Today is the 13th day of the 12th month of the 11th year of our century. Do you know where your film career is? Is it on-track and roaring into 2012 at a lightning fast speed, or is it derailed and progressively losing its focus? If you are exactly where you want to be, then you should drop to your knees and thank whomever or whatever you choose to believe, because you are one of the luckiest human beings alive. However, if your lunch today cost more than your year’s film related income, then this column is for you.
Today we’re going to discuss five career strategy exercises for you to complete before next Tuesday. That’s right; you’ve got seven days to complete five missions. Don’t worry, these missions are meant to motivate, not intimidate; so they’re more delicious than they are daunting. So, without further ado, here’s your homework!
1) Count Your “Great” Career Days
One of the most ridiculously insightful exercises you can do to assess your career path is roll back the months on your favorite 2011 calendar and start noting your “great career days” throughout the year. Start with January and go through the winter, spring, summer and fall, and then try to remember the days when you felt your career took a substantial step forward. Of course you don’t have to remember the exact dates, but rather focus on the time of year when you received the push forward. What you consider to be a “great” career day is up to you. It could be landing financing, optioning your script or getting a directing gig. Of course, it could also be finishing your screenplay or collaborating with a new producing partner. This is your career, not mine, so it’s up to you to decide what a “great career day” is.
Once you tally up your “great days” for 2011, you’ll see how kick-ass your year actually was. Don’t be bummed if you only experienced three moments in 2011, don’t be, because those three days have already launched you far ahead of everyone who thinks about chasing his or her dreams, but do nothing about it.
Experiencing three memorable days during one calendar year equals a good year. Six heaven sent days is one hell of a good year, and if you had 12 “great days” – one per month – you better hire yourself a publicist within the next three weeks, because you’ll be a highly sought after commodity in 2012.
Thus, don’t compare yourself to film professionals who get paid sick amounts of money to do something that you could do better. Just compare yourself to where you were at this time last year. Remember, this isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon, and marathons require a steady pace plowing forward.
Side Note: A “great day” does not necessarily mean you received payment for your creative endeavors it just means you enjoyed a notably positive step forward.
2) Map Out What Time Of Year Your “Great Days” Occurred
If I were a betting man, I’d bet that your “great days” occurred in the first six months of he year. January to June tends to be the time when most new projects enjoy a positive push forward. This is partly because most production companies and studios get their spending budgets at the beginning of the year. Furthermore, film professionals tend to look for fresh new projects right after the end-of-year holidays. Whatever the case may be, figuring out when you made your most career progress in 2011 will help you understand how to strategize your moves in 2012.
3) Review The Business Cards You Received In 2011
Look back at whom you met in 2011 and if they are someone you want to know in 2012. If the answer is “yes,” but you didn’t keep in touch with them, now would be a good time to send them a holiday card or season’s greetings e-mail and let them know you’d like to reconnect. If, of course, you wish not to reconnect with them, just recycle their business card. There’s no need to keep business cards from people you don’t want to know. Doing so only clutters your working life, and wastes your precious time when you contact them or they contact you.
4) Look At The Balance of Your Bank Account
If your bank account balance is lower than you wish, take a moment to mentally add a few “zeros” to your balance. Visualize the amount of money you wish to see in your bank account, and then take a few hours to map out how you plan to get there in 2012. Remember, if you don’t believe in your abilities, then nobody else will.
5) Pick Your Racehorse For 2012
Take a look at your current, or future projects, and choose the “one” that will launch your career the quickest. Don’t just merely choose your favorite project, choose theone that gives you the best shot at firmly planting you on the Hollywood map.Remember, your “chosen project” has to accomplish one of two things: 1) to make you tons of money or 2) to get you tons of publicity (both would be ideal).
Okay, everyone. That’s what I’ve got to you today. As always, I thank all of you for lending me your eyes, and I look forward to borrowing them again next Tuesday. If you wish, you can follow me on Twitter @Lonelyseal.