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Will being An Ass Help You be Successful?

Will being An Ass Help You be Successful?

There are countless examples of people that over their extraordinary careers have been assholes with the people in their team and despite that they have accomplished great things.

Great leader examples

Some examples of extraordinary people that achieved extraordinary success and have been assholes are Steve Jobs, Orson Welles or Stanley Kubrick. In different fields, all of them have been great achievers.

Leaders being dicks

You can read about James Cameron terrorizing his actors to the point of mental breakdown on “The abyss” or about Stanley Kubrick and Shelley Duvall during the production of “The Shining” and how he managed to traumatize her so she would give what he considered a great performance. Or Michael Bay that apparently is the king of dick directors.

Is it justified to be an asshole if you are in a position of power?

But is this a cause of inflated ego and of an abuse of power?

Do you have to be a dick to be a great leader? Do you have to be an asshole to be successful in your career?

Are people more receptive when you are moody and snappy?

What a great leader is made of

The thing that great leaders have that everyone else doesn’t is that they have a very clear vision of what the world should look like.

We are talking here about really great leaders like Gandhi, Maria Teresa de Calcuta, Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, etc.

Leaders always think that the world is not right. That the world needs some fixing. And that they know how and what has to change and in what way.

They have a very clear need of identity. They need to know who they are. And that they achieve by creating their ideal self. It is by having a sense of what they want to become that they start to shape an ideal world in which that ideal self could work at its fullest potential. This means that eventually they create a vision of what the world should look like. This means that they eventually start to create that ideal world to translate that idea into reality. This means that eventually he/she will find obstacles along the way that would be in direct conflict with his/her ideal world that he is trying to create.

This is when they usually get moody and snappy…

So back to our main question “Will being an Ass Help You be Successful?”.

The answer to that is that if you are an asshole and period, that won’t take you anywhere. People that are an asshole for the sake of being an asshole will only piss people off and won’t change anything.

We are not talking about plain assholes here. We are talking about leaders being assholes.

Characteristics of GREAT leaders

Dr. Michael Maccoby has written extensively on leadership.

His take on what makes a leader is that a leader should have/be:

  • Undeniable charisma
  • Unshakable conviction
  • Not listening to anyone except for themselves
  • Slightly paranoid
  • Over-controlling
  • Lacking in empathy
  • Occasionally Cruel

Ergo, a leader should and has to be a narcissist.

“Narcissists lacks a strong superego but has instead an ego ideal. You can see it in some of the great leaders like Lincoln or Barack Obama in his autobiography. He needs to create a sense of who he is. And those people are people that are driven to be leaders, because they have a vision, they have a sense of what they want to create, how they want to change the world.”

That’s why sometimes leaders are abusive. Because they have such a powerful vision… and they are going to make sure they realize it.

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Only WORRY about what You Can Control, FORGET the REST

Only WORRY about What You Can CONTROL, FORGET the REST

Haven’t you had the feeling of overwhelming and stress when you face multiple challenges at the same time and you don’t know which one to tackle first? 

If you hesitate the wave will definitely hit you so hard that you won’t be able to get up. Then it won’t be a matter of which task you should prioritize but if you are able or not to get up by yourself or not.

So many people get caught up in this situation and it is a very sad one. The solution, in theory, is quite simple and based in common sense but in practice is another story that even the best of the best in a particular field struggle with.

What can I control?

What you can control is usually something that you can strat working on right now.

That’s it. 

If you can’t have immediate impact or action, it means that you shouldn’t stress about it. 

You should plan carefully. But not stress about it.

So, in the case you have too many things that you have to manage right now, many tasks that you can execute right now and that you have to, the advice is to break down into the smallests chunks posiible the tasks at hand. 

Method to get things done

Tim Ferriss talks about how to come across multiple tasks and prioritizing in an efficient way so you can break them down in their simplest expression so you can deliver at time without stressing out. 

The first method is batching. Basicly it’s about grouping all the similar tasks and doing them all at once, and avoid being dispersed.

