If this release offends you grasshopper, it’s probably because you know that you’re doing the things I’m describing.
For most of our careers, we actors tend to operate as a warm body, with the ability to memorize a few lines, for hire. We hang out our “actor’s shingle” and go out hat in hand hoping that someone, somewhere will be so kind as to bestow a role on us.
Anything will do: one liners, cat food commercials, “you name it, I can do it!” That’s the starving actor’s motto…
And therein lies the problem! I don’t have to tell you that actors are in one of the most competitive industries in the world. We don’t have the luxury of playing supply or demand, or do we?
I want to talk about someone that was able to exert total control over the marketplace and force it to bend to his will.
His reputation preceded him everywhere he went, yet he was not exceptionally talented. When the world was melting down all around him, his empire stood strong and grew more powerful than ever. He’s a polarizing figure that most people hate, and some just can’t help but admire.
As a member of the tribe, you know that I love to bring you outside the box thinking and little known strategies that give you an edge over everyone else. Today’s release is no different, and it’s probably one of the most important to date.
See, you have to duplicate the success of those that have come before you and that doesn’t necessarily have to be only industry people.
Do you think that duplicating the success strategies of people like Sara Blakely, Thomas Edison, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Jack Canfield, T. Harv Ecker, or Tony Robbins might serve you well?
Of course it would, you just have to make sure that you tweak them to serve your purpose. One of my pet peeves is when a buddy of mine goes to a seminar or reads a new book, gets all pumped and starts preaching about all the new things they picked up.
We all know someone that pesters us with this stuff. It’s annoying because most of it is the same, out dated stuff repackaged and resold. They love to focus on goal setting specifically, yet virtually no one does this correctly.
You only need to have one goal, ever. I’ll come back to that in a moment.
After that they go on about to-do lists and “little victories”, dream boards, affirmations, etc. I love that stuff as much as anyone else, but it has been so skewed and diluted that it barely resembles the original ideas.
Plus, because you seldom have access to the gurus (unless you write a gigantic check) you’re left to figure out how to adapt those strategies to fulfill your own desires.
What no one that puts on seminars or sells books and courses will ever tell you is that the psychology of success boils down to 2 points.
Setting the right goal for yourself (yes goal=singular), and creating an environment conducive to attracting that goal to you.
That’s it. Everything else, falls under the category of preparing yourself for that goal and attracting it.
The only goal you should ever set is to feel good.
When you feel good, you’re happy. When you’re happy, you tend to take care good care of yourself so you’re healthy. People like to be around other happy people, so your social life and even your love life flourishes. When you approach everyday “on purpose” rather than as something you just have to get through, you perform better in your career and climb the ladder.
When you’re happy, you tend do only do things that make you happy. Coincidentally, the things that make you happy are the things that push your career forward.
If you focus on this, you will eliminate all of the unproductive things that actors do, just to feel as though they’re making progress.
You will stop tinkering with your reel, you will stop going to mundane acting classes that are little more than read throughs critiqued by has-beens two decades after their last role. Side note: there’s nothing wrong with taking the right acting classes.
You will stop going on cattle calls that are generally a big waste of time.
What’s more is that, the routine things that you do have to accomplish will feel completely different.
Look at it this way: washing your Toyota Tercel (if you don’t know what that is, you’ve had it too easy LOL) is chore, polishing your Ferrari is completely different.
So, that begs the question: how do you go about “feeling good” all the time.
Simple. Eliminate the things that don’t make you feel good. If you hate going to the gym, stop going to the gym. Figure out another way. Swim, Kayak, train for an Iron Man, whatever makes you feel good.
I have a friend that couldn’t drag himself to the gym after years of going 5-6 times a week.
He was incredibly competitive though, so he started training for an Iron Man instead. That shift was all he needed to make him look forward to working out again.
So many of our tribe members tell me that they’re building careers doing something they hate. For example, they want to star in action films but they’ve been pigeon holed into doing comedy.
What do you do in this case? Enjoy the climb. Comedy teaches you timing, which is what action is all about.
That’s not to say that you won’t have to do something you don’t like. Rather, operating this way will give you a new outlook on those things.
So once you have accomplished your goal of feeling good, all that’s left is creating an environment that attracts your career goal to you. This is really the same thing we’ve been talking about, but for simplicity we’ll separate the two.
One of the most uncomfortable parts of being an actor is going around town with our actor’s hat in hand begging for a role. Not a single actor I’ve ever known enjoyed this, yet it’s what we allow ourselves to be consumed with.
What you have to do instead is create a vacuum that pulls the opportunities to you. The beauty is that this works no matter how many credits you have.
In order to pull opportunity to you, you have to start rejecting it.
BOOM! Wrap your mind around that one.
You don’t take yourself out of the game completely, rather you shed the air of desperation that follows actors around everywhere.
Picture this, you’re sitting at a bar and Michael Bay strolls in and sits down next to you. How long would it be until you threw your headshot and resume at him? That would make you just another desperate actor and the world has too many of them already.
What if instead, you just had a conversation? What if you just talked one human to another. When he inevitably asks you what you do, and you answer that you’re an actor and you don’t scream in desperation, wouldn’t you feel much about your place in the world?
A funny thing would happen at the point, he would likely follow up with an opportunity for you. A project he’s working on that could use a person like you on set. See, there’s something magical about not actively looking for opportunity: it finds you.
We can stay on the side of “practicality” and avoid the mystical and metaphysical.
Simply stated. Success attracts success. Think about it. If a street beggar walks into a restaurant looking for a sandwich he’s 99.9% likely to walk out empty handed.
Bill Gates on the other hand is 99.9% likely to have his sandwich comped.
No one was better at attracting success than Bernie Madoff. When his empire had a whopping $12 in the bank, he didn’t fret and start chasing clients. He stayed calm and kept turning away money, operating “by referral only.”
Everyone wants something they can’t have. Bernie Madoff was turning away millions from pension funds because his company was closed to new investors (or so they thought).
What happened then is that he attracted tens of millions of dollars and later hundreds of millions of dollars (adding up to billions) from high net worth individuals. His clients would see their incredible, (alleged) returns and beg Madoff to meet one of their friends.
When Madoff agreed to meet with you, it was 100% on his terms. He set the fees, the minimum amount of money you would “invest”, how long he would keep your money before you could withdraw a penny, he controlled everything.
Because, these people were so honored to even have a meeting with Madoff, they agreed to the nonnegotiable terms without blinking.
So how can you apply this to your own career?
Set your goal of feeling good, eliminate doing anything that doesn’t make you feel good, and stop being an actor for hire. Create demand for yourself, even if there isn’t any outside demand right now.
When someone asks you what you’re working on, say that you’re looking for the right project to work on. Admittedly this gets easier when you have some attention to leverage and an industry reputation that you can back it up with.
That doesn’t mean that you need to have a ton of credits and run in the industry’s inner circles right now. You just need to carry yourself as though you are. The way to do that is here.
At this point in your career you can either make moves to push yourself to the next level, or you can keep doing more of the same. I don’t need to go into detail about where that will get you. I’m not saying that you have to do this. All I’m saying is that you have to do something.
Whatever it is, just make sure that it makes you feel good.
See you at the top,