Becoming healthier, more productive, and defining YOUR path to success isn’t going to be easy...

But you don’t have to do it alone

Join an energetic, ambitious, and focused community of creative professionals just like you optimizing every aspect of our lives to reach our fullest creative potential.

Best of all...we’re doing it all from home in our pajamas. 😜


(you had me at ‘pajamas’)

Scott Davis photo

“This feels weird to say during a global pandemic, but I am doing really good and getting so many things done that have been on my plate for a looong time. I would have lost my sh*t big time without this. Thank you Zack for helping me gain the abilities to deal with this situation. I can’t express my gratitude enough. You are a true leader!”

- Scott Davis, Feature Film Assistant Editor

“Why Didn’t Anyone Warn Me It Would Be This Hard?”

Whether you’re an editor like me, or a director, writer, composer, producer, or otherwise, your passion is telling stories. You live to make people feel something.

What you do for a living isn’t your job, it’s your identity.

There are few professions as rewarding as being a storyteller, but there are also few as draining, as frustrating, as soul-sucking, or as confusing to navigate.

When you began your career you gave it everything you had simply for the sake of learning, collaborating, and having the opportunity to help other people realize their dreams. You would do anything!

At one point “Exposure Bucks” were enough to pay your bills, and you took whatever gig came your way, working like a machine to build credits and hone your craft. You thought you were unstoppable.

Then came a whopping dose of reality...followed by “the crash.”

Little did you know all that energy directed towards helping others achieve their dreams would be at the expense of your own. Years later you are stuck in a job you don’t want, and the passion for your craft is all but gone.

Now you most likely find yourself asking:

“How did I end up here?” gets the best of all of us at some point. Any of these sound familiar?
  • You are stuck climbing the wrong career ladder but too afraid to make the transition to something more fulfilling because you have to pay the bills
  • Your default answer is “Yes” to the needs of others but the only person you say “No” to is yourself
  • You often take on too many projects because you don’t want to “let people down,” but the long hours and the insane demands of the entertainment industry have pushed you to the brink of exhaustion and burnout
  • You struggle to set boundaries around your time, and at the end of the day you end up only accomplishing a fraction of what you intended
  • You struggle to focus and you find yourself chronically procrastinating (until your deadline is so close it puts the fear of God into you)
  • You gave up trying because there are just too many people competing for so few opportunities, and there isn’t enough room for you
  • You feel stuck in a rut, and you’re not utilizing your time to move your career forwards
  • You’ve been doing the same job for years (or even decades) because it feels “safe,” and you feel the pressure to maintain instead of taking the chance to grow
  • You have no idea what the path looks like to get where you want to be
  • And most importantly:

    You are convinced that balancing a successful career and a life outside of your job is IMPOSSIBLE.

Krysia Szyszlo

“What I really appreciate about working with Zack is that he’s so supportive. He helps me stay focused. We take a goal and he helps me focus on the most important point so I don’t get distracted by all the things I want to do. Having a structure that is so easy to understand is HUGE for me. Zack saved my life when I couldn’t find work and things were dark and depressing. He inspired me to still love my career.”

- Krysia Szyszlo, Film & TV Editor

The problem isn’t that you lack motivation, discipline, or willpower

The problem is you don’t have a plan

If you work in a creative industry, you know how important it is to have a plan, a schedule, and deadlines (even the insane ones). And there’s no doubt that when asked to do the impossible...YOU. ALWAYS. DELIVER.

So then why do we struggle to meet our own demands and achieve our own goals?

Because at no point in our lives has someone taught us how to define our goals and design a realistic plan to achieve them. (And don’t even get me started on time management for creative people like us…)

As an editor & director, I’ve spent the last twenty years of my career properly sequencing complex story structures with multiple twists and turns such that I can maximize the emotional impact for my audience.

As your coach & mentor it will be my job to help you restructure and rewrite the next draft of your story to maximize your impact on the world. But I can’t help you write your story without a plan.

Unlike becoming a doctor, lawyer, or accountant, there is no clearly defined path to becoming successful in the entertainment industry, so the story that leads to your success often appears unclear.

And more importantly, nobody teaches you how to define what “successful” means to YOU.


