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[CASE STUDY] “What should I do when I’ve been fired from a gig?” with Chris Salters

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Chris Salters is a freelance editor working on brand films, commercials and documentaries, as well as a long time member of the Optimize Yourself Coaching and Membership program. While we could spend multiple episodes talking about Chris’ success in both his career and the coaching program, instead, today we’re talking about how Chris reached out to me after “dropping the ball” and being fired from work.

Being a veteran in the industry, Chris is no stranger to difficult tasks, challenges, shifting timetables, and high levels of stress. However while in this particular situation, despite the confidence Chris had that he could manage it, he ultimately failed. Today we dive deep into the situation and discuss how failure is a positive aspect in all of our lives despite what it may seem, and that even having a ton of “experience” in a particular field does not exempt you from encountering a moment of failure.

Chris shares the difficulties of dealing with failure (despite the encouraging words surrounding him) and we break down ways in which you can use these heavy emotions to in turn feel more motivated. We are ALL going to experience failure (and quite frankly, already have) and my conversation with Chris will not only help you better embrace the experience when it happens, it will help you understand there is no faster catapult towards success.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • Why being fired affected Chris so deeply, despite being a veteran to the stress and challenges of his profession
  • The real reason you should be upfront about the skills you lack (that benefits you)
  • The key difference between inspiration and motivation and why you should know the difference
  • The words of encouragement Chris received from his spouse that helped him through
  • How failure changed Chris’ workflow for the better
  • The benefit of negative emotions and how you can use them for motivation
  • Why Chris’ instinct to charge less after being fired was a harmful and bad idea
  • The specific “human skills” you can bring to the workplace that make you more valuable than technical skills
  • What Chris did that made the producer of the job that fired him reach out to work together again
  • The ONE thing Chris would have done knowing what he knows now (and it’s not doing the job better)

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol S. Dweck, Ph. D.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Zack Arnold: I'm here today with Chris Salters, who is a freelance editor. You work on branded films, commercials, documentaries. Uh, you are based in Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas. You are also the father of two. You like woodworking and consider yourself a somewhat kindest, sorta amateur carpenter. Also do triathlons. You drink copious amounts of coffee, and one thing you didn't add your intro that I think is really important.

One of the early members of my optimizer community, and a very valuable one at that. So I appreciate you taking the time to have this conversation today. Yeah, absolutely. I'm glad to be here. So the genesis of this conversation is gonna be a little bit different than a lot of the past interviews or conversations that I've had, and that the, the universe just decided that we need to come together because I was having a, uh, conversation with my podcast producer, Debbie Germino, and we said, we wanna try something different.

Rather than just talking to the world's experts and solving all these problems, we wanna dig into specific challenges that people are having now, not I've miraculously solved all of them. Here are my obstacles in the past, and I wanna inspire you. It's more along the lines of, I'm currently in the or I was just in the and I wanna workshop.

How did this problem or situation arise? What can we learn from it for those that are going through it and how can we get better going forwards? The same day that Debbie and I had this conversation, Bing, slack notification from Chris Salters had not seen you in the Slack community forever. What exactly was your message about?

[00:01:25] Chris Salter: So, uh, I had just gone through one of the worst challenges in my professional career. Um, and, and the challenge itself wasn't that abnormal. It was the result. Like I, I had dealt with difficult tasks before. I've dealt with like the weird timetables that it's like, you expect me to do this much by this time?

But everything just went to pot and I, I dropped the ball. Like it was, it was awful. And I'd never experienced that before. I mean, I've been doing this for close to two decades and it was like, I, it was just

[00:01:58] Zack Arnold: bad. Well, I wanna get more into the, the nuances and the depths. Of this story, all the players involved, all kind of the, you know, the, the major circumstances that we're talking about.

But I think it's important to provide context because it's one thing to have this conversation with somebody that just entered the industry versus a seasoned veteran like yourself. Mm-hmm. Because as we're gonna talk about more, this can happen to anybody at any level. And frankly, I've heard it said to me more times than I could count.

You're not really, you haven't really made it in the industry until you've been. Fired at least once. Right. Uh, and the first time that I got fired, I was just totally feeling sorry for myself and, oh, I can't believe like I'm working in an A-list level and how dare they, like all these thoughts that go in your head and then I realize it's just, it's part of the process and just cuz you have the skills or even the experience doesn't always mean that it's a good fit.

Mm-hmm. So I want context about you and your, your general career trajectory and the level of work that you do to better understand the specific situation that you were just in. So kind of give us the. The three to five minute origin story, if you will. All right.

[00:02:58] Chris Salter: So, um, I guess the first thing I wanna say is things just happen from time to time.

