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Ep87: [CASE STUDY] Why People Don't Respond to Your Cold Outreach (and How to Get a Response) | with Scott Davis

Cold Outreach - Seriously... is there anything worse than that feeling when you’re about to send an unsolicited message to someone you admire or want to connect with to find work? “I’m probably bothering them.” “They’re too busy to pay attention to me.” “I feel weird asking strangers for help.” “I probably sound desperate.” “Why even bother? Nobody ever responds anyway.” There’s no question that if done wrong, outreach messages can be a surefire path to rejection, isolation, complete...


Ep86: How to Become 'Indistractable' | with Nir Eyal

DISTRACTION is a word everyone is familiar with. When your livelihood depends on your ability to be creative and summon superhuman levels of hyperfocus for hours (or even weeks) at a time, there is no greater enemy to your livelihood than distraction. The problem in our 24-7 hyperconnected world of endless notifications, emails, text messages, and 100 other different forms of interruptions is that we are all simply looking for hacks, tricks, and apps to help us eliminate distractions. But...


Ep85: Mentorship, Networking, and Surviving Hollywood Blockbusters | with Dody Dorn, ACE

Finding a mentor in Hollywood is an elusive process that few really understand, but when you find a mentor that really understands your challenges and wants to help you succeed, it can change your career (and even your entire life). So then how do you find a mentor? In this episode I have the pleasure and honor of chatting with my very first mentor Academy Award nominated film & television editor Dody Dorn, ACE who has worked with such acclaimed directors as James Cameron, Christopher...


Ep84: How to Use 'Intuitive Eating' To Change Your Relationship With Food | with Melissa Costello

Counting calories. Balancing macros. High fat/Low carb. Low fat/High carb. Going Paleo. Or Vegan. Or Vegetarian. Or Keto. Or Whole 30. Seriously. Shoot me in the face. In today’s hyperconnected world of endless information, you’d think it would be easy to figure out how to eat healthy… but it’s become harder than ever. It’s nearly impossible to decipher the latest science that tells us one day that butter and bacon are miracle superfoods and the next day we’re told that eating any kind of...


Ep83: How to Boost Your Cognitive Performance with Sleep (according to a Navy Seal) | with Dr. Kirk Parsley

Without question sleep is the most important physiological process we require as creative professionals (and humans) to function at an optimal level…yet it’s what our work culture prioritizes the least. Proper sleep slows the aging process, keeps us lean, restores our immune system, and it protects our memory. Much to the chagrin of ‘Type A’ over achievers, quality sleep is every bit as important as oxygen, food, and water. So then why do we proudly wear our “Sleep Deprivation Badges of...


Ep82: Real Talk About Mental Health and Depression | with Michael Kammes

Michael Kammes is the creator and host of the 5 Things tech series as well as the Director of Business Development for the startup BeBop Technology. Michael has also fought a lifelong battle with depression. Recently after an extended hiatus from his ‘5 Things’ YouTube series Michael posted this video where he was incredibly honest and open about his most recent battles with depression and burnout caused by a sudden death in the family compounded with a major career change. After watching...


Ep81: "It's All About Who You Know" Is Not a Valid Excuse | with Evita Zhou

Tell me if you’ve either heard or said the following phrase before: “It’s all about who you know.” Unfortunately this has become an excuse for many who think the barrier of entry to success in Hollywood (and many other creative industries) is knowing the right people. And of course only the privileged are a part of those prestigious circles…so you might as well give up, right? My guest today, Evita Zhou, is a film & tv editor who has worked in both documentary and narrative in both the...


Ep80: How to Avoid Getting Pigeonholed, The 'Concentric Circles of Networking' & More | with Doc Crotzer, ACE

Ep80: How to Avoid Getting Pigeonholed, The ‘Concentric Circles of Networking’ & More | with Doc Crotzer, ACE Here’s a hard truth few are willing to admit: Pigeonholing is not an accident. As frustrating as it might be to believe, “I keep getting pigeonholed,” the more accurate viewpoint is that you allow yourself to become pigeonholed. The process happens slowly over a period of years (or even decades) similar to the frog that doesn’t realize the water is slowly reaching a boiling point....


Ep79: Balancing Health, Happiness, & Hollywood (and the Consequences When You Don't) | with Roger Barton

Roger Barton has edited and worked on some of the most iconic films of a generation such as Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Titanic, World War Z, Terminator: Genesis, and the last five ‘Transformers’ films (this is just the ‘short’ list). He has lived many long days in the cutting room with directors such as James Cameron, Michael Bay, George Lucas, Joe Carnahan, and more. And that’s what this episode is all about today: “Living” in the cutting room and what that can do to your mental health,...


Ep78: How to Build Meaningful Relationships in the 'Real World' | with Camille Virginia

Camille Virginia is the founder of ‘Master Offline Dating’ (as well as a returning guest to the show…click here for her first interview), and she’s the author of the brand new (soon-to-be) bestselling book The Offline Dating Method. Camille has taught more than 100 live workshops, worked with clients across six continents, and has followers in over 100 countries. Needless to say, Camille knows a thing or two about what it takes to connect and build meaningful relationships in the real...


