Tag Archives: business

Lesson #347: Make yourself (not) at home.


Today I had the opportunity to make the easy decision, so I didn’t.

I had to ask someone something very important that involved spending part of the day alongside them,

so I figured I’d practice being brave.

Pick the person that makes me feel the most comfortable?

Or pick the person who’s kind of scary, not as welcoming, and hard to read?

I picked the latter.

And it actually turned out great.

We didn’t become “best pals” and not too much changed,

but it forced to me step it up, put on my confident guise even though I felt anything but, and learn how to be myself—even when I felt awkward and out of place.

Even if it hadn’t turned out the best—I’m pretty sure I would have been happy I made myself do it regardless.

That’s what happens you leap.

You’re just glad you did it.

So what I learned from that tiny deciding moment, and the moments of fear that followed?

Get uncozy.

While cuddling up in a ball on the couch seems pretty much appealing all of the time—

get out from under the covers every once in a while.

It’s good to be comfortable.

But remember, too much of anything is never good.

And cabin fever is no fun.

The best part is,

whatever you choose to conquer will be another lesson in itself.

You know what they say—

why don’t you get out of the house every once in a while?

The fresh air might be good for you.

And a little breeze always feels good.

Day 347.


Lesson #346: Getting clear.


I can’t quite explain what was happening in my brain as Amy was talking yesterday, but somewhere in the midst of it, something clicked for me. And today only confirmed it further.

Like Amy, early on in my life I fell in love with the way movies made me feel; how all these elements could come together and move a group people—even change people. Before I lost all my baby teeth or knew how to write cursive, I already was putting on shows with my Barbie dolls on my bedroom floor. By the time I was 10, I had a notebook full of novel ideas and chapters, pieces of movie and television scripts, and short plays. I wrote and devoloped a television series about a group of pre-teens living on the beach before I even had boobs. I remember asking my mom and dad to use the family computer to type all of these scripts and chapters, printing out pages and pages of stories and sticking them in Lisa Frank folders (that I still have… it’s hilarious). Kids were asking for Polly Pockets and Easy Bake ovens, and I was the kid asking for a typewriter.

My friends would come over after middle school, and we would re-enact scenes from Hannah Montana in the living room for our parents. On a shitty flip-cam that I got for Christmas one year, my neighbors and I would record ourselves singing songs we wrote in spiral notebooks that were falling apart from being written in so much. We even took turns strumming my small green guitar that we had absolutely no idea how to actually play. 

When I picked up a much better (but still shitty) camera at the age of 12 and made my first semi-real video with a friend, we decided to post it on YouTube for fun. I later found a video editing software that came with my laptop, and started experimenting with more videos. That’s when it really began.

I started making and filming my own original skits—then music videos—then movie scene re-makes—then my own short films. I gained a YouTube following and started building relationships with people in the online community who loved doing the same thing. My interest in being in front of the camera began to grow as well. During my first year of middle school in sixth grade, my mom encouraged me to try out for the school play. I won best actress for my role as the school nerd that year, and tried out and acted in the plays every year after that. I continued to do theatre all throughout high school, making friends and falling in love with the costumes and characters and stories; both performing and directing. I took what I knew from the stage, and let it inspire me to do some of the same things on camera—and I loved it.

In one of my first production classes in college, it hit me: I was developing and writing treatments before I knew what they were, and shooting low angles and high angles and rack focusing before I even knew they had names. I was a writer, producer, and sometimes actor, and I didn’t even know it. I was just doing what I loved.

As I got older, I realized it wasn’t just the act of movie-making that I loved.

It was storytelling.

As you can see—I used the word “love” at least four or five times while explaining my story.

And if that doesn’t say something, I don’t know what else does.

When Amy told us yesterday to get clear on what we want by tuning in to what we love instinctively—it only solidified the answer for me.

Storytelling runs through my veins; it’s constantly on my mind and in my heart.

But I’m still pretty confused.

I mean—I’m 20.

Storytelling is a very broad term. I like a lot of things—so many things that I don’t know exactly what I want to do yet. I don’t know where to start. I want to act. I want to talk and discuss. I want to write. I want to develop. I want to produce. I want to direct.

At my internship this summer, I love being there. I like what I’m doing and how much I’m learning. I’m working hard.

But in the midst of Amy talking, I realized something right then and there.

There are two different kinds of hard work. There’s the kind of work where you try hard because you want to appear good, be good, or look good.

And then there’s the kind of work where you’re working hard and you don’t even realize it. Where you stay up all night (like right now on the living room floor writing this) to perfect something, or understand something, or finish something. Where you work hard because you want to discover, or find, or build, or be better; because you want to make something the best that it can be.

You’re working hard for yourself.

And I realized the second is the one we’re supposed to chase after.

I found that where I worked my hardest, is creatively.

Using my brain to create. To problem solve with my eyes, heart, and mind. To figure out where something should be placed, or what to capture, or how something can be told. To strategize how it can be marketed and advertised and sold. To execute visions, and write ideas. To bring something inspiring to the world. And it’s what what feels right to me.

I don’t know where I’m going yet.

