Thursday, 1 June 2017

Application Achievement

“80% of success is showing up.” - Woody Allen

A few years back I had lunch with a successful Film & TV producer friend in Toronto. At this lunch, I spoke passionately about my efforts to get my projects moving, my desire to advance my career and so on.

When I was done speaking on the subject, my friend looked at me and took a breath. He then said something along the lines of, (I am going to paraphrase this because it was a while ago),  “Jax, all I do that you don’t, is I build a calendar of the grants schedule and my company works backwards from those applications. The applications that I go for are just as available to you as they are to me. I have a staff member whose job it is to keep this calendar up to date and manage our projects accordingly, but there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same.”

Boom. Drop the mic.

This really landed with me. I found it incredibly empowering (though slightly daunting) and it subsequently changed my whole approach.

M&J embraces applications. We view the application process similarly to how actors view auditioning. It’s a major part of the job. Piecing together applications is how we refine our pitch materials. It’s how we move projects forward, with clear, set deadlines. Even without being awarded the grant, acceptance into the workshop or scholarship, the benefits are ten-fold. The real gain lies in the process of refining the material to meet the deadline. The result being a project that is all the more prepared for when the next opportunity comes along.

We are careful to select brand/project appropriate applications and are also mindful of the limited time in any given year. Given that creative materials need space to breathe, we prioritize time to create the entity with which we intend to apply. As M&J continues to grow, we find it increasingly important to invest time in our calendar and in 'project managing' ourselves backwards from select deadlines.

Another key aspect to this strategy is proper celebration of a completed application. M&J marks submitted applications as achievements in and of themselves. A toast is made, a moment taken. There is reflection on the step forward, an acknowledgement of the time invested and efforts made.

Thus, if …  “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” - Seneca

…Then, building a grants calendar (as my friend suggests) is one way to generate a whole lot more luck and let’s face it, in this biz, we can use all the luck we can get!

- J

*J, You complete ... my calendar :P - M

No comments

Post a Comment

© M&J
Maira Gall