As Moira Rose said: "Although I made some excellent points, in the interest of a fair and balanced discussion, I will now argue the other side of the issue."
Last week I talked about the power of the word no. This week, I'm talking about the power of yes.
So often we feel the need to say yes to everything - especially when it's having anything to do with this film industry. Talk to anyone who uses StaffMeUp and they'll tell you if you don't have those notifications set and can respond immediately to a job request, you'll miss it. You have to always be looking for a job; looking for that yes.
In 2018 I traveled nearly every month for work. And by work I mean a lot of meetings, pitches, networking, etc. All of those trips weren't to make money now, but obviously it's investing in the future of my business and the movies we'll be making. All of them were important. And as great as Skype and FaceTime are, sometimes you really need to be in the same room as someone. Nothing beats an actual face time discussion.
Did I have the extra money to shell out for every trip? Absolutely not. But I said yes to every single opportunity that came my way. Somehow I knew I'd make it happen. However it needed to happen. Because if I had said no: it wasn't just saying no to a week away - it was saying no to my future. That is something I'll never say no to.
There have been plenty of times when I'm sitting on a cross country flight and thinking "what am I doing?!" But I've never regretted saying yes to those trips. There have been times on those flights, where everything happened so quickly and we needed to get to a place before even having time to process what we needed to do there, and we found ourselves 30,000 feet in the air trying to figure out what needed to be done before the plane landed in 5 hours.
My favorite yes moment happened at the end of June 2018. The city: Nashville. The place: a rooftop bar in the Gulch. We were part of a film pitching/conference/meetings event for a few days and were at the spot where we knew more people in the industry would be at. We waited. And waited. And waited. Finally people started showing up. Someone we had interest in talking to was busy all night. We thought should we wait longer? The bar was closing and we had to leave. We had been there for about 5 hours at this point. Then the man we wanted to talk to came up to us and said "hey you guys have time to talk?" The answer was undoubtedly yes.
(I must sidebar this with the fact that it was a little after midnight. We had to be up early the next morning to leave our Airbnb AND we had to pitch the next day as well. There was a lot going on that we needed to prep for).
We figured we'd talk for an hour maybe and then we could get a decent amount of sleep and be good to go the next morning to pitch.
We actually kept talking till about 4am. That talk covered everything: why we got into the business, projects we're working on, projects we like, any questions we had, logistics, advice, etc. In talking to this man, I finally felt like I was on the right path because of having some confirmation that the things I was doing were on the track they should be. And while you should never do things just for validation, having someone successful in this (sometimes) cutthroat industry give you that reinforcement and encouragement felt great. And the night, well a few hours really, before a pitch was the confidence boost I needed.
We finally said we needed to get some sleep because we had to be up in a few hours. This man was fantastic and we could have kept talking for hours more. And honestly, if there was nothing going on the next day, I'm sure we would have stayed up throughout the night chatting.
(This is me after a couple hours of sleep, clearly ready to be at the top of my game to pitch a new movie to investors). ----->
Now, we have stayed in contact with him for almost the year since knowing him. He has become a mentor to me and I am so thankful that I said yes to staying up far too late and meeting with him. He has introduced us to other people and helps with any questions we have. He's a great person to have in our lives.
So while you need to say no to things, you also must say yes. Your future could be dependent on it.