When you’re raising money, you often find yourself doing a lot of waiting. Waiting for an email. A phone call. A text.
It’s freakin’ excruciating.
Like I’ve said before, raising money is one of the hardest parts about being a producer. Every day you don’t have the money, you feel like an absolute failure.
During this rollercoaster of emotions, though – there are good days too, after all – it’s easy to use the feeling of failure to be inactive. Hence the waiting.
When you’re depressed, it’s a bit antithetical to being proactive. It’s hard to motivate yourself to move the needle in any meaningful way.
Good luck producing a movie in that state of mind.
So what do you do?
It’s similar to writer’s block. The solution is to write, even badly if you need to, to get into the mode of writing. Same goes with producing. When you’re fundraising, the process looks a lot like making a bunch of calls and sending a bunch of emails.
So you do that. Make calls. Send emails.
But with one important tweak: think about what you can do for the other person. Don’t think about what you need from them, or what they owe you. Think about the value you can provide them, even if it’s just a friend to talk to.
Today, I was following up with an investor friend. My text could have been “Hey, any word? Just checking in…”
Rather, I asked him about a big decision he’s facing at the moment, which led to a nice back and forth over a few hours. I think he enjoys the opportunity to have a conversation where the person on the other end isn’t asking for something.
He knows I’m waiting to hear back on his decision, but removing that element from the conversation allowed us to deepen our friendship.
This got me in the mode of calls & follow up, and I was able to knock out a bunch of other calls and emails that I’d been hesitant to make (for no good reason at all).
So treat frustration, depression, fear, anxiety, and doubt the same as writer’s block. Just do the thing that you fear.
Sometimes you just need to make the call.