Make A Plan & Work It!

A lot of people approach their creative careers with die-hard passion, belief in their talent, and lots of people pulling for them—but no strategy. It’s no wonder that so many reach a certain level of success and then find themselves stalling or stagnating somewhere “comfortable” and doing work that doesn’t really satisfy their true ambition.

Plainly put, if you don’t take steps to decisively tell the industry who you are, it won’t know—and certain decisions will be made for you.  One way to combat inertia is to define your plan and figure out what it will take to progress from one milestone to the next—i.e. map it out using these 5 important business tools:

1. Strategy – You have to start with your dream. And a great way to ensure that you’re truly passionate about your dream is to write it down and then multiply it times 100 – that’s your real dream (scary, I know). Go for it. Another great building block of strategy comes from Jim Collins (author of “Good to Great”) – Collins’ personal “hedgehog strategy” lies at the intersection of (1) What you’re truly passionate about (2) what you’re genetically encoded or “made” to do and (3) what things can you be paid for.

Click here to read the other 4 business tools (link to article on The Professionals program blog)

2. Milestones – you can’t eat a whale all in one sitting.  Break impossible dreams down into achievable goals and work through them one at a time.

3. Process – Are you doing things in the right order, and with the right timing?  For example, if you’re an unknown writer you might want to build a body of work and (these days) an online presence before you go out to agents and producers with a project, and if you’re an unknown director you might want to get your indie thriller in the works before you call in your favors and spend a bunch of money on a sizzle reel for a big tentpole-style action pic…

4. Schedule – When are you going to do all this, and, realistically how long will it take?  Lay out your other commitments on paper, look for windows of time, and block off time for the specific tasks that will take you to your milestones.

5. Deadlines – Set them, create reminders, and hold yourself to them or hire someone who will!


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