Thursday, March 13, 2014

How to Get Your Career on the Runway

Prolificacy hinges on the power of one.

Before she was the creator of the wildly hit show Girls, Lena Dunham made her first feature film, Tiny Furniture. The movie was created on a shoestring budget with mostly friends and family members, shot in Dunham’s own apartment. And while some critics said the film lacked substance and that the characters were unlikeable, the movie still won an award at a major film festival, launching her career as a writer, actor, director, filmmaker, author and activist.

But here’s the part of the story most people don’t know.

During recent radio interview, Dunham explain that the significance of that first film was, it got her on the runway. It gave her momentum. It paved the way for prolificacy. And once she started booking meetings with producers and networks that could say yes to her, she had something to do the talking for her.

Prolificacy, then, hinges on the power of one. Sometimes you have to put work out there that’s less than amazing today, to motivate yourself to make something even better tomorrow. Otherwise the curse of perfection trumps the commitment to progress.

In fact, there’s actually some science behind it.

A friend of mine who teaches quantum physics says that motion organizes and creates order. In his research, he found that through motion, all things tend to their equilibrium and find their place in the universe, thus conspiring towards some unifying geometrical situation.

He calls it the theory of gravitational order.

Which may sound odd and nerdy and esoteric, but it’s actually a helpful reminder that life rewards action. And that it’s not about getting things right, it’s about getting things moving in the right direction.

My first book wasn’t exactly a literary masterpiece. Clocking in at just under a hundred pages, and considering the number of typos and adverbs poor grammar and rambling stories, I can’t even bring myself to flip through it anymore. It’s just too painful.

And yet, that book got me on the runway. It launched my career, built my brand and changed my life forever.

Because prolificacy hinges on the power of one.

What will you kick out into the world to activate gravitational order?