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‘Or Die Trying’ Webseries Empowering Millennials

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Or Die Trying Series

Inspiring millennials across the nation, Or Die Trying is sharing a story about four women living in Hollywood pursuing their dreams in the entertainment industry. In this exclusive interview, they reveal the truth about LA, crowdfunding, and feminism. The passion behind the webseries stem from the lives of the creator Myah Hollis and producer Sarah Hawkins. They are the masterminds behind Or Die Trying, and this is how they’re doing it.

 

What is Or Die Trying about?

MH: Or Die Trying is about four millennial women living and working in Hollywood. When it comes to their careers in the entertainment industry, they know what they want and they have an idea of what it will take to get there, but they struggle with making all of the pieces of their lives mesh seamlessly. While they’re strong in one area, they’re lacking in another. It’s a story about their journeys as they develop as women and try to come to some type of equilibrium, while not compromising who they are in the process.

Tell me about the characters.

MH: Amelia Tinsley is a journalist, struggling with her identity and her sense of purpose, and trying to get herself back on track. Bailey Rosenberg is a comedian who is totally in tune with who she is and what she wants, but is having opposing expectations forced on her by her mother who wants her to live more traditionally. Ellie Hansen is an indie actress who is disinterested in the idea of fame at the expense of art, even though she’s constantly being pressured to “sell out.” Raegan Thomas is the creator and co-showrunner of a TV show who, although she’s doing very well professionally, is dealing with things in her personal life, and she doesn’t really have the ability to compartmentalize the two. Each character is trying to achieve a sense of balance between two dueling aspects of their lives.

How did you ladies meet?

SH: Myah and I met a few years ago in Philly where we both lived and worked. We both made the leap to LA within months of each other in 2013, Myah moving here for writing, and I sought to pursue acting. Being friends and fellow film industry ladies, we wanted to create something together that we could call our own, as if you wait for the perfect role or opportunity to come to you, you’re never going to find it. We’ve been work wives ever since!

Why LA?

SH: Los Angeles is like Mecca for artists and those striving to put one’s dreams into fruition. Most everyone is here with purpose, and that alone can be incredibly infectious. Who wouldn’t want to feed off that type of energy every day?

MH: If you’re seriously pursuing a career in TV or film, this is the heart of the industry. It’s where you need to be. It also helps that it’s sunny all year and there’s a ton of sushi.

What is your day to day like?

MH: Every day is hectic in its own way, but not extremely exciting to be honest. It’s just a marathon of checking things off of checklists, chugging gallons of caffeine and trying not to sink into the warm comfort of an unproductive Netflix binge.

SH: I’m not sure I can really echo Myah’s sentiments enough on the coffee bit. Coffee in an IV and an obscene mountain of emails.

What inspires you?

SH: My fellow women in film. I feel like there is such community within our little network that is just pure of heart and down to earth, so much that at times it can kick your own ego-butt every now and then. This industry can be just absolutely brutal, but when I see like-minded, passionate, badass women who just want to help level each other up, I get incredibly motivated to do the same and progress the conversation further.

MH: I think I’m most inspired by the statistical improbability that I should be successful as a writer in this industry. When I first decided that I would pursue this instead of going down one of the many roads that would lead me to a stable job, I was very aware of the fact this is something that I should fail at. More people fail than succeed, that’s just a fact. You know this going in but you do it anyway. The idea of being successful despite those odds is what drives me.

Or Die Trying Cast

Why a story about women?

MH: There aren’t enough stories about women told by women. There’s a unique perspective that’s missing in Hollywood because women are not telling our own stories, therefore the stories that are being told are not representing us properly. It’s a systemic problem that will only change if we make it our responsibility to create more complex, realistic female characters.

Who are some of your role models? Why?

