CoM Quote 9-4-23

Using Labor Day as an opportunity to change our relationship with work

Like so many American holidays, the true meaning of Labor Day has largely been swallowed up by consumerism. We equate this holiday to mean the final backyard BBQ’s of the summer, the return of football, and the best time of year to buy furniture or a new car. (Apparently Labor Day also means you can’t wear white? That one I don’t get.)

But the true meaning of Labor Day is rooted in the fight of the American worker for protections from the exploitation & tyranny of corporate overlords. (Sound familiar?)


It is because of the sacrifices made by those in the late 1800’s that we celebrate Labor Day as a national holiday. It is also because of those who fought tirelessly (some of whom even gave their lives) that we have:

  • 40-hr workweeks (well…not so much in Hollywood)
  • Weekends off (well…maybe sometimes in Hollywood?)
  • Sick leave
  • Child labor laws
  • Safe working conditions
  • Worker’s comp
  • Health care
  • + Countless other protections we take for granted

As you enjoy your Monday away from the office, I hope you’re able to take at least a little time to appreciate how this holiday (and the rights it brought us) were earned. Furthermore, given we’ve celebrated this holiday for over 130 years, I hope it helps you understand how necessary the current industry strikes are despite their tremendous short term costs.

The writers & actors are not just fighting to earn gains for their next 3-year contracts…

This inflection point in our industry’s history is about protecting all of us (and future generations to come) from the corporate overlords literally removing creatives from the creative process.

Making the Most of An Otherwise Sh*tty Labor Day

Most years, Labor Day is simply our unofficial break between the lazy days of summer and going “back to school.” Even though we may no longer live our lives by the educational calendar, the Tuesday after Labor Day has often felt like the beginning of the final lap of the year where we give it our all to accomplish as much as possible before the new year comes.


The ironic thing about this Labor Day for so many, however, is we would all probably give just about anything to be working today, amiright? I know I’d happily give up my 3-day weekend for a steady, secure, and reliable paycheck right now. But because the state of the industry is not in the category of “things I can control,” I choose to spend my time, energy, and attention on actions that provide value to others.

To help you make the most of not only this Labor Day but the rest of the year (given it doesn’t look like we’re going back to work anytime soon), tomorrow I’ll be releasing a free 4-day email series titled The Creative Within: Rediscovering Who You Are (Beyond Your Résumé).

Because so many right now are wrestling with the basic (but very scary) question, “Who am I without my job?” I want to help you rediscover why you chose this crazy industry in the first place.

I also want to help you identify a multitude of different ways you can bring value to the world beyond your current job title (and earn income doing so).

But most importantly, I want to help you better understand how the unique combination of your lifetime of experience, your skills & abilities, your knowledge, interests, & passions, and most importantly your character traits make you absolutely irreplaceable as an artist, a creative, and a storyteller.

If you want to dive deeper into these concepts beyond this week’s email series, I’d love to have you in this Saturday’s brand new live workshop!

Save the Date: Saturday, Sep 9th*

Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm PT
Location: Zoom

*Note: If you cannot attend live, the recording will be available for 30 days

👉 Click to learn more and reserve your spot

We are entering a new era where the advice we’ve taken our entire lives to focus on mastering one specialized skill could set us up for failure instead of success. Now with the rise of artificial intelligence, there’s no guarantee the careers we’ve worked so hard to build and the skills we’ve spent years acquiring will even be relevant in the future.

Specialization is now the riskiest path of all.

While everyone else is focused on The Rise of the Machines, we need to focus on The Rise of the Generalists.

To be clear: I have no intention of teaching you to spread yourself thin, scatter your attention, and turn you into a “Jack of All Trades, Master of None.”

By the end of this workshop, you will learn what it means to become a “Jack of All Trades, and Master of One.”

One last thing…

You are so much more than just your résumé, and I want to help you better understand how.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”