How To Measure Success

career, personal stories

I have a cousin who set the bar for success in my family.

“I never went into an interview and didn’t get it.”

This was my aspiration for a long time.

It was my own brag, actually, through most of college.

“I get everything I applied for.”

Then college ended and real life beckoned. For the next 8 years, I proceeded not to get anything I applied to. Never in the first round, anyway.

Which is a similar theme in the career’s of people I respect the most:

Dennis Lehane told me:

“What gave me advantage… I was okay with failing. I didn’t get precious about the work. If they told me it sucked, I threw it away and tried again. Lot of these other people at workshops, they did it for therapy. They had egos about the writing. People would tell ‘em it sucked, and they’d go make tweaks to it. Just throw it out.”

Ramit Sethi shares stories about his “failures” tag in his email:

“In Gmail, I have a “Failures” tag, and if I’m not failing at least 4x/month, I know I’m not trying enough new things. If the answer is ‘I can’t really think of an example,’ maybe you’re not actually taking enough risks.”

In his new book MONEY MASTER THE GAME, Tony Robbins shares the secret of top investors:

“Number one, their total obsession with not losing money. You would think that these people would be more focused on making money, but what they all know is they’re going to be wrong, and when they are wrong, they’re going to need to protect themselves because they know that losing 50 percent requires you making 100 percent to get even. That takes years, risk and capital. So they’re obsessed by it.”

When you decide to move to LA, start your Hollywood career or accelerate your career in any industry, know that you’re going to be wrong:

  • Accept you won’t get call backs or interviews.
  • Be ready for people not to return your calls, to reschedule at the last minute, or flake out completely.
  • You’re going to feel hurt and frustrated and like a failure.

That’s when you’ll know you’re in the company of the best.

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