Lisbiz strategies: If you have to fall, it’s better to fall forward

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March 13/20, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 20

By Lisbeth Calandrino

 

Nelson Mandela said, “There’s no passion to be found playing it small—in settling for a life that’s less than you’re capable of living.” Social media gives us an opportunity to play large. We used to talk about “word of mouth” but it’s now “world of mouth.” So how far are you willing to go? Are you afraid to step out of your comfort zone, afraid you will make some terrible mistake? I doubt it.

What happens if you fall? You might as well fall forward. What’s the point of holding on to the past and things that no longer work?

Casey Affleck is someone who is trying to live it large and is willing to fall. I was watching the Oscars recently and was a bit surprised when Casey Affleck won Best Actor for “Manchester by the Sea.” I had seen the movie and found it to be very dark, but I thought Affleck was outstanding. It was as though the part was made just for him.

After researching his background, I really do think it was made for him. His past has been somewhat checkered but he continues to move forward.

But who is Casey Affleck? He is Ben Affleck’s brother. My sister and I both suffered from that designation—the one of having a sister who everyone knew.

According to Casey Affleck, that’s what everyone says. Sometimes it works in his favor and other times it does not. Both brothers are quite different with different skill sets. But how does anyone know who you really are when your brother is larger than life and your biggest fear is you’re not up for it?

Casey Affleck has been in a lot of movies, including the “Ocean’s Eleven” series. It appears he has had several opportunities but just hasn’t had the right part until now. Interestingly, “Manchester by the Sea” almost wasn’t that part for him. John Krasinski was the first choice, but he didn’t have room in his schedule. Second in line was Matt Damon, but he also turned out to be too busy. Affleck was the third string.

Even though he was not the first choice for “Manchester,” he was willing to go for it anyway. Affleck decided if he fell he would still learn something.

Boy, do I get this. There were also two of us in my family—my sister, Sonna, and myself. We both had the same last name, high ambitions and were very different. My sister was larger than life and was even inducted into the WFCA Hall of Fame. Everyone knew Sonna. I was known but not as well, and then my turn came. My sister had a very prominent speaking gig and the last minute fell ill. She asked if I would fill in for her. At first I worried people wouldn’t want me. Not only do they not know me, but I also don’t do what she does. What if I failed?

I decided I wasn’t going to flop and said I would do it. Sonna called and they said they did know me and were happy to have me. As the story goes, my sister became very ill and was unable to speak at future gigs. It was then that I took over. These gigs introduced me to another part of the industry, gave me new connections and helped me grow.

How are you willing to fall? Do you want to continue to play it small or are you willing to play large and fall wherever? It’s up to you.

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