For some “success” is all about awards, money, & prestige. But for others “success” could simply mean collaborating on projects that have a meaningful and positive impact on the world while simultaneously having the time & energy left over for the most important people in their lives.

Having interviewed over 200 industry professionals, Oscar and Emmy winners, New York Times bestselling authors in the fields of behavioral psychology, habit formation, health & well-being, cognitive fitness, and the science of success, I’ve discovered that although it might not be obvious…

There is a very clear path everyone follows that leads to their success:

  • You have to clearly identify the ladder you want to climb (and understand how climbing it is in alignment with your deeper ‘Why’)
  • You have to focus intensely on becoming awesome at your craft.
  • You have to focus the remainder of your time, energy, and attention on making sure the right people know you are awesome at your craft.
  • Like I said…simple, but not easy.

    And none of the above happens without the metaskill of ‘Focus.’
Patrick Norman photo

“My mental energy has improved significantly since taking this program, I can now stay in a state of creative flow (thanks to time blocking!), and I now approach everything with intention. Learning how to separate ‘life management’ from ‘project management’ has taken a huge weight off my shoulders.”

- Patrick Norman, Documentary Director & Editor

Here's what your life looks like when you work from a plan:

  • You are focused on your goals and can identify your next steps, as opposed to feeling like you have to “take the next gig” because you’re not sure if anything better will ever come along
  • You feel incredibly “productive” at the end of a long day having accomplished the right things, as opposed to always feeling “busy” like you’re spinning on a hamster wheel to nowhere
  • You no longer procrastinate (or waste half your day reading the news or social media) because you have the tools, the strategies, and the mindset to better manage and prioritize your time
  • You have established the daily & weekly habits necessary to move more, sleep more, and eat better thus having the resiliency to better manage the wear & tear of working in Hollywood
  • You no longer believe “I’m not good enough,” or “I can’t make this happen,” or “This doesn’t work for people like me.”
  • You love going to work so much everyday that you ask the question, “Are they really paying me to do this?” while at the same time getting paid well and still having energy left over to live your life outside of work.
Here's the most powerful strategy you'll learn in this entire program:

How to Identify Your ‘One Thing’

Here’s the key takeaway from this video:

You don’t need to summon superhuman focus & energy to topple the largest dominoes in your life such that it seems useless to even try.

All you have to do is prioritize the many things you could be doing down to literally the ‘One Thing’ such that if you accomplish it, everything after it becomes easier.

Stop trying to push a boulder up a mountain

I’m going to show you how to effortlessly roll a tiny snowball down the hill such that it becomes an unstoppable avalanche
Emily Zhai photo

“Before I was jumping around doing random things, and always around lunchtime I would get distracted (sometimes for hours). Having ‘Macro’ and ‘Micro’ goals helped me focus, and now I know I’m on the right path and this is the thing I need to do right now.”

- Emily Zhai, Editor

Here's How We Can Work Together

If you’re ready to step outside your comfort zone to design your unique path towards more work-life balance, increased focus & productivity, and defining the next most important steps in your creative career, here are your options.

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*Individual 'Hot Seat' sessions are 20min each

  • 12 weeks
  • Optional attendance as-needed
  • Group sizes vary week-to-week, but expect anywhere from 5 to 25 people on any given call
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90 minutes per week

Enrollment by application only

  • 12 weeks
  • Mandatory attendance
  • Group sizes of no more than 5
private coaching screen


60 minutes per week

Enrollment by application only

  • 12 weeks
  • Mandatory attendance
  • 1 on 1 sessions personalized to your needs
Graham Fisher photo

“It was a pure delight working with you Zack and making my goals happen. I feel like I just did something I didn’t know how to do in the past, and it’s an invaluable life skill that will continue to reap rewards throughout my life. So thank you.”

- Graham Elliot, Animation Editor
Coaching Is Just the Beginning

Here’s Everything Else Included In the ‘Optimizer’ Program

In addition to our weekly coaching calls, here’s everything else you’ll have INSTANT ACCESS to as soon as you join the ‘Optimizer’ community.

Personal access to me via Slack

Whenever you need guidance and support - health, career, or otherwise. You’ll essentially have me in your backpocket 24/7.

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*Note: I generally reply to messages in 24 hours or less during the week, and I’ll reply on Monday to messages received over the weekend.

