When Opportunity Knocks -- Be READY!
We always think we are ready for our big break, don't we? Several quotes come to mind when I think about how to be ready when your dream boss or collaborator comes calling. You have heard them before, "Success is where preparation and opportunity meet." -- Bob Unser
This week as I prepare myself to build my website to success by adding coaching classes and workshops in the process to prepare for when clients come calling. I am also trying to determine how to balance my writing life/career goals with earning a living. With that being said, I can honestly say I am prepared for clients but not in the way I was hoping I would be.
What do I mean by this? As a perfectionist who wants everything to be perfect for my future clients and my work, hobby, balanced life, it means I thought I was ready for connections to reach out to me via LinkedIn and Facebook. But I wasn't. At least not in my opinion.
What does READY look like for you?
Being ready means, I should have my courses established and online ready for clients to sign-up. It means I am ready to work. My tools are in order, my place of business, my rates, etc... It means there is order for my work life. It means when someone wants to look at a recent script, you don't have changes that still need to be made or pages to finish before sending it for review. As a writer seeking representation, it means there are three to four scripts available for a read at any given time.
Yep, you guessed it. Not ready.
However, I am prepared. So when Bruce George reached out to me about doing a video for his website and organization, Genius Is Common, I hopped on for the chance to expose my genius to the world and the many followers who stand behind the movement, Genius is Common.
Bruce is well known in his own right as a co-founder for Def Poetry Jam with Russell Simmons featured on HBO. A genius with words in his own right, Bruce not only offered me the opportunity to become a part of the movement, but he offered recommendations and connections that I am still reaching out to a week after our meeting.
This divine encounter has introduced me to Nakia Dillard, a working actor from, The Wonder Years reboot and The Wire, fame. Definitely an opportunity for my screenwriting to shine. And this is where being ready can simply be a state of mind. I have concentrated the last few years in writing my book ideas, putting to rest my final draft subscription for Publishers Weekly and Grammarly. Final Draft 12 here we go!
How to Get Your Work Portfolio in Order
After my summer of surgeries, I told myself it was now or never in the pursuit of a screenwriting career. I have five book ideas and twice as many script ideas. One script was written for fun after writing the mini-book, The Gusog Warrior, during the pandemic. I was given a name for representation back in 2020 and she started to look for television writing jobs for me, then Covid-19 hit and that was that.
Before my return to script writing, I was still trying to do too many things all at once. How do I make money as an Affiliate Marketer? How can I make money on YouTube? Yet, I continued to work on my own website, coaching lessons, workshops, blog daily, monetize, automate, showcase ads, and on and on. It was too much.
Meeting Bruce forced me to focus on work that may not garner me a paycheck in two weeks, but in the end, with three to four scripts in my portfolio, I will get representation, work as a writer and sell one or more, because I have them ready. How will I do this as quickly as possible without the work suffering. Watch tons of similar shows (I already do. Thanks, Netflix) and give myself a writing schedule I can stick to and let other bs go.
What does this schedule look like while still building your online brand? I like to break my 'To Do List,' in two hour sections. Website (2-hours). Articles to write - pitch (2-hours), Script (2-hours) and the remaining two hours of my work day is office duties or what I call, learning and study time.
Pace Your Time for Success
If I stick to this schedule five to six days a week, I should have 2-3 articles to submit by the end of the week and 60 pages of a script in the bag. I leave myself sticky notes on my computer or notepad as a reminder to stay focused and not lose track of time and what I have accomplished for the day and week.
Since my introduction to Bruce and his Genius Is Common movement, I have met a few more people through LinkedIn. All of these opportunities are a chance to expose my work. The work that is ready, like my novella and The Gusog Warrior and to put a fire under my feet to finalize the website for client readiness.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the movement, Genius Is Common is looking to post more videos. Do you need a platform to promote yourself, your product or your genius? Send me a note and I will get you in touch with Bruce, personally. And if you are an actor with the desire to polish your craft, Nakia Dillard's, Aikan (I Can) Acts Performing Arts Studio is currently accepting new students from pre-teens to Adults, virtual or in-person.
I have given myself by the beginning of summer to have three of four of my sample scripts available for review. It is a tight schedule, but it is something I know I can accomplish because I want it that bad.
How hungry are you for success? I am a storyteller, who has been telling audiences my stories for decades. Now is the time to put them down on paper. There is an audience for almost anything. Have you seen the lists of movies and series on Netflix, Apple-TV and Hulu?
No more excuses. Let's go. We got this. It is time to get paid for what you love to do. Now if those are not some overused quotes, I don't know what is.