Here is the video that explains what batching is.

What is out of my control?

Everything that you cannot influence. 

Everything that you cannot change even if you take immediate action. 

Most of you think you know what is out of your control, but the the truth is that most people usually mistake what they cannot control with what they can control. 

What does this mean?

It means that most people if they have to shoot and the day is a rainy one they will stress about it because the scene they had to shoot had to be a sunny day and because of that they will be behind the shooting schedule. This might seem like a very logical reaction but the truth is that it is a completely absurd one. 

The most logical way to tackle that problem would be to come up right away, right when you spot the problem, with different logical and practical solutions that fix that delay in the production of the film.

This when a clear mind comes real handy. This is why seeing all the situation from an outside point o view really helps. That’s why meditation is practiced by most of the great performers that Tim Ferriss has interviewed, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, María Sharápova, Tony Robbins or Sir Richard Branson.

How can I not stress about what I cannot control?

Write down all the things that you need to do and set right away the deadlines of each task. 

Getting everything on paper liberates the mind from remembering all the things that you need to do and lets you focus on what order needs to be followed to finish everything on time.

Next, you proceed by batching (watch the video on batching above). 

When you have divided all that you need to do in chunks of similar tasks you need to prioritize. 

The way I do it and seems to work for me is first do everything that you can do right away and that it’s harder. What I mean by this is to first do the tasks that require more time than the other ones, that’s why it falls into the category of the hardest tasks. 

This helps me from an early stage to plan methodically and carefully all that has to be done and start doing all of it little by little before the deadeline is too close. Planning is what wins the battle here. 

And as a break I take my time to do all the smaller tasks that are easier. This way it is not a lot of work just the day before the deadline (in these cases, most of the time you end up with the project/task merely finished and in poor quality). 

So I usually have big tasks that I get into right away because they consume a lot of my time and take breaks of the big ones to finish the smaller ones so it keeps me going and motivated that I’ve finished some of the work. 

Do I really need to forget about the things I don’t control?

What I mean with “forget the rest” (in the title of the post) is that while you are doing something that you can control that you can finish, all of your attention should be at the task at hand and not worrying about uncontrollable things that may or may not ruin what you are trying to finish right now. 

For that you need a clear mind that can distinguish between what is important what it isn’t and that right away focuses on the task at hand. When you enter that deep focus state everything around you shrinks and what you are focusing on magnifies, becomes bigger and clearer.

Happy focused work and see you the next time!

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OVERCOME COMPLAINING Right NOW!

OVERCOME COMPLAINING Right NOW!

Energy cannot be destroyed

The key principle here is that “energy cannot be destroyed, it only can change or be transformed, but never dissappear”

What does this statement have in common with what Jack Ma talks about from a business perspective?

Complaints from a business perspective

Well, from a business perspective, when most people complain if you are in tune with the needs that are not being supplied and that create the complaints, it is very useful to tackle complaints with a business strategy that supplies the unsupplied need.

Ideas, Opinions and Attitudes are Energy

Ideas, opinions and attitudes are non-material things that communicate not only a message but energy as well.

Ideas when shared with other people they can motivate or inspire thought.

Opinions when shared with other people they can help to see a problem from different and new perspectives.

Attitudes define character and people is driven to character. Not every person’s character drives people towards them and this when complaints come to play.

People have already enough troubles, enough things on their mind to go around listening to other people’s problems and complaints. Some people are used to this because they mantain toxic relationships that they call friends to share with them how terrible their situation at the moment is. But the truth is that these kind of people always think that they are living the worst time of their life. Even if it is going great for them they’ll find something they can complain about, even if it is what a good time they’re having right now and “why can’t this continue forever”… Absurd.

It is amazing how the mind has the amazing ability to come up with as many ideas as it wants that justify one’s set of beliefs.

Complaints are energy toxic waste

With “complaints are energy toxic waste” I mean that complaints in the same way that ideas are energy, opinions are energy and attitudes are energy, complaints they are too.

