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Posts Tagged ‘So What Do You Do’

Director/Producer Mike Tollin Shares His Tips on Breaking Into the Industry

mike-tollin_articleMike Tollin credits his mentor, Berl Rotfeld, creator and producer of the syndicated TV series Greatest Sports Legends, with getting him involved in the sports-documentary business. And for the past 20 years, he and longtime production partner Brian Robbins, have directed and produced such hit shows as One Tree Hill and Smallville, and films like Varsity Blues.

In the fourth and final week of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, we talked to Tollin about how he got his start in the entertainment industry, the difficulty of sustaining a show on network television and his advice for those just starting out:

You know, the classic mantra is ‘follow your heart,’ which may sound trite and overused, but it has a lot of merit. It’s a very competitive business. People think that there’s a lot of glamour, but to me, it’s a lot more grind than glamour. It’s hard to break through so you have to be prepared to hear a lot more ‘no’ than ‘yes.’ It’s important to believe in your own vision and to have a passion that ties to what you’re pursuing, because that’s hard and you’re going to need to persevere. And I don’t know how to do that unless you really, really genuinely care. I’m only a good salesman when I believe what’s coming out of my mouth.

To hear more from Tollin, including his latest projects on digital networks, read: So What Do You Do, Mike Tollin, Acclaimed TV/Film Director and Producer?

Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on Janaury 27  at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media compaies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

How One Working Mom Finds Work/Life Balance

TiffanyShlainTiffany Shlain knows a thing or two about juggling. She’s a successful filmmaker with a million side projects (like her AOL On Originals series) and she’s a wife and mother of two.

So how does Shlain create that seemingly impossible work/life balance that so many working mothers crave? For one thing, she says it’s important to have flexibility with your work, whether you’re a man or a woman. She also believes that modern technology has helped working mothers tremendously:

Make your own schedule. Or talk to your boss about a more flexible schedule. I think that what the Internet has given our generation is this kind of flexibility to work in new, creative ways that our mothers did not have. I have friends who work for corporations, but most of my friends work from home as consultants or own their own business. I feel like the Internet was the tool that the feminist movement always needed.

To hear more from Shlain, including how she boosts her own productivity, read: So What Do You, Tiffany Shlain, Filmmaker and Founder Of The Webby Awards?

Soledad O’Brien: Don’t Listen To Other People’s Career Advice

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Soledad O’Brien has had quite the year. After leaving the CNN morning show in March, the journalist launched Starfish Media Group. The company is “dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories,” and has formed partnerships with Al Jazeera America, HBO and CNN.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, O’Brien talks about how motherhood prepared her to be a CEO and the importance of listening to yourself when it comes to your career:

In a commencement speech at Harvard earlier this year, you told grads not to “listen to others people’s take on the life you should lead” because “by not listening, you can figure out what your heart is telling you to do.” Can you give an example of when you had to follow your own advice?
Oh my gosh. I have to follow it all the time. When I was leaving NBC News to go to CNN, people would say, “What?! Why would you possibly leave the Today Show to go to cable?” If I would’ve listened to people, I would’ve been on a great platform but I wouldn’t have grown as a journalist. So far, most of the steps in my career have been really good.

To hear more from O’Brien, read: So What Do You Do, Soledad O’Brien, CEO of Starfish Media Group?

– Aneya Fernando

WaPo Columnist Michelle Singletary On Becoming a Brand

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Michelle Singletary has become one of the country’s leading personal finance gurus. She’s a multi-platform success story, and her Washington Post column “The Color of Money” is syndicated in over 100 newspapers around the country.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do? Singletary talks about the declining newspaper industry, how she handles criticism and accidentally becoming a brand:

We know a multimedia platform is necessary for journalists and media personalities, but how has it helped you build your own brand?
Well, people keep telling me I’m a brand but I never thought of myself as one. I have a unique perspective on how to handle money so I want that platform because I want to get the information out. I’m a huge advocate of financial literacy. I want to bring something different to the table to help people understand how to deal with their money. It’s sort of like, people talk about Oprah and they say, “Oh, she’s this great media mogul.” But when you think about it, while she definitely is a skilled media person, she got where she is because she had a passion to talk to everyday women. The fame and the fortune followed that mission.

To hear more advice from Singletary, read: So What Do You Do, Michelle Singletary, WaPo Columnist and Finance Guru?

– Aneya Fernando

Janice Min Shares How to Climb The Masthead

This powerhouse editor has five successful mag stints under her belt, and The Hollywood Reporter marks a successful number six. So what does Janice Min believe is the key to success?

“A lot of it is making yourself indispensable to somebody or the organization. Honestly, it has nothing to do with titles or where you are. Everyone should try to find ways to be distinctive and valuable in an office and without being annoying,” she said in our So, What Do You Do? interview.

And she’s got some advice for those ambitious Millennials who often think a top executive position is their birthright.

“When [interviewees] say ‘I want to be an editor-in-chief one day,’ it’s such a turn-off. Immediately in your mind you’re like, ‘OK, this is someone who feels entitled who is not goig to want to work very hard.’”

Read more in So What Do You Do, Janice Min, Editorial Director of The Hollywood Reporter?