A few weeks back, I surveyed the fine folks in our Self-Management for Actors Facebook group about some free training I’d like to create.

Obviously, “How to Stop Wasting Time in Your Creative Career” won by a landside.

bonnie gillespie free training survey in smfa fb group

After that, we’ve got “How to Stop Self-Sabotage” and “How to Get Out of a Slump” and then the other four options with far fewer votes.


Because one of my favorite things to do is to build things y’all love to consume, I’m spending the next couple o’ weeks in the creative cave, putting something together for you about how to be Best You in 2020 (or in any year, of course).

First, though, I’d love to hear from you about some specific problems you’d like to have my help solving. Like, what SPECIFIC things are you doing (or think you “should” be doing) that feel like time-wasters? What does self-sabotage look like in your life, specifically? (Because it’s totally different for each of us, of course.) And what have you tried when you find yourself in a bit of a slump… that doesn’t really work anymore (if it ever did)?

Could you do me a favor and share some of that below in the comments of this post? It’ll help me be super specific in how I craft these goodies for you, so we can end the year with some really value-packed FREE training and send you off into 2020 your best self — or certainly on the way to that status.

Speaking of our SMFA Ninjas Facebook group, we are coming back from hiatus soon and that’s thanks to the phenomenal community manager we’ve hired, Lenka Šilhánová. You probably recognize Lenka as the face of Social Media for Actors, a wonderful resource we proudly endorse for its ninjosity!

Please go give Lenka a warm welcome and look for lots of activity over these final weeks of 2019!

Meanwhile, this is your last chance to enjoy the FREE training I did last week on boosting your enoughness — y’know, so you’re more confident in EVERYthing you do, more solid in EVERY relationship you have, and ready for growth in EVERY area of your life with no dang blocks holding you back — before the replay expires. Go here, now. Watch the vid. And YES, if you are going to join us for Get in Gear 2020, you can still score the bonus group coaching session with me when you enroll before the deadline.

If you have ANY questions about our massively impact-filled curriculum and the *new* lifetime membership option, lay it on me! We don’t want you to miss out on snagging the free coaching bonus!! Yes, you’ll be able to enroll at the end of the month *too*, but the coaching will have happened by then, so if that interactivity is important to you, you know what to do.

I’m so dang excited to keep building so many wonderful things to share with you! This is all in service of YOU being able to keep building so many wonderful things (y’know, films, series, plays, musicals, characters and concepts galore) to share with the rest of the world, of course! 🙂 Win-win! Let’s grow together, babe!

Pop your comments in just below and I’ll get cookin’ on more free training for you right away.

Much love,

Bonnie Gillespie autographed the internet

Enoughness is an inside job… and sometimes you need a guide to find your way there. Let Bonnie Gillespie get you started.

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  1. Cori Kidder December 2, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    I find that if I have to prepare something for an audition I’ll wait until the last minute to do so. “If I don’t know the sides well enough it will cushion the blow if I don’t get the part because it won’t be because I’m not talented, it’ll be due to lack of preparation.” It’s something I do CONSTANTLY – and not just in my creative career.

    I think it boils down to “not wanting to waste time” on something I might not even get anyway – not getting too attached to the project/material. Help!

    1. Bonnie Gillespie December 5, 2019 at 2:49 pm

      So, there are ways to be detached without shooting yourself in the foot. Start by practicing some healthy self-talk about how it feels to have a NEEDLESS DESIRE. It’s something fun to want, but it’s not going to kill you if you don’t get it. 😉

      Then, see each audition as a performance — and you ARE getting paid for it, you ARE up for an Oscar because of it — and go all-in! Not because you CARE so much about whether you get it or not, but because you care about who you are as a professional artist and you respect yourself AND the craft so much that you don’t want to come across as a slactor or a hobbyist.

      Try that one-two punch of self-talk for detachment and being the best in the world at what you do (revisit Day 15 and Day 16 of GIGFTNT — especially before we rearrange too much). And give yourself a ton of credit for recognizing your block AND loving yourself anyway. 🙂 That’s awesome!

  2. Heather Alexander December 2, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    My biggest difficulty comes from is not being patient with myself and ALL OF THE STUFF that needs to be done. I’m one of those that does something once and then I”m a professional (in my mind) so, when a tier takes a long time, I’m just focusing on the top tier and not enough on where I am. I need to enjoy where I am more and then the bigger tiers will happen naturally.

    1. Bonnie Gillespie December 5, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      Love that you know the issue AND the fix for it! 🙂 Rock on!

