I want to share with you a couple of amazing, against odds, stories to pump you up. Because they pump me up. DREAM BIG. SUCCESS IS MORE COMMON THAN YOU THINK.
Meet Lisa: from Fashion to Interior Design.
We went to the same high school. She went to university for fashion design – always creative, hard working and personable. She intended to go into journalism or styling, but ended up doing a one day room challenge for a local show: Much 911 (after making an impression on a TV producer).
With that experience under her belt, Lisa was approached to renovate an entire house on a new HGTV series – televised across the country. Talk about pressure! She hit it out of the park, got exposure (read: clients) and after 2 years, worked with a Business Coach to shape what Lisa Canning Interiors is today. She specializes in chic, personalized contemporary interiors with a focus on condos. Lisa loves her job, is great at what she does and can be seen regularly on a new daytime talk show, without having specialized in interior design in school.
Meet John: from Business to Screenwriting.
We worked together very briefly, when I interned at Alliance Atlantis (now Shaw Media). He got a prestigious education and wrote a play while in college. He was working at a broadcaster, on the business side, when he found a screenwriting buddy. They decided to write a movie together: cue brainstorming. His buddy took a course in screenwriting and wrote 25 pages for one of their ideas; together, they completed the draft.
Shortly thereafter, John received an email from a fellow alumni asking if he knew anyone who had written a screenplay, since a producer friend was looking for new material. It turns out, John did. He spent 3 weeks polishing the screenplay and submitted it, receiving attention from an agent who wanted to sign them.
John now lives in LA with his partner and is on the cusp of legit screenwriting success. He didn’t go to film school or screenwriting school. In fact, he was working a time consuming day job when he co-wrote his first screenplay.
Luck is when Preparation Meets Opportunity.
I guess clichés exist for a reason.
- Both Lisa and John had identified skills that would serve their dreams.
- Both Lisa and John took a proactive step (knocked on a door or responded to a knock) and did the hard work of creating something tangible (a portfolio, a script).
- Both Lisa and John understood the power of networks
- Both Lisa and John seized the day when the universe and timing sent them golden opportunities
You can scoff and say they just got lucky; that it was TOO EASY for them. But they also committed to do THE SCARY.
Many people may have said no to the HGTV gig, due to the pressure of being televised and the fear of screwing up. Many people may not have moved to LA, leaving a great, safe job for a volatile one or because they would be leaving friends and family. Heck, many people wouldn’t have had the discipline to work on a script on weekends and evenings because it would be “TOO MUCH”. Or would have thought their script was no good and quit halfway through.
You can’t always plan how you get from Point A to Point B but you can throw out the right energy and you can do the work and you can have your target in mind and you can get there.
TADA: I’ve connected with 4 screenwriters in the past 2 months.
Would you look at that? Growing up and until January 2011, I didn’t know anyone remotely within reach that had left the corporate world and found success in screenwriting. Once I decided screenwriting would be my thing, BOOM! I met four of them (virtually and IRL) in two months.
- One is John, who was on my very own facebook friend list, yet I had no clue he had switched careers.
- One is Jeff, who I had seen profiled on a local blog site and subsequently messaged on facebook (cold), and got a response
- One is Laura, who is in the circle of friends of Stuart Knight (I volunteer for him). I’d seen her at various events over the past year but we just connected this month.
- One is Ingrid – I spent Valentine’s Day with one of my eharm friends, seeing her indie film Modra in limited release. She invited guests to a pub after and we connected with her there.
I still need to do the hard work of writing and editing and thinking and brainstorming and making time. But I’m taking these recent connections as a good sign. I truly believe when you knock on the right door, it opens for you (even a teeny bit). But you have to knock, step through it and keep walking.
WHAT DOORS ARE YOU KNOCKING ON?