Archive for the ‘goals’ Category

How Are You The Solution to Someone’s Problem?

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

I just recently coached my one month intensive Jump Start™, and something came up throughout the weekend that feels worthy of a blog.  It’s the idea of being the solution to someone’s problem.

Problem-Solution-ResultSo, let me back up for a moment and give this idea some context. Because, often in this business, we are highly driven and focused. This is not a bad thing, but it can have a downside. That downside is that in our drive and focus, we only think about ourselves.

And what that looks like day-to-day is a “me, me, me” attitude. We are only looking for the solution to our own problem—the person we need to meet, the thing we think they can do for us when we meet them, and so on. This can lead us to becoming that very thing we most loathe, desperate.

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What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

(How to actually use this freakin’ quote to accomplish your biggest goals)

Happy new year! I hope you’re reading this blog having gotten rest over the holidays, feeling rejuvenated and excited about what 2015 brings.

Every new year brings the possibility of great things. And, January is different from other times in the year, I’m sure you’ll agree. Every year I look to understand what my goals are for the new year and what I can do differently and better to bring them about.

QuoteFailv2Many of you know that 2014 was a year of great accomplishment for me. After nearly a decade of trying to get several different feature projects into production, I directed my first feature, Saturn Returns, which I also wrote. We are now nearing the end of post-production. I’m happy to report that even after all of these months in post-production and years in the making, I still love it and I’m really excited to share it with you all.

Another big accomplishment for me was how my coaching business grew last year even when I was in the midst of making a movie. It was an accomplishment to be able to continue helping people accomplish their own dreams even as I was accomplishing mine.

And so, in examining what was different about last year, what finally pushed my big goals across the finish line in a way that hadn’t happened before, I’ve uncovered some new things to share. Here goes…

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Get Re-Connected to Your Why

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Often, we spend so much time talking about strategy, that we neglect some of the fundamentals.  So, I’m going to spend a few minutes today talking about one of the most important things in your career, your motivation behind your goals, also known as your Why.

JPG_20120503_Why-We-Do-It-01

Your Why can look a lot of different ways.  You can be passionate about something.  You can identify with something.  You can have a dream or a desire or a love.  But, if you’ve been working on a project or goal for a while, chances are your Why has gotten buried a bit under the day-to-day demands.  The problem with this is that when we aren’t connected to our Why, it gets harder and harder to do the things we need to do toward our goal.  We feel unmotivated and we’re not sure why.

So here are 5 steps to reconnecting with your Why.

  • Go back to the first time you wanted to do what you’re doing. It could be the first time you ever wanted to act or write or direct or paint or produce.  Visualize that moment in time.  Where were you?  What were you thinking, feeling, doing?  Who were you with?  Close your eyes and recreate as much of that moment as you can.
  • What did that moment call up in you? A desire to do what?  Put that into words as clearly as you can.
  • Was there a change you wanted to make? A contribution?  Something you wanted to give or to share?

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Are you falling for the myth of “easy?”

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

easy-streetSo, I have a bone to pick.  A pet peeve to vent about.  A wrong to set right.  It’s about it being “easy.”

So here’s what I see a lot.  People want it to be easier.  You’re tired of working hard.  You feel other people have it easier and so it should be easier for you.

I get it.  I really do.  This is a tough business.  It’s changing.  It’s contracting.  There’s runaway production.  The whole world wants to be in the movie business and it seems like they all come to LA.

And we look at our friends and some of them have it easier. They have a great agent who gets them good auditions.  They have a rich uncle and he gives them money for their film.  They have a mom who works at a studio and so they get a job.  The grass is always greener.

Being the mother of four year old twins has given me a new perspective on this idea of “easy.”  Here’s something that I’ve learned from my girls.

There are all these things that we take for granted as we get older that, it turns out, were anything but easy.  There’s something called “sleep training” because infants are not born knowing how to sleep through the night.  You actually have to train your child to sleep properly.

You have to teach your child how to walk.  And they get frustrated.  Really frustrated as they fall down over and over and over again.

And let’s not get into potty training and how long that takes.  My girls took months and months to learn how to use the potty.  No joke.  Turns out it’s really hard to stop using a diaper and start using a toilet.

I’ve never heard an Olympic athlete say it was easy.  Never.  If you want to be the best in the world at something, it will take an extraordinary amount of hard work.

And it turns out that most things in life that are worthwhile take hard work.  Sometimes lots and lots of hard work.

I’m not saying you should be inefficient or stupid.  I do think that working smarter is very important, because you want to minimize wasted time, resources and effort.

But, I do see that if we just embraced the fact that many things we want in our lives and our careers really take a lot of hard work, we’d enjoy the process so much more.  Stop resisting the hard work and embrace it.  Chances are that your friend who has it “easier” is working her toosh off and would tell you so if you asked.

And it doesn’t matter in the end.  Run your own race.  Work hard toward your dreams.  And while you’re doing so replace some of that comparing and complaining with gratitude that you get to run your own race.  It will make the journey so much sweeter.

Pushing the Boulder Up the Hill: Getting That Dang Film Into Production

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Girls can do anything!If you didn’t already know this, I’m back from directing my first feature film.  We wrapped July 1st, a little less than a month ago.  I’ve recovered enough to start blogging about the experience.

I had a spontaneous Q and A today and there were lots of questions. But, this was the biggie that overshadowed them all…  How did you get that dang film into production?

This is a particularly poignant question because it took so long for me to get a film into production.  I worked on Saturn Returns for 5 years before we rolled camera.  I worked on a feature project before this one for 5 years.  I worked on another one before that for three years.  So, it’s taken a lot to get here.

As you can guess, there are several answers to this question, but let’s just start with commitment.  A year ago I came to a new place of commitment.  Let me tell you what it looked like:  I was going to shoot Saturn Returns in June 2014 or I was going to walk away from the project and from being a filmmaker.  No joke.  I didn’t come to this from a place of being mad or fed-up or desperate.  This decision was passionate but very calm.  I simply realized that the amount of work I’d done, the capacity I had to keep doing that amount of work, the patience of my husband and my supporters, all of this had a shelf-life and I was near the end of it.

So, I decided to pull out all of the stops.  Now, many of you know me and know that I’m a very committed, hard-working person.  So, this was a whole new level of energy, time and work.  I worked pretty much every night and weekend for an entire year.  This is in addition to my coaching business and to being the mother of three year old twins.  (No, I don’t have live-in help and I have very little family support besides my husband.)  It meant that every trip to Mammoth I had as many meetings as I could and sacrificed R and R.  It meant I worked every day of Christmas break.

I don’t tell you this to impress you.  I’m just telling you what it took.

But there’s more to it than just the hard work.  Because I’m not suggesting you live your life this way, far from it.

Simply put, I got willing to leave my dream behind if we didn’t go into production.  And I got clear that if I were to do that, I didn’t want to feel like I’d left anything on the sidelines.  I wanted to leave it all on the court.  No regrets for what I hadn’t done.

I didn’t make this decision because I thought it would be powerful, but it turned out to be extraordinarily empowering.  Every time someone came up with an objection, a concern, an obstacle, I weighed it against my commitment to go into production in June and my willingness to totally walk away from the project forever.   Push another year?  Sorry, no can do.  Push to September?  Same answer.  Wait for an actor?  Nothing doing.

Besides demanding that I work nearly every night and weekend for a year, this commitment had me doing things that were so far outside my comfort zone it surprised even me.  It had me asking things of people—investors, team members, actors and more—that I had previously been afraid to ask for.  And it had me doing it fast, with zero of the usual hand-wringing.  It had me doing things at a new level of ballsy, and I am no shrinking violet.

Really facing the prospect of walking away from my dream of directing a feature film had me look at my fears in a much more profound way then I ever have before.  I had to ask myself what I was willing to do for my dream.  No, the answer isn’t “anything.”  There are things I won’t do.  I won’t lie or cheat or steal or behave without integrity.  I won’t leave my husband or children for it.

But, I got willing to fail publicly.  That was a very, very big one for me.  And, I think it’s harder to risk failing publicly then it is to behave without integrity, frankly.

The other big answer to the question of how I got this dang film into and out of production is that I had one die-hard who was with me no matter what.  He happens to be my husband, Gregory.  And without him making this film wouldn’t have been possible.

It’s important to talk about this because big projects like this one don’t get done alone.  They take a team, as you know.  But it’s more nuanced then that.  Before the “team” there’s the one true believer that you absolutely must have.  You need one true believer who will stick by you no matter what.  And let me tell you, there was a time a few weeks out from our start date when everyone else dropped like flies.  We suddenly weren’t cool any more, and everyone else who’d been on for years fell like dominoes.  Though Gregory had doubts and concerns, he never stopped believing in the project and in me.  You gotta have someone like him.  Period.

So, this is the big answer to the big question of how I pushed this boulder up the hill and finally, after more then a decade, got my first feature into the can.  There’s a lot more to talk about and I promise I will do so.  Keep your eyes peeled for a blog on casting, one I’m going to call Riding the Bucking Bronco, aka Production, Coming Back to Earth (aka Transitioning Back to Your Real Life,) and more.

Hit me with questions, comments and thoughts.  It’s good to share it with you.  And, again, thank you so much for your support.

 

 

 

Why You Haven’t Accomplished Your Goal: Reason #4

Monday, May 5th, 2014

As I’ve written the past few months, a lot of my clients find me and my coaching when they are very frustrated.  They work hard, get training, go to networking events, make phone calls, submit themselves and their work, and yet they aren’t getting where they want to go!

This series of blogs gets to the bottom of why you’re stopped, stuck, or not moving very fast.  In February, I tackled the problem of not really knowing what your goal is specifically.  In March, we dealt with the second reason you might not have accomplished your goal, that you don’t have a strategy.  Last month I dug into the problem of knowing your goal and your strategy but not doing what you need to do.  If you haven’t read these blogs, I highly recommend checking them out.

Let’s look at the fourth reason you haven’t accomplished your goal…

You know your goal, you have a strategy and you’re executing it,

but you’re not doing it effectively and powerfully.

You know you’re not making the most of networking events.  You make phone calls and no one calls back.  You submit your work and never get a response.

powerfully

Someone says “tell me about yourself” and you answer in a big jumble.  You labor over decisions about what to do next, only to find yourself feeling like you went down the wrong path or made a mistake.

If any of this resonates, then there are some flaws in your game.  You are not executing your plan as effectively as you could be.  And, the effect of this is a lot of wasted time and effort and way too much disappointment.

I can’t go into all the reasons why you might not be executing your game-plan powerfully, but I can give you a few tips and steer you in the direction of where to get the tools you need.

First…

You’ve got to share yourself powerfully to accomplish your goal. 

If people don’t know what you’re up to, they can’t support you, partner with you or mentor you, pure and simple.  It’s up to you to share yourself in such a way that someone is inspired to read your script, wants make a phone call on your behalf, or have a meeting with you.

In Jump Start™ we work on what I like to call a personal logline.  This is a short, powerful way to share yourself in any situation.  It’s short enough to say it on the briefest phone call, in an elevator, or at a party waiting in line at the bar.

Second…

You need to know your brand and have everything aligned with it. 

You have a brand, whether you know it or not.  If you don’t know it, chances are others don’t know either.  If people don’t know your brand, it’s hard for them to hire you, and create with you or for you.

