Something strange happened. Every year in February, for Black History Month, I usually spend some time in Toronto to prepare for the Toronto Black Film Festival, created by The Fabienne Colas Foundation. I have noticed in almost all interviews I gave this year, everyone asked me that same question: You are an activist, artist, philanthropist and entrepreneur. How do you prioritize and fit everything in? or Could you briefly summarize the driving force behind all your success? I thought I would just share with you some of my tips on how I get to do it all and the 5 stupid mistakes to avoid:
‘’People with great passion can make the impossible happen!’’
Don’t start without it! When it comes to business, I only do what I’m passionate about. The only day I tried something appealing I had no passion for, I failed miserably and lost so much money in that venture. The problem? When things started to get tough, I had no energy and no desire to keep going and move things around. I was not passionate about that business enough (to be brutally honest, I was not at all). You might be wondering what got me into starting such a venture in the first place. Well, It all made sense at the time, it was a billion dollar industry and there was an opportunity to get into it. My lack of passion added to my lack of knowledge of that industry did not help (never get into things you don’t love and don’t understand). Since then, I made it my number one rule to invest my time, money, resources and energy only in things I am passionate about. When you’re doing something you’re passionate about, it’s not work anymore, it’s like having fun! And you have a desire so strong that you can’t wait to wake up in the morning to make things happen.
‘’If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together!’’
You can’t do it alone! I have a very cool, devoted and efficient team working by my side. I believe in the power of ‘WE’ and enjoy surrounding myself with the very best. I work with a strong board of Directors and a devoted staff at the Fabienne Colas Foundation; a great advisory board; a powerful team for our festivals, the FC Success Academy, my companies and other ventures. I love having other people on board, they keep me going. But it has not always been that way – there was a time I literally had to do all myself. We have built that amazing team over the years and that was the best thing that could happen to our ventures and projects. Even if you’re just starting, make it your plan to build a team slowly but surely.
‘’Set your priorities right, because if you chase 2 rabbits, you will lose them both.’’
You can’t do it all! To be efficient in managing everything, I had to prioritize. You simply cannot put the same amount of energy and time in all you want to do. When it comes to how I deal with all effectively, it all comes down to Planning, Prioritizing and effective Time Management. Years ago, I would say yes to almost all opportunities and offers. Now, I understand that when you say yes to one thing, you automatically say no to more things. The day I understood I could not have it all, my life literally shifted and I understood the power of prioritizing. Everything I do, I ask myself whether it will get me closer or further to my goals or resolutions. Set your priorities and invest (time, money, energy, resources) accordingly.
STOP DOING LIST
‘’Success is not a matter of chance, it’s a matter of choice!’’
Don’t simply count on your to-do list! For me to effectively succeed at managing all, I had to create a “Stop Doing List” where I literally wrote down all I had to erase from my life temporarily or permanently so I could get more time for people, causes and things I really care about. I had to make tough choices and divorce many friends along the way too. I simply keep the ones who want the very best for me and who will do all to lift me up and support me in all the beautiful crazy projects I come up with – and I do the same for them too. I constantly update my “Stop Doing List” to keep it relevant and not fall back to my old routine or patterns. There was a time I use to go salsa four nights a week. Well, when I decided to start the Fabienne Colas Foundation, I had to reduce it to once a week… and now, with all I do, I only go occasionally. Success is also about setting boundaries and making sacrifices. Most of the time, you’ve got to make some tough choices.
‘’SUCCESS doesn’t just happen, it’s PLANNED.’’
Don’t improvise your way up! To be successful, you need a blue print, a road map. You need a proven system to effectively get to where you want to go. When I discovered that, I decided to invest in myself to learn my craft and get the skilled I lacked to move forward. The best investment you can make is on yourself (educate yourself). Warren Buffet once said, it’s good to learn from your mistakes, it’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes. Over the years, I have taken countless classes, read tons of books, work with different mentors, listen to my advisors and learn from the ones who are where I want to go, so I can move decisively forward in my ventures. I have learned and am still learning from the very best (trust me, you will never stop learning). And I am so happy to share all my knowledge and experience with you with a step-by-step proven guide – your road map – to fast forward your success through the FC Success Academy. Among other things, you’ll learn how to prioritize effectively, how to gather a winning team and how to turn your passion into a profitable business. Make sure you subscribe to get notified about when Enrollment starts.
Hope you found this article useful. Let me know what you’re struggling with when it comes to launching your own business, product or service and please share if you have other useful tips for new entrepreneurs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning actress, filmmaker, speaker and business owner, Fabienne Colas is the ‘Queen of Festivals’ and founder of a successful entertainment & media empire – which includes 7 successful festivals in Canada, the USA and Haiti; a production company and several other ventures. CEO/Founder of Zaza Production, Fabienne helps people unlock their greatness, launch their products and services, reposition their brand and bring their business to the next level.