I was going to write about self-care. Specifically about how unapologetic those at the highest tiers tend to be about self-care. About how leaning into unapologetic self-care *before* you’re at the highest tiers is required.
All that good stuff.
But then I had a convo with Team Cricket Feet about what we need to do in terms of tech upgrades and a Self-Management for Actors tour to more cities and doing another print run of the book and so on.
As often happens in these discussions, I take a moment to reflect on a status I’ve talked about since I was a little kid.
Having “ponies for everyone” money.
When we have ponies for everyone money, the website runs as fast as Facebook. When we have ponies for everyone money, I travel first class to multiple cities per year, doing my SMFA teaching and coaching. When we have ponies for everyone money, we do another print run of the book and I fix a couple dozen typos and formatting glitches that make me stabby every time I think about them… but that cost *a lot* to fix. On top of the thousands of dollars to do the print run, of course.
This list of what we’ll spend money on is easy — probably for everyone — but what’s really cool is the imagining of what DOESN’T change about my life.
When we have ponies for everyone money my day-to-day life looks nearly identical to the way it looks today.
Think about that.
I still hop on Skype for a mastermind meeting (but our fisheye webcam is superfly high-tech and the Internet connection is the fastest ever built), I still invite you in for a coaching sesh (but my folksy furniture is upgraded), I still travel to New York to bring my Self-Management for Actors work to some of my favorite people on the planet (but I’m *always* in first-class… or maybe I fly private… or hell, maybe I’ve hired those smart people who make Teslas to create a hydrogen-powered plane since I have ponies for everyone money), I still hit my fitness obsessions and dose up on my adaptogens and do my nearly-decade-long daily non-negotiables of Wii-Fit Plus and Abraham-Hicks… which means that almost EVERYTHING in my life — as it currently is — stays the same when I have ponies for everyone money.
The only things that change are what money can buy. I have the best of things. My team gets paid much better. The nonprofit I’m developing not only gets launched but changes young girls’ lives worldwide. If there’s a task required that I’m not crazy about doing (dealing with a utility company, standing in line at the post office, renewing my driver’s license, taking the cat to the vet, interacting with the CPA or attorney — actually, I *love* interacting with those smart people; it’s just really expensive to do so), I throw money at it to have someone else do it or to make my time spent doing it minimized or at least pleasure-enhanced. (They can integrate a massage, pedicure, or float tank experience into the waiting area of the DMV, right?)
What this tells me is that I’m living on purpose. Right now. I’m spending the majority of my time every single day doing exactly what I love. Not because it pays — because I would *keep* doing it even after I need to earn NOTHING to keep the lights on — but because I love it.
Okay, so this got me thinking about how much *you* may be doing that you’d immediately retire from if you suddenly had ponies for everyone money.
Y’know… stuff like submitting on everything without researching the crew’s track record. Like hitting every CD workshop the helpful “consultant” at the place selling the things tells you that you need. Like doing another big mailing to get on the radar of folks you don’t know.
What I’m willing to bet you’d do when you have ponies for everyone money is invest in that passion project you’ve always wanted to see produced. Create the most massively awesome self-tape studio ever imagined so you always look phenomenal when you’re asked to go on tape at a moment’s notice. Be fucking selective when it comes to partnering with an agent or manager whose job it is to strategically get you where you want to be. Produce the one-person show that tells the story you’re passionate about seeing told. Take all the crazy classes you’ve never been brave enough to take even though you’re secretly terrified that you’d be awful at stand-up comedy (or maybe more scared that you’d really love it).
I’m not saying you’re in this acting thing for the money! Not at all! (And if you are, that’s totally cool, BTW. We’re not running a charity with our art. An exchange of value for value is absolutely appropriate and something for which we should NEVER be made to feel guilty.)
What I’m saying is that once you have all the money in the world, if you’ll never go back to that crappy survival job you have to do at the moment, maybe it’s time to find a way to do less of that crappy survival job BEFORE you’ve got ponies for everyone money. Because it’s not good for you if it’s something you’d NEVER do again.
The people you’re keeping around that you’d never talk to again? It’s time to start spending less time with them NOW.
The practices you have that make you feel icky? Cut ’em out like a cancer, because doing them? It’s not healthy. It’s eroding your creative soul and that creative soul IS the thing that’s gonna GET you to the point at which you have ponies for everyone money… because so many fans value your creative expression and want to reward you for that gift you share.
So think about it.
Ponies for everyone money.
You produce a passion project. Okay, great. Start RIGHT NOW outlining how you can make that project see the light of day on a few hundred bucks. Then make it happen. Just start.
You set up your self-tape studio. Okay, great. Start RIGHT NOW testing out a corner of your room with your iPhone and a stack of books. Practice and get feedback for 30 days. Free. Just start.
You get selective when it comes to your team of reps. Okay, great. Start RIGHT NOW vowing to set clear boundaries on your NO line. No more spaghetti slingers. No more Coffee Bean managers. Next-tier you deserves better. Set that boundary. Just start.
You produce the one-person show. Okay, great. Start RIGHT NOW meeting with folks who’ve done it successfully and learn everything you don’t currently know about how it all works. Just start.
You take all the crazy classes. Okay, great. Start RIGHT NOW at least auditing the ones that scare you most. Learn what you may be craving that you’ve put on the shelf because you “can’t afford it” right now. Just start.
So when you *can* afford it, you know where to begin to get closer and closer to the version of you that you picture when I say: Imagine you have ponies for everyone money RIGHT NOW.
Let’s get ever-closer to living exactly how we’ll live when we have all options available to us *right* damn now. Because everything we do to lean toward the version of ourselves we say we want to become gets us there sooner. It makes us live our dreams TODAY.
I want that for you because I know it’s possible. I live my dreams daily. Have been doing so for years. I want that for you even before you’ve booked some life-changing role. I want it for you today.
Reminder: New York ninjas and LA ninjas, click through to get some Bon in your life NOW! These classes *will* fill up and I cannot wait to jam with y’all!
Everyone: Join me for another fun Facebook Live broadcast at 2:30pm PDT! That’s soon! 🙂 We’ll be right over here talking about the power of listening in your creative career. (The replay will be at my YouTube channel later if you miss it.) Hooray!
Thank you for the tremendous feedback on my “Two-a-Day” post. Holy crap, y’all… I did this trick in class just a few hours ago. Me. Bonnie Gillespie. 47-year-old plus-sized most of her life non-athlete non-dancer… I did it. And this is how I know you can do anything.
Stop doubting yourself. Because if you doubt yourself now, you’ll do it when you have ponies for everyone money. And what fun will that be? Zero. Zero fun.
Let’s have MORE than zero fun. Right now. 🙂 Shall we?
Oh, hey… looks like this turned out to be about self-care after all, huh?