'I'm Not Going to Do What I've Been Doing' Is All Right, All Right, All Right

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I was listening to Matthew McConaughey the other day on a radio show called Ask Me Another talk about how he’s now a full professor at the University of Texas—and its Minister of Culture—and how his famous All right, All right, All right came to be. (It emerged while he was shooting Dazed and Confused when there were three things he liked.)

But the real interesting part was when the host asked him how he changed his career arc from those Dazed and Confused and Texas Chainsaw Massacre days to the Oscar-winning role of Dallas Buyers Club and other strong roles like Mud and Wolf of Wall Street he’s had of late.

“Here’s what I did. I guess it was right around [the film] Lincoln Lawyer. The only things that were really coming to me at that time were romantic comedies. So what I had to do was say, ‘I’m going to not do what I’ve been doing.’ I remember saying, ‘I don’t know how long this will be a dry spell.’ I go to my wife, ‘I may not get work for a while and may get a little wobbly.’ She said, ‘I got your back, stick to it.’

“So what happens after 20 months we get a call for Killer Joe, then [director Steven] Soderbergh called. Dallas Buyers Club I had for years but nobody would make it. They said, ‘I like the script but I’m not gonna make it with McConaughey.’ And then True Detective came. What happened is in that time away I unbranded, I didn’t really rebrand.”

I love that, “I’m not going to do what I’ve been doing.” We have this conference coming up, the Business Information & Media Summit (BIMS) in—wait, this is perfect with my theme today—Hollywood, Fla., Nov. 11-13. Attending this will give you that same opportunity to do something different—without having to sit around for 20 months. Learn new strategies, run ideas by colleagues, meet new people, and come home refreshed.

Check out who is already signed up here and look at these tidbits of information from our speakers.

Build in the networking. "We don't run a conference today that doesn't have peer roundtables twice," said Brian Cuthbert of Diversified Communication. "We make sure [our attendees] get a chance to network with each other. They love to engage with themselves. They love to have conversations. We tend to run 8-10 different topics [for the roundtables, similar to what SIPA Annual does]. That part of it is a non-starter. You're talking about reinvigorating, it's building that community. You're encouraging them to connect with each other, long after the event is over. Learning can't stop when the conference does."

Tell stories. "Do business owners value the power of storytelling?" I asked Dan Grech, founder and lead instructor of BizHack Academy, last year. "Not nearly enough. When we survey business owners about what skills would most help them grow their business, storytelling finishes dead last. Yet my seminars on business storytelling, where I ask business owners to articulate why they started their business, consistently rank the highest of everything I teach.”

"Make failure productive," wrote Simplify Compliance's Elizabeth Petersen. "Acknowledging that a mistake occurred is a necessary first step... But after admitting failure and allowing a (very) short period of self-doubt, start to conduct a clinical, unemotional analysis of the event. What went wrong? Why? How can I prevent this again? And what have I learned that will make me a better employee/colleague/family member/friend?"

Buy or build. “When I came to Winsight in 2015, they did not have a data business,” said BIMS keynote speaker Allana Young, president of Winsight’s Technomic. “I was charged with figuring out if we would buy or build. We ended up closing on Technomic within four months, and my role changed to focusing on integration. Technomic had been privately held for close to 50 years and we had an opportunity to think about how we could be running it more efficiently.”

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…