By Jessica Sitomer

“The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy. Fighting superior technology, Man’s best weapon is the will to survive.”-IMDB. I love IMDB and movie marketing in general. It can be so dramatic! I can just hear the announcer in his deep voice, “Man’s best weapon is the will to survive.” I suppose if the aliens really were coming, I’d have to have a pretty strong will to survive. What would be the alternative?

Ah, interesting question, isn’t it? “What would be the alternative?” So, here you are, reading this article, knowing it’s written to help you with your career, and I’m talking about aliens and man’s will to survive.

How is the entertainment industry like an alien invasion? Let’s think about that. You’re going about your career, doing the things you’re supposed to do: work on your craft, network, focus on your business, maintain a positive attitude. You do notice as the days go by, that things are pretty par for the course: no matter what your age, you’re getting older with each new day, new technology keeps popping up and you’re either open to it or you’re pretending it doesn’t exist, and of course you can’t help noticing jobs you wish you’d been hired for, even if you’re getting work.

Then suddenly, you discover there’s been an invasion! Maybe it’s a new crop of actors, who’ve arrived from another city, or the new “It Guy” cinematographer who just swept the awards on the festival circuit, or a 24-year-old writer, who was just given a studio deal.

Imagine the announcer with the deep voice saying, “For each job one of these invaders take, it’s one less opportunity for you.” I know, very dramatic. I’m trying to make a point here, not bring you down, instead I want you to fight using YOUR weapon: the will to succeed! The alternative is for your career to figuratively die, which I want to believe is not an option for you. And if it’s not an option, you must fill your arsenal with weapons to fight your best fight! Here are some “Will to Survive Weapons”:  

1.    Preparation Manual. You never know when the “invasion” will come, but it will come. So you must prepare by getting clarity on where you want to be in 5 years time. BE specific! Without specificity, there’s no way to fully prepare for survival in this business. To do battle with invaders you must be a few steps ahead of them. So make a plan breaking down the milestones and the actions it will take to reach your goals.

2.    Ticking Time Bomb. This is your motivator to push past fear. Fear will always show up, because the further you go in your career, the greater the stakes. Your only option is to push through it. If you were holding a ticking time bomb in your hand, you wouldn’t have time to wallow in fear, you’d have to find a solution. What is the ticking time bomb in your life, that will force you through your fears? NOTE: Don’t wait until that timer is at 0:02, by then it will be too late!  

3.   Fuel. Stock up on fuel, it’s precious during an invasion. Fuel is what keeps you going, your reasons for fighting onward. Identify your greatest sources of fuel. Who and/or what are they? Make sure your fuel is easily accessible. Stock up on it, so when the battle gets tough, and your will grows weaker, you can reach for your fuel, and recharge for the next fight!  

4.    Safe House. You’ll need a place to hide out and recharge when the battle looks grim. This is not a place to wallow, this is a place that you design for yourself when you need to escape and reassess. This place should inspire you. Have pictures, music, symbols, scents, flavors, that ground you and remind you of your talent and your greatness. Do not spend too much time in your safe house, because for every day you’re in there, the invaders grow stronger.   

5.    Will Power Pills. Imagine a bottle of glowing, radiating capsules. These are your “will power pills.” You have as many as you can imagine, as many as you will need to continue your fight. Imagine the color of the radiating capsule, the powers it gives you. Keep them with you at all times. There is no way out in an invasion. It’s you or the competition. How badly do you want success? When pushed into a corner, will you break down or come out fighting?  

You don’t have to fight these invaders alone, though ultimately it is YOUR will to survive in this business and what you do with it, that will lead to your success.

And Action!

1. Create your arsenal. Go through 1-5 and be sure you have all the weapons you need to win any invasion that comes your way.  

2. If you’re not convinced, think about the alternative. What would happen if you gave up the fight? What would your life be like in 5 years?   

In Independence Day there was a devastating attack on Earth, and the survivors devised a plan to fight back. They were fighting for the survival of the human race. What are you fighting for?