Inside the Producer’s Corner with Suzanne Lyons
This is a series of articles that film producer and best-selling author Suzanne Lyons (listen to her interview here) will be writing over the next 6 months. I personally asked Suzanne to share her knowledge, experience, and motivation with you the IFH Tribe. Whether you are a director, producer, cinematographer, screenwriter or editor I think you’ll get a ton out of this series. Check back every week for a new post that will help you on your journey as an indie filmmaker.
10 Tips on How to Turn Your Passion into Prosperity
Dear Friends: “Workin’ 9 to 5… what a way to make a livin.” Do you know that song from the old 70s film “9 to 5”? Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you get the picture. It’s the way we’ve been trained. It’s the way our parents were raised and it’s the way their parents were raised. It’s just “the way it is.” Well, what if it didn’t have to be that way? If you love your 9 to 5 job, fantastic! Of course, these days the hours are more like 9:00 to 7:00! However, Jack Canfield, in his book “The Success Principles,” refers to a study that was done in the U.S. that says, “A full one third of Americans would be happier in another job.” That’s crazy. We really have to ask ourselves, “Am I doing what I love to do?”
Most of you reading this article are in the entertainment industry doing what you love. But, for the majority of us, it’s not a weekly paycheck. Sometimes there’s weeks, months and even years between gigs. So, what are ways that we can make money doing other things we love and want to do.
With the technology we have today and the access to, well, the entire planet! there is no reason you can’t make a living doing what you love to do… what you’re passionate about. What if you could turn your passion into prosperity? Wouldn’t that be amazing! Wouldn’t that be fun! Well, I have spent some time doing research on this topic and here are “10 Tips” to help get you moving in that direction.
1) PASSION – WHAT IS IT?: Isn’t that a great question? Just the asking of it makes you stop and think. Jack Canfield defines passion as “something within you that provides the continual enthusiasm, focus, and energy you need to succeed.” The title of Gary Vaynerchuk’s first chapter of his book “Crush It! Cash in on Your Passion” is “Passion is Everything.” He is someone who lives it and makes millions doing so. But it’s not about the money; it’s about the love of doing what he loves to do. And in the book I’m reading now, Sage Lavine’s “Women Rocking Business”, she recommends that we do a thorough inventory of our passions.
2. IT’S TIME TO RE-PROGRAM: I think a sort of rewiring of our brains may be needed. We’ve been so programmed to work hard and put in long hours. We’ve been taught that struggle and effort is what is needed to succeed. Well, what if that wasn’t “the truth.” What if we could make a career of ‘living happily ever after.’ Sound crazy? Well if you’re in a job doing what you’re not happy doing… isn’t that crazy!? In the Abraham-Hicks “Money and the Law of Attraction” book, they suggest a good career choice would be to gravitate toward those activities that harmonize with your core intentions.” Time to re-program!
3. YOUR PURPOSE… YOUR VISION… YOUR FOCUS: The question to consider here is “what do I want and why do I want it?” Bob Proctor, author of “Create Your Own Economy” believes that “our purpose is our compass that keeps us on the path toward creating our economy.” He tells us never to settle for the ‘safe’ thing that will bring us money. I think we’ve lost touch with our purpose. We’ve gotten so lost in the day to day grind that we’ve become complaisant and perhaps unconscious to our purpose. To break that habit, I suggest you take some time to really look at what this is for you. What brings you joy?
4. HOW TO EARN MONEY DOING WHAT YOU LOVE – PASSION AND DESIRE: Just start to give it some thought… what turns you on? What do you love to do? What do you day dream about doing if you could have it be any way you want? What are some of your interests that, when you talk about them, you get excited… really excited. What are your hobbies? Could one of your hobbies be turned into a business? If your career and money-making ventures were truly an expression of making you happy, what would that look like? What would that be? I believe sometimes when we begin to think about our passions and desire we stop dead in our tracks. They seem out of reach, something to big or to illusive to attain. Even now when people ask me what legacy I want to leave, I freeze for a moment. And it takes me a while to get back in touch with that passion. Sage Lavine, in her book “Women Rocking Business,” shares about her life changing moment. It was when her mentor, Janet Atwood, said “Your desires aren’t necessarily your destiny, your desires are stepping stones on the path to your destiny.” I read this and took a sigh of relief… an ah ha moment for me as well. “Desire is your yellow brick road,” she says, “so follow your desire.” But it’s just a step at a time, each desire leading to the next one.
5. WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT YOU? What do you have to offer? What are your areas of knowledge and expertise? We all have specific talents. What are yours? For me, I love to teach. I’ve been a career and personal coach for a very very long time and I’ve been in the entertainment industry even longer, so I’ve combined those two areas of expertise and turned them into a lucrative part-time job by teaching workshops on film producing, marketing oneself in the industry, etc. I have a colleague help produce the seminars for me and a few weekends a year I get to teach what I love. I am doing what I love, making money doing it and I get to contribute to people’s lives and careers at the same time. It doesn’t get any better than that.
6. MAKE MONEY WHILE YOU’RE SLEEPING: Even if you love what you’re doing and having a blast with your 9 to 5 job, you may still want to make a little (or a lot!) extra money. If so, then creating ‘multiple streams of income’ is something to consider. I met with 3 girlfriends for breakfast every two months to brainstorm ideas for our own MSI’s (multiple streams of income). We did this for two years. I highly recommend that you take a look at creating an MSI. Just for fun… and the money’s not bad either!
