I hope all of you are enjoying a productive and inspiring week. I am writing in between meetings while preparing for a trip to an event location overseas. There are moments (like this one) when I push myself to stop and really take in all of the experiences I have had the opportunity to enjoy over the past 35 years in this business. I do this not in a self-congratulatory way, but in order to really make sure that I never lose contact with that hungry, insecure, unsure young man who started out in this business as an out-of-work model desperately in need of a job.
It’s a very interesting thing, looking back. There’s always a temptation to reminisce, but I have found that if we resist the urge to do so and instead really push ourselves, there is a real opportunity to bridge the past and present in a way that can offer a number of answers and lessons that may be used, not only as wisdom for others, but for ourselves. They say not to live in the past, and I agree wholeheartedly with this, but I love the idea of visiting it with clarity over nostalgia and sharing it with those who are just starting out so that they may avoid making some of the same mistakes.
I often receive emails asking me why I am so candid and open here on my blog and my answer is simple: I have never wanted to live in an ivory tower and be disconnected from my colleagues, whatever their level of experience, or the industry we work in. As artists, we must remain true to who we are and have always been, we must grow without detachment from the truth that pushed us to fight to become who we are today. Whether “successful” in the way we hope to be or not, we are bound to succeed every single day we are authentic.
Today, I want to ask all of you to really think about the three big lessons you can extract from your past mistakes. I would love to have you share them with us.