Progress or spinning wheels

Are we there yet?

I’ve always wondered how does one know if we are indeed making a progressing step forward in our career or are we just keeping busy spinning our wheels. It seems every self help guru has an opinion on what it means to give it your all, keep busy, set goals, keep pushing forward.

Show business is an interesting field. But I think this can apply to any art form where commerce is involved or even entrepreneurship.  How do you differentiate between true progress and spinning your wheels?  It may seem simple, but it’s really not. What is the unit of measure? If you are doing your leg work and putting in your time and effort, your heart and soul, but you’re not getting “results” is it progress or spinning wheels?

Everyone has a theory on this.  Don’t be “result” oriented, yet set goals and achieve them. Give yourself deadlines!!!  There is so much information and theories on what should be done, how we should be doing it, and how soon it should be done.  Aren’t there some people who start a business and within a year or two it just takes off.  But then there are people for whom it takes years before anything happens. So who is right?  Is there a right? Or I am looking at this all wrong. I may be asking the wrong question, hmmmm.   My acting teacher recently gave a great talk on the wrong why. I’m still pondering that one.

I give myself great worry over this. I do my due diligence as someone who is self employed; meaning as an actor, and artist I am doing the work, putting in the effort.  From rehearsing my scenes everyday, watching films, reading, sending out postcards pictures resume, doing drop offs, etc.  But since success in this field is often measured by your resume, if  I’m not yielding “results” on my resume does that mean I’m not progressing  and just spinning my wheels?   What about writers, I often think of them.  If you’re sending out your book proposals but getting nada, does it mean you’re not working hard enough?   What does it all mean. This is too deep for a Monday morning!

I’m interested to see what you think!



5 thoughts on “Progress or spinning wheels

  1. Let me put it like this: an old rule says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. If, when waiting for the results, you think you did and are doing all you can, then that is the most anyone can ask of you. The most important aspect at the end of the day is: does it make you happy?

    • A good point. I’m usually good at determining whether I”m really giving it my all or if I’m letting myself off the hook. But we can be tricky with ourselves sometimes. And the end of the day I ask myself if I’m proud of my day, did I accomplish what I set out to do? I think I’ll add am I happy to the mix and see how the goes. Am I happy with my day, good one!

  2. Well, I shall have to give this more attention later this week as I am off to bed and have just read your post. Very interesting and yes, I do have something to say but not now as I will end up still here two hours later. I know exactly what you mean and it can seem like all hard work and no results. We need to be very disciplined to keep at it. Will get back to this.

  3. It seems to me as a published writer that I was not spinning my wheels trying to find an agent and then see if my book would get picked up, but that part of my future was dependent on the “stars aligning.” I did all the work but ultimately it was up to someone else’s opinion. Not to say that I couldn’t have self-published if it was not picked up.

    I would imagine that acting is a bit like that. You are very talented and work hard but your livelihood is somewhat dependent on other people’s action.

    I applaud you for working hard on your craft and hope that you do meet all your goals and objectives!

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