The Difference in Small Fears vs Big Fears

I’ve been thinking a lot about small failures lately. In my experience, they’re more difficult to publicly face than large failures.   For example, in 2008, when my father opened the first Shogun, the idea that “this might might work” didn’t cross my mind too often. I felt like: “Of course this might not work!” It’s a big risk. The economy is depressed. One out of 4 restaurants fail in their first year. That number rises, to three in 5, over the next 3 years. We faced plenty of other obstacles: Was there a market for Japanese food in Delmar?
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What I’m Reading: Understanding Michael Ovitz

I think understanding context is crucial for education and self-development. An example: my current employer, Intellectual Property Group is a successor to the H.N. Swanson Literary Agency, one of the greatest Hollywood Lit Agencies of all time. Swanie represented some of the greatest literary heavyweights: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, etc. The foreword to his memoir, SPRINKLED WITH RUBY DUST, was written by client, the late great Elmore Leonard. The Importance Of Context In reading Swanie’s memoir and understanding the circumstances in which he built his agency, I understand the nature of my work and my environment
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How Do You Decide: Take a New Job or Stay at Your Old Job?

I got offered the opportunity to work for a show runner the other day. Was it the right decision? My friend asked me to call him. He said, “This position is about to open up. I can tee it up for you, but you have to tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in four hours. You’re the first person I’m going to, but if you pass I need to get someone else in the room.” It’s a gun-to-the-head situation, but fair play. I thought it over, as I tried focusing on check letters and connecting calls and the minutia of the
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What I’m Reading: 10/1/2013

These are highlights of what I read (and watched and listened to) this past week: Better Chemistry Through Research: How Writers Make “Breaking Bad” So Uncomfortably Real Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy Filmmaker Lynn Shelton: ‘There’s This Real Deliciousness To Being Able To Do Exactly What You Want To Do’ Lynn Shelton is proof that you don’t have to appear on some variation of a “30 Under 30” list to be successful. “It was a long, circuitous route for me,” says the Seattle-based filmmaker. 10 revenue streams funding investigative journalism | Media news | Journalism.co.uk The Art of Speed:
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Finished Shooting A Web Series and It’s Effect on Everything or Nothing

We finished our web series. Three episodes, six producers/directors, 11 actors. It was a fantastic two days: Here’s a List of Barriers I personally had to overcome to Get To Done: My distaste for preproduction My dislike for physical production (and physical labor, for that matter) Heated 90-minute arguments over whether to shoot 3 episodes or 1 episode My hang-up over my own failed passion project Even after smacking around these barriers like they owed me money and reaching a success milestone… doubts linger. It probably stems from my immersion in self-dev (turns out you actually have to apply this
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The Benefits of “No”

I read this beautiful piece by Kevin Ashton called Creative People Say No. The gist of which can be summed below: Saying “no” has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined. No guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know. We are not taught to say “no.” We are taught not to say “no.” “No” is rude. “No” is a rebuff, a rebuttal, a minor act of verbal violence. “No” is for drugs and strangers with candy. Creators
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What I Learned From My Failed Passion Project

There were dozens of fingerprints on it, but it was my world. I was the Alpha and the Omega, bitch. Unfortunately, the execution was flawed. I populated my world with creatures to roam the land… but forgot to give ‘em lungs to breathe the air. Oops. So when my friend Richard brought up a project called SUBTEXT by the Pander Brothers over lunch, it felt like a gut shot at first. He read the logline: “A young woman is led into a tryst by her boyfriend via phone texts, only to discover a painful truth about their relationship.” That sounds
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“You Don’t Know As Much As You Think”

Hopping aboard any digital sharing bandwagon was always a struggle: Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook. Before that: LinkedIn, LiveJournal, MySpace, Xanga. So on. So forth. I didn’t gravitate towards voicing my opinion on pop culture and politics Or what I had for breakfast. Didn’t think this literature was worth the digital space of 1’s and 0’s it took up. I made attempts through the years, but never felt strong doing it. It’s easier, I think, to catch this early wave of social sharing that leads to YouTube sensations and pop-culture-websites-to-book deals when your parents convinced you you’re a unique snowflake whose opinion
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What’s the Point in Writing About Self-Dev?

In March I had gone to see a taping of Conan on the Warner Bros lot. Colin Farrell was on the show, as was Jenna Elfman. What sticks out most in my mind wasn’t Colin’s new movie trailer, or Jenna pantomiming a blowjob, but something I noticed afterwards, when the cameras finished rolling, and everyone rose from their seats, prepping for the mass exodus: Conan O’Brien walks back to the set. A woman stands there waiting for him, probably a set PA. Without looking her in the eye or saying thank you, he hands her his microphone, then disappears behind
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Time To Get Back To This

Time to get back to this. Yes. I’m moving large chunks of the “Moving to Los Angeles” posts to another blog, one geared towards Los Angeles, the entertainment industry, and personal finance. More on that another time. Meanwhile, I’m making a shift that I’ve wanted to see for some time, to write about self-development: what I’m reading, watching, or listening to, in this vein. Self-dev has been a pretty constant influence in my life since college. It’s just not always easy to talk about. There’s this connotation of weakness or embarrassment when I mention self-dev: the image of a sad,
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