Complaints start from something that doesn’t fit our idea of what it should be and when facing the “imposibility” of doing something about it, we share that negative feeling with the ones around us. That is a complaint: negative energy that is shared with other people. Even if you think it is not “as much negative energy” or “too much that they feel intoxicated by it”, meanwhile all that negative energy is not eliminated. All that negative energy gets stored. And little by little, even if you think it’s not there, consumes you until you reach a point that you feel the weight upon your shoulders and you finally say “fuck it/him/her”.

It is a reasonable move in that particular situation of waste accumulation but that can be avoided because it is unnecessary to carry it upon our shoulders.

Get rid of complaints

Even if you are a person that complains a lot or a person that receives a lot of complaints from work peers, friends or family, the thing that I would do to get rid of all that negative energy (that works for me) is sublimation.

Sublimation is about transforming negative energy into something useful. Freud already talked about the fact that negative energy can seriously damage our psychological and physical well being. And that one practical way of getting rid of all that negative energy is by transforming it inot something useful. This way you avoid all that negative energy getting stuck inside you and you give it another type/kind of expression. May that be a creative form of expression, sexual or in whatever form possible that you can think of.

How does Sublimation work?

Sublimation is a very simple process that helps you overcome all that negative energy and give it another form outside yourself.

Imagine that I had somebody complaining in set all the time and how this and that never works or that we are way behind schedule and we cannot do anything about it, or that we work too much and there is still a lot of work to be done.

What I could do is fire that person straight away, but if you are also an employee and he/her is in the same position as you and you are forced to work with him/her what you could do is try to change that person by telling him/her that he complains a lot and that he/her should control himself/herself (Good luck with that!) or me try to give it an expression that serves the community, your family, your next project, etc.

If I was writing this post is because it is another form of expression, a transformed and refined kind of energy; hopefully hiding some valuable lesson. The reason may stem from a toxic complaining attitude of someone out there that filled me with all this negative energy that I had to transform. I chose a post. A post that offers value, that is a positive contribution to the community and not just a mundane toxic waste of energy.

Stay away of people that complain, they are toxic!

Here is a video that explores more in depth how sublimation works. See you next time!

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IT’S KEY! Have a CLEAR VISION of What YOU Want

IT'S KEY! Have a CLEAR VISION of What YOU Want

Should you bend just for a paycheck?

There’ll be a lot of times during a job that you will think: “Why am I doing this? Should I be doing this? Should I be spending my time and efforts in something that I don’t really like just for a paycheck (that – being honest –  isn’t even that good)?

My story on my vision vs work obligations

In my particular situation, I came back from another country after working there full time, from 7:30 in the morning to 22:00 or 24:00, to coming back home and getting involved in a project of a friend for 3 days full-time in an idea I really didn’t control and that hadn’t to do much with my primary goals and objectives.

Why did I get invested in a project that I didn’t quite feel it?

The answer to that is that I did it for a friend.

But is it justified?

Let’s review the facts:

  • I came exhausted from the summer.
  • I wanted to come back and keep working on the YouTube channel, the Podcast and the web page by writing a blog post every day.
  • I wanted to be fresh to start filming what was left of the film DOPPEL.
  • I wanted to register the mordalego brand and had to do bureaucratic paperwork.
  • And I wanted to have several days for myself. Vacations that I hadn’t had in all summer. Unlike everyone else.

So… how can I organize all this work, all these desires?

It is a matter of priorities

You choose by having PRIORITIES

So, it’s true that I came exhausted from the summer as I had been working non-stop for 2 months straight when everyone else had the pleasure of being in vacations.

But I said to myself that 3 days at the same place that I’ve spent the last 2 months working, won’t do me no harm. After the third day I would start a new page of my life and focus 100% on everything that I would do for the rest of the year.

The YouTube channel and the Podcast are things that have to be well planified and well executed. This means time. Time of preparation.

