Who said your life can't be a Hollywood production?

A short read on how to improve your life by planning for success like a big shot Hollywood director

PSA: Here’s a video version of my newsletter. Otherwise, keep reading!

Welcome to Hollywood

The year is 2015. I booked a one-way Southwest ticket to California and went straight to Central Casting. I was ready to hustle as an extra and start working from the ground up.

Hollywood, here I come!

Soon after, I was riding around LA from gig to gig in my grandpa’s 1990 Honda Accord. I had my shirts hanging in the backseat because the car had no AC and the valley heat was brutal. On top of that, I used to keep a Costco 12 pack of motor oil in my trunk because the engine oil was leaking all the time. It truly was the grind, but that’s a story for another day.

they see me rollin’

Cut to my second week in LA and I get a call from Central Casting. There was an opening for American Crime Story. It was the first large production I was going to be on. Also, I would get paid a whopping $100, but there was one lesson I learned that was invaluable.


It was a Ryan Murphy production and you could see the level of work he put into preparing for the shoot.

Because every minute we were on set cost thousands of dollars, Ryan wanted to squeeze as much as he could out of every second.

There were hundreds of people on set and the whole production was moving like a well-oiled machine. Everyone knew their job, their lines, and their marks.

Every single shot was planned out to the finest detail.

The precise execution all began with Ryan Murphy’s preparation.

Intrusive Thoughts: “Improv a line in here, Sonny” (Yes, that’s me)

Prepare like a Hollywood Director

I swear I see this guy in Venice Beach 3X a week

Hollywood directors and producers have a massive team to help them coordinate every element of the production.

Leading up to the shoot, producers have to make a production schedule, cast, line up a film crew, and secure locations.

They also have to control make-up, costumes, sound, lighting, and photography. On top of that, they have to make sure their shot list and schedule are both lined up perfectly.

All of this to fulfill one goal: putting their vision on film in the most efficient manner.

Do you think they’re preparing the day of?

No, they’re preparing weeks, if not months or years ahead of time.

Prepare and Plan to Win

Last week, I was talking to a sales rep I mentor and I asked him “when do you prep for your meetings?”

To his credit, he gave me an honest answer. “For the big ones, I prepare a day before, but for the small ones I’ll prep the same day”

DAMN! Do you think Tom Brady prepped the day before for 2-12 teams during the regular season and only spent time preparing for the big dawgs?! No shot.

It reminded me of a virtue we had at the first company I worked for, PatientPop.

“Prepare and Plan to Win”

This meant doing your pre-call research, fully building out your demo, and knowing the angle of each of your calls the day before- no matter the size of the account.

AEs would do a brief walkthrough 10-15 minutes before the demo and then go into their calls with confidence. When we managed this part of the process, we saw close rates jump up.

My mentee had a lightbulb moment and agreed to prepare the day before. Even better, he told me “when I do prepare the day before, I feel more confident and in the zone”

Exactly. Preparation paired with relentless action is a dangerous combination.

Last night was a movie

If I asked you what you did yesterday, I’m fairly certain you’d be able to tell me what you did pretty clearly.

What if I asked you what you’re doing tomorrow? Would you know it as clearly?

If you look at the items you have on your calendar, could you be 1% more prepared for them than you are right now?

Just like a movie producer has to manage many elements to realize their vision, what are the aspects of your life you need to manage?

  • career

  • relationships (family, significant other, friends)

  • health and fitness

  • mindset and self-development

Find the aspects you want to control for the week ahead and create a plan around them.

My challenge to you

Plan out your week on Sundays. At the end of your day, look at the calendar for the next day and make sure you have a plan in place.

Here are two examples:

#1: Are you trying to improve your career?

  • prepare for your meetings the day before

  • block out time for the most important tasks that will move you and your team forward

    • write down exactly what you will accomplish during this time

  • block out time for reading and self-development on your calendar

#2: If you’re trying to hit a fitness goal, do you know:

  • when you’re going to the gym?

  • what meals you’re eating this week?

  • what workouts you’re doing?

Drive to Strive Action Items

  • Look at your calendar and plan out your week on Sundays

  • Do an evening check-in and make sure you have a game-plan for the next day that pushes you towards your goals

  • Every morning, write down the things you need to accomplish and cross them out as you go (dopamine 📈)

Wrapping up and final thoughts

Imagine waking up everyday and knowing exactly what you need to do. It’s powerful. I guarantee you’ll feel more confident and in more control of your life.

Ironically, the more you plan, the more “free time” you actually have.

The way I see it, it’s not about time-management. It’s about being the CEO of your own life and managing yourself.

And if you’re a good manager to you, you can achieve your maximum potential and be the best version of yourself.

Let’s plan baby.



PS: If you liked this read, would you be down to help me out? Forward this to a friend and encourage them to subscribe!