Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cooking up some luck with smarts as an ingredient

I am a firm believe that luck just doesn’t fall in your lap. Now yes, some people break my belief and luck does just stumble their way. But let’s face it. Most successful people are successful because they made it happen. They made their luck or put themselves in the right places to cook up some luck.

Since the Oscar’s are this Sunday I’ll use some Hollywood examples. Last year we watched actor Christoph Waltz amaze audiences with the Nazi role in the movie ‘Inglorious Bastards.’ He deservingly won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. He admitted in his acceptance speech that he took the role because of director Quentin Taratino and of actor Brad Pitt. Waltz, who had been acting since the 70’s, surrounded himself with talent. Both his acting perseverance and his smarts to accept that role landed him the award and a very busy acting schedule.

Actor George Clooney once said, “I'm not smart enough and I don't know enough about what's going on.” That’s why he surrounds himself with people that do. He is obviously a success. Although this next example is not an actor he is unarguably successful. “Surround yourself with people that are full of ideas, and people that are not going to be "yes-men." Surround yourself with smart, truthful, honest people.” Said Donald Trump.

As writers, we are fortunate to be in an industry has so many resources. Join RWA or another professional writing organization. Join a critique group. Go to local book signings and meet authors who have made it. Learn from their success. Do not try to become an author on your own. Take chances and don’t be afraid to ask for help by people who know the industry.

Do you surround yourself with smart people? How are you being smart to cook up your own luck? Since it is Oscar weekend, I leave you with actor Christoph Waltz acceptance speech. Notice how he pays tribute to all the smart and talented colleagues that made his Oscar a reality.

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