When To Give Up On Your Ideas or Projects

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Yesterday I wrote about resilience, and how important it can be to not give up on your ideas, your projects, and your dreams – even in the face of opposition. I used my friend Producer Ken Wales as an example of someone who pitched a movie idea for years and years and eventually made it happen. But the truth is, there are situations when it’s actually better to let go of an idea and move on – even if you’ve spent years developing and writing it. The problem is –

What Hollywood Knows About Resilience That You Don’t

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Love it or hate it, one thing you can say about many producers in Hollywood is that they are remarkably resilient. They don’t give up, and in some cases keep pitching ideas for years. There’s something to be said for that, because in my experience, when people outside Hollywood hit a wall, get rejected, or suffer a defeat, nine times out of ten, they give up.  But in Hollywood,

How To Get The Attention of Influencers

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We’ve all had experiences where we desperately needed to meet someone important to pitch a project, share an idea, or just get to know them. Most of us don’t rub elbows everyday with leaders at the top of their game, so when the opportunity comes, we need to act. But the truth is, when that door opens, most of us blow it. We stumble, pull back, become afraid, or otherwise don’t take advantage of the opportunity that could change our future. To make sure you seize the moment next time you meet an influencer, here’s some key points to remember:

Secrets For Dealing With Rejection

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I’m constantly reading quotes from famous people about the importance of failure and rejection. Learning from it, turning rejection into action, owning it, and more. The problem is, failure and rejection are HARD, and while everyone tells you it can be a good thing, very few people tell you how to handle it. To that end, here’s a few thoughts that might help you handle rejection the next time you experience it:

Studio Executive DeVon Franklin and the Ability to Read a Room

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My friend DeVon Franklin is the Senior Vice President of Columbia Tristar Pictures in Hollywood. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to interview him onstage at a media conference here in Los Angeles. In fact, if you haven’t read his book “Produced by Faith” then I highly recommend it. During our session at the conference, I asked him what was the single most important skill it takes to reach the top in this industry. His answer?

How to Sell Your Ideas

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Everyone has ideas, but only a few get those ideas made. The truth is, “idea people” are important, but sometimes it seems like they’re a dime a dozen.  That’s why it’s the “execution people” that interest me. Moving your book, movie, business, or whatever idea to the production and funding stage is a challenge. Here’s some ideas to help  make that happen:

How to Pitch Your Ideas Successfully

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How can you make your dream their dream?  It’s a great question if you’re a creative person.  In many ways, the ability to present or “pitch” your ideas is one of the most important things you can learn in business.   Whether you’re trying to produce a movie, publish a book, get a raise, launch a business, find donors,  or whatever, your ability to inspire others to your way of thinking is important.  So to make you better at presenting your brilliant ideas, here’s 10 important principles to keep in mind:

How Well Does Your Idea Resonate?

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The dictionary definition of “resonance” is: “Vibration caused by a relatively small stimulus, the intensification and enriching of a musical tone by supplementary vibration, or a quality of evoking response.”   When it comes to your ideas – do they create a vibration in the room?  Do they cause a response?  Too often, when we share or pitch our ideas, nothing happens. Then we tell ourselves that

Is Pitching Your Dream Project Making You A Jerk?

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Someone pitched me a project the other day. He had obviously worked very hard on it and was very passionate. But he made one serious mistake: He let his passion spill over into annoyance and then arrogance.  After giving me a long speech about his credentials, and why his experience justified me listening to the project, he then went into a diatribe about what was wrong with people in Hollywood and why they haven’t responded to him. I understood his frustration, because after all, I’ve been out here for

Is Your Big Idea Easy to Understand?

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People come to share their “big idea” with me all the time. They’re excited, pumped, and can’t wait to tell me their great idea for a movie, a nonprofit organization, a book, a new product, or company.  The problem is, it takes forever. Try as they might, they just can’t explain their big idea in a short, simple conversation. For some reason they feel obligated to tell me the history, the background, the competition, the mistakes, the failed tries, the alternatives, what other people think, and