“That stinks! Do it over!”
That’s probably what you heard in your head the last time you submitted your 1st and/or 2nd draft to the ‘Great and Powerful Oz‘. When in fact, what they really said was, “I love where you going with this. Your work is really improving. Here’s what I would consider changing…“.
I literally bite off my nails after submitting my work to an established peer or mentor in my craft who I know produces work on the same level or better than I do. But, just like that verse reads, “Iron sharpens iron.” (I believe there was a famous Samurai who said it too.)
When it comes to filmmaking, photography, or anything creative, this concept makes perfect sense. You, as a creative, want your work to continue improving. Right?
Mentors are role models in your craft who take a vested interest in your success. Often you meet your mentor when you least expect to. Once you make the connection with a mentor who truly cares, he (or she) will help guide your career. This doesn’t necessarily mean your mentor will enter into a business relationship with you; but he or she may offer necessary encouragement, advice and influence that will help you get closer to your goal. Your mentor will be there to answer and ask questions.
For me, having a mentor has helped to shape my technical education in filmmaking and videography. There were (imagine this next word pulsating) BIG gaps in my skill sets around editing, camera operation and directing that caused my videos to look poorly done and unprofessional.
If it wasn’t for the time and investment I received from a mentor, I’d still be pumping out work that was simply “okay.” Maybe even “good.” But it wouldn’t be great. The new mantra I’ve adopted for the year 2012 is “Don’t let good, get in the way of great.”
You can do great. Find a coach. Find a mentor.
It’s time to stop being just “okay.”