For media producers, writers, directors, actors, and others in Hollywood, understanding that world, or the “professional ecosystem” is vital for success. The dictionary defines “ecosystem” as “A biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.” Transplanting the term to your career means “All the people, companies, institutions, and rules (written & unwritten) that govern your industry.” In Hollywood, that means answering questions like:
Who’s in charge of the production companies, studios, and networks?
Who’s the person accepting pitches?
Who are the key people you need to know to advance your project or career?
Which production companies would be open to your ideas?
Who should you be networking with?
There’s a professional or career ecosystem in every industry, and whether you’re a film producer, pastor, business executive, writer, realtor, or something else – you have an ecosystem all around you that you need to understand.
For pastors and church leaders, it may be the denominational structure and it’s leaders, or it might be other leaders in your network, or outside donors who can make your dream happen, or it might be other pastors who you should be affiliated with right now.
Stop and think about it.
- Who are the people in your business, industry, or calling that hold the power?
- Who can help you grow or advance?
- Who can connect you to people you need to know?
- What are the companies, nonprofits, or churches I should have a relationship with?
Every day in Hollywood, opportunities are lost because a studio executive changes jobs, and producers who spent years building that relationship are now out of luck. There have been numerous times our team at Cooke Media Group spent years in a great business relationship with a nonprofit or ministry leader, only to see that person leave or retire. Suddenly, that professional relationship was over when a new leader stepped into his or her place. Then the relationship-building starts all over again.
Knowing who pulls the strings, makes the decisions, and calls the shots in your professional world is critical to your success. Just as important, learn about the production companies, businesses, guilds, unions, donors, or denominational groups that influence your world.
Spend some time this week learning who those people are and how the organizations operate. Because outside of a miracle, no matter how gifted and talented you may be, you won’t get very far if you can’t open the next door in your career.