MH: Shonda Rhimes is my main professional role model, for reasons that feel really obvious to me but I’ll just go ahead and lay them out. She has knocked down so many barriers and has become the epitome of a woman building her own empire and playing by her own rules. She has beat the odds in every way, and that’s really inspiring. My role models in my personal life are my parents and my family and close friends. I’m just surrounded by so many strong, resilient and talented people, it’s insane.

SH: Amy Sherman-Palladino for the creation of Gilmore Girls, which is probably some of the best feminist writing on TV and on a personal level, my dad. He has been a huge influence on my career as an actor and as a producer, and is a constant source of inspiration.

What advice can you give to people chasing their dreams in LA?

SH: Find your “person(s)”. LA can be extremely lonely and competitive if you let it. Surround yourself with people who push you to be better, to think outside of yourself, to keep the end goals in perspective when the day-to-day gets muddled and messy. That’s what I love most about Myah’s & I’s relationship. She keeps me in check and we push on together.

MH: Don’t listen to people, listen to your instincts. Listen to your gut. Succeeding in this city takes stamina. Only you know when you’ve had enough. Don’t stop going after what you want until you’re sure you don’t want it anymore.

How did crowdfunding through Seed & Spark help you?

SH: Seed&Spark was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences. Crowdfunding is never easy, but the folks at Seed&Spark vet you and prepare you on a level that is incredibly empowering. Really cool filmmakers came out of the woodwork to support us, not only financially but with loans of goods, services, promotions, etc. Our project became a community through Seed&Spark, and we’re excited to continue to build that village through production this October.

How are you trying to make your audience feel?

MH: I don’t ever want to tell people what they should feel. I’m kind of a psych nerd, so I can get a little hippie-dippie at times, but I really think that everyone is at a different point in their lives and different things resonate with you depending on what you’re experiencing at the time. I just want people to be able to empathize on some level, but whatever feelings our show ignites is fine with me as long as they’re engaged.

What is your message to your audience?

MH: You have to trust your instincts, regardless of the backlash that may cause. You also have to be willing to put in the work to become whoever it is you want to be, both professionally and personally. Those are the main things that I want people to walk away with. Other than that, I just hope people take what they need from it and that they’re both inspired and entertained.

What sort of person is going to love the show?

SH: We sought to really hone in on our fellow millennial women in film, because they are our community, our niche; the ambitious, driven women who know what they want and are actively doing everything they can to make it happen. I know ODT echoes universal truths far beyond that demographic, that dreams are worth fighting for, and given by the reaction to our trailer, our Seed&Spark Campaign, and other press, I can’t wait to see who latches on to it, as both men and women alike have been extremely anxious and excited for us to get it out there.

Or Die Trying Myah Hollis

What was the happiest moment?

MH: Finishing the scripts was a huge relief. I tend to pick at them compulsively until they’re exactly the way I see it in my head, so when they were officially locked in and ready to go I felt like I could finally breathe.

SH: For me, it’s the seeing the community we are beginning to build with Or Die Trying. A distinct moment was at our ODT Networking Party, and looking out into the crowd to see all the amazing people who not only came out to support our series, but came out to connect with fellow filmmakers and level each other up by networking with one another. It was so cool to witness!

How has pursuing Or Die Trying affected your lives?

MH: It’s completely dominated the past year and a half of my life. Everything has revolved around this project for so long, that I don’t really remember what I was doing with my days before. It’s also made me really confident in my abilities as a writer and producer, and very thankful to be surrounded by such talented and creative people every day.

SH: Same! ODT on the brain 24/7.

What struggles are women facing today?

SH: I’m going to chunk this down to women in film because there are some pretty wild problems outside of this industry women have been and are currently fighting against. To put it plainly, there is unequal opportunity for women behind and infront of the camera, unequal pay above and below the line, and very little movement to illuminate the female perspective onscreen.

Would you consider yourselves feminists?

SH:  Yes. Men and women are equals, it’s time our society reflects it. Feminism shouldn’t be a dirty word.

MH: I honestly don’t understand how you can not be a feminist. There are negative implications about what feminism is, but it’s very simply the belief that women are equal to men in every capacity. I can’t believe that’s something that we’re still debating as a society.

