A few reminders from Actress Eva Mendes

This is my oldest daughter, Jordan, with actress Eva Mendes… In 2008, a software company contracted me to work for them after hearing my radio show. This is where I met Wajed Roger Salam with the Winners’ Circle, who referred me to do some work for Harry Dent the economist. Harry took me to a Joel Bauer event where I met Lynn Rose. I later reconnected with Lynn at Larry Benet’s SANG event. Lynn then referred me to Diana Wentworth to do some work, who referred me to Steven Memel who also hired me to do some work. Through Steven, I met Lilly Dawson, who put me face to face with Eva Mendes at a small Hollywood event in 2013.

Eva, as a kid, performed Jackson songs, and her brothers would shine flashlights on her for spotlights. Her family wasn’t poor, but they rode buses a lot in Southern California. She sometimes sat looking out the window wondering what it would be like to be in a car. She also looked out the window at the nice houses and dreamed about the people who lived in them. (She now lives in one of the houses on that same bus route or she did at one point and time).

Eva was very down to earth, and here are some things I learned (or relearned) listening to her.
Some of her big lessons were, “Don’t mind being a backup or a substitute. Remove your ego. Take the stuff that other people don’t want. Get outside of your comfort zone.” I’ll never forget sitting in a room with about twenty other people listening to her talk about her secrets to success. One person asked about her big break. It was something like, “What was your big break, the big moment that changed everything?”

I loved her answer.

She said she essentially didn’t have one. Rather, it was a series of smaller breaks. After all, what moment could she single out? Being nominated for an award? Playing opposite Ryan Gosling, Mark Wahlberg, or even earlier on in her career co-staring with Will Smith? Maybe it went all the way back to when she was discovered after that modeling shoot where someone noticed something special in one of her pictures?

Exciting as her career has been, it didn’t happen overnight. She was insatiable, never satisfied with where she was. Like a lot of other successful people, for her, success came in increments or what I call “mini-breaks”. Mini-breaks add up and make a difference.

One of her first successful breaks was when some people saw her picture in a photographer’s portfolio and wanted to hire her. Another early increment was being in Children of the Corn 5. (Imagine the people that probably thought they were too good for #5). She got another break when she landed two scenes in the movie Training Day, with Denzel Washington. Being in the movie, Hitch, with Will Smith was another big step. So, which one was her big break?
The simple fact is that most of us never really have one big break. It’s usually a series of mini-breaks hitting and cracking the glass of success until it eventually shatters. (Of course, the cracking comes before the shattering, and there is almost always another ceiling to start breaking).

So, what was my big break? Hard to say and I won’t start listing all my mini-breaks but it’s far to say that there was never any one big break. It’s a day in and day out process of grinding out the good of every opportunity and every situation.

What’s your significant mini-breaks? Forgive the sports metaphor, but many times its not about hitting a home run rather its about hitting someone else home or just getting yourself on base and in position to score. Are you always swinging for the fences or are you strategically ok with success in increments?

Remember Eva’s advice…“Don’t mind being a backup or a substitute. Remove your ego. Take the stuff that other people don’t want. Get outside of your comfort zone.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top