“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I just got done with yoga and entered The Starbucks in Studio City where all the entertainment freelancers on this side of the hill seem to have found their office. With sweat still drying on my body and a makeupless face, I smiled at the baristas and even started small talk with one of them as she complimented my pretty striped wallet. As I walked away, I saw a man staring at me from a distance in a non-creepy intrigued sort of way. Not thinking much of it, I headed outside and found a table for my coffee, book and myself. That man went out of his way to come outside and tell me to "keep being a light to the world." I was flattered and a little embarrassed someone would say such words. He then went on to say "you have a really contagious essence that people are clearly drawn to. I take it you do yoga?" I said "yes" turning a little red because of his compliments and the fact that I look like a sweaty mess. I said "I just came from a class.... Thanks so much, you made my day. What's your name?" We exchanged names. Then normally this would be the time when they ask you if you want to grab lunch and you realize they were just hitting on you the whole time. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.... "Well, it was great meeting you. Keep doing what you're doing," he said and then headed back inside.
This authentic, agenda free interaction couldn't have come at a better time. The day before I was at a networking event where everyone had an agenda, including myself (let's be honest), to advance their career. I've networked in every city I've lived in, but LA is so different. I have yet to meet someone who is not in the entertainment industry. This can be really fun because I have something instantly in common with the people I meet, but it also creates this weird gray area between personal and professional life. Who really wants to be my friend? Who wants to use me? Do we have anything else to talk about other than entertainment? These questions become harder to answer.
My 1st month in LA has been full of me hearing people's 3 minute pitch and vise versa. Who you know and who you might meet is seen as very important out here. What I think is far understated is who you are and who you are becoming. Not in the vocational sense, but in the essence sense that man was speaking of.
People can feel when we're being fake or are hungry for power, money & fame. Granted some people look for that in this or any business. But the majority of people, and the ones I would argue we want to work with, are attracted to good people. It made me realize, it doesn't matter how many networking events or opportunities we have, if we haven't worked on ourselves first.