant massaging of what you believe internally. You don’t waver from your beliefs … Stay focused and hang on to your internal beliefs.  Take ACTION to make it happen …”


Favorite Quote:

“The average person dies at 26 but is buried at 62”


What do you do to stay motivated or the secret for your motivation:


One of his favorite books;

He said the one that comes to mind is “Pour Your Heart Into It” by Howard Schultz


Golden Nuggets:

  • A lot of hard work went into this creation – almost miraculous to bring the project to fruition.
  • Analyzed: Great idea … Good business model … very recognizable brand… The animation Industry – great industry.
  • Ryan Carroll found Greg through NETWORKING.
  • The project fell during a time when the economy was a disaster. He presented the project with honesty and authenticity, with a very high risk involved initially, “you’re probably going to lose your money if you put it in here BUT ~ what if?”
  • People look for opportunities every day. A different model ~ similar to Crowd Funding ~ but  he doesn’t call it that. He went to friends and family and was under very rigid and strict guidelines by SEC in raising equity. It turned into a ‘Friends and family’ project.
  • The Investment Opportunity provided people the chance to invest in the project – offered each investor a piece of the ownership of all of the copyrights and intellectual properties of what they were building.  They would get a piece of all revenue in all the markets worldwide into perpetuity.
  • Animation industry involves dolls, toys, games, music – anything that can be monetized. A great Structure was  in place.
  • Because the economy was bad, this provided HOPE for people during a very difficult time.
  • You’ve got to be willing to change …
  • You can’t live within a circle … you’ve got to live linearly and move forward …
  • You have to evolve with reality.
  • Stop putting limitations on yourself. Stop saying it can’t be done.
  • He is LIVING not just EXISTING..
  • Live out your life … Live out your story …
  • Afraid of a Mediocre Life … Get all that you can out of it …
  • He doesn’t let fear stop him, he faces fear …
  • When you live your dream … get ready … humanity on one side loves it, on the other side, they hate those that try. Sad reality …
  • Remember, the answers were inside the Oz characters all along ~ Be confident in yourself – the good and the bad.


Action Steps:

Take some time for you and your family and go see “Legends of Oz ~ Dorothy Returns.”   Not only will you enjoy the movie and the music tremendously, but you will be able to see the result of Greg’s hard work.

As Greg says, “Don’t just hang in there – start swinging…”

More information on the movie:



Today’s show has been sponsored by The Empress Cloth on Amazon –    Check it out. Save time Save money Save the environment

A much healthier way to clean for you, your family, loved ones, and your pets


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Finally, thanks for listening and, remember, Always have a positive mindset so you can live healthier and wealthier, and happier with passion.

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