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Make It Happen, Not Watch It Happen

Quote by Tommy Lasorda, "In baseball and in business, there are three types of people. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened."

Reflecting on the transition from a freelance Production Assistant (PA) in the film industry to my present role in the sports industry, Tommy Lasorda's enduring wisdom serves as a guiding light: "In baseball and in business, there are three types of people. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened."


While my days as a PA may be tucked away in the rearview mirror, the profound lessons learned during those formative years continue to underpin my journey toward success. The film industry, characterized by its unpredictability (which is also what makes it so exciting), swiftly impressed upon me that adhering to the bare minimum wouldn't propel my career forward.


Setting myself apart required going above the standard PA duties. In an environment where some PAs settled comfortably into their roles doing the bare minimum and others voiced grievances about the demanding nature of the work and long hours, I recognized the opportunity to elevate my position in the film industry. Anticipating needs, willingly embracing additional responsibilities, and actively seeking ways to contribute beyond expectations became not just a job requirement but my strategic game plan.


As I worked to elevate my position, I became aware of the murmurs and discontent among my peers. I quickly became the “go-to" person when things needed to be done. I was often given more “workdays” and the chance to work directly with the production coordinators and producers on each job. And I was hired more often than many of my peers.


In the film world, no one dreams of making a lifelong career as a PA. Instead, the position is seen as an entry-point to getting a foothold, in an industry that can lead to greater opportunities. Many of my peers, despite starting with similar aspirations, decided that the extra effort required for advancement wasn't worth the investment. As a result, many chose to leave the industry altogether after a brief stint.


Fast forward to today, I've transitioned from entry-level production assistant to being a key player in various professional industries. Whether in the film world or any business in general, success tends to favor those who take initiative, assume leadership roles, and actively pursue their goals.


This principle, demonstrated in my own career journey, underscores the value of putting in the work and adopting a leadership mindset even before the formal recognition. I hope that this proven approach inspires you to aim higher in your personal and professional pursuits.


1.     Audit Your Approach: Reflect on your current role or profession. Are you merely meeting the minimum requirements, or can you identify areas where you can go above and beyond? Take note of the tasks where you can anticipate needs and contribute more than expected.

2.     Identify Opportunities for Growth: Consider areas in your current position where you can take on additional responsibilities. This could involve volunteering for projects, collaborating with different teams, or seeking out tasks that align with your strengths and interests. Look for ways to stand out within your current role.

3.     Embrace Proactivity: Take a proactive stance in your professional endeavors. Instead of waiting for instructions, actively seek opportunities to contribute and make a positive impact. Proactivity often sets the stage for leadership recognition and advancement.

4.     Network and Seek Mentorship: Connect with professionals in your industry who have successfully navigated career transitions. Seek mentorship from individuals who can provide guidance based on their experiences. Networking can open doors to new opportunities and valuable insights.

5.     Continual Learning and Skill Development: Invest in your professional development by identifying areas for skill enhancement. Whether through workshops, online courses, or certifications, the commitment to continual learning demonstrates a proactive approach to staying relevant in a rapidly evolving professional landscape.

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