LIFETIME ACCESS to the ‘Optimizer’ Slack Community

A global network of ambitious creative professionals providing support and accountability which includes access to the following Slack channels:


Where we motivate and support each other to achieve our goals and stick with healthier, more productive habits.

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Where you can get group feedback on your cover letter, resume, portfolio website, or outreach emails..

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Where group members often share work opportunities before
they hit the Facebook groups and job boards.

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to the ‘Focus Yourself’ curriculum (a $497 Value)

An 8-module self-guided online course to help you develop 100% CLARITY about the path leading to your most important goals, total CONFIDENCE that your next action is always the right action, and the regular habits, systems, and productivity tools that ensure you follow through with CONSISTENCY.

to the ‘Move Yourself’ curriculum (a $97 Value)

A 4-module self-guided online course to help you sit less, focus more, and become more active during your workday (whether you’re working from home or an office). Also includes access to the ‘Move Yourself Activity Video Vault’ with over 90 short videos to help you reduce chronic pains at your desk and increase mobility.

90 Days Access
to the ‘Focus Gym’

Where you can schedule Zoom sessions with community members to flex and strengthen your ‘focus muscles.’ Procrastination will become a thing of the past!

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90 Days Access to Audio Recordings & Searchable Transcripts…

…for past ‘Hot Seat’ sessions (over 60 hours worth!) where I’ve workshopped every challenge imaginable with members of this community, including:

  • Workshopping cover letters, résumés, and job applications
  • Workshopping outreach emails
  • Workshopping portfolio websites
  • Developing your networking strategy
  • Upgrading productivity workflows (e.g. Trello boards)
  • Mock job interview preparation
  • Building healthier habits & routines to maintain well-being

And a whole lot more!

Sam Lavin photo

“I’ve gotten so much done over the last few months I didn’t think was possible. I’m almost done with a pilot that has confounded me for YEARS. For some reason I had a mental block. If I hadn’t done this program I wouldn’t have had a seven page short ready submit when the right opportunity came up… which it did!”

- Sam Lavin, Writer & Director

Ariel Fujita photo

“This program has done more for my confidence in 3 months than years of therapy. Focus Yourself has changed my life and given me the tools and systems to succeed in both my personal life and my career...without fear or hesitation. I wish I had something like this 15 years ago! You are an amazing mentor, coach, and inspiration. I can’t thank you enough!!!”

- Ariel Fujita, On-line & Conform Editor

Where Do You Want Your Life to Be In 3 Months?

I’ve been told by numerous students this is one of the most challenging experiences they’ve ever been through (but also one of the most rewarding). You will be pushed outside your comfort zone and learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible.

If you choose to work with me, there is one fundamental skill I want you to walk away with more than anything else: The ability to ask yourself better questions.

The quality of the questions you ask yourself dictates the quality of your life

So which question are you asking yourself right now?

“How much will it cost me to enroll?”


“How much will it cost me to stay stuck in the same place?”

Join the ‘Optimizer’ Community

Large Group
Small Group
Group size
Up to 25 people
Up to 5 people
Number of weeks in the program
Optional, as-needed
Number of sessions per week
Varies depending on demand
Session Length
20 minutes per individual 'Hot Seat' session* *(You can schedule up to 3 sessions per month)
90 minutes per week
60 minutes per week
Additional program features
Lifetime access to the Focus Yourself program ($497 value)
Lifetime access to the Move Yourself program ($97 value)
Lifetime access to the 'Optimizer' Slack community
90 days access to me personally via Slack
90 days access to 'The Focus Gym'
90 days access to audio recordings & searchable transcripts of past 'Hot Seat' sessions (currently over 60 hours worth)
Lifetime access to audio recordings & searchable transcripts of weekly sessions
Course Registration Fee
Monthly Payments
$200 x2 (Beta members get the first month free!)
$550 x3
$900 x4
$897 $697
Joseph Suzuki photo

“When we first met I had near zero confidence. While there’s much work to be done, you gave me enough ink, paper, and whiteout to start redrafting what was frankly a really sh*tty script. I’ve been spending the last month solving problems for seasoned editors, producers, and Amazon folks with more confidence that I thought was possible. The producers are already trying to book me for their next show! Thank you for an incredible six months.”