Recently, a client of mine got very clear about her brand in one of my classes.  She’s a sexy scientist.  Lo and behold, the very next week she booked a great role in a studio feature as, wouldn’t you know, a sexy scientist.  She’d never gotten this clear before, even though as she looked back at her career she realized that she’d been predominately cast in these types of roles.  Once she got crystal clear she stopped going out for roles she wasn’t right for, her booking ratio went up, and she started booking better jobs.

Third…

You need to build powerful teams around you

and take responsibility for leading them. 

Most creative people are used to going it alone.  We write by ourselves.  We compose alone.  We go to acting class with a just few people.

This might be great for the creative process, but it is death to your career.  To have your dream career, you need to have a passionate team working on your behalf and you need to lead that team effectively.

By team I mean your agent and manager, yes, but also your significant other, your accountability partner, your coach, a mentor (or more than one,) your producing partner, and more.

Executing your strategy is made up of many components.  I’ve dealt with a few here, but I tackle these and several more in Jump Start™.  To learn more and get more tools, visit www.entertainmentcareerstrategy.com.  Click on “Coaching and Mentoring” or “Breakthrough Store.”  Check out THRIVE and Jump Start™ to get started.

 

Love and Success!

Why You Haven’t Accomplished Your Goal: Reason #3

Friday, April 4th, 2014

As I’ve written the past few months, a lot of my clients find me and my coaching when they are very frustrated.  They work hard, get training, go to networking events, make phone calls, submit themselves and their work, and yet they aren’t getting where they need to go!

This series of blogs gets to the bottom of why you’re stopped, stuck, or not moving very fast.  In February, I tackled the problem of not really knowing what your goal is, specifically.  Last month, we dealt with the second reason you might not have accomplished your goal, that you don’t have a strategy.  If you haven’t read these blogs, I highly recommend checking them out.

This month we’ll look at the third reason you likely haven’t accomplished your goal:

You know your goal and you have a plan, but you’re just not doing it.

If this sounds familiar, never fear, help is on the way.Goals

So, the first thing to look at is whether or not you’re really committed to your goal.  In Jump Start™ I talk dig into the difference between commitment and interest.  Commitment has an intensity to it, as in a commitment to a cause.  Interest is more like a special attention.  When one of my 3 year old girls runs into the street, I’m not interested in stopping her, I’m committed.

I encourage you to be really honest with yourself and see if the thing you say you want to do, the goal you want to accomplish by December 31, 2014, say, is something you are truly committed to.

And if you’re not, if in your heart of hearts you are merely interested, then count yourself lucky to have figured that out now.  Recently I had a client come to me and tell me that what she’d gotten out of my coaching is that after 10 years in the business she no longer wants to be an actor.  In fact, she hasn’t wanted to act for a long time.  Let me tell you that I’m thrilled she figured this out!  Now she can identify what she really wants to do and get on with it.

If you are clear in your commitment, you really do want to accomplish your goal, then let’s tackle of the next question.  Why aren’t you actually doing the things you know you need to do?

Something is beating out your commitment to your goal. 

It’s pretty simple.  Something else is winning in the battle over the actions you must take to accomplish your goal.  It could be your need to be liked or loved.  It could be your need for certainty in such an uncertain business.  It could be your need for community when you’ve been going it alone.

When I don’t make a hard phone call, it’s not because I don’t have a phone.  That would be an external obstacle.  I totally have a phone.

When I don’t make a hard phone call it’s because my fear of not being liked or loved is beating out my commitment to my goal.  This is what I call an internal obstacle.  In the moment when I fail to make the follow up call and instead I go on Facebook or look at emails or clean the house, my goal is losing.  By going on Facebook I see all the people who like me and I feel better.  Who wouldn’t want to go on Facebook instead of make a follow-up call to an agent or a potential investor?  I’ll take Facebook over potential rejection any day.

Now, there are several tools for dealing with this problem, and we spend a whole afternoon learning these tools in Jump Start™, but here are a few pointers.

