What Have You Given Up On?

I live in Los Angeles, so I see Hollywood from the inside. The entertainment and media business is a tough career to follow, and it can leave a lot of bodies in the wake. At some point, all the auditions, rejections, meetings, lies, bad relationships, struggles to raise money, failures, and sheer weariness take their toll, and many eventually give up. Some ratchet down to a lower level job in the industry, but most either turn to another career or just walk away.

But it also happens in other careers

However, in most cases, what they don’t do, is look closely at why they gave up and what they gave up on. But I can tell you that if they’re willing to take that hard look, it’s amazing how often they discover a way through.

Maybe you’ve given up on your original dream. It might have been producing a movie, launching a company, writing a book, being a public speaker, starting a nonprofit – whatever.

I just want to encourage you to face it. Because you gave up on it doesn’t mean the need disappeared. Just because you gave up on it, doesn’t mean it’s still not a fire inside you.

I’ve never forgotten the quote from brilliant inventor Thomas Edison: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Take the time today to revisit that original goal. Re-think how things have changed since you originally gave up on it. Maybe the financial, organizational, logistical, or other circumstances have changed. It could be that now is a better time to attack.

You never know until you take a look…

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  1. Excellent encouragement, Phil! I once lived out there too…6 months of failures & blood, sweat and tears that seemingly never amounted to anything.

    But God picked me up and offered me another path, and in a strange way, I am just beginning to walk out some dreams He put in my heart when I lived out there and trained briefly in film at USC, 30 years ago this month!

    Recently I have been discouraged on the fund raising track for current & future projects (lots of “No’s” or “I’ll have to think about it” etc.) but just this morning I read again the words of Jesus, “Ask, & keep on asking…”

    Your Blog was that extra little encouragement I needed today to keep on going and keep on dreaming and keep on asking!


  2. Years ago I went to a NATPE pitch event in LA and was able to pitch a TV reality concept to a number of prod cos. After two weeks of hearing nothing it was time to head home. On the drive back I got a call from one of the companies expressing an interest. It was a company that has several top-rated shows on a number of major cable networks (I won’t say any names, but tasty sea creatures are one of their shows’ hallmarks), and the only company that I actually had the opportunity to pitch directly to the founder and CEO. Needless to say, I was ecstatic.

    Long story short, we exchanged a number of emails/phone calls over several month’s time. Whenever I’d check in I was always told these things take time. After several more months, I eventually told them that while I’d love nothing more than to work with them, I feel like I need to possibly pursue the concept with other companies, to which they responded, “Totally understand, best of luck.” And poof! Just like that, it was over.

    And thus, my first real lesson in how fleeting things are in Hollywood. No hard feelings, and I know it happens a million times a day in the industry, but it certainly has a way to take the wind out of your sails.

    1. You’re right – that’s not an uncommon story in Hollywood, but like you, I wish I’d learned it earlier. Thanks for sharing, and I hope plenty of people understand how it works.

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