- Joseph Suzuki, Assistant & Visual FX Editor

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions not answered above, reach out to support (@) optimizeyourself (dot) me.

My Commitment to You

If this program isn’t the right fit for you, if the timing isn’t right, or if financially you can’t make it work, I totally understand. No hard feelings whatsoever.

However, if you’re hesitating because this program seems scary, or I might push you outside your comfort zone, guess what? Outside your comfort zone is the only place things are going to happen for you. You can either continue waiting for opportunities to find you, or you can start creating your opportunities.

Here’s my promise to you:

The moment you enroll in this program, I will be 100% invested in your success.

Your goals become my goals.

Your obstacles become my obstacles.

Your challenges become my challenges.

I will be in your back pocket 24/7 (via Slack) to answer any questions you might have during your journey, and we'll work together every week via Zoom to clearly define your next steps, no matter your goal.

You'll also have the support of everyone else in the ‘Optimizer’ community on the same journey as you. It's literally like connecting to an instant network of new best friends and colleagues who are overcoming the same obstacles as you that want to help you succeed!

But here's the thing...I can't help you.


Isn't that what coaching and mentorship is all about?

Not quite. Only you can help you.

I can't take the action that will lead you towards the most important goals in life.

My role is to make sure you are asking the RIGHT questions and taking the RIGHT actions for yourself. And like the sherpa leading you towards Mt. Everest, I'll be there by your side to ensure you don't take the wrong path.

I'll give you the CLARITY you desire so you finally know what your goal is. And to clarify, there's a big difference between your dreams and your goals.

I'll give you the CONFIDENCE that every single action in your calendar is the right one. If you're tired of being "busy" all the time and you're ready to become "effective," I'm your guy.

And I'll help you build an action plan that ensures you follow through with CONSISTENCY.

Sound like a good fit so far? If so, then let’s do this!

P.S. If you’re a procrastinator, you can do that later. 😜

About Zack Arnold

The host of the Optimize Yourself podcast and the creator of this coaching & mentorship community.

In this program my mission is to help you DO better and BE better.

“Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time, your energy, and your creativity so you can produce higher quality work in less time (and ultimately become a productivity ninja).

“Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people, things, and passions in your life…all without sacrificing your health (or sanity) in the process.

As an ambitious creative professional who’s spent the last twenty years working in Hollywood as a film & TV editor (recent shows include Netflix’s Cobra Kai, Empire, Glee, and Burn Notice), I’ve battled depression and burnout more times than I can keep track of. Having been diagnosed with adult-onset ADD in my mid-twenties, I spent over a decade flailing as I slowly learned how to balance a demanding career, having two kids, and just trying to survive.

Then I decided “survival” wasn’t enough...I wanted to thrive.

And that’s what brings me to you today. Having been on this journey myself from barely making it through the day to having so much energy left over that I’ve chosen to spend the last two and a half years training to become an American Ninja Warrior, I know how overwhelming it can feel taking the first step. I’ve got your back. I’m here to help shorten your learning curve so you can avoid many of the costly and time-consuming mistakes I’ve made along the way.

To be clear: If you’re looking for all the answers, I am not the mentor for you.

I am not an expert, and I’m definitely not your guru.

You and I are on the exact same journey, I just happen to be a step or two ahead on the path. Therefore my job is to shorten your learning curve by sharing my best discoveries with you over the next 12 weeks (and beyond!).

Zack Arnold at Spartan Race

In my career I’ve worked with the following studios: Netflix, Home Box Office, Sony Pictures Television, Walt Disney Studios, 20th Century Fox Television, Paramount Television, Fox Searchlight, Universal Cable Productions, ABC, NBC, Dreamworks, Warner Bros, USA Network, Lionsgate Films, Paramount Classics, and many more.

My work as an editor, documentary director, teacher, podcaster, and writer has been featured in such publications as Forbes, The Huffington Post, NPR, I Will Teach You to be Rich, LinkedIn Learning, Cinema Editor Magazine (ACE), Cinemontage, Post Magazine, Post Perspective,, Film Editing Pro, and many more.

At this point I’ve achieved my goals in the entertainment industry. Now I want to help you achieve yours.

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