Career Advice from Hollywood

Re-syndicated from MENGonline.

It’s All Lies, & That’s the Truth, by Bernie Brillstein, is my favorite business book.  It gives remarkable advice about successfully dealing with people.

How can you not love a book that presents fifty rules from fifty years of making a living in Hollywood that are concurrently insightful, universal, outrageous, and usually LOL funny?

Check out this link if you’d like to learn more about a big time talent agent and movie producer who died in 2008.

I am going to bridge off of a few of his great chapter headings to present my own views about business careers:

First, Put Yourself in the Game

We all have friends who are equally talented and probably smarter but who haven’t been as successful.  While some of this is simply different levels of luck, it seems to me that that they were unwilling to apply for a risky opening or take a  chance.

Step forward when your boss is looking for a volunteer to lead a dangerous endeavor.

If You Want to Make a Great Deal, You Have to Be Willing to Blow a Great Deal

I only have one Hollywood friend, Alan Horn, who became President of Warner Bros.  While we haven’t talked for several years, I remember Alan giving me similar advice about two decades ago when he said that you have to be happy to walk  away from a deal.  And I’m pretty sure that he also talked about having this do not cross “line” decided in advance.

Brillstein also has a related chapter:  Always Have a Back Up Plan to answer his question:  “What if?”  And there always seems to be a “what if” to deal with.

Success Begins with Being Yourself

When you’re selling yourself, you’d better sell what you can do and do very well.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t reach for a bigger / tougher assignment or job.  But whatever responsibilities you get, you have a duty to complete successfully.

I Haven’t Heard from Him, He Must Be Doing Really Well

I think that he was talking directly to me on this one.  I’ve stopped networking after getting a new job.  And I know this is stupid.

So this is an example of Do what I say, not what I do.” As soon as you get your next job or reach a great milestone, accelerate the communication with your network.  You’ll need them again.   So reach out and see how you can help your network.

There are forty plus more business jewels and lots of laughter in this little book.  I hope you’ll read it and his larger related book, Where Did I Go Right?:  You’re No One in Hollywood Unless Someone Wants You Dead.

About Richard Sellers

Richard is Chairman Emeritus of the Marketing Executives Networking Group, founder of Demand Marketing consulting firm, and former Sr. VP of Marketing for three multi-billion dollar companies: CEC, WLP, and Service Merchandise. His early career was at GE, P&G, Playtex, and Marketing Corporation of America. He’s also a volunteer counselor for SCORE assisting small businesses in upstate New York. You can follow his communications about marketing, job search and careers here and at mengonlineENTREPRENEURS QUESTIONS, and on Twitter at @Sellers_Richard.



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