A Simple Way To Shorten The Time You Struggle in Hollywood

There was this one time—let’s call it, “The Worst 9 Months of My Life”—when I was this close to punching someone in the face when they asked me, “So what show are you on now?”

Because I wasn’t working on any show.

And that same person would check in and ask the same question 6 months later and I STILL wasn’t working on any show.

It was embarrassing.

Not like being called Toby when your name is Chandler and never correcting the person, level of embarrassing --- no, this was like being naked in school and everyone pointing and laughing at you, level of embarrassing.

(And yes, there’s a Friends reference in there. It’s an incurable disease, so get used to it!)

I never punched the person. Remember, I was this close.

Instead, I hid.

In my cave of a bedroom in Hollywood.

Tears streamed down my face, as I desperately wondered why I hadn’t been a Hollywood success story yet.

I felt completely powerless—like my dreams were in the hands of the Industry Gods.

And for whatever reason, they deemed it was not my turn yet.

But how long does it take?

5 years? 10 years?

How much struggle must we go through before we can have those careers we dream of?

For me, it was 9 months.

For others, it’s 7 years.

The timeline of struggle is going to be different for everyone.

What I’ve learned is that if you want your “struggle” to be short-lived, there are some things you need to change in your approach to your career.

And I want that to start NOW for you.

Because I know what it’s like to start contemplating other careers.

When your family is in a different city, state, or even country.

And you start to consider this other life that you could be living.

A life where you move back home, live closer to family, and take on another job that may interest you.

One where you feel you’ve given your time to Hollywood, and you just can’t live the current way anymore.

One where you pursue a different aspect of the business because you’ve convinced yourself that your interests have changed, but secretly it feels easier than what you’ve been attempting.

No matter how it looks for you—no matter what new avenue you consider—giving up can be tempting.

Honestly, there is nothing wrong with quitting Hollywood.

I completely understand why you’d want to get out.

But if, deep down inside, you still want your Hollywood dream, then quitting should not be on your to-do list. At least not today.

I believe in dreams.

I believe in YOUR dreams.

Like, in a Pixar movie kind of way.

In that innocent, believes-in-Santa-Claus kind of way.

I’m able to because my dreams have come true. And I’m watching my clients’ dreams come true.

Now, it’s YOUR turn.

Let’s break down why it’s so damn difficult to “make it” in Hollywood.

I think there are 5 major reasons worth addressing:

  1. Lack of a concrete path to follow
  2. Constant rejection
  3. You’re powerless: it feels like your career is in the hands of the industry
  4. No accountability: it’s completely up to you to take action
  5. Negativity in Hollywood

 

Lack of Concrete Path

There is no specific path to follow to get a job in Hollywood. No matter what aspect of the entertainment industry, there is no obvious way to make it happen. Most corporate jobs have easy-to-follow paths: you can submit your resume, apply to a position, get an interview, climb the ladder, etc.

We don’t have any of that in our dream careers. So it can be difficult to figure out where to start or what move to make next.

 

Constant rejection

This isn’t just for actors. Rejection happens all across the boards, much more frequently than any other industry. It’s so intense, that it goes way beyond having a “thick skin”. Rejection can wear your soul down after so many rounds.

 

You’re powerless

It always feels like your career is in the hands of the industry. Like you’re just waiting for someone to say YES to you. When your career isn’t unfolding the way you’d like, it makes sense to blame the industry.

 

No accountability

With most of our dreams, there isn’t a boss telling you what to do. Sure, when you book a gig, there is usually someone telling you what to do on the gig. But in terms of the big picture of your dreams, there is no one making sure you write a script by next month, or practice those lines, or work on your portfolio. Most days it is completely up to us to take action. It’s like working out without a trainer--did you really do 100 squats yesterday? Trying to beat procrastination and laziness every single day is no easy feat.

 

Negativity in Hollywood

You hear stories and stereotypes of people and experiences in Hollywood, most of which are negative. Fake relationships, lack of trust, lack of human decency. It can be difficult to stay positive and feel empowered.

 

With these 5 major issues, I understand why you may contemplate quitting.

But like I mentioned earlier, if you want your “struggle” to be short-lived, you simply have to change a few things in your approach.

Translation: Start by changing these 5 issues

Because here's the thing: it's really easy to get upset about these 5 hurdles. It's totally understandable to feel completely defeated, like you're climbing an uphill battle. But if you want to be successful at your dream, you have to figure out a way to change your response to them.

Tony Robbins always says, "Life happens for you, not to you." So how can we switch this negative situation from something crappy that's happening TO us, to something that empowers us?

My favorite mentor-from-afar, Jack Canfield, has a super simple equation to help us:

E + R = O  {Event + Response = Outcome}

It's all about how you respond to these events that determine your outcome.

You can choose to respond like this: "This is just how Hollywood is and it sucks, and I'm completely powerless in this situation—there's nothing I can do about it."

What kind of outcome (or results in your career) do you think you will have with that response?

Or, you can choose to respond like this: "These are the problems in front of me. What can I do to change them in order to succeed? I won't let these problems define my career path."

What kind of outcome (or results in your career) do you think you will have with that response?

If you open yourself up to possibilities, there is always another approach. And what we really need here, is an approach that is conducive to success.

So, how can you flip these 5 issues, total HGTV style?

Take these problems that are presented in front of you, and get rid of them: clean them out, do a complete gut job, and replace them with something new that makes you happy-cry during the big reveal?

I am going to show you exactly how to do it in The Inner Circle With Erica, which is opening doors in just a few days.

But for now, let’s tackle one of them: Lack of concrete path

How can you take this lack of concrete path and replace it with something positive and shiny and beautiful?

You’ll need to start by figuring out a concrete path.

If you don’t know what step to take next, or even how to start, what can you do to figure that out?

The fastest way is to ask someone who has done it: The “M” in the LA Bound System of CMG. The “M” stands for MODEL.

You can easily model a path that has worked for someone else. If you don’t know what steps to take, find someone who has already done what you want to do, and ASK THEM.

From their answers, you can form a concrete path.

Everyone will ultimately have their own path, and you may do things differently than your model. But you need to start somewhere. So why not start with something proven? There is no need to reinvent the wheel.

What is something you want to do in your career right now, that you aren’t exactly sure how to make happen?

Got it?

Ok, now that you’ve got that one thing, who has already done it? If you don't know someone in your immediate circle, can you find someone you don't know? (Yes, this will totally require you to hop outside of your comfort zone.)

Can you ask them HOW they did it? What steps they took? What mistakes to avoid?

It’s so simple, and yet many people don’t do this.

But how great would it feel to flip that first Hollywood issue?

To finally have a concrete path?

I think pretty FLIPPING amazing.

Ah, see what I did there?!

I’m so punny!

But seriously, look how easy it can be to turn things around.

If whatever you’ve done so far hasn’t landed you your dream job yet, that’s OK. All you need to do is change your approach.

You need a fresh start. A chance to get re-motivated. A chance to feel empowered again, and excited about your dreams.

All it takes is a simple flip.