We do some really cool things in Expansive Capacity every month. (If you’re looking for monthly deep-dive masterminds, apply to join us here.)

During our most recent meeting, we turned our attention to the difference between effort and work. Specifically, we were uncovering the tendency for certain personality types, astrological identities, etc., to WORK HARDER than they actually need to work in order to achieve things.

In fact, in *some* cases, there are people who would reach their goals faster and with more ease if they were to put in LESS effort. If they would ALLOW more.

I asked the masterminders to please consider a continuum of work, with EFFORTING on one end and OFFERING on the other. The word WORKING (neutral, just rolling up the sleeves and doing the damn thing) would be right in the middle, between these extremes.

EFFORTING indicates exactly what you’d imagine: lots of effort, friction, resistance, energy. Sweating, stressing, really making sure everyone can see how HARD it all is to be you. Championing the struggle itself in some cases. OFFERING, on the other hand, is doing the work and then presenting it as just that… an offering. It’s talent, aligned with enough of a framework for the right direction (that’d be your true north), just BEING in the zone and sharing the results with the world. No bonus points for straining or struggling. Just breathing life into the reality you’re here to create, then making it available for the world.

From a talent-acting-storytelling-writing-creating perspective, this is super do-able. We know how to get into the zone, embody the character and live in its world, let the muse move through us, and connect with an audience that is truly moved by the work that we do.

But when it comes to the nuts-and-bolts side of our creative careers (y’know, things like updating our show bible, getting out there and networking, setting up our self-tape studio and using it regularly for practice between auditions, creating content to show the buyers how to cast us next, researching hell-yes reps for our next tier, and nailing down our most castable brand), we travel all the way to the other end of the spectrum. No offering… all efforting.


It really doesn’t have to be that hard, y’all.

It’s just WORK.

The next time you feel yourself getting into that clenched jaw, tight shoulders, shallow breath space of EFFORT around the work you tackle (no matter what it is), take a second, breathe more deeply (make your exhale twice the length of your inhale; this tells your amygdala that all is well), and ask yourself whether you could frame this next bit of work you do as an offering.

Take the stakes down a bit. Make it filled with ease instead of filled with effort.

Look, we’re always gonna put in the work. How’s about we do it in as relaxed, aligned, and sustainably-productive a way possible? That’ll get us results faster and in a way more joy-filled way!

You down for trying this? Comments are open below. Lemmeknow!

Oh! And calling all voiceover artists and data junkies alike: Here's a phenomenal, detailed, and inspiring post at our SMFA Facebook group by longtime ninja Jen Losi, whose voiceover career is one to put on your vision board. Of course she shares her toys! 🙂 That's what we do!

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. Gina Taliaferro January 21, 2020 at 7:28 am

    I absolutely needed to read this today. Thanks for putting me a better mindset to finish up a project!

    1. Bonnie Gillespie January 22, 2020 at 12:27 am

      You’re welcome, Gina! 🙂 Glad it was right on time for you.

  2. Heather January 21, 2020 at 7:40 am

    Last year, my word was “balance” with this offering and efforting in mind. I think I’m doing pretty well. Being a person of conviction, I’m always directed to my True North. This year, my word is acceptance. not every day is the same. Some days I’m driving myself and some days I need a rest. I’m doing my best and feeling success.

  3. Amber Sweet January 21, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    I just signed up to receive emails from you, Bonnie, and I’m already stoked. My problem as an actress isn’t often not doing anything. It’s doing too much and trying to control the outcome. Or thinking about things too much. Thank you for helping me find more freedom in the craft I love so much! Really love what you’re about. And I can see why people suggest your material.

    1. Bonnie Gillespie January 22, 2020 at 12:26 am

      🙂 Thanks, Amber. So glad you’re here! Relaxing that stress is such a big factor in enjoying the creative journey (and being more castable, without all that anxiety around).


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