Natalie Portman (pictured here) has succeeded greatly not only by having a great look, but also by being an intelligent student of her craft, being hugely talented, and taking calculated risks.
Bruce Edwin is CEO of the A-list firm Starpower Management LLC, publisher of The Hollywood Sentinel, and producer of motion picture. His services, based on his years of expertise and success in the music and film industry are sought out and used by some of the most powerful companies and stars in entertainment. This ongoing article, a precursor to his upcoming book series, is his way of giving back to models, actors and bands, with free education- that in its totality and with its unabashed honesty- cannot not be found anywhere else- free.
While Hollywood is often what is referred to as ‘large than life,’ for those that work in Hollywood, Hollywood is merely ‘a part of life.’ Granted, for many, the entertainment industry may be the majority of ones life, and all they do or think about, however, it is not life. For example, the entertainment industry is not your body, it is not your mind. It is not your sleep cycle, it is not the food you eat, and it is not what one takes with them when they go their grave. To be sure, then, Hollywood- while it may be the scope of ones life, is not life. Life is life. Now, in order to succeed in Hollywood, which is a category of life, it would be wise to succeed first wholly at life itself. For, if a part of something is working within a larger whole that overall does not work, then we can be certain that eventually, a part of the larger whole that does not work may adversely effect that part that is working to the degree that it may not work.
Similarly, your entertainment career may be going fine now, but if your life is messed up, you can be certain that eventually your entertainment career will be messed up too. And so it is too conversely. If a part of a whole is messed up within the larger part, eventually, that larger part may too suffer. If a part in your car is wearing out but the car is still running, yet you choose to ignore it, eventually the ignoring of that one part may one day later be the end of your whole car even running. And similarly, your life may be going great, but if your entertainment career is full of problems, then eventually, the rest of your life probably will be too. Therefore, it pays to start with not merely knowing how to Succeed In Hollywood, but How to Succeed In Life.
I was recently asked to do a radio interview concerning the topic of “How to Be Successful in Today’s Society.” For the interview- I typed out a few notes concerning what I would suggest. And with that, the following is a synopsis of those notes, which I guarantee you are essential to a successful life, and further, to a successful career in the entertainment industry.
How to Succeed in Today’s Society
What does success mean to you? Many measure success by how much money is in their bank account, how little they owe, or how high they are on the corporate ladder. However, when polled, many of the most rich – on their death beds- reportedly indicated that they measured their success not in terms of money or possessions acquired, but rather, in terms of what they had done for others and the loving relationships of their friends and family. On their death beds, the super rich did not ask for more money or stuff, instead, they wanted more time – time to spend with the ones they loved. With that stated, you should determine, what does success mean to you? What does it really mean? Does it mean more love, sex, money, power, fame, or giving to more charity?
1. Know yourself. Know who you are.
Get a sheet of paper, or open a blank page on your computer, and answer these questions in writing. What do you believe in? What don’t you believe in? What do you want? What don’t you want? Imagine you have just 100 days left in this world to live, with your finances as they are right now. What are the next major and minor things you will do? List them all out.
2. Now, make a similar, separate list, and imagine that money is no obstacle.
Write out what you would do. Now write all the things that require more money than you have now under a category of money.
3. Set a target of how much money you need and want and ask yourself, what do I realistically have to do to get this?
Be real, if you don’t have a plan, don’t expect it to work. Goals and a life without a plan means no goal, and not much of a life.
4. Put both lists together.
Now make a list for the same thing- what you would do, except now if you have only one week left.
5. Implement these things into your 100 day list, put them all together, although most of them should already be there.
Rework your list of goals again and again until you have it refined and defined best into one page.
6. Rework your list of goals again until you have them numbered from first to last, with number one being the very first thing that is most important for you to do.
Don’t worry if you are spending even hours on this. The more you know your self and know your goals, the more you will be successful, and eventually, your actions towards your goals and fulfillment of them will become second nature, like a habit, and you will need to merely glance at your goals throughout the day for around 10 or 15 minutes to stay on track.
7. Increase your self esteem.
Ask yourself, How can I increase my self esteem? Make a list of all the ways you can think of that increase your self esteem. Look at your current goal list and implement all of these in to your list of goals. Write them all down. You will be surprised to find that many of them are already on there.
8. Do what you love.
Find a way to make money doing what you love. look at your new list, and find a way to make money doing those things that you love. Find a way also to make money doing the goals on your list.
9. Help others.
Now look at your list and think of all the ways doing each thing on your list might be able to be done by helping other people get what they want to, and revise this yet again. The more you help people get what they want, they easier it will be for you to get what you want. The more people on your side, the better. And in addition to that fact, its good to help others anyway.
10. Only do things that lead to your goals, and cut out all things that do not lead to your goals.
Note, goals should include helping others. Give to others even if you think its mostly to serve yourself. It is still good if it partly helps others to any degree, and its good karma, like attracts like. Furthermore, the more people moving towards the same goal, the better the chance of its success. Further goals should also include taking care of yourself which should include eating healthy, getting plenty of good sleep, working out your body, and also working out your mind and spirit with intellectual and spiritual growth.
11. Know your limitations and get the help of others.
What are your strengths, and your weaknesses? Ask yourself, how can I stop bad habits? Work to replace bad habits with good habits. habits are not bad, only ones that are destructive. Replace bad habits with good ones by getting in the habit- ritual, repeated action, of doing things over and over that are good for you, until it becomes who you are, and you don’t even have to think about doing it consciously, you just do it. The best way to create a good habit, is to write it down, and force yourself to do it over and over each day at a specific time without fail.
