No one is just one thing anymore. If you’re an actress you’re also a writer or a producer. If you’re a CEO you’re also an author. If you’re a lawyer you may also be a photographer. These people are known as “slashers” or “slashies.” You’re one thing slash something else. It isn’t good enough in 2013 to just do one thing even if you’re really good at it. You have to do multiple things and be really good at all of them.
So it’s no surprise that people are as ambitious as ever. I’m always saying yes to different writing or performing jobs to diversify my portfolio. Not only does it make my resume look great but I would always tell myself, “Hey it’s extra money. Go for it!” Here’s the problem with that rational. When you spread yourself too thin, the quality of all of your work suffers.
I was getting less sleep and my writing was becoming sloppy. I’d proofread things but there would still be errors that my tired brain wouldn’t catch. I wasn’t hitting all of my cues when I was performing and I wasn’t as prepared with the material as I should have been. I had made the classic mistake of biting off more than I can chew. I definitely felt the pressure to keep up with my peers who seemed to be doing it all and doing it well, but the same scenario wasn’t working for me. At first my hunger and ambition to get to a certain place in my career propelled me to reach for that great success, but when I hit the wall of being overwhelmed, it hindered me.
My advice to everyone out there that’s working their rear-end off is this: Work hard but work smart. Forget about being a “slasher.” Don’t look at your peers. Look only at yourself. We can all handle different amounts of work, pressure, and stress. It’s not worth blowing any of your opportunities because you’re overworked. As long as you’re consistently doing good work, the opportunities you think you only have today will always be around.