How To Avoid Hamster Wheel Marketing

Let’s face it, there are SO ways for you to keep busy as an actor. But are you just busy being busy? Do you feel like you’re exerting a lot of effort and still not moving ahead?

This is a marketing mistake I see so many actors falling into, and it doesn’t have to be this way.

Watch this week’s Acting Business Bite to learn how you can step away from the hamster wheel and avoid the rat race altogether.

How are you going to apply this idea of releasing the need to be busy for the sake of being busy, and take laser beam action toward what you really want?

Let me know in the comments below.


30 Responses to “How To Avoid Hamster Wheel Marketing”

  1. Jennie Fagen says:

    Thank you, Dallas! You are wonderful. This was a great reminder for me to stop, check in, and clear the clutter in my way. Looking forward to more videos!

  2. Anna Lakomy says:

    I think that abiding by your action steps as well as the first two points and TRUSTING the process, many actors will stop doing those things that are not aligned with their ultimate goal and start doing only those things that are, and start achieving said goals!

    I was actually forced to do a “spring cleaning” of my own process when my circumstances changed (moved to another state, new job) and suddenly my time was more limited and I had to be very picky in my actions as well as the auditions/opportunities I could accept.

    Since then, I feel much more aligned with my goals and much closer to them than I was when I was doing “everything and nothing.”

    Thanks Dallas for the fresh and poignant perspective.

  3. Because I have so many creative friends it is easy for me to get caught up in “projects”. I am learning to say no and saying it with gratitude and caring. You are so right – it takes laser focus and my compass and trust muscles in fine working order! Again you provide clarity. Thank you Dallas! Have a splendiferopus day.

  4. Anon says:

    Thank You Dallas! I can’t tell you how apt this is for me as only this morning I emailed a friend telling her I am prepared to throw it all in because I am so utterly exhausted…in my own words in my email ‘treading water is not swimming’
    Your bite provided me with an important lesson to really re-evaluate and identify my goals (again) get back on track and preserve and value my time and energy and make sure it’s really being focused in a positive, constructive way.
    Thank You Thank You Thank You!

  5. This is great. MY HAMSTER has been working overtime on things that others wanted me to do. I NEED TO DO WHAT MOVES MY CAREER AHEAD. Focus on V.O. and commercials.

  6. Jaime Kalman says:

    This is brilliant, as always, Dallas! Not only is this relevant for actors, but it really applies to all entrepreneurs! The deeper we move towards success, the more opportunity we become aware of and we can feel like we have to do all of it. Before we know it, we are so busy, we can’t even keep our heads above water. And those “opportunities” – if not in alignment with our real desires, become distractions from our true goals. I LOVED your tips – so helpful!

    When I am faced with an opportunity or task that I feel compelled to say yes to, I ask myself a series of questions to make sure I am in alignment:
    1. Is this opportunity something I want to be, do or have?
    2. Will doing this move me closer to my true goal or delay me?
    3. If I do this, how will it add to my life in terms of growth?
    4. Am I willing to spend the time, money & energy it will take to be, do or have this – knowing that it might require me to give up something else?

    If all 4 answers point to my authentic desire, growth, willingness and forward motion, then I feel powerful saying YES. If I am not 100% congruent in my answers, then I owe it to myself, those involved and my business to say no.

    Have a great day everyone!

  7. Jackie says:

    I LOVE the idea of releasing the fear of missing out on something. It’s better to do 100% of anything than 10% of everything.

    I do have an issue reconciling when to give up laser focus of exactly what I want and take the opportunities that are right in front of me to see where they go. How often do we hear stories that the road to a person’s breakthrough was through an opportunity they took that they never imagined themselves doing. They had a specific way they thought they were going to get what they wanted, but it got flipped upside down– so be OPEN to what the universe hands you.

    I worry sometimes that if I get too specific with chasing what I want, I’m closing myself off to being flexible with “how” I’m gonna get there and then….will be MISSING OUT on what might have be in front of me the whole time…hmmmm I detect a theme.

    • Dallas says:

      I think the trick is to measure your motivation. Are you hyper focused because you’re excited or because you’re trying to control things? If it’s the latter, it may be time to loosen your grip so you can open yourself up to fun surprises.

  8. John says:

    Thank you Dallas! My goal is to get one guest-starring credit during episodic season on a sitcom. To manifest that, I plan to:

    1. Take a sitcom acting class while in LA.
    2. Take a cold reading class geared for sitcom acting while in LA.
    3. Create a spreadsheet of all the CDs, showrunners, etc. I know for my agent, thereby streamlining the submission process for them.

