The #1 Thing You Need To Be Successful!
by Mandi Harrison
A couple months ago, there were quite a few articles and blogs saying that in order to be successful at (blank), you had to have or accomplish (blank) by the age of (blank). There were no facts behind this; just opinion.Lots of them. There were even more response articles and Twitter threads, poking holes in these opinions, calling the authors of these pieces out on their age- and class-shaming. Not all success is measured financially or by position or status. Success can and should be a personal measurement. Being told that you are behind before you even leave the gate can shake your confidence. I'll admit: I read a few "articles" out of curiosity and got a little panicky after. Then I thought "Forget them!"
I only recently realized what I wanted to be when I grow up. I was just barely existing before. A little over three years ago, I had the rug pulled out from under me and normally I would have been devastated; but it was the wake up call I needed. I was able to take time and figure out who I was (and I'm not talking about some "light candles in the desert" kind of find yourself). I discovered that I could translate my organizational skills and love of movies into producing and that became my purpose.
That first year I read everything I could lay eyes on and (thought) I was ready to go. But I wasn't. I was getting frustrated because I felt pressure to be successful, that I was already so far behind. But I took the time to do the work. Now, it's challenging, but I am confident and so much happier, knowing that I am working towards something I want more than anything. We can do this. That's my mantra. Things are slowly but surely starting to happen, and I'm glad it's happened the way it has. Would it have been nice to just have things simply fall into place? Absolutely! But we wouldn't have learned what we know now and it wouldn't have meant as much.
So...what I have learned is not to rush things. It will happen when it's supposed to. I can't just sit around and wish on stars, but taking the easy route or rushing through something won't make the end result appear faster. We're working smarter and we are starting to reap.
The #1 thing you need for success: Perseverance.
Mind over matter. Never give up- never surrender. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Just keep swimming. Don't let the Muggles get you down. Show up and don't give up.
In order to get ahead, you have to start. And keep going. There are definitely days that I just want to crawl in a hole, but I know I won't get anywhere. I make mistakes, things aren't working how I'd like them to, people can just be plain mean. But I can't let any of that make me give up. I take a break, collect my thoughts and get back to business.
The goals that I want to accomplish are challenging, but definitely achievable, because I won't give up. It helps that I have someone who has (almost) the same goals; we can work as a team and hold each other accountable. My measure of success includes the following:
- Having 5 movies in production in 5 years
- Having a fully operating Production Studio (making our own movies, as well as others', with the help of a team)
- See the world. Soak up as much I can. Try new things. Learn.
- Say YES! Don't miss out on opportunities. As Tina Fey says, "Say yes to it all; you'll figure it out later."
This is just what I've discovered success means to me and what it'll take to become that. People are going to try knocking you down; don't let them define your success or what makes you happy. Just keep doing your thing and let the haters hate.