What it Means to “Make It” in the Entertainment Industry 

Author: Gerard Longo (Founder of Underground Music Collective)

What it Means to “Make It” in the Entertainment Industry 

How do you know if you’re living your dream?

Surely, after years spent on the creative grind, there will be a moment of grand arrival. Trumpets will blare as you realize that you’ve “made it.” All of your problems will be solved, and you will have reached the end of the long, arduous road to the top. Right?

…RIGHT?

Folks… it’s called the creative journey for a reason – because it’s a journey. Regardless of your preferred artistic medium, growth does not occur in leaps and bounds, but in small, incremental steps. There is absolutely no such thing as overnight success; in its place, you will find a continuous learning experience – albeit, one where you get to have some fun along the way, doing what you love.

I’m sorry to burst your bubble, if you came here believing that “making it” is an endpoint. On the contrary, it is a process; one which adopts different meanings as it unfolds, and which contains a variety of ups and downs – from the most triumphant highs, to the lowest of lows.

So, how do you know when you’ve “made it?”

Well… if you can answer yes to all (or even a couple) of these questions:

  • Do you have the ability to wake up and pursue your passions?

  • Are you witnessing growth – in your abilities, and in the scope of your platform?

  • Do you feel accomplished and fulfilled in your work?

  • Do you use the lessons learned along the way to inform and improve your processes?

  • Is your process leading you to new relationships and experiences that you would have never otherwise enjoyed?

Then, congratulations! You are on your way to “making it” in the entertainment industry.

Really? But, where are all the balloons? The confetti? No trumpets?

Well… that’s the thing. We often think of “making it” as a point of absolute arrival. The successful, death-defying leap from one point of the gorge to the other. Or, less dramatically, finding a way to beat traffic and get to the dentist on time. “Making it” has long been defined as measurable, undeniable success, marked by external factors such as time, money, or validation from others.

As creatives, we have the power to define “making it” differently.

Every day, you “make” your reality from ideas and concepts, and by being curious enough to discover how to help them materialize. In our world, “making it” means to act each day toward bringing your vision closer to reality. It is the creation that takes place under your control.

“Making it” isn’t a point of arrival. “Making it” means making it happen. Hour by hour. Day by day.

If you’re still looking for tangible signs that you’ve “made it,” here are a few:

  • A majority of your income comes from your talent or profession.

  • You’ve gained a reputation as someone who follows direction well.

  • You are organized, reliable, and work well with others. You are always prepared for the task at hand.

  • You work continuously on your craft, while humbly accepting critique and rejection. (Yes, it happens to the best of us!)

It takes time, patience, practice, and a whole lot of faith to reach that point. You’re going to be in it for the long haul, and over several iterations of your vision. Your willpower will be tested, and it’s best to prepare for your quest.

Next time, we’ll provide some tips to help you stay balanced, as you navigate this bumpy, yet wonderfully fulfilling road. Stay tuned!