So the way that this kind of came around was I was approached by a new client, had never worked with them before, uh, and they needed some help finishing a half hour documentary. And normally I, I try to. Stick to just lead editing roles. And I wouldn't think twice about it, but I looked up the client and I was like, oh, you guys are the guys that made that thing.

And I really wanted to be involved with them just in general. And so, uh, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to, you know, make a good impression and just start building a relationship. Right. So they flew me out to their location for 10 days. I was editing onsite with them and the first, you know, part of the trip.

It was great. Uh, the clients were great people. They were easy to work with, um, long days, but you know, you kind of expected that going into a project like this. I did learn when I got there that this half hour documentary was going to be delivered the day that I left. But fun facts, it was still being edited, still needed to be color corrected, needed to be finished, and there was a lot of composite work that I was brought in to do.

All right, so again, the first few days going great. They had me doing some c compositing, good stuff. But then, Over about a 48 hour period, everything that could go wrong seemed to go wrong. Part of that was my inexperience with, um, we were using Avid, I'm more of a premier and da Vinci guy, and there were just little nuances that seemed to come up and bite me that I wasn't expecting.

Um, but then there was also just some sheer bad luck. I mean like just things that. If three things could go wrong, they all did and it went in like the perfect order, so you were just completely messed up. Well, that ultimately leads to my lead editor slash creative director, um, standing in front of me.

It's 3:00 AM We've been through a six hour render at that point, and he just tells me that he is going to overcut the, uh, the half hour documentary himself. This will be the third time that that happens. And he no longer needed my assistance and I was just like, I was sick. You know? I mean, at that point, any, any trust that I had built in the days before when things were going great, gone like out the window, I would eventually go back to the hotel that night.

I would try to sleep, wouldn't work. I'd get back to the next morning to go, uh, see how things are going. They'd have me do some notes on the composites I'd already done. And then my producer told me that they were sending me home. A full three days ahead of schedule. Um, and they, they kind of masked it with the, we know you have small kids, so you know, you need to get back to them.

And I'm like, We both know what's going on here, it's okay, but I, I'd never been in that situation before where I had done the best that I could do. Like I, I did everything that I thought was right, but I missed the mark and the ball was dropped. And it not only hurt my relationship with this new client, but potentially their relationship with the client that.

We were doing this job for it, and I mean, it, it was, it was hard to wake up from.

[00:05:54] Zack Arnold: So talk to me then before we get into more of the nuances about having brought yourself into this job before day one. Okay. What was it that made this a good fit in your eyes, given your level of experience? So just give us a little bit more sense of the environments you have been a part of.

Sure. Knowing that you're coming into this, having worked for this client, for this company this many years, like, just talk to me about the identity that you brought into day one of that project.

[00:06:17] Chris Salter: So, I mean, if we go back years and years ago, I, I lived and work in Los Angeles. I was working for, um, trailer park at the time, helping with their original content division.

So I was used to, um, working with mass amounts of media, working with timelines that were just extremely tiny and. Just having to make things work whenever, you know, it's like this impossible task in front of you. Figure it out. And oh, by the way, you're working on, you know, multimillion dollar films. So that's kind of the background.

And then since I've started, like my freelance career, you know, the, the experience of like who I work with, I. Is wide and varied, but through all of that I've dealt with a lot of situations where either I'm in charge or I'm working with an agency that has all of these moving parts. So stepping into this situation, it didn't seem abnormal.

It was something that I was used to. It was something that like I, I like to come into a situation. And be the problem solver. Like, you've got all these things going on. I'm your guy. I mean, I'm, I've got the technical, like whatever behind me and the years of experience to prove it. But in this situation, like I said, it was the little things that ended up biting me in the butt.

[00:07:28] Zack Arnold: So going into this mm-hmm. We don't have to go into the nuances if I connected this person or that person. Well, that part I don't feel is, uh, necessarily terribly relevant unless you feel that it is. Mm-hmm. But what I wanna know is going in day one, once you knew you had the job, what level of confidence did you have going in?

I'm setting myself up for success. I felt I'd

[00:07:48] Chris Salter: give it a like 80 20.

[00:07:50] Zack Arnold: Okay, so let's talk about the 20 exactly.

[00:07:52] Chris Salter: So the, the big hairy like elephant in the room was that avid. Okay. So I, I have edited on Avid before. I've edited major movie campaigns on Avid. It's been a few years, but I've done it. I have not done a lot of the assistant editing online processes in Avid.

And so, I mean, I did my homework before I went there. I went and found, you know, my tutorial videos. I did, you know, kind of caught myself up on things that have changed in the past few years. Um, and so I still felt pretty good about the situation. And ultimately, uh, again, not to get into like the details, but ultimately what happened was the processes that should have worked ran into some walls that I was not expecting.