How do you feel about the film industry today?

SH: I think we are in a unique time where collaboration and creation is becoming increasingly more welcome than competition. So much of this industry is cut-throat, but when it comes down to actually bringing a project into fruition on the indie level, I believe most people are in it for the right reasons. Maybe that’s naive of me to say, but at the very least, that’s been our experience with ODT. Everyone just wants to be apart of something bigger than themselves, and I believe our series speaks to that.

What obstacles have you faced?

SH: The proverbial “no,” and learning that it has no real merit on you or what you’re capable of achieving.

MH: The great thing about building your own projects and creating your own opportunities is that you don’t face many obstacles that you can’t overcome. There are always logistics that need to be figured out, but the fact that you’re not waiting for someone to tell you what you can or can’t do eliminates a lot of that hesitation and stress that can hinder you in this industry.

Who would you like to work with in the future?

MH: Shonda.

SH: Jill Soloway.

Is there anything you want to highlight?

SH: We’re headed into production of Or Die Trying this October, but you can stay tuned on our progress at odtseries.com and on social media @ODT_series and at #odtseries

 

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

Business

5 Strategies To Massively Save On Your Holiday Spending

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Regardless for those who are buying presents on-line or in-person, you continue to need to lower your expenses.
Whereas many individuals neatly use rewards playing cards and coupons, they’re nonetheless lacking out on beneficial financial savings, which can price you serious money. These firms might help.

Get smarter about rewards

Curious which reward program suits you greatest? Birch helps you discover new bank cards based mostly in your spending habits.
Have already got playing cards with cash-back bonuses? You need to nonetheless try the finance app because it additionally helps you optimize what’s already in your pockets.

By grouping your transactions into classes, Birch exhibits you which of them card provides you essentially the most bang to your buck. You’ll never miss a another reward.

Money made simple

Utilizing Ebates is as simple as one, two, three: Join, Earn Cash, Earn Cash again. I’m not kidding.
Free Ebates memberships let savvy buyers seek for combining shops, and with one click on – and a coordinating purchase – you’re creating wealth. I’ve been a member for years.

The web site is straightforward to navigate, together with helpful day by day offers. There’s even a Chrome extension that permits you to simply store with out ever skipping out on reward money again. So even for those who ever neglect to undergo Ebates first, the Money Again Button will notify you.

Easy financial savings

With greater than 600,000 coupons at over 70,000 retailers, Retailmenot has every thing you have to save over the vacations – from coupon codes and cashback provides to meals offers and in-store gross sales.
The web site exhibits customers the highest trending reductions, whereas the app makes it simple to save lots of at your favourite shops and eating places proper out of your cellphone.

For these optimistically venturing out to brick-and-mortar shops, the the digital provides market makes use of push notifications and message-prompts to assist buyers and companies alike.

Flip reward playing cards into gold

Present playing cards amassing mud? Flip them into playing cards you really need or cold-hard money with the most important reward card change on the earth.
CardCash desires your undesirable reward playing cards and truly pays you as much as 92 % of the cardboard worth.

Have somebody in your elevate that’s arduous to buy? I believe you’ll in all probability seize them a present card. Why not do it at a reduction and select from the king-of-card’s big stock?

Giveback whereas gifting

It’s the season of giving – we wouldn’t be speaking about presents if it weren’t – so why not give again whereas procuring?
The world’s first-ever shopfunding web site, GoodShop donates a portion of what you spend once you store at 1000’s of shops on their web site.

From nationwide charities to native colleges and group teams, once you store with Goodshop you not solely save, however you give again.

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Business

Using Live Video To Double Your Business

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live video

Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video, and Periscope – more than likely you would have heard of these social media platforms, but did you know they are the latest technological breakthroughs for users to incorporate into their business? These platforms allow you to connect powerfully and easily with your audience, which means as an entrepreneur, you are able to personalize your brand and business amongst targeted viewers.

