10 (Plus 5) Tips to Success in Business
We all choose our careers and jobs because we have something to contribute and we want to make a difference. We’re passionate about what we do, and we are all committed to fulfilling our dreams.
I have coached thousands and thousands of people over the years and regardless of how talented or how passionate we are there are times when we hit roadblocks, let rejection get to us, lose faith in ourselves or the business we’re in, or just plain get stuck. These tips will help get you back on track, giving you that boost of enthusiasm you need to get you up and running. <--read more-->
The Cure for “What-is-itis” aka How to Stop the “That’s Just the way that it is” Conversation
I’ve produced/exec produced twelve feature films to date where I’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds of people, and in addition I’ve taught entertainment industry workshops to thousands and thousands of folks over the years. There is one thing I hear all too often and it drives me crazy. “That’s just the way it is!” “Suzanne, the market is shrinking,” “Women over forty just can’t get good roles in films,” “Investors are not putting their money into films anymore,” “I’m so new to the industry, it’s going to be impossible to get a paying gig.” And here is the best one, “None of it’s my fault, it’s “JUST THE WAY IT IS.” This makes me crazy! And I hear it so often, I’m beginning to think it’s an epidemic. Although I’m not a doctor, I’m going to go ahead and work on the cure for this disease called “What-Is-Itis.”
Here’s a perfect example of how we stay stuck in a certain mindset and become convinced that it’s just the way that it is. Until 1954 authorities claimed that the 4-minute mile was impossible if not lethal. Roger Bannister believed otherwise and on May 6th of that year he ran the mile in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. Runners of the past had been held back by a mindset that said it couldn’t be done. When the limit was challenged a paradigm shift occurred and within months runners were beating the new record. <--read more-->
When I was doing some coaching to groups of people from the corporate world years ago I always started with this question, “How many of you have set your goals (both long and short term) this year?” Every time 99% of the hand would go up. A few years later when I asked the same question in seminars filled with folks of all facets and levels of the entertainment industry the exact opposite would happen. Only a couple of hands went up.
Goal setting is fun, exhilarating and life altering. So why don’t we do it? Why don’t we set goals for ourselves? I think why so many of us in our industry don’t set goals is because we think it’s someone else’s job. We hear it all the time… “That’s my agent’s job,” or “That’s my manager’s job.” Putting your career in the hands of someone else is crazy. This is not the place to relinquish your power. I’m not saying that having an agent or manager is not great. Of course, it’s helpful to have a team supporting you. But that doesn’t mean that YOU are not 100% responsible for your career. <--read more-->
10 Tips on How to Deal With Stress
It’s been a busy two months for me. I spoke on the international film production panel at (TIFF) the Toronto International Film Festival, worked with my business partner on the casting of our amazing John Lennon project and attached an incredible actor, signed a deal on a TV pilot with Canadian Production Company, went back up to Toronto to meet with the showrunner on that project and then off to Israel for two weeks and came back to Los Angeles to prep for the American Film Market and then optioned another fantastic feature project, and on and on it goes.
You can see why I wanted to write this Blog on how to deal with stress! Just looking at that paragraph is causing me stress. I think we are all crazy busy these days. Multitasking is a given and stress is something that everyone is dealing with… at every age, every level, in every business and in our personal lives. <--read more-->
Turning Weaknesses into Strengths
I have literally spent the last month thinking about this topic and I have to be honest, this has been a difficult one. Turning our weaknesses into strengths! The more I thought about it, the more I realized I could write a book about this topic or a whole series of books for that matter. Just being in the inquiry and observing myself and others has been amazing, enlightening and yes, at times, downright depressing.
