Why You Need an “Elevator Pitch” For Your Life


If you work in the entertainment industry you know about “elevator pitches.” Essentially, the idea here in Hollywood is that if you meet a big producer or movie studio executive in an elevator, you should be able to deliver a summary of your movie idea in the time span of an elevator ride, or roughly 1-2 minutes. If that short pitch is done right, the producer or executive will want to know more – and theoretically invite you to a meeting. Now, here’s a better idea:

Turn Your Resume Into A Ticket To The Future


Most people look at a resume incorrectly. Too many think it’s a document that tracks your life and career. But the truth is, a good resume is the ultimate calling card – it’s the movie trailer for your life.  A resume’s task isn’t to get you the job, it’s to get you in the door so you can sell yourself.  So now that you realize it’s purpose is to open doors, get yours out, and let’s fix it:

With Your Career, Are You An Amateur Or Professional?


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

When Hiring Your Family Is the Smart Thing To Do

Happy students in park

When I wrote a recent post about nepotism, I received a lot of feedback – particularly on my Facebook page – from people defending hiring family members. It’s true that family-run businesses have a great track record. In my defense I did mention that I’m not 100% against hiring your children, plus I wrote that “In many cases, certain family members are doing excellent work.” In fact, I love it when my children help me in my own business. However, in retrospect, the post came off as

Is It Time To Say No To The Cult of Productivity?

motion blurred business people walking on the street

I was drafted into the productivity cult a long time ago. I have 3 different To-Do List apps on my computer, iPhone and iPad. I have about 6 different calendar apps. I’ve experimented with roughly 20 different online productivity suites for our Cooke Pictures team. I’ve read David Allen’s books (the holy scriptures of the productivity movement) and plenty of others. And the truth is,

How To Leave Your Job Well


In past generations, people were employed for life, but statistics indicate that in today’s economy, you’ll have many jobs before retirement. In most areas – advertising and marketing, ministry, nonprofit work, entertainment, business, etc… the world is pretty small, so when it comes time to leave your job, you’d better leave it on good terms. After all, you never know in the future when you might want to work with that organization again. So even when you leave out of anger, duress, frustration, or most other reasons, I always encourage people not to burn bridges. But even when that’s your intention, most people don’t do it well, so here’s a few reminders you should keep tucked away for that day when it’s time to move on:

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


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?


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

An Important Secret for Job Hunters


Today, for too many job hunters are leaving out one of the most essential skills for a successful career: creativity. As a result, talk to a typical job hunter, and chances are, they’re doing the same things as everyone else: getting the right degree, attending job fairs, networking events, and scouring the Internet. But if you’re doing the same exact thing as everyone else, that simply means

Five Habits That Could Cost You Your Job


Today’s job market is as tough as ever, and there’s a lot of competition out there. That’s why it’s so important to think about the details. In my book “Jolt!” I highlight the great quote by basketball coach Ed Macauley: “When you are not practicing, remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win” That’s why regular practice eliminating these five negative habits could make the difference between being fired or being fired up: