Last week I let everyone know about finally graduating from graduate school with my M.F.A. in Screenwriting. And while I got A LOT of emails of congratulations from many of my students (thank you!), I had this one email that kind of pissed me off, even though I'm pretty sure the sender of the email didn't mean it the way I initially thought he did.
The email went like this:
"I would never have figured that you would have had an interest in screenwriting. You can find plenty of viable storylines just by going to the library and reading up on historical figures, preferably in older volumes. University libraries are best for this, because they retain such works, while public libraries are always rotating out their older stocks."
Everything's always so easy. But we all know that it's not. Right?
Screenwriting, for instance, is NOT just about "story lines" otherwise everyone would be writing a blockbuster movie on their laptop as we speak...yet we all know that ain't happening. Story lines are only ONE of MANY ELEMENTS that go into screenwriting. In fact, the story line itself is actually a smaller part of a screenplay. Your characters, dialogue and plot points are the most important elements...in that order. Also, what a lot of people don't know about me was that my genre is comedy. (Yes, you read that correctly.) And I'm pretty sure that digging through a dusty old library looking for historic stories will do nothing to service MY vision for MY stories on the ridiculous funny-ass comedy scripts that I write.
Pertaining to life in general though, there's ALWAYS a know-it-all in the crowd, isn't there? These are the same people who don't represent, in any way, how you'd want to live your own life (because they have NOTHING you'd want to emulate) yet they always want to drop in their opinion about how "easy" it is to do something.
So...if it's so f***** easy, why haven't you done it already then?
Usually they'll reply like, "Oh, I've never been interested in that but I could do that if I wanted to..." or some other such dense response to protect their empty dead-end know-it-all-ism.
But I started thinking about it. This kind of applies to everything, doesn't it? There's always the broke ass family member who sits around at family holiday parties, telling everyone advice about starting a multi-million-dollar business or becoming an Olympic swimmer or becoming a bestselling author...or writing a screenplay. It's always so EASY because you merely have to do this or that to get it done. And that's it. Just this or that, you moron, and how dare you not know this or that?! Because it's just so EASY.
So EASY, in fact, that they themselves have never done the things they seem to know everything about. (What a coincidence, right?) They've never been successful at all using any of these easy-to-do bits of advice that they seem to have no problem, without solicitation, dispensing like PEZ candy at the drop of a hat.
For starting a multi-million-dollar Internet-based business...? Just merely do THIS OR THAT and you'll simply become a millionaire online. EASY. Except they haven't done it...and never will.
For investing in passive income real estate that generates tens of thousands of dollars per month in net income...? Just merely do THIS OR THAT and you'll simply become a real estate millionaire. EASY. Except they haven't done it...and never will.
Because it's NEVER just simply "this or that" and then you'll be successful. Never. There's always much more to it.
Now, to be clear, there ARE much shorter ways between Point A and Point B in most cases. There are options as to AVOID the pitfalls, mistakes, time-wasting and bumbling through to figure things out on your own. In fact, it's always recommended that you get educated in the best possible way before embarking on any journey. There are people who have gone on the same journeys that you choose to embark upon so why not learn from what they did successfully so that you can become as successful as quickly as possible while minimizing the mistakes? That's the smart way in doing things. Learn, educate yourself and then embark on the journey.
Over the last 2 years during my journey in graduate school I've felt that I've had too many irons in the fire. Now that I'm done with graduate school, I can now focus on the things I want to do. My main focus are my students and being able to bring them (you) the very best possible education in making money that you can possibly get. This includes having the most cutting-edge strategies AND telling you what NOT to do right at the moment (as I did with what's going on with our upcoming recession). And as I mentioned before, this also includes upping the ante with my own marketing and sales education by becoming part of a very elite top marketing Mastermind Group that costs A LOT of money. And the cool thing about this is that I can GUARANTEE you, my dear student, that I will be divulging ALL of my new learned success information to you. And I think it's pretty awesome that you can be part of that without you having to pay that kind of money for this top-notch once-in-a-lifetime education curve.
We ALL have to keep moving forward with learning from others whether it be graduate school or marketing seminars or reading business books. KEEP LEARNING. KEEP GROWING. There's no better way to learn how to do something than to learn from someone who has successfully done it and can teach you the best way to do it from scratch with the least amount of pain and mistake-making on your part. I love learning. At any given time you'll see a slew of new business, sales, and marketing books that I just ordered and am in the process of reading. Even if you get one small "golden nugget" of information from each book -- even if it's something you thought you knew before but it reminded you to maybe...I don't know, IMPLEMENT the information? -- then it's WORTH it.
I get irritated when I buy a new book and I look at the Amazon reviews. There are know-it-alls there too. You'll get these reviews complaining about some books having "no new information" and stuff in them that they've "read before in other books." Blah, blah, blah...
But yet...you didn't implement any of these techniques and strategies yet? You know it all but...you're not DOING any of it? Instead...just looking for the next miracle book with the magic pill formula in it that goes something like: open this book, magic fairy dust will immediately come flurrying out, your life will change instantly from pauper to king, and you'll be freaking happy beyond your wildest dreams? All from merely buying then opening a book?
But we all know there is no book remotely like that, although I think that book in The NeverEnding Story is a close second. In case nobody told you, though. That book in the movie wasn't real. The movie isn't part of real life that I'm aware of. It was part of the amazing imagination of...a screenwriter...who coincidentally didn't go digging through a library to find the easy-to write historic story line.
My point for Bob and anyone who is like Bob in any way is this: NOTHING worthwhile is EASY. Nothing! There are many steps, much hard work, lots of stress, and times when you fall on your ass because you didn't make the cut. What sets apart the winners from the losers is tenacity or continuing to move forward with it despite the dark times, despite wanting to throw in the towel every 5 minutes, despite the going getting rough. And keeping going until you make it to the finish line. Ask anyone -- Michael Phelps, Lebron James, Oprah, Stephen Spielberg, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or anyone who's made it big -- it's NEVER "just this or that" and it's that EASY. Never!
At least my student told me "congratulations," though. At least THAT is something.
See you at the top!