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Episode #29: Doing The Work With Brandon Rhiness

In the end, you have to do the work.

Over and over again we hear from successful people that there is no secret formula to becoming whatever it is you want to be. Musician. Actor. Entrepreneur. Blogger. You can romanticize it all you like, but the work is what makes it happen. Acting classes. Bar gigs to seven people. Late nights developing your business plan or product.

Grinding out scripts.

Brandon Rhiness understands what it’s all about. He’s primarily a screenwriter working not in Hollywood but in Edmonton, Canada. Over the years he’s written hundreds of scripts for everything from short films to web television episodes to full-length features. What I love about his story is that, as the great Steven Pressfield said in his motivational writing series, he’s turned pro.

What does that mean?

It means Brandon sits down at his computer every day and does the work. It doesn’t matter how he’s feeling, what the weather’s like, or if his car won’t start. He’s a working screenwriter and it’s his full-time living, so he just keeps writing scripts. He keeps taking on projects. He keeps learning so he can navigate the business, make money, and create opportunities. That’s the reality of it. No matter what your passion or pursuit may be, if you want to do it for a living, you’ve got to develop pro habits and a pro mindset and do the business.

I asked Brandon how he’s so prolific and he said something important: the more he works, the better he gets. I once asked the great dUg Pinnick of King’s X how he manages to write music for so many different projects. He gave me the same answer. I’ve heard creativity described as a muscle that can atrophy. These stories tell me it’s true.

I want to thank Brandon for the reminder that writers write. That drummers drum. That painters paint. It’s easy sometimes to get caught up in fantasies of success – to hold on to the dream by not actually chasing the dream – but the truth is only the work will get you there.

I hope you’ll be as inspired by this episode as I am.


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