I could have NEVER predicted my career at age twenty four.
No way, no how. Instead it's been one thing to the next, slowly progressing building block upon building block. Just take a look at my about page to see that.
In my 20's my initial goal in life was to be a Broadway star.
I actually still have this goal, but I think it'll happen when I'm in my 50's- if I decide at that point in my life that it is still on my bucket list. But I digress. The point is that I am not a Broadway star because I never wanted to move to NYC, I wanted to have a family and raise them on the West Coast. Instead I have had a fairly successful professional musical theater career.
I started working on projects and shows that were headed for Broadway and originated a few roles, which I consider a success in itself. This is where I learned how to take risks and make quick decisions as I watched other writers and then copied them (five and ten years later) when I wrote my own musicals.
In my 30's I added writer to my resume.
I thought I had my big break when my last musical, Real Housewives got picked up by Stage Rights and producer Roger Bean and was produced at the now Garry Marshall Theater. I was so lucky to meet and work with him a bit about a year before he passed away. I literally received a note "From the desk of Garry Marshall" with a couple of joke ideas to try out in one of the previews. Seriously awesome you guys. Although the show sold well, extended a bit, and I think is very funny, it didn't resonate with enough artistic directors around the world and has not really been touched. Who knows? Maybe it will soon. I still think about changing the name, re-thinking it and trying to approach it with the mindset of INPUT versus OUTPUT. Maybe I will and we can all test it.
I moved from goal to goal, project to project with about forty different gigs, careers and jobs and now that I'm in my 40's I am now starting to see the narrative that weaves throughout my long career as a creative.
I am good at risk taking.
I am great at making fast decisions. I often have the guts to put them out there into the world and yet I don't always feel in alignment with the world.
I am obsessed with learning every single day, honing my different skills, combining them and on a very good day, week, month I can focus on the input not the output.
It's not easy, I still fight it. I'm fighting this blog idea, right here right now. Cause it's hard y'all. It's not an income stream yet and will take me a long time. And I've been fighting it for a LONG time. But I know to trust my gut and to not worry about the OUTPUT. Well sometimes I know to trust it, and then on the other days I spin out.
But enough 'bout me, what do you think of me? LOL...
So what exactly is focusing on the input rather than the output? Well, it's hard work kids.
It's me sitting down and taking the time to edit this post, reading again, editing, making sure the content can help someone rather than letting me shine.
It's me sitting down and editing videos so they're clean, entertaining, responsive and deliberate rather than thinking about how the audience or client will respond.
It's you putting in your 10,000 hours at getting good at something rather than being jealous about someone else's seemingly overnight success. (Not usually the case btw)
It's you trusting your gut instinct that your micro steps along the way are working in your favor rather than giving up and going to the next idea. (Learn that from me okay?)
It's us, together, not worrying about how old we are and putting fake timelines on something that has to be done by age 25, 30, 40, 50, because sometimes you need to be more mature to get the real work done.
I'll say it again, it's the grit work, the work the work the work. Did I mention it's the work?
It's the draft process. Doing something first, getting feedback, trying again, getting feedback, and on and on until you have something that resonates with people rather than putting out the first, second or third draft.
For you to try today:
Try making deliberate choices to slow down and think about your input by asking yourself, what is my intention here? To do great work during the process or to get noticed, hurry up and announce it on FaceBook? THEN, decide to work on the input and see how you feel at the end of a long day of doing just that. I'm willing to bet you're gonna feel awesome and inspired.
I already am.
As promised, a few of my favorite podcasts. I have so so SOOOOOO many more, but I don't want to overwhelm you!
Let me know how you feel after by leaving me a message in the comments.