Episode 255 — Experimentation Equals Wins
Episode 255 — Experimentation Equals Wins
People are afraid of being judged but it’s little things that build up over time: For example, if you’re shy, try going out to a bar and talking to people. These are little things you could do to get out of your comfort zone and push through your pain points. It takes trial and error.
If it scares you — that’s good! That means that the more you do this, the less it will scare you. More importantly, you’ll get better at that thing because you’ll have more data to go on. You will know what worked and what didn’t. It’s the feedback that will help you grow. Part of that is not being afraid to experiment. That’s what will help you get better. The more data you have, the more you’ll be able to tweak things.
It’s all about trying new things and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Look at everything as data!
In this Podcast, Allan talks about experimentation, how to use it to get you out of your comfort zone and to provide data for your growth and success.
[02:16] What Inspired This Podcast
[02:59] Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
[04:55] Allan Explains His Experimentation with Ice Baths
[09:09] Experimentation Leads to Success
[13:29] Look at Everything as Data
EPISODE 255 — EXPERIMENTATION EQUALS WINS
Hello, everyone! This is Allan McKay.
Welcome to Episode 255! I want to talk about getting success and traction in everything you’re doing and just a different outlook on this. A lot of us fail before we even start and this is something that I want to get really deep into.
Please take a second to share this Episode.
Let’s dive in!
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
[00:51] Have you ever sent in your reel and wondered why you didn’t get the callback or what the reason was you didn’t get the job? Over the past 20 years of working for studios like ILM, Blur Studio, Ubisoft, I’ve built hundreds of teams and hired hundreds of artists — and reviewed thousands of reels! That’s why I decided to write The Ultimate Demo Reel Guide from the perspective of someone who actually does the hiring. You can get this book for free right now at www.allanmckay.com/myreel!
[13:54] One of the biggest problems we face as artists is figuring out how much we’re worth. I’ve put together a website. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com! This is a chance for you to put in your level of experience, your discipline, your location — and it will give you an accurate idea what you and everyone else in your discipline should be charging. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com!
EXPERIMENTATION EQUALS WINS
[02:16] Recently I’ve been coaching someone on their business and how they can be taken more seriously. This artist is a woman with a very bubbly personality in a very male dominated industry. Sometimes to be perceived differently, you do need to have that alter-ego. That’s something that you do through how you communicate and how you treat your business. You’re essentially training you customers to treat their business like a business. This is a way you can get them to march to your drum.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT
[02:59] So what I thought was interesting was that I kept telling her to “not be afraid to experiment”. Behind the scenes, I am the master of doing weird things. I have no problem with trying things out. No one is going to judge me and I am happy to try things out, even doing stupid stuff that others might be too insecure to try. People are afraid of being judged. It’s little things that build up over time: For example, if you’re shy, try going out to a bar and talking to people. These are the little things you could do to get out of your comfort zone and push through your pain points. If the way you speak needs to change or you need to shift your tonality, then you have to do that to get people’s attention. And you can do it just by reading about it or listening to a lecture. It takes trial and error. Part of that is going out and doing it every day. If it scares you — that’s good! That means that the more you do this, the less it will scare you. More importantly, you’ll get better at that thing because you’ll have more data to go on. You will know what worked and what didn’t. It’s the feedback that will help you grow.
[04:55] Part of that is not being afraid to experiment. That’s what will help you get better. The more data you have, the more you’ll be able to tweak things. For me, a good example are ice baths. I keep talking about how they are beneficial for my health and energy levels. They are part of my morning ritual at 5:00 a.m. Moving to the Pacific Northwest, it took some adjusting. The air and water are colder here. So when I walk outside, my natural reaction is to go back inside where it’s warm. I need that catalyst. I have a sauna first and I heat up. When I’m ready, I can jump into the cold water. As it colder in the winter, it’s harder to stay in it. So I looked at what else I can tweak. I decided to hop into a cold shower after the ice bath, to continue the cold therapy. But how can I stay in the tub longer? The first thing that starts to hurt in the cold are my hands. If I take them out of the tub, I can stay in longer. It’s the tweaking that allows me to get better and better results. In this situation, what happens next is when I get into the cold shower, I don’t panic. That little tweak adjusts the panic. These days, I hop back into the sauna from the ice bath. The next time I go back into the ice bath, I’m not going to panic. I hope this makes sense because I’m talking about tweaking the process and experimenting. At a certain point, I can take my hands out and stay for 6-7 minutes. I can also listen to music and it distracts me, “I just have to make it through this song. And the next song…” These little tweaks would sound trivial but that’s me getting the result I want, tweaking it slightly and getting a better result.