Get support.  To accomplish your breakthrough goal you will need to get out of your comfort zone.  So, first and foremost you need to get support.  You can’t be out of your comfort zone without pep talks and strategy and an “atta girl” every once in a while.  It’s too hard.

Look at what you consistently do when you’re afraid of rejection.  Are you the one who cleans the house?  Goes on Facebook?  Eats a cookie?  Goes to the gym?

Whatever your crutch is, there is a healthy way to give yourself the things that speak to the need you have.  If you go on Facebook then you likely need community and connection.  Set a time to go on Facebook later in the day as a reward for making the hard phone calls.

If you clean the house, then you need order and certainty.  So, schedule a time to clean up your space and stick to it.  Or hire a maid.

If you eat a cookie, you might need to look at your self care.  Do you constantly deny yourself rewards and celebrations because you never do enough?  If this is the case, it’s important to celebrate the little victories.  Really celebrate them!  Take yourself out for a latte after you make the hard calls.  Do something that’s nice for yourself even if it’s small.  Especially if it’s small.  There’s no big day in the future when you’ve really earned a reward and somehow you magically get it.  Declare the victories to be what they are, victories toward the goal you’re passionate about, and celebrate them!

Tune in next month for Why You Haven’t Accomplished Your Goal: Reason #4. 

To learn get tools to overcome fear and get into action powerfully visit www.entertainmentcareerstrategy.com and click on “Coaching and Mentoring.”  Check out THRIVE and Jump Start™ to get started.

 

Love and Success!

 

Why You Haven’t Accomplished Your Goal Yet: Reason #2

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

As I wrote last month, a lot of my clients find me and my coaching when they are very frustrated.  They work hard, get training, go to networking events, make phone calls, submit themselves and their work, and yet they aren’t getting where they need to go!

This series of blogs gets to the bottom of why you’re stopped, stuck, or not moving very fast.  Last month I talked about the problem of not really knowing what your goal is, specifically.  If you haven’t read that blog, I highly recommend checking it out.  This month, we will deal with the second reason you haven’t accomplished your goal.

You know what your goal is, but you don’t know what to do to accomplish it. 

It’s pretty simple.  You are crystal clear that you want to produce features.  But you don’t know how to go about doing that.

Or, you are clear that you want to produce bigger budget features, but you’re stuck in the low budget world and you can’t seem to get out of it.

You’re writing for kid’s animation and you want to be writing for primetime drama, but you can’t seem to make the transition.

You want to be editing award-caliber features, but you’re stuck assistant editing horror movies.

So, what to do about this?

Well, you need a strategy, pure and simple.  And it needs to be a good strategy that has been tested and vetted.

While I can’t go into the strategies of every single example above in this blog, I can give you some important tools.  And, I can point you in the direction to get more tools and strategies at the end of this blog.

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Why You Haven’t Accomplished Your Goal, Yet: Reason #1

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

A lot of clients find my coaching when they are really frustrated.  They are passionate, talented, committed and working hard.  And they don’t know why they haven’t reached their goals yet.

Boy do I understand.  More than you know.

So, I’m writing this blog to shed some light on the problem of being stopped, stuck, or not moving very fast.  Understanding the problem is critical to finding a solution.

There are four reasons why you haven’t accomplished your goals.  Today I’m going to deal with the first one:

You don’t really know what your goal is. 

Okay, okay.  You know you want to act.  Or write.  Or produce.  Or work in television.  Or do make-up.

I still maintain that you don’t really know what your goal is.  Not really.  Not specifically.

Knowing you “want to be a working actor,” for example, is not really knowing your goal.  That’s incredibly broad. Work in what?  TV?  Commercials?  Theatre?  On a cruise ship?

You can start to see how broad and non-specific your goal of “being a working actor” is.

Same with “be a make-up artist.”  If I hire you to do kids face painting at my twins’ birthday party, that would be doing make-up, right?  But, is that your goal?

