Son Succeeds His Own Way — My Dad Harvey Mackay

“A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.”

—Harvey Mackay

Father’s Day exclusive ‘Son Succeeds His Own Way — My Dad Harvey Mackay’, by David Mackay

#1 New York Times Bestseller

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Harvey Mackay, #1 New York Times best selling author, including ‘Swim with the Sharks without Being Eaten Alive.’ Founder, Mackay Mitchell Envelope Company, producing over 25 million envelopes a day. A personal friend… a remarkable guy.

David Mackay, Harvey’s son. Quite a success, too. Stanford grad. Accomplished film director. His credits include the recent Hallmark Channel hit ‘Naughty Or Nice,’ and the Disney Channel premiere movie, ‘Breaking Free.’ A personal friend… a remarkable guy.

In David’s words:

“Growing up, I realized that it just wouldn’t be right to follow in my dad’s footsteps.

What if I wrote NINE best sellers, and under my guidance the company made 26 million envelopes a day…
I mean, that would be embarrassing for him!
son succeeds

David and Harvey Mackay
2008 Beijing Olympics

Bottom line — envelopes just weren’t calling my name. I had another passion, and I was going to pursue it.

After graduating from Stanford with an Economics degree, it was time to break the news to him. As his only son, and unspoken heir to our family business, Mackay Envelope Company, it was clearly time to head home to Minnesota and sit my dad down for a chat about my future.

I started by announcing that I wanted to go to graduate school. “That’s fantastic!” he exclaimed. “You have my complete support. 100%.”

I told him the schools I was applying to: USC, UCLA, NYU and Columbia. “Those are excellent choices! They all have fantastic MBA programs!” he rejoiced.

At which point I had no option but to drop the bomb…

“Umm, Dad, I’m not applying to the MBA programs.
I’m applying to the FILM schools.”
son succeeds

Father and Son

The room went silent. My dad’s eyes bugged out a little. The short hairs on his arms started to rise up. Suddenly sweat was trickling down his forehead. He started blinking uncontrollably. His lips started quivering. I prepared for the worst… But nothing came out, not a single word.

I was half terrified by this eerie silence, and half delighted that I had accomplished what no other man had before:

I had rendered one of the most influential public speakers in the world… speechless. The great Harvey Mackay was without words!

I guess sons can have that effect on their dads, when few other people can. Honestly, other than that moment, I’ve never seen my dad at a loss for words. Even when he has laryngitis, he finds a way to speak!

That career decision I made was 27 years ago, and I’ve had his complete love and support ever since. I’ve been fortunate to have directed and/or produced eight movies to date.

I had the pressure of some very big shoes to fill.

But, he wholeheartedly encouraged me to chase my dream, which is the best gift any dad can ever give his son.

Out of 7 billion people on the planet, I’m so proud and so blessed to have the father that I do. I love you, Dad.”  —David

son succeeds

David and Harvey Mackay

Minneapolis-born filmmaker David Mackay graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University in 1986. In 1987 he entered the graduate school of film at U.S.C.

In 1990 Mackay co-wrote and directed his thesis film, PROVIDENCE. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences named PROVIDENCE the best dramatic short film of 1991.

In 2002 he directed BLACK POINT. The $4.5 million noir suspense thriller starred David Caruso. In 2008 he directed the family film, ACE OF HEARTS for FOX, based on a Reader’s Digest true story.

Mackay recently directed the TV movie, NAUGHTY OR NICE. The Christmas romantic comedy aired on The Hallmark Channel with the second best original movie ratings of the year for the network.

Your Comments

  1. Patricia Sill

    As one who has known both father and son my entire life~I am so inspired by your relationship and unique expressions on this planet. Happy Father’s Day to you both!!XX


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current month ye@r day *