EXPERIMENTATION LEADS TO SUCCESS
[09:09] Say, you’re tracking everything you’re doing at work. If you tend to waste time naming folders, what if you wrote a tool that did that for you? The more you’re paying attention to what you’re doing and how long it’s taking, the more you’re likely to get the extra growth. In sales and marketing, I would look at the statistics. When I launch a Mentorship, I notice that there is a high enrollment on the last day. So if I send an email on that day, what would that mean for sales? Sometimes that extra email on the last day of the enrollment could mean extra $40K in sales! There are these little tweaks that will give you different results. It could be changing the color of the button. Bit by bit, you can raise your performance by 20%, but you wouldn’t know that if you weren’t experimenting. The amount of weird stuff I do and experiment with is what I owe to my success. I wouldn’t have that if I weren’t willing to try. That goes across the board: How I interact with people, how long my emails are, how I prepare someone for our meeting call:
- What if I kept my emails short?
- What I reminded the person I was having a call with about the call and what we’d talk about? All of a sudden they’re coming to me with suggestions.
- What if instead of my having meetings and having to drive the conversation, I tell them I cannot wait to hear what ideas they have?
[11:35] Everything in life should be an experiment. And when you do find parts of your business that you were thinking of getting rid of, how do you change that part into a winning one? Someone I was talking with about sales, they had clients they didn’t want to work with. I recommended that that person raised his price, specifically for those clients. As long as you explain the process, you can help them understand the price raise. The others will panic, but your educating them about what the work takes is part of it. If that’s too expensive for them, you can say, “I can offer a similar thing for considerably less but you won’t have as much of my input”. That would be more attractive to them because you’ve just explained the actual rate. Suddenly, your service is a steal. You wouldn’t get there without that experimentation.
LOOK AT EVERYTHING AS DATA
[13:29] It’s all about trying new things and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Look at everything as data! If someone hangs up a phone on you, you see what you can tweak the next time you pick up the phone. It’s all about experimenting, in the end.
I hope you enjoyed this Episode. Please take a few seconds to share it with others.
I will be back next Episode talking about reels. Until then —
Upload The Productive Artist e-book.
Let's Be Friends
“If only there was more time in the day”
“How do you find the time to get so much done”
“I would learn a new skill.. if I had the time”
For many of us, finding time and energy to do more is one of the hardest things we have. Time is finite and we can either be pro-active with our time, or reactive. Meaning – we are constantly running around, jumping from one thing to another, and never really feeling in control.
Allan specifically wrote this guide, after the thousands of responses he received to his contributions on productivity on his Podcast, as well as articles he’s written on the subject, and interviews he’s given.
Allan has interviewed the New York Times Best Selling Authors David Allen (Getting Things Done) and Laura Vanderkam as well as dozens of other experts on the subject – as well as applying many of his best practices.
So how does someone who runs a studio, manages multiple teams, works in production, shoots, runs a hit Podcast, writes articles, multiple courses and a mentorship and more, manage their day?
Find out, and how YOU can apply this to your work and personal life. Grab the guide (It’s FREE).
Whether you’re in games, film or design this guide is focused on giving you the answers and knowledge to confidently seek out the set-up and hardware you need to get the speed and reliability to create the most jaw-dropping visuals you can create. Without being bogged down by slow hardware, or investing in the wrong areas that ‘cost a fortune’ and don’t really make much of an impact on speed and stability.
Allan goes through how to start TODAY applying many unique approaches to building a successful career, and taking control of your year so far.
Gain access to the free guide, videos and other resources now.
From learning to front load your pay raise, to hosting networking events and positioning you as an authority. Allan goes through many tactics and ways to take control, and make this your BEST YEAR YET!
How much should I charge?
If I ask too much, will I scare them off?
What are the key things that I’m doing wrong?
Money, negotiating, probably two words that build the most tension just at the thought of, other than public speaking.
This guide was designed for Artists – whether you’re a Designer, Illustrator, Matte Painter, Animator, FX, whatever! We all need to get hired for productions, and we all need to get what we’re worth.
But, most of are afraid of missing the mark, and scaring away our employers. Or, just not sure how to even start the conversation. Worse, we’re not sure what we’re actually worth, or we just plain don’t want to be in a tense back and forth negotiation.
Realistically – a good negotiator never needs to haggle, they never have a moment of tension, they never are in an uncomfortable situation. It’s actually very seamless, easy and kind of fun. But, it does require understanding many of the fundamentals that this guide covers in-depth. Negotiating your worth the wrong way can cost you tens of thousands of dollars per year, and it’s the most critical thing we all shouldn’t ignore.
Get the guide now, and never leave money on the table again!