February 13, 2009

A Little Patience Goes a Long Way

Sometimes, it really pays to have patience. I'm sitting in an airport (again) - this time in Reno, waiting to take a shuttle bus to Truckie, Tahoe. My brother and his family are driving in from San Francisco to meet me for a weekend of skiing. As it turns out, there's a big snow storm in Tahoe, which is awesome for skiing... not so much for driving. Sooooo, they called me at the hotel this AM to say the California driving pass had been closed until 9pm due to inclement weather. Ay carumba! What's a girl to do?? So, calmly, we developed a Plan A and B, including the potential option of flying to San Fran tonight just in case they can't get through at all. Better to hang with the family in San Fran than nothing. Plus, I bought my airline tix on Priceline so I can't change them. I can only buy a new ticket home and that's clearly not happening. So, right as I'm telling my brother the flight info from Reno to San Fran, which is a very short, inexpensive hop, he gets a news update the pass would soon open. Yay!!! So, no freak outs, no yelling, no panicking - just planning and seeking solutions.

I'm telling you, I've learned to remain calm in challenging situations from work (uh, and yoga) - particularly the NY Latino Film Festival. I wasn't always like this; when I was younger, I had a much shorter fuse. And, of course, I'm human and still, on occasion, lose my cool. But, event production (and film production, for that matter) is inherently a pressure cooker, and the festival is like 30+ live events strung together in one seemingly endless week. And, that doesn't even take into account all of the non-event-related preparation that goes into producing this baby. Inevitably, there are last- minute crises, from missing sponsor signage to printing errors to ticketing complications to storm threats to talent cancellations, etc. etc. - that you just have to stay calm, breathe and tackle each issue, one at a time, in priority order. Trust me, it's much easier to blow a fuse, but that just doesn't help the situation. In fact, it exacerbates it because you look unprofessional, lose the respect of your staff and, more than likely, offend one if not multiple people. More importantly, it doesn't solve the issue; it just wastes time and emotional energy. At the end of the day, much of work is about finding solutions. Some solutions require more creativity than others, but the general concept of solving problems really is the basis of most work in most fields - medical, legal, financial, entertainment, media, etc. And, entrepreneurialism, in general, is based on the concept of finding solutions. Essentially, you feel there is a need or opportunity in the marketplace you can provide. It's a matter of taking a critical look at a situation and finding the opportunity.

The Wannabe
1990. The Bronx. A young man dares to cross the line between reality and fantasy. What price should he pay?


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