  3. Alexandra Cohler December 2, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Tying to get through all my emails (particularly submissions emails) turns into a huge time suck for me and then turns into my excuse not put in the work preparing for the auditions, classes, and jobs I already have.

    1. Bonnie Gillespie December 5, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      Sounds like it’s time to adjust your NO line and stop receiving info about some lower-tier opportunities so you can focus on the ones at the very next tier! 🙂

  4. Narci Regina December 2, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    I’m feeling totally lost on what else I can do to further my career, get more auditions and book. I have a great team. I love my agent and manager, they work very hard for me and I know they believe in me too. I’ve gotten new, on-brand headshots, updated my reel & website, created my own content & events (eg plays, short films and CD showcases) and I maintain relationships with CDs and other industry pros via emails, workshops, postcards and networking events.

    For some reason, I don’t get a lot of auditions. And when I do, they usually go great!! I’ve been pinned, put on avail…but usually not booking the role. I feel like I may be wasting my time going about everything in the wrong way. I’ve had to turn down a lot of great auditions because I’m not comfortable with nudity. And I’ve decided to no longer pursue theater because my ultimate goal is film & tv. I keep taking classes and fellowshipping with other creatives in the meantime. I know things will work out in time. But I need to know if I’m doing anything “wrong” while I wait.

    1. Bonnie Gillespie December 5, 2019 at 2:44 pm

      Sounds like you’re doing a ton right! The muscle for patience just seems weak. Especially if you’re getting pinned, put on avail, getting callbacks, etc., you’re doing the right stuff and you’re getting in the right rooms. You just have to trust that you are on the right track. I know… easier to say than to do, but that’s the work sometimes!

  5. Adam December 2, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    When I get auditions I print the sides and some times I’ll do some script work right away, but most of the time I wait till its close to due, do a rushed job and hope for the best.
    I also feel rendered but the continued tracking and creating ways to network. I feel its just too big a task and not sure where or how to start and how to keep track of it all.

    1. Bonnie Gillespie December 5, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      So, Adam, do you think the last-minute prep is a form of “it’s okay that I wasn’t spectacular at this because, boy, if I HAD prepped far in advance, I would’ve been great, but since I only gave it ten minutes in the waiting room, it actually wasn’t all that bad” at work? That’s a pretty common self-sabotage and we absolutely can help with the bigger block that’s creating that need. But you let me know if that resonates. 😉

      Networking can be daunting for sure. Have you started by just tagging along with someone else who hits events he/she/they like? Just commit to maybe two things a month at first. Be a +1 so you don’t have to figure out the right places to go… but you get out there and start building a muscle for it.

  6. John Keating December 3, 2019 at 12:19 am

    I find it challenging to dive deep into the research. I may get started on it, distract myself (or take a nap) and never finish the work. Or I tell myself, “I’ll get to that later.”. I need to carve out more time for myself to do the work that doesn’t present immediate results.

    1. Bonnie Gillespie December 5, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      Ugh, yes. It’s like brushing your teeth when your breath is fine. 😉 Like, “WHY do I have to brush my teeth this often?” Oh… because it’s not just about the big chunks of spinach or the bad breath… it’s about gum health and LONG HAUL benefits we don’t see today. 😉

      So… treat show bibling like teeth-brushing. You do it daily no matter what because it’s healthy to do. You do it even more often when the need feels more pressing, but you ALWAYS do it before bed and when you wake up. 😉 Show bibling is like that too. You’ve got this!

  7. Bianca Foscht December 3, 2019 at 5:52 am

    It’s a challenge for me to play a character truthfully (so that my emotions reach the audience), maybe it’s because of wrong preperation!? It’s hard for me to get roles, which are payed well…… I’m often get stuck by being an extra. And I would like to do much more international work….. and also find better ways to network internationally! It’s really hard for me to find international projects because as an Austrian actress I am more expensive than Natives.

    1. Bonnie Gillespie December 5, 2019 at 2:38 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing, Bianca! We’re going to have so much fun digging in on all of this and more in 2020 together! 😉 Yay!

  8. Peter December 3, 2019 at 8:17 am

    First of all, thank you Bonnie for all the guidance through SMFA. It really has been so helpful!

    One specific area in my creative career that I have been getting hung up on is the content creation. I find that this is the one area I go back to where I ask myself “is this really a must/ necessity for my True North?”. I have been tracking shows and CDs, and feel confident on that end, but it seems like creating content that promotes my most castable type on tv shows I am targeting seems daunting. If I have clips of me that portray that type, wouldn’t that suffice for content creation?

