Risk vs. Career Opportunity - Should You Leap Right Now?

Risk vs. Career Opportunity – Should You Leap Right Now?

Sometimes opportunities come at the wrong time. Have you been offered a great opportunity during the pandemic? Did you take it? Was it worth it? Today’s podcast it a discussion about whether it is worth it to move forward with opportunities if they put your health at risk.

Risk vs. Career Opportunity - Should You Leap Right Now?
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Full Episode Transcript

NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by a tool I highly recommend called called Happy Scribe (affiliate link). We do our best to adjust the transcript so that it reads smoothly, but if we missed something please forgive any typos or errors.

Hey there, everyone. Today, I’m going to talk about something that I’ve personally been wondering about, and I bet everyone else is, too, unless you’ve already made a hard and fast decision. In the process of being in the industry or doing crew work or acting or anything like that, it is no doubt a possibility that opportunities come up.
And in the midst of the pandemic, there’s always a decision of whether to move forward with those opportunities or not.

And I am going to relay an opportunity that I have… I’m not going to go into very specific discussion about it, but let’s just say an opportunity has come up.

And so I’m bringing this up because I’m sure that’s happened with some of you listening where you were given an opportunity to do something that you feel would excel your career, but you’re looking at it also from a point of view where it could expose you to an unwanted disease or your family, the people you live with….

And I feel like, actually, I think I talked about this a little bit a while ago, and I passed on that opportunity, too, and…

I just had a thought… I just had a thought.. I just had this flashback to a time when I was living in Los Angeles. And I was still an actor at that time, and I would go out to these workshops with casting directors and I remember I was doing that diligently for a very long time and nothing was coming of it.

And then I went home. Home being the East Coast. To be with family for the holidays and after the holidays, because L.A. sort of shuts down on a typical year between I’d say like mid-December, December and mid-January, most people go out of town.

Well, during that time, I got a call from one of the casting agents that I had connected with with someone with one of these auditions, and this is when I was just starting off and she’s like, “We’ve got a role for you.”

And I was like, “I am 3000 miles away.” She’s like, “Can you be here tomorrow?” And I was like, “No, no, I can’t.”

And because that’s another time where it was just like a pass on an opportunity. Maybe that’s why I am where I am.

I’m teaching instead of, you know… I don’t know, being a regular on shows, and that’s fine with me, it comes into for me a larger picture of quality of life.

And when you’re starting off there’s this attitude toward people or from people who are in the industry, that’s like “If you’re not willing to sacrifice everything, then you’re not enough to be big in this industry or to be successful in this industry.”

And I know that it takes sacrifice, of course. But I also feel like at some point – because I had that mentality as well in my career – but I feel like at some point,  and maybe this comes with getting older or maybe it comes with doing things like doing the leap across the country for nothing. FOR NOTHING. Because I’ve certainly had enough opportunities where I’ve made the leap and I’ve just kind of been like, that wasn’t worth it.

So you get to this point in your life where you’re like, “Oh, my gosh, this opportunity!” And the whole collective of the industry is “Drop everything and go for it,” and you’re like “My gut instinct, which I have come to trust better, by the way and more deeply goes, “This is something that’s better for six months from now and a lot of the time the feedback you’ll get when you say that is…

Well, often it’s a timing thing. [Your gut instinct is saying] this is not the right timing right now.

[And then the outside feedback is] “Well, the opportunity is going! You got to do it now! If you don’t do it now, you’re going to be screwed!”

And anything that you go into with that energy, I have found, I don’t know, maybe it’s different for you… If it has that type of tension to it…

You know, sometimes it’s a quick energy and you need to go and do the leap and it feels good. But every time it feels like this outside pressure that it has to happen now and everything internally is saying, “Not now. Not now.” This does not make sense internally. My gut is saying, “I’m not doing this now.”

Or what that person is saying and pushing me to do doesn’t feel right, but, oh, my conscious mind is saying this is such a huge opportunity and how could I push this off? And I’ve been pushing it off already for six months. Is this my fear? Is this my stuff coming up?

And I am in the midst of that right now.

