Y'all know I'm a research junkie.
(If this is news to you, okay. Now you know. I'm a research junkie. I would stay in grad school forEVER if I didn't have this li'l empire to run.)
I looooooooove learning new things and while I work, am often streaming talks and lectures that have absolutely nothing to do with showbiz.
Except I believe *everything* has something to do with showbiz, since our work is all about storytelling to make the human condition — each and every variation of the human condition — relatable.
So, recently I was consuming a 50-minute bit of goodness from Tim Ferriss in which he blitzed through the 17 common traits he's identified in the world's highest achievers.
(SMFA Vault members, I'll be posting the deep-dive of all 17 soon so we can continue the convo we started about this!)
Number 15 struck me as a phenomenal prompt for the SMFA ninjas community and here's how we're gonna tackle it.
(Now, keep in mind, this is pulled from a list of common traits in the world's highest achievers! This is an elite population of über-successful bajillionaires and celebrities and entrepreneurs who've changed the game with what they've created. So if you read this suggestion as I've adapted it for accelerating achievement in your creative career and feel resistance, it's not surprising. Bookmark this and come back to it later. Use that dispassionate labeling we talked about. K?)
Let's say you have NO time to make changes. NO time to do more than quickly decide. "Gun against your head," is the phrase Tim used for this.
You have NO time and you have to get ONE headshot and ONE short clip from one scene in one project submitted to me. Now. Now. NOW.
It's the project of your life's dreams. It's the role you were born to play. It checks all the boxes: Top pay, best location, that director you've always wanted to work with, the script of a lifetime, that role that you've dreamed of sinking your teeth into opposite co-stars you'd kill to work with… and it's all lining up for YOU. Right now!
If you hand over ONE headshot and ONE clip right NOW.
Are you ready?
If you are, you're 1/17 of the way to meeting the criteria that set up Tim's list of 17 common traits the world's highest achievers share.
You've found a way OUT of overwhelm, so you never ever EVER use it as an excuse to stay stuck again.
And because one of the most common things I hear from brilliantly talented creatives is that they're overwhelmed, I think having ways to reframe or cut through that fallacy is pretty dang important.
"Gun against your head," as Tim says, "what do you choose?"
It gets super clear what THE headshot is. What THE clip is. What tools you already have that will *get you* perceived as on that dream set. (Or awareness that you've gotta get going NOW on creating these tools.) And this ability to see decisions that can keep you rearranging furniture forEVER (re-doing the gallery on your website, re-editing your demo reel incessantly, re-visiting your target list rather than moving forward with submissions… or doing submissions from a place of jumbled, unfocused energy: "Oh, I don't know which headshot to choose, so I'll send six to the agent even though the agency website said to only send one. They'll be glad I ignored instructions. I'm showing them my range! It'll be great!" No… it's not great. Not ever) as binary is hugely clarifying when it comes to getting shit done.
What gets Self-Management for Actors to the printer, edition after edition? A deadline.
"Gun against my head," what stays in this overwritten chapter if it has to be turned in NOW?
What can you remove from your overflowing, overloaded plate filled with too many options when it comes to your headshots? Your clips? Those edits on your bio or cover letter? Your website? Your target list? Your to-do list outside of your creative career, for cryin' out loud?!?
Heck, and if even deciding where to begin with the list of alllllllll that needs to be done gives you an anxiousy feeling, you can now use this method to pick a place to start.
"Gun against your head," where do you begin?
Because it's freakin' JUNE already. We're knockin' on the halfway point of 2017 before too long. Are you halfway to the big awesome goals for how you were gonna make this year everything it could be?
(Don't worry if you're not. That's one of the reasons we're creating a mid-year challenge to jam through together — yes, for FREE, y'all — so we can supercharge anything that's been dragging despite our best intentions.)
All right. I wanna hear from you. Try it. Then tell me: How does this tactic work for you?
I can't wait to see how you cut through the freeze-dried state of overwhelm to finally knock something off the list once and for all. And then something else. And another item. Ahhh… blissful!
You secretly know what ONE headshot does the trick to teach buyers the story of where you're headed. You feel in your gut what ONE clip is a slam-dunk amongst too much clutter in showcasing you at your storytelling best.
Let's get that clarity flowing without HAVING no time (or a gun to your head) to force you into it.
This technique will confirm what you're suspecting is true about your options. Go for it!