    Makin’ it happen.

  9. JOE says:

    OKAY…THAT’S IT! This is has got to be the BEST Business Bites you EVER put out there and I’m going to share this with ALL my Acting friends. Dallas, I really suffer from busyness which I inherited from a member of my family who I will not mention(Ma…oops).
    And what’s funny is that I practiced your “Tips” a year ago and I booked 3 co-stars and got avails on 3 National commercials. However, I felt like it gave me license to become MORE BUSY with my marketing so I can start my goal of getting Recurring and Guest star roles this year. And can you guess what happened? NOTHING!
    Yes, I was a casting director on a project, I have a web series I’m working on in Aug, and I booked a movie(which I had to turn down because they lied about the Union status), but it wasn’t aligned with my goals this year.
    So Bottom line, instead of being the Actor who is “Always got something going on”, I’m gonna ask “What’s going on?”
    Personally, I’m realizing the term “Get Busy” is good for Arsenio Hall and Sex. Not for Actors(and other Entrepreneurs) who are trying to achieve their hopes and dreams!

    Thanks again, Dallas. You timing is EXCELLENT!


    P.S. – Sorry for the caps…but you got me Fired Up!!

    • Dallas says:

      Joe, now I’m fired up.

      You also win “Best One Liner” for: I’m realizing the term “Get Busy” is good for Arsenio Hall and Sex.

      Made me laugh.

      The good news here is that you KNOW how to focus and that it works. So, this is your chance to get back to basics.

  10. Thank you Dallas. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the new “fads” of actor marketing and thinking I need to be doing ALL of them in order to get my career to the next level. It was a nice reminder that we don’t have to be doing everything all the time in order to gain success, but rather focus on what our own unique goals are and stick to those. I loved your husband’s idea about the bottle of thyme! Amazing!

    • Dallas says:

      Yes, Elizabeth. Avoiding FOMO is tough. Especially when impatience sets in. But I’d rather you be consistent in one area than become a dabbler.

  11. I think this is a great topic because I’m totally there! Since moving to LA a year ago and hitting the acting world hard, I’ve felt like I’ve been all over the place. I think the hardest part for me is that I’m not 100% sure what my goals are. I know I’d love to be a regular on a sitcom and do movies (in due time), but being a new actor–and trying to make a living as an actor, I was thinking maybe commercials is a better way to go. What do you think?

    • Dallas says:

      Lindsey, you have to go for what inspires you and trust that your inspiration will feed you. So, if you’re looking at commercials because that’s where ‘new actors’ should start. You’re not going to be consistent with your plan because you’re not excited about it. So, trust your heart and let your career follow.

  12. Ayman Samman says:

    Great insight and a much needed reminder. It’s easy to be consumed in the details of various aspects of acting that don’t amount to tangible results. Much appreciated.

  13. Hi Dallas, thank you for this very important reminder. One question, is it possible to have a goal of booking one TV credit AND producing that web series you have written? Or do you find you really need to focus on one goal and one goal only?

  14. Mary Lahti says:

    Oh this is wonderful. I “thought” I was practicing the steps but when I thought about it, I realized I had a great fear of missing out and was doing what I was told I “should” be doing which was helping others move forward, not me. Therefore, I have to keep that in mind. I let myself get sucked into that pattern and ended up with big time burn out. Let’s just say my hamster wheel started going too fast and felt I was just being thrown around – I lost control. Thanks for that tip. I was on burn out. :) Mary

  15. Once again Dallas you bring such clarity to the issue. After a fantastic 2012, I’ve had a very quiet 2013 and I think much of that comes from not having a clear goal for the year and feeling like there is never ‘enough time.’ I’m going to adopt your mantra! Thanks for sharing another fantastic Acting Business Bite.

  16. Lisa J says:

    I miss you Dallas…you have an incredible mind. I look forward to working with you again.

  17. Fabulous advice once again Dallas. You really pinpoint and seem to have an intuitive sense of where actors are coming from, where they get entangeled and how to get them back on tract to accomplish their goals. :-)

  18. Jen says:

    I was on the hampster wheel for sure, and I noticed I was becasue I got burnt out after doing it for a little over 2 years. All I want before the year is over is to get a costar credit on my resume. That’s it. So now I’ve decided to pursue this, I don’t know where to start…

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