Engaging with your audience is key to running a successful company. Gone are the days where you can just create a website, cross your fingers, and hope that people will find it and contact you for your products or services. We live in a new era, where billions of people are constantly connected to their smart phone. According to Facebook, there are 1.18 billion active users that visit their social network on a daily basis! So with the Live Video option, you are now able to literally interact in real time with your audience. Think what that can do for your business.

The first thing you may be asking yourself right now is, how can I reach more people without a large following? Well, the easiest and quickest way to build a responsive following is to become Keyword specific. This means that you are targeting people specifically interested in your niche and what you have to offer. It is better to have 100 followers that are engaged and interested in buying your product or service than 1,000 followers that take little to no action on your offers. One of the fundamental keys to your business growth is to create an organic following.

 

How to build a following organically

 

Content is king

The more value and content you post regularly on social media — the more followers you are going to gain. People want to learn, be entertained, and see valuable posts from you.

Assuming you’re doing this and you have a responsive following, now you are able to incorporate Live Video! Before you “go live” you must have a game plan on exactly what you will be talking about. Go in prepared or you’ll lose interest and engagement.

Keep in mind the attention span of the average person is extremely short, so you have one chance and one chance only.  Make it count! Lucky for you, you don’t have to be on Live Video for too long to get your message across. A handy acronym to use is: K.I.S.S: Keep it short and simple! Your audience will love you for that, trust me!

Build a bond

Like anything worthwhile in life, the power of our bonds with others is what binds us together.  Strip all the technology away and we are simply human beings creating connection and bonds, which create trust and trust creates fans and buyers. With your current audience, you must build a bond, in other words, a relationship with them. You can do this with live video. Have a conversation with your audience, while keeping them entertained. Ask questions, acknowledge your viewers, and deliver value that they can take away once you’re done.

Now that you’ve created a relationship with your audience ask them to spread the word by liking to share and comment. The more likes and shares you get, the further your reach gets. Now the way Facebook’s algorithm works is, with the more activity that is happening on your post or feed, they will make sure everyone can watch it and have the opportunity to engage. Whenever a user logs onto Facebook, they will see you first on their feed!

Create a contest

People love winning. Creating a giveaway or a contest that gives your users the chance to gain something by participating will spread your name and page around Facebook like wildfire. It’s scary how fast news will spread when done correctly. A word of caution: Make sure you set clear and concise rules to your contest to avoid unnecessary drama or miscommunication.

On your post, make sure to include a form. Here, you will gather the user’s information: name and email address. These two requirements are essential for you. You have not only gained new leads for your business, but your new leads have also done free advertising work for you and your business. By liking, sharing, and commenting on your post, they have now expanded your message to their following, giving them the opportunity to participate in the contest and spread the word even farther. There are a ton of ways you can grow your audience exponentially with a few cleverly executed strategies.

Live Video Doubling Your Business

Providing value and entertaining info on your product or service without sounding like a door salesman will take you a long way. At the end of each video, provide a call to action for your audience to participate in. An example of this could be, “Click the link in my bio to learn more.” Keep in mind that you do not have to provide a call to action in every video. Spamming your viewers will only backfire.

Another approach you can have is leaving a cliffhanger at the end of each video where your viewers will want to see your next Live Event. It leaves you with suspense, which ultimately makes you come back for more. That’s the effect you need to have on your audience.

Your call to action could be clicking a link that you’ve posted on your page, tagging a friend on your most recent post, and/or leaving a comment with their email on your post. The link that the user will be clicking should direct them to a landing page where you will be able to provide the user with value and an offer. That ties back into a sales funnel, where you can convert leads into buyers.

At the end of the day, Live Video allows you to connect with your audience on a personal level. This form of communication will be help you convey your message more clearly as they watch you live. You will have a better connection with your viewers as you build a connection through emotions. Live video allows your audience to learn more about you, your business and what you’re selling. Make it exciting, provide value,  develop creative call to actions for your audience and watch your business grow.