I didn’t want to get into specifics, but I will.

I have the opportunity to take a course with someone and she is really good… To have a new coach in an area that I know I’m bad at, and I have already looked at some of her stuff and been like, “This is exactly what I need. This is exactly what I need. She is amazing and this is exactly what I, Leslie, need to excel in an area of my career that has been stalling for a long time.”

It’s not producing or directing, by the way. It’s a different aspect of me.

And so I looked at that and I went, perfect, so I engaged her back in December and I connected with her and I ended up saying, “I’m interested in your coaching.”

She was doing a promo for Black Friday because she coaches a lot of people. Not A LOT – a lot, but enough to to have a Black Friday event.

And she was putting out a lot of videos. And I was just like, “This is it, this is it.”

And I signed up for it. And I even got one coaching lesson with her and it was amazing.

And I saw the wheels turning and I was like, “this is working.”

And then I was just like, “I don’t want to go out right now and do this.”

This has been on the back burner and it’s not my form of making revenue anymore, not for like 10 years.

So I don’t want to incorporate this while the pandemic is still going on. And quite frankly, there’s not a lot going on, at least in my neck of the woods, where I would also be willing to go into New York and do the parking thing and do the walking around thing and do that.. I don’t want to do that right now.

And just even… Yeah, just on so many levels, that’s not going to happen for me.

So when things start getting rolling in a very synchronistic way, and they do, when you start to open up to good coaching, [and] I find that to be very true.

So it’s a balance because there’s a part of me that just like, “Oh, this is what I’ve been wanting for decades, somebody to teach me this.”

And then there’s this part of me that’s like, “BUT giant pandemic.”

It doesn’t matter if I go out, do what she says, and get great success with it, [if I] then die a month later, you know, [and that’s] where I’m at because I don’t think it’s particularly safe to go out right now, and you could have a different opinion, that’s totally cool.

But for me, I’m staying in for my family, I’m staying in.

And I am finding that the more I say that, the more the universe is like, “Hey, come on out. Hey, we’ve got this great job for you. Hey, this is something that you’ve wanted for so long that you haven’t had access to.”

So you know what? Send me a message if that’s happening to you, too, because that is just GRR…

I mean, it could also be true that there’s less competition right now because a lot of people are staying in and are saying, “Is this really worth it?”

But I don’t know. I think that’s a good question to ask.

I do know for myself and the answer is no.

And so this coach sent me a message and said, “Hey, what’s going on?”

And I said to her, “I can see the value… The enormous value… And the impact that just a little time with you has had on me. And it’s so powerful and so great. However, the last thing I want to have happen is to have THE DOOR that I’ve always wanted (or there’s maybe like 10 doors) swing open, and then I have to say, ‘I don’t think so’.”

Like, that’s worse from a manifestation standpoint. That is worse because it’s like you’re kind of climbing up the hill and you reach the last pinnacle, the peak. You’re just about there and then you see the giant boulder and you’re like, oh, I just have to go around the boulder, but instead you grab onto the boulder and it just rolls over you and down at the bottom of the hill again.

And that is not good. That is the kind of feeling…  I am chronic with that. It’s a big problem. But that’s that’s why I shall wait.

Add on to that that I have a pretty good internal instinct about certain things and, while I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future with the pandemic, I will say that… I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that.

There’s so much censorship now, I really can’t say a lot of what I want to say.

Let’s just say that you can look at historical things… Details of other diseases… And look at the life cycle of those diseases, especially the ones similar to what we’re going through now, and get an OK time estimate on how long it’s going to last, and then skip over all of those articles that say, “Is it going to be till December? Is it going to be till May? Is it going to be till September? Who knows?Blah, blah, blah. We have this factor. We have this factor.”

Just look at the historical data. Just do research on that. And that’s all I’m going to say, because I probably will get, like, censored everywhere if I say anything else, it’s already happened. I don’t want to talk about that either.

So let’s just say that this course would be probably pretty good for me to start. It’s eight weeks this working with her. She has an eight week process.

Maybe like next quarter or summer [would be better according to my gut instinct].