And my salts around them didn't work the way they needed to. So

[00:08:40] Zack Arnold: knowing that you were going into a job that was going to require some form of whether it's assistant editing or online editing or whatever it might be. Mm-hmm. There was already a part of you that's like, oh shit, I better brush up on this stuff with tutorials.

[00:08:52] Chris Salter: Yeah. Well, it's like stuff that I knew that I was capable of. I've done it a million times before, but again, you know, As a, you know, typically an elite editor role, a lot of times you get to pass that stuff off and it's technical what you're passing off, and that you learn to appreciate. The people that you're working with, you know?

Mm-hmm. And then the people that have to do all the technical sides of that. And so I wasn't scared of it, per se. I just knew I needed to refresh and get ready for it. Sure.

[00:09:21] Zack Arnold: And that makes sense. I mean, the, one of the, I don't even know if I've told the story publicly before, but, uh, it's, uh, tangentially related.

I won't go into it too deeply, but I've had this conversation three times over the last week. So it's just, you know, it's, it's, it's out there. It's serendipity for some reason. Yeah, it is. It's just serendipity. But when I've told the story many times about how I kind of talked my way under editing, burn notice, and getting my big break in television, what I haven't talked about is the subsequent meeting that I had with the post producer that ran the department.

I've always, I've talked about the, the meeting with the executive producer and I watched the whole, uh, the entire first three seasons twice, and I knew the creative process and their characters, yada, yada, yada. But then I had a meeting with a post producer. And it was basically, so how do you feel about Avid?

You feel comfortable with Avid and my response was, dude, no problem. Like I got this. You guys do not have to worry inside. I'm like, I haven't cut with Avid for a decade. Mm-hmm. Everything I cut was final cut. Seven. I learned on Avid. But it had been over 10 years long time, so there was no way I was gonna throw away this opportunity because I didn't have the latest, refreshed version of Abbott.

I knew I could figure it out, but just imagine having gone through everything that I did to land that game changing gig, and the very first week on the job. Knock on my assistant editor's door. Um, how do I make an audio key frame an avid? And he's just like, who is this? And how did you get hired?

[00:10:41] Chris Salter: Yep.

Right. This is the guy that I'm working for. Right,

[00:10:43] Zack Arnold: exactly. So what, what I don't wanna get into people's head is that you have to be perfect and totally prepared cuz it's never gonna happen. No, I always talk to my students about make sure that you're set up in such a way that you don't completely fail within the first week.

Mm-hmm. If you know just enough to get by, then you start asking questions, problem solving, and you grow and you get better.

[00:11:02] Chris Salter: What I'm, and that's ultimately the best way to grow and get better because you, you stretch

[00:11:06] Zack Arnold: yourself. Mm-hmm. Exactly. So what I'm trying to ascertain is your level of knowledge of thinking beforehand.

Mm-hmm. I feel pretty good about this versus. Am I getting in over my head? What was your general inclination about knowing you'd be working with them

[00:11:20] Chris Salter: and doing some? I felt great about this, like I was, my apprehension about going to this job was because I had to leave my family for so long. As far as the job itself, it never crossed my mind, especially after the first, you know, two or three days that I was there.

And I mean, they seemed to be in love with me. The things that I was doing, they were extremely happy with. I was knocking it out of the park and then, Like I said, it was kind of like the technical stuff that I was following the process, but the process started popping up errors after errors, after errors after errors, and I didn't know enough about how the project had been started.

To solve those errors the right way. Mm-hmm. And once we had solved them, then there was like this little thing that got you in the back end and then there was another little thing and it just started to add up and add up and add up and add up. And eventually it culminated the way it did. Okay. So

[00:12:10] Zack Arnold: then, uh, essentially what I have.

Clarity on now is your level of confidence going into it. And the confidence level was high. It wasn't a hundred percent, but the confidence level, like you said, 80 20, 80%, I'm gonna crush it 20%. Mm-hmm. Eh, you know, I gotta brush up on a few things. I might have a question, but, you

[00:12:24] Chris Salter: know. Yeah. I, I mean, as an individual I tend to be pretty cocker, and so I, yeah.

This wasn't, it didn't bother me at all. I didn't, and that was one of the things that I clarified with him when I left. I mean, obviously like I, I felt terrible. This was like disappointing your mom and dad. I mean, these people were so nice and just considerate about everything. Like at the moment when my lead editor was in front of me, he could have been yelling, he could have been screaming, he could have been throwing things.

I've been in those situations. He looked me straight in the face and just told me as plain as day, you know, I'll take care of this myself. And that's. That's worse than the yelling and the screaming because you know what? You just let him down. All of that to say that when I was leaving, I was talking with the producer and I'm like, I need you to understand that I wasn't, you know, upstairs goofing off and you know, just.

Piddling around, like I was doing the best that I could, which almost makes it worse. But you know, I, I need you to know that. And this is not how I build myself. Like, I don't want you to think that I sold you a bill of goods saying that I could do these things and then didn't deliver. And you know, she was very nice about the situation.