I’ve even reread “Creativity, Inc.” by Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. If you haven’t read this book, go online and order it now! When you’re committed to the highest artistic standards as Catmull and his colleagues were, you are going to bump up against your weak areas again and again. Never did he or his colleagues back down from a challenge. They faced each breakdown and problem head on, dealt with it and found solutions. The results were pure creative genius and we as audiences got to enjoy the magic they created. <--read more-->
Moving From Resignation To Enthusiasm
This week I’m going to focus on the subject of ‘energy and enthusiasm.’ As I do with many of the topics of these articles, I put myself in an inquiry. This time as I was focusing on ‘energy and enthusiasm,’ I was continually observing what impact the day-to-day bumps in the road were having on me… always noticing when (and how quickly) resignation would set in and affect my level of energy and my productivity.
I recommend you join me in this inquiry. Just staying conscious and present to these distinctions is transformational. In addition to observing, I did some research on the topic and spoke to a lot of people about it. I noticed that it doesn’t take much to bring us down.
In the entertainment industry I believe we face more rejection than any other industry in the world. The result of on-going rejection will be resignation and despair if we don’t really make a concerted effort to turn it around. <--read more-->
Turning Your Passion into Prosperity
“Workin’ 9 to 5… what a way to make a livin.” Do you know that song from the old 70s film “9 to 5”? Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you get the picture. It’s the way we’ve been trained. It’s the way our parents were raised and it’s the way their parents were raised. It’s just “the way it is.” Well, what if it didn’t have to be that way? If you love your 9 to 5 job, fantastic! Of course, these days the hours are more like 9:00 to 7:00! However, Jack Canfield, in his book “The Success Principles,” refers to a study that was done in the U.S. that says, “A full one third of Americans would be happier in another job.” That’s crazy. We really have to ask ourselves, “Am I doing what I love to do?”
Many of you reading this article are in the entertainment industry doing what you love. But, for the majority of us, it’s not a weekly paycheck. Sometimes there’s weeks, months and even years between gigs. So, what are ways that we can make money doing other things we love and want to do. <--read more-->
How To Be Accountable
I absolutely love the distinction I’m going to talk about this week. Accountability! This one may hurt a little. We like to think of ourselves as pretty accountable… at least some of the time. Well that’s not okay. It’s like integrity… either you have it or you don’t. Can we count on you to show up on time, for example. Really count on you to do what you said you were going to do. This is not necessarily something that will happen overnight. I worked for a long time of this one.
For those of us in the entertainment industry we’re only weeks away from the American Film Market. It’s a great place to meet people, do some serious networking and to find out what’s happening in the film industry. However, no matter how great your work is, how eloquent your pitch is, how talented a writer you are, how amazing your composer reel is, if you’re someone I can’t count on when the rubber hits the road, none of the other great stuff I just mentioned will matter. It’s probably one of the most important distinctions to master. <--read more-->
10 Tips to Put You On the Leading Edge – Part 2
I love this time of year. The fall reminds me of the magnificent colors of life surrounding us. A perfect time of year to stop and enjoy the vibrant colors and be present… really present to appreciate the wonders of life.
It couldn’t be a more perfect time to stand in leadership. Last week I offered 10 Tips on Leadership and I promised I would give you ten more. I truly believe I’m giving you gold here so really take a good hard look at who you’re being in the world in terms of leadership. Are you stepping up to the plate? <--read more-->
10 Tips to Put You On the Leading Edge
The topic I’m going to focus on this week is LEADERSHIP. No matter what level or what facet of the entertainment industry (or any industry) we’re in, it’s our job to keep raising the bar. The bigger we get the more we allow the people around us to rise to the occasion. It’s in that type of space that people shine, and their creative brilliance will shine through as well.
As I always do with each of these topics, I engaged in an inquiry on Leadership. I listened, observed and inquired. I read and researched. Looked at people I respected and admired… remembered people who inspired. Recalled presidents, teachers and heroes… thought about the average guy and gal who quietly make a difference and enrich our world. And did some soul searching of my own. It all boiled down to this, leaders are people who make the extraordinary possible… who hold a vision for life and see the world not as it is, but as it could be. <--read more-->