So now that we understand this part of the problem, here’s how we tackle it.  The first step is to set some kind of timeframe for your goal.  One year is a place to start.

“By December 31, 2014, I will have…”

Notice that I put a specific date in the goal, and also that I wrote “will have.”  Not “will try to” or “hope to.”  Use declarative speaking and you’re a lot more likely to accomplish your goal.

Next let’s look at what would be a breakthrough for you.  A breakthrough is a goal that is not predictable and not impossible.

By predictable I mean a version of something you’ve already done.  If you’re working at the make-up counter of MAC and doing a friend’s webseries for free every six months, in a year from now it’s predictable that you’ll be, well, working at the counter of MAC and doing webseries for free. Nothing wrong with any of this, it just might not be your goal.

Let me clarify what I mean by impossible.  First, none of your goals is impossible in and of itself.  What makes your goal impossible is the timeframe you’re giving it.  If you’re working at MAC and your goal is to win an Oscar next year, you can see how that would be out of the realm of possibility given that you need to get a job on a feature that then gets made and released in time to have an Oscar campaign and then win.  Highly unlikely if you’re not even working in features yet.  You get the picture.

A breakthrough is the sweet spot in between impossible and predictable.  When you accomplish your breakthrough goal, it will cause a state change with your career or project.  This means that your career or project will be in a new, different and elevated place.  You’ll be at a new level.

Here’s what else there is to know about breakthroughs…  You don’t know how to accomplish it.  If you did, you’d have done it already.  This is one of the things that make it a breakthrough.

Also, what could be predictable for you, could be a breakthrough for someone else or even impossible for someone else.  Your breakthrough is unique to you, your credits, your resources, your relationships, what you’re good at, what you’re not good at, and more.

So, let’s take a look at a few more breakthrough goals…

By December 31, 2014 I will have worked on at least one project a month as a make-up artist and be earning at least $250/day. 

By December 31, 2014 I will have pitched and sold my first television pilot and turned in a great draft of the script. 

By December 31, 2014 I will have directed at least 3 television commercials with budgets of at least $50k each. 

Now the important thing to know is that each of these are specifically articulated with regards to where the person is currently in their career, what they’ve already accomplished, and where they want to go.  For the make-up artist, this would be someone who is only doing a job every few months earning $100/day or less.

For the writer, this would be someone who has written television scripts, ideally on staff, and has pitched a little bit already.

For the director, this would be someone who has directed one low budget spot already, who already has a reel, but now needs to start getting jobs as a commercial director with regularity.

Tune in next month for The Second Reason Why You Haven’t Accomplished Your Goal. 

To get tools and solutions to help you clarify and accomplish your goals, visit www.entertainmentcareerstrategy.com and click on “Coaching and Mentoring.”  Check out THRIVE and Jump Start™ to get started.

Love and Success!

How To Complete Your 2013 Powerfully

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

As the year winds down you’re probably having a few thoughts about how 2013 has gone.  Well, okay, probably more than a few.  And perhaps there are some ideas floating around about what you hope and dream for in 2014.

This post is designed to help you shape all these thoughts and feelings.  There are times that are great for musing, certainly. And once that’s done, some simple, effective structure can help you take those ideas, solidify them, and get to work making them a reality.  This is one of my favorite blog topics to tackle each year, and this year I’ve got a few juicy additions for you, so read on!

Following, you’ll find Part 1 of a two-part structure, Completing 2013 Powerfully.  This will take a bit of time, but the reward will surprise you.  I do this every year on my own, and this year I incorporated it into my special End of Year Velocity Day.  It’s truly my favorite work I do all year long.

First, I encourage you to carve out time for yourself.  Go somewhere that you can focus on this important work, but still be relaxed.  For me, it’s one of two favorite cafes.  An extra hot vanilla latte at King’s Road does wonders for putting me in the right zone.

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