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How To Start 2018 For Your Business

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2017 new year

2018 is knocking, are you ready? The new year is upon us, some may be celebrating another successful year with champagne, where others may be contemplating on the next strategy to implement for their business. As you figure out which side of the coin you’re on, it’s best to understand the most effective approach you should take to make sure 2018 is not only better than 2016, but your best year yet.

Go Back To Basics in Business

To have a successful year, it starts with the basics. You need feel secure and confident that the foundation you have set, will help you excel in the new year. Having that confidence in your system, finances, and administrative work, will allow you the peace of mind to continue moving the needle forward in business.

If entrepreneurship is in the cards for 2018 (or you’re already an entrepreneur/business professional), then this is the time to look at the preparatory checklist and assess exactly where one stands. Here is how to start 2018 , the right way.

Have the Right Mindset Day One

Forget all of the negativity that happened in 2016. It’s a new year and a completely new slate.

Review Your Financials

Check up on the left over cushion money, but more importantly look at your bank statements or end of year review. If you’re not already working with your accountant, be sure to give that individual a call to review what happened this year. To hit 2018 in stride, it’s critical to have your personal and business finances in check.

Check Up On Your Business Plan

A proper business plan has to be a blueprint to how you conduct and want to conduct business. Take the time to revise your business plan add or subtract items on that plan you feel do not make sense. Being diligent now will save a lot of unnecessary hassles later as you continue to expand/grow your company.

Select Your Team Members Wisely

Coming from experience, finding the proper talent to work for you is the hardest part of business. Before making new hires, be sure you take the time to assess your teams’ strengths and weaknesses. Then hire those to fill the voids. Reviewing your business plan will be a tremendous help when making these evaluations.  If you hire right in 2018, you are already on your way to success in 2018!

Assess Your Risks

Finally, check on your insurance coverage. Review the existing risks and think about the new risks planned for 2018. A new home, a new car, addition of new properties, launching a new sector of your business, starting a new family, planning retirement – carefully plan and cover the risks with the adequate insurance. Consult with the experts to ensure the protection of your family, property and business.

Personal Growth

As important as your business is, it’s equally important to get your mind right. Here are a few ways you can personally grow in 2018:

Prioritize Your Health

Sustaining a wellness plan for all 12 months of 2018 is tough, but rewarding. Do not let minor issues like back pain or soreness to affect your plan. Write down your goals for daily exercise and schedule an annual medical checkup. A healthy body works like a magnifying glass for the joys of life – zooming in on the positives and zooming out when negatives occur. Don’t get distracted and be sure to get your health corrected this year.

Declutter and Organize

Look through the space in your house, office, car, backyard and even phone and email inboxes. Clean up all the junk, sort the remaining in order. The time and effort put in to declutter and organize the stuff now will give a huge advantage on the upcoming year’s activities. Start it off with a fresh plate.

Treat Yourself

Don’t spend all of your time working in 2018.  Try to relax more by doing things you find fun.  Participate in social and cultural events that will expand your current limits. Make time to read books (both for business and pleasure), watch movies, or cater to a hobby. Plan ahead and make a wish list to cultivate some of the classics this year. If budget permits, go for a new wardrobe (maybe at least partially new) to start the year with a special zing!

Travel More

Plan for trips outside the scope of business in 2018. Go with friends and family or make it a solitary trip. But do visit a new place, experience a new cuisine, meet new people, even try to pick up a new language from the locals when traveling.  Going on a relaxing trip is one of the best modes of investing in yourself. Plan to make some memories and memoirs on the trip(s).   

Make Time for Family and Friends

Finally, catch up with friends, attend family get together events, meet up with cousins, and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries! Don’t get too occupied with work, career and the future ahead. Enjoy the present with the people you love. Family and friendships are not replaceable assets in one’s life – value them most and 2018 will be a great year!
Have a great 2018!

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