7. GET SOCIAL MEDIA SAVVY: A few years back my social media consultant, a young guy in his 20s with a passion for movies and video games, started doing short YouTube videos with his flip phone camera sharing his knowledge, reviews and tips on both subjects. Within 6 months he had a huge following and was making amazing money doing what he loved and it only took around 30 minutes of his time every week! I also know a single mom who at the time had three very very young kids. She started a blog about being a single mom and what she was dealing with, etc. and it grew and grew to the point where folks were wanting more. She designed t-shirts with the name of the blog on then and they sold like crazy. This led to even more products and she ended up making great money as a result. She was doing what she loved, sharing her experiences and what she was learning along the way and thereby contributing to thousands of other single moms. Gary Vaynerchuk says if you love tea, you can make some serious cash sharing your love, passion, ideas, etc. about tea by creating “a tea blog” online. “Educate and entertain the masses” he says, “and there will be an enormous opportunity to be in serious business.”
8. HAVE AN ENTREPERNAL MINDSET: Do you feel passionate enough about your dream to follow the journey to the end without giving up? That’s the question Debbie Allen asks in her book “Empowered Entrepreneurship.” If you’re even thinking about turning your passion into prosperity, you want to (need to) learn to think like an entrepreneur. There really is a certain mindset that goes with the territory. The good news… it’s something that can be learned and it’s something we all can do. Also, you know how I feel about getting mentors. There are so many people who’ve been there, done that, so if you find you’re weak in certain areas, get a mentor who can give you advice and guidance.
9. THE POWER OF BRANDING: Branding is a word we hear constantly these days. When I was writing my book on Indie Film Producing, Focal Press wanted me to have an online presence and they wanted me to grow my fan and date base well before the book was to come out. So, I made sure all my social media presents has a consistent professional look to it. Even my business cards at that time had the color scheme and photo that I used in my online presence. As Debbie Allen says, “Branding plants the ideas of your business in the consumer’s head and lets them understand your business.” So, give some thought to this very important business tool as you turn your passion into a business.
10. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALONE: Outsourcing is also something being done more and more these days. I always thought it was for big corporations, but I’ve learned that we can all take advantage of this amazing time-saver. I recommend you read Tim Ferris’s book “The 4-Hour Work Week.” Tim talks a lot about outsourcing. If there are certain aspects of your job that can be outsourced, do it! Turning your passion into prosperity isn’t supposed to be like taking on a second job. It’s not about stress, struggle, and sacrifice. Don’t even go there. It’s about having fun while you’re making money, so look to see what part of your job can be outsourced. I’d like to take a deeper cut at this aspect of not having to do it alone and give you a quote than reminds us that when we make a commitment the universe steps in and the more we stand in that commitment and share our passion, we become a magnet for everything we need “to come our way.” Goethe says, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would come their way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”
BONUS: Don’t be a wage slave. We’ve all heard the expression, “live to work, don’t work to live.” Well, where is your focus… on money or passion. In Joe Vitale’s book “The Attractor Factor” he talks about a study that was done with 1,500 people. Category A said they would pursue money first and do what they really wanted to do later. Over 1,245 people chose that category. Category B, made up of 255 people, said they would seek their interest first and trust that money would follow later. Twenty years later there were 101 millionaires… 100 of whom were from Category B. Pretty amazing! Yet, not at all surprising!
BONUS: I also want to point out that as I’ve mentioned in so many of my blogs, it’s not all about the ‘doing’. We have been so trained to believe that it’s all hard work, and yet, the more we focus on the fun of it and who we’re ‘being’ the easier it becomes. There is a great quote by Abraham-Hicks that I always talk about in the Launching the Future workshop that I do at the end of each year. It goes like this, “Reduce your workload by 30% and increase your fun load by 30% and you will increase your productivity by 10,000% (if there could be such a percentage). More fun, less struggle – more results on all fronts.”
Suzanne Lyons is President/Producer of Snowfall Films, Inc. (www.snowfallfilms.com) having produced/exec produced 12 feature films to date. She co-founded the Flash Forward Institute which focused on teaching the tools of business needed to market oneself in the entertainment industry. Her book titled Indie Film Producing: The Craft of Low Budget Filmmaking was published by Focal Press (www.suzannelyons.net/indiefilm). She’s hosted over 125 informational videos for the industry (www.youtube.com/suzannelyons). When time permits she does private career and business coaching. Suzanne is originally Canadian and lives with her husband in Los Angeles.
Suzanne Lyons is President/Producer of Snowfall Films, Inc. having produced/exec produced 12 feature films to date. She co-founded the Flash Forward Institute which focused on teaching the tools of business needed to market oneself in the entertainment industry. She recently launched a game-changing online course called Indie Film Producing Masterclass with Suzanne Lyons. She’s the author of Indie Film Producing: The Craft of Low Budget Filmmaking published by Focal Press. She has also hosted over 125 informational videos on the film industry. When time permits she does private career and business coaching. Suzanne is originally Canadian and lives with her husband in Los Angeles, CA.
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