This whole Hollywood thing feels like a never-ending game of hurry-up-and-wait.
Am I right?!
You put yourself out there, book meetings, go to auditions, interview, and then wait. And then you wait some more. Oh, and hey, wait a little longer.
It feels like the power is in the hands of the industry, and you have no control when Simon is going to hit that golden buzzer and let it rain gold confetti as your wish is finally granted. (I know, I love that analogy, but it's just so perfect!)
So it’s very common for you to create other projects or take on other jobs while you wait. Especially when creativity is in your blood and you’re itching to create something.
And to be honest, sometimes we just want to fill our plate with other projects and jobs so we can feel productive. Like we are doing something with our lives. So we have something to talk about when people ask that dreaded question, “What are you working on?”
It always comes from a good place, too. Whether you decide to help a friend with their web series, write a book about your experiences, take on a new job, or any other project that begs for your time, you have the best intentions. You have talents and you want to flex those muscles!
And while you mean well, each new project you say “YES” to could be delaying your dream, pushing it back further and further.
I know that may be hard to hear, so let me explain more clearly with one of my fantastic metaphors:
Let’s say I want you to clean the kitchen floor, make your bed, and vacuum the living room, and I want you to complete it all in 1 hour. Cleaning the kitchen floor will take you 40 minutes, making your bed will take 10 minutes, and vacuuming will take 20 minutes. When you add all of them up, it will take more than an hour to complete all 3 tasks.
What do you do? You have 3 options:
- You can rush through each job to try to get it all done in time
- You can skip one of the tasks and only complete two
- You can half-finish each task
When you take on several projects or jobs, it presents the same problem.
If you are writing a book, trying to land a series regular role in a TV series, and launching a new blog all at once, you have the same 3 options as listed above.
While you don’t have a specific deadline in your real-life example, splitting your energy on so many different projects expands the time it takes to achieve any of them.
Going back to the cleaning example, what if I changed it and said you have 1 hour to make your bed?
Leaving Parkinson’s Law aside (a long story for another day!), you could essentially have that bed made in 10 minutes, with 50 minutes to spare! In comparison with the options before, of either rushing through the task, skipping a task, or half-finishing a task, this new parameter allows you to complete the task faster and better.
Trust me, I know as a creative person, it feels impossible to focus on one goal at a time.
But if you want your dream goal to happen 10x faster, it is the key.
When your calendar is full with many different projects, your energy is split. It’s like giving 25% of your energy to 4 different things, instead of giving 100% of your energy to one thing.
I see this happen all the time, and it breaks my heart because a simple tweak to your schedule could make a HUGE difference.
Recently, when I was building my private coaching program and working on growing my membership site, I felt completely torn down the middle. It was really difficult for me to mentally shift gears, growing two very different programs. Even though they were both under my company LA Bound, they required my time and energy separately. I would spend one day on the membership site, and the next day on the coaching program. But questions would always come up for each, crossing over their designated days. I was never able to fully commit 100% to either program and I felt like it was taking FOR-EV-ERRRR (Sandlot style with the flashlight) to make any progress.
I remember complaining to my friend, “OMG! I wish I could just focus on one of these! They would grow so much faster if I focused on one at a time!” I was legit envious of other people who were growing their businesses at lightning speed because they only offered one product at a time.
And then I realized that I create my own life, and I can do what I want! So a month ago, I closed the doors to the membership site and I’m solely focusing on high-level coaching.
You have the same freedom. And yes, I’m calling it freedom!
Being tied to multiple projects is like putting yourself in Goal Jail. It severely delays your ability to achieve your dream goals. I know that sounds harsh, but my priority is helping you achieve success, not to sugar coat this journey.
Take a look at your calendar. How many hours per week are you spending on your dream goal?
How many hours per week are you spending on other projects?
If you cleared your calendar right now, and focused on ONLY your dream goal for an entire week, where do you think you would be at the end of the week? (You can find out by downloading this free 7 Day Calendar Challenge.)
