Lately I’ve noticed that clients don’t seem to know what they want in their career conferences with me. I offer these conferences to help writers and other would-be filmmaking professionals to help them define and achieve their goals. They pay me a fee and we set up a time and place. Once we have our coffees in front of us and are seated comfortably, there is often a short silence. I wait for their outpouring of questions. They are not forthcoming. “What is it you want me to help you with?” I ask. There is a bit of stammering accompanied by a small grimace. It seems that they just want me to miraculously know what they need and to tell them the brilliant bits of knowledge that will open the magic doors of Hollywood.
Once I see what is happening I explain the procedure to them and try to find out what they need to ask and, more importantly, what they need to know. Often the client doesn’t really know how to get the right information. I have to figure it out for them.
All of this leads me to understanding why some folks get ahead in their fields and why some don’t. You have to know the questions. Take heed people, all meetings are important. They tell who you are. Even silences send out information like arrows to the recipient. Be prepared for your meetings, whether you are paying for them, asking for them, or are asked to be in attendance at them. Think through what the agenda will be or needs to be. Ask friends about their meetings. Figure out what you want to accomplish.
OK, now, dress nicely and go to that meeting.