3 Steps to Opening Up Opportunities in Your Life
The YouTube algorithm strikes again! I recently came across the story of a guy named Danny. Danny posted a video about how he ended up working for Nike. Danny was a film guy (hey there, algorithm), and there were 2 companies he wanted to do commercials for: Nike and Jeep.
So here’s what Danny decided to do: he took his Jeep, he took his girlfriend, and he started filming. It was super low budget, but basically he decided to make his own mini commercial for Jeep. He put it on social media, tagged Jeep in it, and thought, “I’m going to get Jeep’s attention with this. They’re going to hire me, and I”m going to do a Jeep commercial.”
Danny was SUPER pumped about this plan. He posted it on social media, he got a lot of reposts, other people tagging Jeep, a lot of buzz from the general community.
But from Jeep? Nothing.
A few months later, he gets a call from an old friend from high school, who was just finishing up an internship with a physical therapist. Her boss wanted to do a promo video for his office, and she showed him Danny’s Jeep video - and he loved it. So she asked Danny if he would come do a promo video for the office. “Well, it’s a far cry from Jeep,” Danny thought, “but sure, why not!” It was the opportunity he had, so he took it. And he killed what was in front of him.
A couple months later, that same friend called and asked Danny if he could fly out to LA the next day to do a video shoot. It was for one of her boss’s clients, Odell Beckham Jr. (what?!), who is one of the best wide receivers in football. Odell wanted a hype video to show the team that he was ready to roll again. And Danny killed what was in front of him. Odell loved it, and he started posting it everywhere, tagging Danny in everything. Cue more doors opening.
From that, he got a call from a production company that wanted his help filming the NFL Pro Bowl. After that, that same production company asked if he wanted to work on another project for them. “Who’s it for?” Danny asked.
After that project, Nike reached out to him directly and asked him to work on another project for them. And that’s how he ended up working for Nike.
That’s how success works, by the way. You have a goal, and then the follow through of it often looks NOTHING like you intended it to. But you keep going. You take the opportunities you can, and you kill what’s in front of you.
The same thing happened with my acting career. I started out by taking an acting class with my buddy (who didn’t even show up, by the way), and all I really got out of that was the advice to get a headshot. So I did. Even though it cost money I didn’t really have, I went and did it anyway.
A year later, when I wanted to audition for a summer actor/waiter job, I was the only one of my buddies who could - because I had a headshot. I did well at that job, and 6 months after that, one of the guys I met there got me the audition for what ended up being my first professional show. But it all really happened because of that class, and me choosing to kill what was in front of me.
I have stories like that for days. From my own personal life and from those I've met along the way. But it begs the question: what separates the people who get those kinds of opportunities and those that don’t?
To me, all boils down to one simple concept: Going the Extra Mile.
Having a go the extra mile, whatever it takes mentality will open doors. Going beyond what you think is necessary, beyond what you think is required is where ALL the magic happens.
What does that look like? Well, Danny is a perfect example of that. He started with a goal - begin with the end in mind. And then...are you ready...he just did stuff.
Pardon my Nike pun, but just do stuff!
That’s all I did with my acting career - whatever I could do, I did! If there was an audition, I went. If there was a small shoot I could participate in, I participated. If there was a class I could take, I took it.
So here’s what I want to share with you today: 3 steps to doing stuff in a way that actually goes the extra mile. In other words, 3 steps to opening up more doors of opportunity in your life:
1. Do stuff with resilience
Here’s the thing, and I already said it - NOT EVERYTHING IS GOING TO GO YOUR WAY. You HAVE to be ok with that. It won’t be perfect, there will be push back. There WILL be resistance - so you need to have resilience. When things don’t go exactly as you plan, deal with it. You’re an adult. And last time I checked, you wanted to be a successful adult. That means having maturity.
Just because you’ve been studying success principles doesn’t mean you won’t have to pay the same price for success. Yes, you can learn from other people’s experiences, but you can’t earn from other people’s experiences. News flash: there are things you’re going to have to go through and figure out yourself.
But here's the good news: you learn more as you apply yourself anyway. When you do something, you learn, then you grow, and then you’re more prepared. Every difficulty is a learning experience - that’s what true resilience is: learning from when things don’t work out. Everyone wants to be successful, but not everyone wants to be resilient.
2. Do stuff with a sense of urgency
Friends...there is no time to waste. Life is happening. Most people wait forever for good things to start happening to them. I say you go make them happen. When I was building my acting career, I didn’t
wait around for people to call me with roles or auditions. I went and sought them out. Did I get every role I auditioned for? Of course not! But was I worried if I didn’t get one? Nope! Why? Because I always had another audition lined up - for THAT WEEK. See, when you do stuff with a sense of urgency, there’s always something to do, and there’s always something to do NOW.
When I was building my online retail business, this was a big lesson I had to learn. I literally had this phrase tattooed in pen on my forearm: the best time is now!
People hear about a concept like sowing and reaping - which is absolutely real by the way - and they want to put it into action. Great! And then they plant one seed. One. And then they wait. And they wonder why nothing is happening. One seed, one time is never enough. You need many, many seeds, all the time, and NOW - with a sense of urgency. You never know which seeds will come up, and you never know when. So all you can do is plant them, and plant them now.
3. Do stuff until the job is done
You just have to keep going. End of story. Just keep going until the job is done. How long is it going to take? I don’t know, are you working for Nike yet? Have you booked a gig yet? Did you find your business partner yet? If you haven’t found what you’re looking for, if you haven’t completed the goal, the job’s not done! So keep going!
Too many people stop when it gets a little too hard. They stop when they don’t feel like it any more, or when the pursuit of their goal stops being convenient. But if you stop short of the goal, by definition, the goal cannot be completed. Unless you keep going. The only way to ensure success is to do stuff until the job is done.
All those steps together are what make up the extra mile mentality. People who go the extra mile do stuff with resilience, they do stuff with a sense of urgency, and they do stuff until the job is done.
If you adopt those 3 mentalities into how you take action towards your goal, doors will open wide. Before you know it, doors you didn’t even know existed will open for you, and you’ll have more and better opportunities than you ever dreamed of. I know, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it in my life, and I’ve seen it in the lives of others. And now I can’t wait to hear the stories that come from you as you learn to go the extra mile.