But I do know that feeling is what I’m going to follow.

Day 346.

Lesson #316: If you weren’t afraid…


My jaw dropped as I pulled up to the huge marble building.

I just can’t believe I’m working for NBCUniversal this summer.

After passing and waving to a few friendly but busy faces, I was introduced to the other intern, and was immediately excited to be working with her. She was incredibly nice, upbeat, and extremely helpful. She was also kind of intimidating—as she’s been there for an entire month already, and it was only my first day.

Let alone, my first internship.

After giving me a tour of the department and a speedy run-down of what we’ll be doing as interns, we sat down to eat our lunches outside on the terrace (a turkey sandwich, pita chips, and blackberries… I’m a big kid) and got to know each other a little bit better. She told me about her previous internship experiences: pitching reality shows, working at CBS news, and more. I was floored. Then she filled me in on how her time at E! has been so far. She’s already done so much: has gone on shoots, sat and watched on set, has scheduled lunch dates with producers and talent and other interns.

I told her that, honestly, I was intimidated. But that I wanted to do that too.

She told me this.

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” She laughed. “That’s kind of my motto while I’m here.”

“I love that!” I geeked out. I told her I was sticking that right next to my desk on a sticky note.

She shrugged. “I figured the worst they can do is say no.”

I’m the type of person who hates asking. I hate asking for help. I hate feeling like a bother. And it doesn’t help that I’m also easily intimidated.

But this summer, that’s all going to change.

At least, I plan on it.

It’s definitely going to be uncomfortable and hard for me. I have no doubt about that. But I’ve realized that there’s a recent theme in my life—one that I’m constantly asked to face and brought to confront.

And today, I’ll ask you too.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Day 316.

Lesson #302: Demand respect.


After finishing up a few-months-long business project with an awesome long-time family friend, I called her and thanked her for allowing me to have one of my very first professional freelance opportunities.

To be completely real, doing business with someone you know can be totally awkward at times. As a business person, you have to be in a completely different element. And when someone has never seen you that way or vice versa, it’s… well… weird.

I think she may have read my mind, because she told me this.

“You have to demand a certain amount of respect from people. For yourself, and for what you do.”

As a huge pushover at times, and as a young adult (who occasionally drinks juice boxes and cries about growing up and feels five) slowly immersing myself into the “real” world, this really stuck with me after the conversation. Because it’s so true.

You’re have to set the bar for yourself.

You have to know your worth.

And you can’t be afraid or ashamed of that.

That’s the only way you’ll ever get what you want, and get what you deserve.

Day 302.

Lesson #289: Unpopular.


Sometimes we need to do what’s best for us and make the unpopular decision.

What you decide won’t always be popular with others.

Th unpopular decision may not even be unpopular with yourself.

I mean, let’s be real.

Being the only one on a team is scary, lonely, and discouraging—

and no one wants to bring that upon themselves.

I know I don’t.

But sometimes, it’s what’s needed.

You’ll know in your gut when it’s what you’re supposed to do.

And you have full permission to be selfish, because you’re the one who has to live with it.

Day 289.

Lesson #278: Create vs. Recreate.


I fell asleep on the couch yesterday after eight hours of orientation leader training before I could write my blog post.

Hehe, oops.

But it just so happens that this is the perfect transition into what I’m going to talk about.



During eight hours of training, naturally, you’re bound to learn a lot of things. But there was one thing that really stuck out to me.

The idea of creating vs. re-creating.

Our orientation coordinator, Maria Arbizo, put this on the last slide of the powerpoint, leaving it as one of the most important pieces of advice.

Many times in life, people who have come before us tell us of the experiences they had in the position we hold: whether it’s positive or negative. We adapt what happened to them into our expectations, when the truth is—our experience will be different.

She told us not to re-create, but to create.

This summer, there will be a whole different class of orientation leaders than last year. There will be different first year students, different circumstances, and different opportunities.

And I think this applies to most everything else in life.

Your experience is unique. You won’t view it or see it or have it like anyone else ever did, or ever will.

Your experience is yours. More importantly—your experience is yours to create.

So drop all of your expectations,

and get to creating.

Day 278.

Lesson #201: Be firm.


I’ve talked about this a little bit before in Lesson #92, but I’m going to do it again. (Because obviously I haven’t learned my lesson, hehe)

Sometimes you just have to be firm.

I know, I know. Just the sound of the word just makes you want to cringe, right? It’s like it carries this weight, this serious tone. It’s the party pooper of verbs. Or adjectives.

Poor word. However you use it, it’s a lose/lose.

It’s the elephant in the room.

Or the sentence.

But really, it has just got to be a part of our lives if we ever want to get things done, and stay happy while doing it.

Be firm, unapologetically.

Ask up front. Ask for specifics. Say you can’t. Say you can, but draw boundaries.

Being firm doesn’t equate to being mean. You can still defer with kind words.

Your time here is precious. If not wanting to waste it on something you are unsure of or uninterested in is seen as rude, or mean, or tough—then so be it. Guard your time with your life. Because it’s the only the time you have.

Day 201.