How I work is that first I do research. That’s a must. While I am doing research what I do most of my time is think. I think about that that I am researching.

So, either if it is a new screenplay or a new YouTube channel, most of my day I spend it thinking about the execution, planning the strategy and trying to don’t leave anything behind.

It is not that I stay in a chair staring at a wall, it means that most of my day I spend it by staring at my computer screen or reading books.

Reading helps me A LOT to come up with other solutions and other perspectives to tackle a problem.

So if I were doing something else it would be something that I’m not really invested in so I could wonder about the execution and the planning necessary for the YouTube channel, the Podcast and the finishing of the film.

My friend’s project it was one that I wasn’t really invested in and that left the space and time necessary for me to wonder about everything that I will do for the rest of the year.

As well I set a deadline. I would only be involved in the project for 3 days. No more, no less. Time enough for me to get pumped again for doing what I really liked.

Being back, for three days and getting into the dynamic of shooting 3 days before the real shoot was like going to the gym and starting to work out after the summer, before the real competition. It seemed a good training for what was about to come.

All the registration of the brand I discovered it could be done through the internet with a couple of emails. So that didn’t mean a very huge time investment.

And last but not least, I wanted to have vacations. I figured that I could have them just after those 3 days of shooting and I will leave relaxed because I would know that I will rest but being prepared for the real time shooting of the film and that I wouldn’t screw up because I didn’t have the necessary practice after the summer.

Priorities: a clear and relative conclusion

As you can see, everyone is different and has different ways of approaching and tackling a problem but if you have clear priorities the thing that would define your reasoning is that clear vision of what you really want to do. You will follow that impulse and build your life in a way that matches your ambitions and your end desires. But for that you really need to know so what are you capable of and if that that gets in your way it’s really worth it or not, meaning if it gets in conflict with your vision or not. If there is a certain kind of symbiosis, you’ll find the way of making it work, if not, don’t hesitate to ignore whatever trending “opportunities” get in your way.

Think about your end goals, think about your priorities and you’ll always find the answer to the problem that suits you.

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How to Work Less and Increase Productivity (4 Steps) | Tim Ferriss

How to Work Less and Increase Productivity (4 Steps) | Tim Ferrissn

As most that follow my posts you know that I am a true fan of the Tim Ferriss Show, and as I was scrolling down his YouTube channel to know his beginnings, I found a great video where he explains what steps are necessary to follow to have the 4 hour work week, meaning work only 4 hours a week. Incredible. A great video that hides a lot of the most important principles of knowing how to manage our time effectively.

Unplug and reset completely

First, what you need to do is unplug and reset completely. There is a huge information misuse and information addiction. Checking email 200 times per day, having a smartphone to your head or in your hand while you are at dinner or in the subway or in your car or with your friends, is the path of becoming more unproductive and unsuccessful.

Giving everyone around you, every person on the world immediate access to you is inviting interruption and minutiae to completely invade your life.

Create your first Start-Up and Check your email 200 times a day!

He worked in several start-ups and eventually started his own. He was CEO and he worked from 7 A.M to 9 P.M everyday. He checked his mail from 100 to 200 times a day. He slept under his cubicle it was a depressing scene. And it is a very common scene.

The way to turn that around is to completely unplug and reset. That means to take a step back, forget about what people expect of you, forget about what is popular and really look at what works and what is consuming your time.

So there are 4 steps:

  • Definition
  • Elimination
  • Automation
  • Liberation

 

1. Definition

Definition is simple.

You need to define your ideal lifestyle. WHAT do you want to be doing from when you wake up till when you go to sleep.

So what do you want to have, what do you want to be, what do you want to do. And how much does that ideal lifestyle cost. That becomes your target.

2. Elimination

Elimination is simple.

Eliminate everything: all the static, all the noise, all the interruptions, all the micro managing, all the people possible that interfere with getting you to the ideal lifestyle.

3. Automation

Automation is about taking the few remaining tasks that are important and time-consuming and either delegating, automating or somehow outsourcing them.

