• Courtney Kirschaum

You can use Brad Pitt's career trick

Here's the deal... (There are some resources for you at the end of this short post.)

You ever notice how people spring into existence for us the day they become famous?

All these people had lives and jobs that were chugging along, then they changed course and went for something else.

Then, we "meet" them.

For us, their fame-story is their only story.

Here are a few "you've got to be kidding me!" career pivots.

  • Brad Pitt was a limo driver taking strippers to and from bachelor parties. 

  • Stephen King was janitor at a high school. 

  • Ellen DeGeneres was a paralegal.

  • Pope Francis was a nighttime bouncer and daytime janitor at a Buenos Aires nightclub.

  • Whoopi Goldberg worked in a funeral home doing hair and makeup.

  • Harrison Ford was a carpenter before “Star Wars” and Han Solo. 

Rumor has it Harrison got the Han Solo role that changed his career while helping out George Lucas as a stand in for screen tests. 

Most of these transitions have three things in common...

1 You Start out doing something completely unrelated

These six people did. And then made an agreement with themselves to change and leave their old life behind.

Notice I said, "agree" not decide. The decision is made for you. Most of the time, you know you're not in the right place. It's about accepting when something is not working.

2 You add new skills 

(Brad Pitt went to acting school)

The fastest way to move up, sideways, left-to- right with a step-pop-step, Vegas style is to get some new know-how and skills. This also puts you closer to the community of people who are already doing what interests you. You'll learn from them.

Bottom line: you can't go to the new place with old knowledge. 

The last thing...

3 Commit to what you really want

Waiting for "something" to happen is the kiss of death.  

The path is not linear. It just looks that way until you look closer, like we just did with these six folks.

Here's a closer look still...

DeGeneres’ career cratered when she came out on her sit-com.

By her own admission, she was radioactive for years.

Today, she has her own daytime show (again) a bigger star then ever.

You will most certainly have to re-tool from time to time. It's part of the process.

Tip: do what interests you even if it's a little far off the charts, or seems crazy. If you're interested in doing it, that's a good enough reason to go for it.


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