Good End, Bad Means: 3 Powerful Lessons Via Hollywood

ray donovanRay Donovan is a fixer. When one of Hollywood’s rich and stupid makes a mess, he cleans it up. We’re not talking about dirty dishes.

Ray’s in a bind. His ex-con father owes big money to the Armenian mob. And Mrs. Minassian and her boys are losing patience fast.

Incidentally, Ray hates his father. However, a couple of his brothers are now involved. Mickey “Mick” Donovan has a bad habit of mixing clean family with dirty business – one reason Ray hates him.

The only Armenian Ray knows is Hasmik – a pop star famous for her curves and a spicy hot “Thighs Go Boom” (think JLo + Kim Kardashian).

Hasmik is currently promoting “One Night in Yerevan” – a ballad about the early 20th century genocide of her ancestors.

Sung in her native Armenian, it’s not getting a lot of airtime (or interest).

He’s obviously done a bit of “work” for Hasmik in the past, although we don’t know specifics.

When Ray approaches her at an after concert party, she’s happy to see him but offended by his assumption.

“You think all Armenians know each other – especially ones like these?!”

“Why should I help your family when your government refuses to recognize the genocide of my great grandfather, my family!”

“Fair Enough. Sorry about your great grandparents,” he offers as he quietly slips away.

Ray proceeds to track down Flip, another former client who owes him a favor.

It just so happens that the former weatherman has a new prime-time talk show. The big premiere is the next day.

With a bit of strong-armed persuasion involving damning S & M photos, Flip reluctantly agrees to put Hasmik on the show, knocking off his big musical act (singing“Yereven”, not “Thighs”).

Here’s the IN YOUR FACE video summary:

Later that day, Ray accompanies Mick to an over-due “sit down” with the Minassians.

He offers to pay off his father’s debts. Preferring LA without Sr. and Jr., they refuse and draw their weapons.

With a gun pointed at Ray’s head, Hasmik bursts into the room. Action stops. Hugs and kisses are dispersed. Near execution becomes silly misunderstanding.



Not all of Ray’s ways and methods are legit. In fact, some are downright illegal.

Nevertheless, here are 3 Powerful Lessons we can learn from him:

1. Listen without Judgment.

Action: The entire world wasn’t listening to Hasmik. Ray did.

Tip: Resist the need to comment on someone’s story. Listen without commentary or criticism, even when justified. What’s important to them, doesn’t have to be important to you.

2. Use the Resources You Have.

Action: Ray couldn’t get his country to care. He couldn’t get her song on national radio. He could get her on a popular new talk show.

Tip: Use the resources that are available to you, don’t be stopped by ones that aren’t – you might just exceed expectations (I’m sure Hasmik was happier with TV exposure vs. radio).

3. Check the Facts.

Action: Despite Hasmik implying she didn’t know the “bad” Armenians, Ray proceeded to get her what she wanted.

Tip: Don’t assume the initial information you’ve been given is the whole truth. Take the time to verify the facts. You can then decide if you want to help, even without a clear request up front.



It’s in your best interest to listen before speaking, think before acting.

Once you’ve heard the whole story and checked the facts, you can then decide how to proceed – any commentary or criticism before this is counterproductive.

There’s no need to add your opinion or judgment to someone’s wish (it’s theirs, not yours).

Although not always clear how or when, it pays to help your partners meet their needs.

After all, you never know how or when they’ll help you meet one of yours (preferably without gun pointed at head).


I’m wondering what other people think about Ray’s style. Tell me about your experience in the comments below.