Ep45: How to Build a Career You’re Proud Of | with Robert Hardy

If you work in a creative industry, you probably already know how difficult it can be to just making a living. But if you’re intention is to not only making a living but also feel proud of the work you do everyday…that’s a much taller order.

It can seem hard enough to find extra time to perfect your specific craft, and it’s often even harder to find the extra time to meet the right people and build your professional network (especially if you’re a socially awkward introvert like me), but often times the barriers standing between you and landing your dream job in the entertainment industry have nothing to do with outside forces…instead the barriers are psychological.

That’s right: YOU might be the biggest obstacle keeping you from greatness, and the number one barrier keep you from your dream job is the stories you tell yourself repeatedly every single day.

In this episode I chat with Robert Hardy who is an indie filmmaker, writer, and entrepreneur based out of Tucson, Arizona. He currently runs Filmmaker Freedom, a site that helps ambitious filmmakers make work they’re proud of and take control of their careers.

We chat all about the step-by-step process you can take to become a successful filmmaker, but the key is first understanding how to define “success” for yourself. We also dive deep into the “limiting scripts” that we repeat on a daily basis that convince us we don’t have what it takes to make it and how to overcome them little by little.

If you want to dive even deeper into the power of storytelling, specifically understanding the fundamental components of a good story, I recommend part 1 in my ‘Storytelling’ series with Story Greenlight founder Jeff Bartsch.

Want to Hear More Episodes Like This One?

» Click here to subscribe and never miss another episode

Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • Working in the filmmaking, entrepreneurial, and mental health spaces all at once
  • How dropping out of film school led Robert to create Filmmaker Freedom and tread his own career path
  • Don’t just look at your career goals, ask yourself what you want your days to look like in the future
  • Deconstructing your unattainable standards of success
  • Learning how to know when you’re climbing the wrong career ladder
  • How to avoid peer pressure to stay in a job that makes you miserable
  • Re-evaluating the “overnight success” myth
  • Is it possible to skip steps on the filmmaker ladder of success?
  • Designing your steps based on their stability rather than just their proximity to your goals

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Filmmaker Freedom

“Empire” Editor Has 7 Steps to Network Successfully in Hollywood

Our Generous Sponsors:

This episode is made possible by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone interested in moving more at their height-adjustable workstation. Listen, standing desks are only great if you’re standing well, otherwise you’re constantly fighting fatigue and chronic pain. Not like any other anti-fatigue mat, the Topo is scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. And they’re really fun and a great conversation starter.

Guest Bio:


Rob is an indie filmmaker, writer, and entrepreneur based out of Tucson, Arizona. He currently runs Filmmaker Freedom, a site that helps ambitious filmmakers make work they’re proud of and take control of their careers.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Jakin Rintelman. Special thanks to Krystle Penhall and Sarah Furie for helping to spread the love!

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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).”