Ask yourself, How can I get others to help me do things I can not do well? Create what success experts refer to as a master mind group, and get team effort going. Meet with others who share your goals and learn from them. Get help from others who do what you do better, and focus your time only on things that you have to do that no one else can do as good as you.
12. Get an accountability partner.
Even the act of doing something as simple as talking your friend or partner into holding you verbally accountable for goals you set, that is a correct action in this regard that can help immensely.
13. Be accountable to yourself.
Make the firm policy that you are not going to tell yourself you are going to do something unless you do it. Being inaccurate with others starts when one is inaccurate with oneself. During your self talk, don’t tell yourself you are going to do something unless you really, truly are going to commit to doing it, in order to help yourself be accountable to yourself.
14. Make a to do list.
One simple action that you can take to help you be more accountable to yourself is to type out your daily goals, your to do list each night before you go to sleep, and then look at the list numerous times each day and force yourself to do action on it. If you are not going to take action on it, then take it off your list and stop kidding yourself. Or if you are going to do it next month, then put it on a monthly list and set a specific date by which you will take action on it. But don’t put something on a daily to do list and then not do it. If its on that daily list, force yourself, at all costs to do it. This will force you to start being accurate with your goals and your word to yourself, and in turn, to others. Your to do list will include but is not only the same as your goal list. For example, your goal list may include making one hundred million dollars or getting an Academy Award. Your to do list by contrast, my include replacing the ink cartridge in your printer and stocking up so you are never out.
15. The three main reasons people fail in the entertainment industry, and life are:
a). jealous or negative friends or family from the past or present. The person that wanted you to fail, or was negative to you in the past, does not even have to be in your life now to be a negative influence on you holding you back. They could even no longer be on this Earth, but if their voice is going through your head, or even your unconscious mind, and you have not destroyed those thoughts with positive thoughts, then those words, no matter how long ago, can have a negative impact on your success here and now. This comes back to knowing yourself and your belief systems, and why you think and feel what you do. Remember, the only person that can hold you back from success – unless one is physically held against their will for life- is you. If someone in your present is speaking negative about you or your goals and dreams, warn them to stop. If they do not stop after repeated warnings, get away from them. Life is to short and precious to waste around others who will hold us down. Some people may even claim that they support us, and say good words to us, yet make sly, sneaky, underhanded remarks that can be just as damaging as those clearly indicating our demise. One may say for example, ‘Oh, you are so talented, I wish you luck. But you know, (bored sigh) its very difficult out there! If you want to stop struggling with that, you can always quit and do what we do.” Beware of snake like attackers that slither with their sly comments secretly designed to try make you fail or give up – because they secretly want what you do – but don’t have the guts to go after it themselves.
b). Unprofessional, don’t treat entertainment business or life as a professional. This includes those who show up late, make excuses instead of action, don’t deliver what they say they will, dress like a slob, have bad manners, interrupt people, cut people off and won’t let the other person finish their sentences, look unkempt and messy, say things that a professional wouldn’t say at the wrong time in the wrong place, such as calling an executive dude or babe when they first meet them, failing to follow up, taking things personally, and a myriad of other wrong things that professionals don’t do.
c). Wrong attitude, negative, don’t try enough or give up. This includes those that are rude, arrogant, get offended too easily, have a bad temper, think negatively, think and talk of failure, listen to, believe in, are influenced by, and spread pessimism, talk but don’t start, start but quit at the first near later obstacle, complain when things at first don’t go their way, criticize others instead of looking at their own actions, condemn others and blaming others for their own failures, shortcomings, and lack of actions or wrong actions, complaining about everything including the weather, the traffic, the world events, local events, problems outside, problems on the street, problems at home and work, problems with others and problems with everyone and everything but the real problem- themselves. Lack of dedication, lack of obsession, lack of follow through, lack of perseverance and determination, lack of vision and motivation.
These are the main reasons people fail in life, and as a result, fail in any field of endeavor including but not limited to the entertainment industry. Eliminate these negative actions, and do the converse of these negative behaviors, and you will be on the path to power and success over your mind, and your life.
16. To be successful, you must;
a). Only surround yourselves with people who support your vision and are a ray of light and love to be around. This does not mean that you should surround yourself with so called ‘yes men’ that affirm everything you say or do, but rather, people that will be honest with you but that have your best intentions in alignment with your own goals at heart.
b). Be professional, dress the part, be a pro, study what you want to achieve, be a student of what you want, be an expert in your field of endeavor. Don’t take things personally. Don’t react back in similar fashion if someone annoys or upsets you. Either let is slide, tell them politely if it won’t hurt your intentions, or get away from them the next time if you feel you must.
c). Be optimistic, be positive, never give up, be the part you want, do what others do that have what you want, have the mindset it takes to do what you want. Surround yourself with those who have and are doing what you want. Never take rejections personally and never consider a ‘no’ to what you want a barrier – as long as you are not violating the free will of another. Be ready to fail a lot, because in every failure there is a lesson to be learned, and a movement closer to success. Be a winner!
I hope this has helped many of you. If you have questions, you are invited to call my office for further free advice on How to Succeed in the entertainment industry, or any other question you may have.
Starpower Management; Tel / Fax: 310-226-7176 ww.StarpowerManagementLLC.com
(c) 2012, The Hollywood Sentinel, all rights reserved.