    Thanks again,


    1. Bonnie Gillespie December 5, 2019 at 2:37 pm

      Oh, of course! 🙂 You create content to have the best possible footage available to show your buyers how to cast you next. If you already have that from existing bookings, absolutely, keep using those clips!! 🙂 Creating content is a great way to supplement reels that are otherwise lacking somehow, and of course you can build relationships and cred by taking something you created to a film festival, winning awards, getting that up on IMDb, etc., but by all means if your existing clips are a slam-dunk to educate the buyers then your work is NOT to do more content but instead to get the existing content you have in front of the right people! 🙂

  9. Rease December 3, 2019 at 8:21 am

    I personally don’t feel like time is wasted. I think we are all experiencing the moments and lessons we need, no matter how long they take us to learn.

    Having said that, I do sometimes feel like sometimes my survival job is a time waster. I know I need it to pay my bills, but I just think of all the time I could be acting, creating content, writing etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very #blessed for my survival job. I have a supportive group of colleagues, flexibility, perks/perks/perks AND I actually love what I do (it feeds me in other ways than acting) but seeing that spend most of my week here, I can’t help but wonder if it’s taking time away from my passion of storytelling.

    I’ve tried to be better about time managing and even taking time through out my day (at the office) to work on things like my website, sides for class etc but wondering if the incredible BONNIE has ideas for how to make this time seem less of a waste…

    1. Bonnie Gillespie December 5, 2019 at 2:35 pm

      Yes! Rease, go back to Day 28 of GIGFTNT (do it before we rearrange things too much) and re-examine your profit clarity so you can take the hours you DO have away from your survival job and put them into things that get you more leverage in creating what you want in your downtime!! 🙂

  10. Tessa December 3, 2019 at 11:54 am

    my biggest self-sabotage is not taking every audition seriously. when i get one last minute, or one i’m not super excited about, or one i know i don’t have enough time to prep for, i’ll talk myself into thinking it’s not as big of a deal so i don’t feel guilty about not giving it my all. OR, on the flip-side, if i really really want to book something, sometimes i’ll talk down the importance of that audition too so i’m not disappointed if i do give it my all and don’t book it.

    1. Bonnie Gillespie December 5, 2019 at 2:30 pm

      Ooh, wow, Tessa! Such extreme ends of the spectrum. Do you have an average audition setpoint? Or is it always one of those two types you listed?

  11. Heather Muriel Nguyen December 4, 2019 at 1:57 am

    Hi Bonnie!! I self-sabotage by trying to make sure everyone else in the audition room feels good, and inevitably getting super duper anxious and double-checking if I pleased them enough, and then feeling worse because I exposed my self-doubt, and then leaving and ruminating on every detail and negative emotional response that I had and feel like I elicited in them…which in turns wastes so much time and energy that I could be putting into recognizing my wins! or sleeping! or creating the stories I love!

    1. Bonnie Gillespie December 5, 2019 at 2:28 pm

      Ooh, great awareness, Heather. Thank you so much for being so specific!

  12. Sahara December 4, 2019 at 9:16 am

    As far as wasting time, my biggest distractions specifically are:
    – scrolling through social media for hours.
    – binging a show in the name of research.
    – constantly in my head about my opinions instead of simply doing the action. The hesitation I have during the planning/prepping process is immobilizing.
    – Sleeping more than necessary when I’m in a depressed funk.
    -lastly, managing my time by prioritizing. I tend to focus on knocking the little things that don’t matter as much off the list first rather than starting with the big things.

    Thank you Bonnie!

    1. Bonnie Gillespie December 5, 2019 at 2:27 pm

      Thank you, Sahara. These specifics are wonderful! And the fact that you have a muscle for chipping away at the little things means you CAN start to work on those big things… in little ways. And those do add up!

      1. Amber Dawn Fox December 20, 2019 at 7:20 am

        The biggest self sabotage I do is second guessing myself. Whether it is after a character choice in an audition, a business decision, or something as simple as how I wore my hair to meeting with a potential rep. It is definitely something I’m working on!

        1. Bonnie Gillespie December 22, 2019 at 8:41 pm

          I love the positive attitude! Just knowing you’re working on it — and being gentle with yourself as you gradually make changes that will take root — is a big step. 🙂

  13. Amara Brady December 26, 2019 at 5:52 am

    I over think and talk myself out of opportunities before I even really try.

    1. Bonnie Gillespie December 27, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      So good that you know that. The work now is to thank that part of your brain that’s trying to protect you with that method of self-sabotage and then let it know that you’re safe to move forward. 🙂 Baby steps. Work the muscle. You’ve got this!


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