What Is A Win?

On Tuesday, August 1st, the Professional Development Program 3.0 class presented their 7-month wins (January through July) It was a great way to pause, acknowledge and celebrate our wins so far this year. I love when we share our wins halfway through the year and at the end of the year because it’s always a constant reminder of how much we have actually achieved. It’s so easy to get caught up in the grind, the hustle, the work, that we forget about how much we actually accomplished. We think we haven’t made any progress on our careers. We forget about our journey.

By typing out our wins and sharing them, we actually see how much we have accomplished, we realize we are on the right path and we are kept in a place of gratitude.

Sharing our wins also allowed us to identify and embrace all types of wins. Too often, and it drives me crazy, people only consider something a win-or consider something you’ve done a win-when you book work in the industry. That’s some fucking bullshit. Is that the ONLY time something is considered a win? When you book a job? How singularly anal is that? Gag me with a fucking mental spoon. We’re somehow taught to believe that booking a job is the only win that counts. And we are shamed into thinking that it’s only a win if we book a job. I hate that so much. But let’s stick with booking a job for a second. Why is booking the job the only win? Aren’t all the actions you took that led you to booking the job also considered wins? (e.g. Having the right head shots, knowing your casting, having good representation, building relationships with casting directors, preparing for the audition, having a causative routine, knowing how to deliver the same product at the callback, etc.)

So, what exactly IS a win?

Here are some definitions from dictionary.com:

2) to succeed by striving or effort

5) to succeed in reaching (a place, condition, etc.), especially by great effort

6) to get by effort, as through labor, competition, or conquest

9) to make (one’s way), as by effort or ability

10) to attain or reach (a point, goal, etc.)

Origin: Old English “winnan” to work, fight, bear
Synonyms: obtain, secure, acquire, achieve, reach, procure

The word effort came up in several of the definitions above.

Effort: something done by exertion or hard work; the amount of exertion expended for a specified purpose.

A win is a result of the effort you put into something. Of the hard work you put into a specific purpose. You made it on time to your acting class. Win. You put up a scene in class that required hours of rehearsal between you and your scene partner. Win. You wrote five more pages of your screenplay. Win. You had an audition that you were prepared for. Win. You submitted your film to a film festival–You know, the film that you wrote and/or produced and spent countless hours in pre-production, countless hours in production and countless hours in post-production. Win. You spent a lot of time building your relationship map through give, outflow and engagement. Win. You helped to raise money at a fundraising event. Win. You took new head shots. Win. You and your reps are on the same page. Win. You KonMari’d your home. Win. Or as Mary Thompson says, Calimari’d your home (you’re a riot!) You removed negative people from your career bus. Win. You thanked a casting director who brought you in for an audition. Win. You shared your business plan with your family. Win. You changed your attitude about something that was holding you back. Win. You paid off one of your credit cards. Win. You get the point. All of the above examples takes effort. It takes work. So these efforts are wins. They are wins because you are taking actions to reach a certain place or condition in your life; to change and enhance your condition; to reach a point.

Every effort we make in our careers and in our lives brings us closer to certain goals that we have set for ourselves. So when the goal is achieved, yes, it’s a win. But all the actions and efforts you took to accomplish your goal are also wins. These series of actions and resulting wins get you closer to the goals you have set for yourself. If your goal is to complete a feature film script, then all the efforts you make along the way towards completing that goal are also wins: From reading a book on screenwriting to joining a writers group to researching similar films to work shopping scenes from your script in a class, etc. All of these efforts become wins that lead to your goal of completing a feature film script.

If you are striving and making efforts on a consistent basis towards your goals, then you are winning. Keep track of all the efforts you are taking because each effort gets you closer and closer to your goals. You are making your way to your goals by your efforts, actions and abilities. And if you keep track of your efforts, you will see the through line of how you got from point A to point B to point C, etc. “Oh wow. I can see the entire journey it took for me to get from point A to point Z.” And then you can repeat that process in your next endeavor.

I see a win as any effort or action that moves me forward personally and professionally.

Acknowledge the work, the steps, the efforts, the actions large and small you are taking to achieve your goals. And celebrate along the way!!!!!!!!!

I hope this gives you a new perspective on what a win is!

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