Since I’m aaaaaallll about the metaphors, here is another one:
Let’s say you and your friend Bob both want to get better at basketball. For one week, you both work towards this goal of becoming a better player.
Bob decides to practice for 1 hour every day. The rest of the day he works on other goals, like building a wooden shelf for the house, and mastering his online poker skills.
You decide to practice for 6 hours a day. You don’t do anything else except eat and sleep and practice basketball for an entire week.
Who do you think will perform better at the end of the week? You or Bob?
It’s a bit of an extreme example, but you get the picture.
When you work on one goal at a time, that goal is achieved 10x faster than if you work on 4 goals at a time.
And it isn’t even just your time. It isn’t even just about hours spent.
It’s your physical and mental energy. Where is your mind focused?
If you want your goal to happen 10x faster, your energy and mind need to be focused on it 100%.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t do your other projects. This doesn’t mean that you can’t accomplish your other goals or be multi-passionate.
It simply means that you should approach them one at a time if you want them to happen quickly.
Look at the current results in your career. Are they inconsistent? Are they happening in slow motion?
Your results will mirror your actions.
Are your actions inconsistent? Are you working towards your dream in slow motion?
If you want to change your results, you have to change your actions. What kind of results do you really want in your career?
How can you change your actions to mirror that desired outcome?
There is a really simple question that you can ask yourself in order to make a shift.
Will this project/job delay my dream? Or will this project/job bring me closer to my dream?
When you make your dream your #1 priority, and you are able to answer those questions honestly, your dream will start to happen so much faster.
That’s why in The Inner Circle with Erica, you’ll only be allowed to work on one goal for the entire length of the program. I know, blasphemy! But I’m all about getting results as quickly as possible. So whether your goal is to sell a script, get representation, land a role on a TV show, etc., it’s the only project you focus on until you achieve it. Then you can move on to your next goal.
When I moved to LA, my goal was to work on a TV show as a Graphic Designer. It’s the only thing I focused on every single day. I booked my first show within 2 weeks of moving—by the way, I had literally zero contacts in the industry. (See what you can accomplish if you focus on one thing every day with this free 7 Day Calendar Challenge.)
The other part of this, is the dreaded Shiny Object Syndrome.
It's our weakness as creative people.
Any idea that pops into our head MUST be started immediately!
The problem is, it leaves many projects unfinished.
And the one project that shouldn't be left unfinished is your BIG HOLLYWOOD DREAM.
Take a hot second and think about what that dream is.
What haven't you achieved yet?
Is it selling a script?
Is it booking a role?
Is it making a living in the entertainment industry?
If you haven't achieved it yet, it's an unfinished goal.
What else in your life is unfinished?
What other projects have you left lying on the side of the road?
The AMAZING news about all this, is that it's super easy to fix.
All you have to do is pick one of those unfinished goals and work on ONLY THAT until it's finished.
Like anything new, it’s going to feel awkward at first. You’ll desperately want to go back to what is comfortable. But when the results start flying in, you’ll never want to do it another way again.
You moved to LA for a dream. Why not make that dream happen as soon as possible?
You may have objections. It’s natural to want to cling to your current circumstances and prove to the world that you’ve been doing everything right.
But at the end of the day, it’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about achieving your dream. Period.
Everything you’ve done so far has made you who you are, and has brought you to right here, right now. You deserve the dream you’ve been tirelessly working towards.
I often hear people talk about seriously pursuing other jobs while working on their dream “on the side”. This usually stems from fear (which I will talk all about in my blog post next week). Setting fear aside for now, the problem with pursuing your dream “on the side” of other projects and jobs, is that you aren’t fully committing to your dream. And when you’re not fully committed, it’s never going to happen in a timeline that feels good.
So take this moment, and decide to fully commit. Even if your dream scares the crap out of you. Actually, if it doesn’t scare you at all, it’s not a big enough dream.
If you REALLY WANT your dream, even if that dream has just been a soft whisper, I have the greatest news ever: you can have it. But in order for you to grab it, you’re going to have to give it 100% and commit. I dare you to commit for at least the next 7 days.