In his particular case he has an army MBAs in India, about 25 of them, that work for 4$ an hour and take care of tasks that otherwise consume hundreds of my hours.

4. Liberation

Liberation is about the final ingredient in lifestyle design that is mobility and how to use the time once you create it.

This last thing is very difficult for most people.

This last step is a very personal one that you need to think about in depth for a while, but if you know your why and you have a clear vision in your mind you won’t have any troubles with.

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2 Great Things That Came Out From The Worst Failure of Robert Rodríguez

2 Great Things That Came Out From The Worst Failure Of Robert Rodríguez

The Tim Ferris Show

One of the great things of being on any types of media is that you get huge amount of exposure. Tim Ferriss the founder of The Tim Ferriss Show knows this and his guest Robert Rodru00edguez knows as well.

Here is the complete interview if you want to listen to it:

The difference between the ones who try and actually make it

He talks about one of the key principles that differentiate the ones who finally make it from the ones that only try. That is to keep on it. Even if the going gets tough and if you donu2019t really get to a pro level right away. What you need to do is keep going, keep trying, put in the hours and one day, when you think that nothingu2019s changed, youu2019ll be there, you will have made it.

And what if you donu2019t. What if when you try to compare you find out that you still havenu2019t made it and what you thought what was going to be your breakthrough turns out to be a failure?

Robert Rodriguez’s point of view on failure

Robert Rodru00edguez says that u201cThere is a success hidden in any failure. You need to be able to look at your failures and know that there is a key for success hidden in any failure. If you look through the ashes long enough youu2019ll always find something. And success is going from failure to failure with great enthousiasme.u201d

He says that he normally wants to talk about his failures with other directors like Coppola and that they give perspective and valuable lessons for future success.

He instinctually said yes to doing u201c4 roomsu201d with Quentin Tarantino, a movie that turned out to be a disaster. Should he have thought more before taking a decision? He know says that anthology movies never work, not even when Scorsese, Coppola and Allen did theirs. He says they never work and nevertheless he did it. Because his instinct told him to do so.

But while he was working on the set of u201c4 roomsu201d, Robert, when he saw Antonio Banderas dressed in a suit like a Mexican and his Asian exotic wife and two children, he came up with the idea of making a film where 2 kids became spies and his parents were too. This eventually turned out to be the movie Spy Kids, a huge success at the time.

Spy Kids: There are four of those films now and a TV series.

As well, on set of four rooms he realized that anthology movies, where you have four directors doing their own thing, never work. u201cThey should be done with 3 directors, not four, because a story has 3 acts and I, although I know that anthology movies never work, I will try again because I think I now have this thing figured outu201d

That turned out to be successful movie directed by Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodru00edguez, u201cSin Cityu201d.

There is always a key for success hidden in any failure

u201cSo if you a positive attitude you can always look back and say oh that wasnu2019t a failure, that was a key moment that I needed to take. And I can trust my instincts. Because what is success? Is it measured in dollars? No. But it could be measured in knowledge. What did I learn that I now use later? And it may take you 10 years to figure it out but from that moment on youu2019ll do it right because youu2019ll be able to check your journal and say oh thatu2019s what happened there it didnu2019t really worked out. And thatu2019s why you can trust your gut feeling even though you cannot go to a studio and say I trust my gut feelingu201d

So trust your gut feeling, reflect on your failures and keep on hustling!

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Go ALL THE WAY With Camera Gear

Go ALL THE WAY With Camera Gear

Should you or should you not change of camera gear during production?

Most indie films take a lot of time get finished. They usually take more time than Hollywood movies to get made if they don’t have a specific budget of a number of millions.

And this is ok. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you are the only person that is producing the project and you are taking all the financial and creative responsibilities and risks. In fact it is an amazing thing that most people do NOT even think about because the stakes and the fear are so high.

So, imagine that you are in middle of the production of your film and you’ve found a new camera that films better in low light, has better iso and overall it’s a better camera than the one you are using to film your movie.

Should make the change in the middle of production?

It is a tough question.

The truth is that it depends on the camera you’ve got, the money you are willing to spend in a camera and not in other important things like post-production or distribution. That I can tell you it is another story and not a cheap one…

Let’s evaluate my current situation and see if the change is convenient or not.

In my case, I have a Lumix G80 (Lumix G85 in the US) and I haven’t finished the film yet but I have saved enough money to upgrade to a Lumix GH5s. The question now is, should I upgrade to a better camera or save the money for more important stuff (if there are more important things, anyway)?

Well, I’m literally in the middle of production of DOPPEL and I have completed the 57% of the film. I have shot everything on the G80 and now that I have the money I’m considering to make the change…

But should I?

Well… the GH5s costs 2.292€ only the body. This means without the lens. I could use the lens of my G80 and maintain the look I have all over the already filmed footage…

But what where could I spend the money that I have saved? Do I have to necessarily spend the money that I have saved?

Well, if I wanted to send my film to international festival such as Berlin film festival, Cannes, Sundance, Raindance or TIFF, I should have a stack of money in my pocket, because all of that costs a lot of money.

If you plan well, you can send your movie to Sundance film festival for less than a 100$ (Early 65$ / Official 85$ / Late 110$). So “compared to 2.292$ it isn’t too much money” you might think, but the truth is that only around a 1% of the films sent to big international film festivals get in. Then the 1% of the selected movies fight between them to try to win jury prizes, best feature, etc. It is a tough game! So if you want to increase your chances of getting into a film festival and actually winning you need to, preferably, send your movie to several film festivals (which all of them cost money). If you are planning to send your movie to 10 film festivals, if you take into account the fee prices and the money you will spend by sending your movie with the post or what not, you will be spending around 1.500$ at the least. To that you need to add the traveling expenses, hotels and food that come with being in the official selection and going to the screenings of your film where you might meet a distributor that can distribute your film…

Conclusion

So if you already have a camera and you are in the middle of production like me, my suggestion is to stick with it. Because it is the aesthetic look of your whole movie and because in the end you will be spending much more necessary money to put it in front of an audience.

Save and spend wisely! See you next time!

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How Much Time Does Production Take?

How long does the production stage take?

The only reasonable answer to this matter is that it varies from production to production.

BUT,

There are certain key principles you can apply and that will make your life much easier during production.

TIME… DON’T STRESS ABOUT IT, PREPARE FOR IT

If you are doing a story that you love and that motivates you enough, time shouldn’t be a problem. Inconvinients will always happen so the most reasonable thing to do when you are faced with a difficult challenge involving time is do not stress too much about it. Motivation and euphoria is a good kind of stress that pushes yourself to overcome pressures and yourself for the sake of a certain goal. Stress is another and very different thing. Stress will paralyze you and get the worst out of you without getting any work done.

Imagine you have to film a number of scenes before you and everyone else goes on hollidays you NEED to finish filming those scenes because if not you do not have the certainty you can finish them after two months away and the deadline of the film festival entry you are interested due in September.

The truth is that the battle against time is rarely won and you need either of two things: disponibility and money. And both of those means money. Money that most independent filmmakers do not have.

So how can I manage my shooting time?

Do not stress about it and methodically solve the problems that haunt you in a sportive way.

For example, if you can finish shooting before vacations even if that means putting in double of work if you truly believe that the film being finished before vacations it’s necessary.

If you think you can with hard work and persistence finish it after vacations and you can hustle enough to get your film on another and better festival, that might be your choice. If you can even get your film into a festival that is almost due time because you someone in the industry, do that definitely.

Then again is about analyzing your situation and giving it a reasonable solution.

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Work With Who You Trust

Work With Who YOU Trust

I can’t stress this point enough. Working with who you trust is EVERYTHING.

Potato Jet Confesses

Potato Jet a YouTuber discusses this topic as well in his YouTube channel and his experience in Hollywood for over 10 years!

To sum up, Potato Jet says that particularly in Hollywood you’ll find A LOT of shady people. People who say they’ll do something for you and after a while you realice they won’t, that promise you favors that most of the time don’t materialize, disappointments, excuses, lies… (… sex and videotapes… – I’m kidding but the truth is that the promised Land doesn’t look like those fairy tales we watch on the big screen)

In my case I have never been to L.A. nor I haven’t been to Hollywood but I do understand and value the importance of what this story is trying to put the focus on: trust between teammates.

My personal experience with the production of DOPPEL

For me personally it’s been for as long as I have worked in the movie DOPPEL, what one might call, a smooth ride. But I do not think it is a matter of only good luck.

As far as I can remember, in my family, trust has always been the basic pillar that holds this whole structure.

And before even the project of the movie started I tried to build the same trust with my crew. That means that I wouldn’t have a big crew right away as I wanted to start the project as soon as I could but still have someone that helps me throughout the process. That’s why after acknowledging that I designed the project so it could be pulled off with as less people as possible, always with the condition that those working with me were people I could definitely trust.

And that, even if your crew is only 2 people big, it takes time and speak up your mind. It’s how trust is built – with time.

The good side of it is that if you have done it well and you trust each other you have the certainty that you can finish the project.

So to sum-up, the rule I follow that seems to work just fine for me is:

Axiom: Build on trust and, although you won’t travel as fast, you’ll get twice as far.

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It’s A Marathon Not A Sprint

It's A Marathon Not A Sprint

There is a movie that talks about the SAME topic as this post: “Hustlers”, staring Paul Newman and George C. Scott. Great movie: an all times classic.

What’s the Hustler’s story about?

The story is quite simple really.

There is a hustler Eddie Felson, Paul Newman, that plays pool and bets in order to make a living, and the way he accomplishes this is by hustling people into thinking he is not as good of a pool player as his opponent. This way his opponent starts to bid higher and then the real abilities of Eddie (Paul) kick in and win almost anyone who’s in front of him.

I say almost because there is one guy, Fats Minnesota, who plays in a place called Ames who is thought to be the best pool player of the whole country that Eddie hasn’t played against yet.

So Eddie goes to that place called Ames and him and Fats play pool for 25 hours straight, betting as high as they can (1000$ the game)… Eddie is really good at pool, even better than Fats… Eddie is now ahead of Fats by 18000$, but he doesn’t want to leave just jet, he wants to humiliate Fats and he will only go when Fats recognizes he has lost.

So they keep on playing…

… Until the booze, the whisky and the weariness start to kick in. Fats Minnesota goes to the bathroom and prepares himself again, to restart brand new… and meanwhile our hero is sitting on a chair barely awake, completely exhausted.

Eddie’s partner counsels him to quit the game but his ego is just too strong and violently denies. He usually has these childish tantrums…

Fats plays beautifully without missing a ball and wins. Eddie is just too exhausted to even care, so…

Fats Minnesota wins again, again, again and again… He wins his money back and the first 1000$ of the initial bet. He packs his belongings and makes it out through the front door while Eddie begs him to play another game.

Then the story carries on with Eddie trying to learn to have the “character” that will help him win Fats.

So what’s character after all?

The character the movie is talking about and that determines who wins and who loses it isn’t talent.

It’s the ability to think straight even when you are losing, even when the odds are against you and you keep on playing, even when the exhaustion is so great you cannot stand on your feet, even when you are winning, so you don’t get carried away by success and your own ego.

And dominating the game in this manner character is key, is necessary, much more than talent. That’s why people that think is a sprint, although talented, don’t make it to the finish line. It’s those who know that they will get there even when everything is against them and still have the character to keep on going that are the ones who really make it to the finish line and make it first.

 

Eddie Felson: So I got talent. So what beat me?

Bert Gordon: Character.

a ROBERT ROSSEN film

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