How to Be More Productive and Summon 'Creativity On Demand'

Hello and welcome to a special episode of the Optimize Yourself podcast where I provide my written articles in audio form so you have the opportunity to listen instead of read if that’s your preference. My hope is that you’ll use this opportunity to get up and step away from your desk to build the habit of moving more throughout your workday. Today’s reading is for an article I wrote for Frame.io that’s all about building a workflow so you can summon your creativity on demand. » Click here...


Ep77: Your Time Is Worthless (Here's How to Invest It Properly) | with Matt Sandrini

Author and productivity expert Matt Sandrini believes that time has no intrinsic value and is “essentially worthless.” Given that I have been saying for years that “Your time is your most important asset,” you’d think we wouldn’t have much to talk about in this conversation, right? On the contrary, by the end of this conversation Matt not only convinced me that our time is in fact worthless, but I’ll bet that we will convince you of the same. As the founder of Time...


Ep76: Transitioning to Scripted Television (Without Becoming an AE) | with Phil Habeger & Toni Ann Carabello

Pictured: The main gate at Paramount Pictures. It may seem impossible to get to the other side of any movie studios’ walls and into scripted editorial...but I promise it’s not as difficult as you think. Let’s get real: Making a major career transition is hard. You’ve spent perhaps a decade or more honing and perfecting your craft, building a network of contacts and clients, and you’re at the top of the ladder...only to realize you’ve climbed the wrong...


Ep75: 'The Four Tendencies' (aka The Matrix For Human Behavior) | with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is a NYT bestselling author who has sold over 3.5 million copies of her books, some of those titles which include Outer Order, Inner Calm, Better Than Before, The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and the book that we discuss in-depth in today’s conversation: The Four Tendencies. In my 10+ years of research, study, and implementation with productivity, focus, and human behavior and psychology, The Four Tendencies is quite possibly the most impactful and actionable concept...


Ep74: How to Master the Metaskill of 'Ultralearning' | with Scott Young

Scott Young is the author of the soon-to-be bestselling book Ultralearning. He’s also a writer & blogger, a programmer, traveler, and as he puts it, “an avid reader of interesting things.” For the last ten years Scott has been experimenting to find out how to learn and think better. He is known for learning the 4 year curriculum at MIT (one of the toughest schools for science and technology in the world) in under 12 months without taking any classes there, he’s traveled the world and at one...


Ep73: "I'm Not Going to Let the Business Kill Me" | with Fil Eisler

Fil Eisler, one of today’s busiest and most diverse award-winning composers, has projects that range from big studio action pieces and comedies to gritty independent films and hit TV shows. I know Fil from working with him on the first two seasons of ‘Empire,’ and he has since exploded onto the scene working on multiple big studio productions. In this episode Fil and I talk a bit about his slow and steady rise to being an “overnight success” as a top composer, but more importantly we...


Ep72: Everyone Can Be a Ninja | with Akbar Gbajabiamila

How does someone go from retiring as an NFL player with over $300,000 in the bank to offering his time and services for free (and surviving off less than $25k per year) just so he can “get his shot?” If this story sounds crazy, then you’ve haven’t met Akbar Gbajabiamila. Akbar Gbajabiamila is the host of American Ninja Warrior (alongside Matt Iseman) who is also a former NFL player for teams such as the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, and Miami Dolphins, as well as the host of the...


Ep71: To Assist or Not to Assist...That Is the Question (pt 2) | with Wellington Harrison

Today’s episode is part 2 of two-part case study (click here for part 1) that dives deep into the question that plagues so many trying to land their dream job in scripted entertainment: To assist, or not to assist: That is the question! In part 2 of this case study I chat with Wellington Harrison, an assistant editor with nine years experience in the post-production industry who’s worked across multiple genres and formats from drama to animation and beyond. Wellington is a unique...


Ep70: To Assist or Not to Assist...That Is the Question (pt 1) | with Chris Cavanagh

Today’s episode is part 1 of two-part case study (click here for part 2) that dives deep into the question that plagues so many trying to land their dream job in scripted entertainment: To assist, or not to assist: That is the question! In part 1 of this case study I chat with Chris Cavanagh, a television and film editor who specializes in long-form unscripted storytelling. He’s worked on numerous shows in the docuseries, true crime, and reality spaces, and two years ago he moved...


Ep69: Cobra Kai: Inside the Edit Suite | with Jon Hurtwitz, Josh Heald, and Hayden Schlossberg

Have you ever wanted be a fly on the wall in the edit suite of a high profile tv show to see what it’s really like working in the trenches? Have you ever wondered what it takes to get the attention of high profile producers and showrunners so you can build a relationship with them and possibly work on their shows someday? And if you do land the job working with your dream creators, have you ever wondered what steps you can take to not only do a great job but also build...