With Your Career, Are You An Amateur Or Professional?

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At some point in our careers we need to decide how serious we are about the pursuit. As the old saying goes: “The thinking that got you into this mess isn’t the thinking you need to get out.”  All of us start as beginners or amateurs – and there’s no shame in that. But at some point, some decide that the pursuit is worth the self discipline it takes to reach the next level, while others decide to stay where they are. I could use a million examples – maybe you’re

How to Keep From Becoming A “One Hit Wonder” With Your Career

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Living in Los Angeles, I’m constantly meeting people who had a breakthrough moment sometime in their career. Perhaps they acted in a successful TV series, wrote a screenplay for an acclaimed movie, or published a bestselling book. But after that success, they dropped off the radar, unable to keep the momentum going. Perhaps that’s happened to you. Your

The Problem With Surrounding Yourself With Smart People

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I grew up in the South and spent my early years watching buddies hang out their entire lives. Usually these buddies were picked because they wouldn’t challenge each other, push each other, or inspire each other. You probably know some people like this. They’re buddies that do nothing but “hang out.” So I decided early on that I wanted to do the opposite – to surround myself with smarter, more talented, and more driven people than me.  And for most of my life, my friends have done some amazing things. They produce 

Why You Need a Project

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Everybody needs a project. It may be your job, but in most cases, it’s something else. Some call it a “hobby,” but to me a hobby is more about relaxation than accomplishment. Retirees often die if they don’t have a project. Once they start feeling they can’t contribute, then their lives seem over. Your project should be a passion, something you’re good at doing, and a way to

Get Your Career Unstuck in the Entertainment Industry

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If you’re working on a career in the media or entertainment industry, but feel like you’ve hit a wall, I can relate.  In nearly 3 decades working in Los Angeles, I’ve seen plenty of people zoom to the top, and others crash to the bottom.  I’m not an “expert,” I’m an “observer,” so after all these years watching, here’s 3 things that just might help you make the leap:

Why You’re Not Getting a Job in the Entertainment Industry (Or Anywhere Else)

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Sometimes it seems like in the last three decades I’ve read a million different resumes, and interviewed about as many people looking for jobs. After all that experience, one big thing bugs me, and I think it’s holding a lot of people back from getting better jobs: The lack of a specific skill.  Here’s the situation:

Is It Time to Quit Your Job?

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In my high school football locker room, our coach had a big sign on the wall: “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” He preached the gospel of not quitting, and it took years before I realized he was full of it. The truth is, there’s plenty of times to quit, and sometimes, quitting is the best thing you can do. We often get caught in bad situations, or organizations that won’t change, or losing teams. In those cases, quitting can often be the

The 10 Commandments of Career Success in the Media World

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I spoke to a class of university film students at Biola University in Los Angeles, who asked me to give them some career advice before graduation. A friend, award winning advertising writer David Morgenstern, shared some tips with me for the class that he had given to USC film students a few years ago, and they were so fantastic, I wanted to share them with you: