Setting Goals

"Most of us serve our ideals by fits and starts. The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication."—Cecil B. DeMille

When you commit to an ultimate career goal, you need to be specific. Instead of just, "My goal is to become a line producer," how about, "My goal is to become a line producer on major feature films with at least a $20 million budget, and I will be working on at least two films a year?" Better that way, huh?

Once you've targeted your ultimate career goal, you'll need to define the smaller goals essential to reaching the big one. Keeping with the example of the line producer objective, here's the checklist you might prepare for yourself:

o Apply for the Assistant Director's Training Program Test. o Collect required days on non-union shows or complete training program (if accepted). o Become established as a second assistant director. o Become established as a first assistant director. o Become established as a unit production manager. o Become established as a line producer.

o Work exclusively on feature films with budgets in excess of $20 million.

o Consistently work on at least two features a year.

Or your checklist might look something like:

o Establish a production entity. o Find at least three marketable properties to option. o Sell at least one of those projects. o Co-produce my first show. o Sell a subsequent property. o Become established as a producer.

Or as simple as:

o Mailroom o Assistant's Desk o Junior Agent o Agent

Try tacking this onto your checklist:

I'm a big advocate for writing out goals. Besides, clearly defined goals that are written down are generally reached more often than those that aren't. And I'm not talking about writing your goals on a pad of paper or on the computer where they'll rarely been seen. I'm talking about index cards, 5 x 7 pieces of card stock or 8-22 x 11 checklists that you can tack onto a bulletin board, the side of your computer monitor, on your office door, wall or refrigerator door—anywhere you'll see them every day. I hand print mine using a thick, black felt-tip pen. Committing to a goal and writing it down is empowering. Keeping it in front of you keeps you focused.

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