And I feel like what I’m getting from the outside, which is spurring me on the inside to not listen to my inner core instinct, is “Do it now! Do it now! Do it now. You’ve always wanted this. Let’s do this. You need this clarity right now. Right now, right now. Aren’t you curious? You’re kind of curious. You have got to do it now!”

And I hate that. And I also think it’s dumb and dangerous, especially to someone who lives with a family, you know, who’s in a household that doesn’t have it has people that can’t really do the pandemic, you know.

So that’s my two cents.

So going back to the query of whether it’s worth it to push forward with career advancing things or things that you think are career advancing things…

You know, I can’t answer that definitively for you, but you have to look at what is worth it and what is not worth it and it’s funny because I actually woke up thinking about one of the first opportunities that I had in my career [which] led to another, led to another, led to another…

And it was sort of a flow that I had. And when it feels like flow, those are the ones you say yes to.

That’s what I found.

When it feels like, “Oh, my God! ME? I could do this? It’s going to be great!?”

Like when it has that tension, even if it’s a joyful tension… That has generally been shown to continue with tension and eventually peters out in the end, I have found for me. I mean, there’s tension to every next big leap, I have to say that, too.

My first, you know, effort to produce was full of tension.

But, boy, did it feel like a game. It really did. It was a game that terrified me, my first project out. And had I failed at it, I would have failed in front of a bunch of new friends who are way ahead of me in the industry at the time in terms of production, not necessarily… I was accomplished as an actor, but not from behind the camera point of view I had no experience.

And even though that would have been forgiven because from a behind the camera point of view, I had no experience, I still didn’t want to fail in front of these new friends who…

This was in the context of Flash Forward, and taking this one month career boosting thing with a woman named Suzanne Lyons, who I have mentioned a lot, and she’s awesome and really has… Is just an amazing lady who really helped a lot of people with their careers and is just a beautiful, beautiful person.

So I would have felt very embarrassed had I not succeeded, but that was always a possibility. But it also had the energy of, “This is just a game, I’m being playful with this, I’m expanding myself, but, oh, I have to call this person and it’s super scary. But I’m going to do it and I’m going to make it, like, crazy.”

I remember even one exercise I did… We had to do something that was like, totally… A total stretch that totally scared us, industry wise.

And I’m not going to tell you what I did, but I took one of the people respect and think… Well, the writing team, I think, are the best writers of comedy ever, ever, and I created a gift basket for them and dropped off right at their studio, and it was full of stuff that I knew would be relevant to them.

It was related to all of their movies that they did, and also I had researched them, so I knew that, you know, they were skiers and all that, blah, blah, blah.

So I also included that kind of stuff.

But still, it was kind of like a weird thing. I got into the studio and everything and probably couldn’t today, by the way. There’s so much security. Everything is so different, you know, but, like, and everything is…

I mean, to a degree that keeps people safe, but it also doesn’t make everything as fluid as it once was. Oh, I’m changing the topic on this podcast, aren’t I?

Anyway, going back to opportunity.

So, you know, it’s a priority.

What’s your priority?

But also recognize that more opportunities will come up. And I have to say that I have a lifetime of opportunities that I’ve said yes and no to, and I have very little regrets, there’s maybe a few that I regret saying no to. There’s certainly many that I regret saying yes to.

And also realize that most producers or whoever is asking you for something is forming it in a way that makes it look like this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and if you don’t do it, you’re ruining your career.

Especially if they are asking you to over-give. That’s definitely a characteristic of that, so just keep that in mind.

That it could be an illusion, there’s a lot of illusion in this industry and know that another opportunity will come up and just, you know…

But you gotta be well to be able to take it. So in my opinion, health is more important than anything else because, you know, more opportunities will come. And just check in with yourself in your gut and see what your instinct is telling you.

For me, my instinct is saying. “You can let go of the opportunities right now because they’re either false or could potentially do harm to your life and, you know, that would be bad.”

And I think that’s all I have for today. I think I’m going to stop there? Yes. Have a great day. Be safe and I will talk to you soon.
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