It was like, look, we understand things happened, but I mean, there's nothing at that point that you can say that will take back what has just happened. You can't save face at that point. And I, I think the biggest thing that I did, and that I, I maybe wouldn't have done when I was younger is I owned it.

Like I, I still feel like the whole issue was not maybe my fault, but ultimately it rested on my shoulders to find the solutions. To what had happened, and

[00:14:04] Zack Arnold: I didn't. So I want to dig a little bit deeper, at least for a second, into this idea of both owning it. Mm-hmm. And maybe not all of it was within your control and some of it was outside of it.

Sure. Um, without going too, too deep into the details of, you know, like this Kodak or this error message or whatnot, um, but how much of this do you believe was, this is just kind of the, the general. Way that it works in the documentary world with technology and Avid and everybody deals with these error message and output messages versus like, this would've happened to anybody, the best in the world.

What, what, what do you kind of feel is the balance between those two? Man, I can't

[00:14:38] Chris Salter: give a to that. That's not fair to anybody's part. I will say the major crux of the problem was due to the, uh, the camera used in Kodak, which we don't need to talk about, but it, it was a lot. It was eight k, I'll tell you that.

And it was multi-cam and that ultimately came down to what kind of. Crushed us in the end that caused the major part of the problem. I mean, anybody that deals with this sort of stuff knows that when you're messing with AK footage, it's heavy and it takes a lot and it takes a lot of preparation to be ready for it.

And there were just little things that were missed and I. I think that's ultimately what, what got us got me, and I should've, I should've been better prepared

[00:15:17] Zack Arnold: for that. Sure. And, uh, what I wanna, what talk about more, which I think is so important and a big part of this process, that's then gonna lead into how do we deal with the aftermath of this.

Mm-hmm. Is the fact you said, I'm owning it. So there's this concept of the fixed mindset and a concept of the growth mindset. Anybody that wants to dig into this so much deeper that I'm obsessed with this stuff, there's a book by Carol Dweck that's called Mindset. It's one of the seminal works in the, the world of psychology and, uh, achieving success.

Mm-hmm. Somebody with a fixed mindset walks away from this job saying, the following stupid eight K codex, they don't know their workflow. This is so dumb. I should not have been in this position. You know, like, this is just dumb. This is all their fault. Right? Mm-hmm. The growth mindset, which is much more similar to yours, is Yeah, there, there were some technical issues, right?

Some of this was unavoidable. I could have come a lot better prepared. I could have had more experience with this. I could have handled it better, and my impression is that you're taking much more of a growth mindset approach versus the fixed mindset approach. Well, and

[00:16:17] Chris Salter: kind of like I said earlier, I think in my younger years, I would've taken the fixed mindset approach.

Because again, being a very talk shore type editor, I would've been like, this is totally like the way that you set this up. This was all your fault. But experience has taught me that there's still multiple solutions to that, and I should have been able to figure out, rather than like hammering the same thing over and over and over again.

I should have figured out a workaround that would have worked better and I should have foreseen some of the challenges that came up. And it ultimately came down to inexperience in that very niche

[00:16:52] Zack Arnold: area, you know? So let's take this now from either the fixed mindset or the growth mindset approach, and we're gonna focus right now in your growth mindset approach.

I like that even knowing that you owned it. Mm-hmm. I want to talk about the thoughts in your head afterwards, the flight home. So sitting at home unemployed, you didn't follow through. What's going through your mind? There's a

[00:17:12] Chris Salter: couple of things here that we need to unpack. So I was fortunate in that this job actually popped up in the middle of another job that I had just in this, in the commercial brand film documentary industry.

There's. You kind of have to be, you know, stacked up about this is where things are going. So it's very short term. One job could last a week, one job could last three months. You, it just depends. So, yes, I was being let go from this job, but I literally was walking into my next one, like it was ready to go.

So it wasn't like I was, where's the next paycheck coming from? And I think that helped a lot. But the thing that, the thing that dug at me was that. This is not like me. This is not who I am. Like I, I work hard, I stay up late, I get up early. I do what I need to do to make this awesome and. This time awesome.

Didn't happen. And I was talking to my wife like the day after it, I was able to talk to her and she, she was very good at pointing out, you know, this sucks. This, this, this is a terrible situation that has happened that you're in. But this is not define you like, this is not who you necessarily are. Like you.

The things that you have done led you up to this opportunity that you have, but, Going forward, just because you might have failed here, that doesn't mean you are a failure, you know, and coming off of it, I mean, I was feeling naturally, I was feeling very sorry for myself. I felt very legitimately, felt very sick for what I had done to the client.

Like I, I hated the way that I had left that relationship. And when I left, literally left their office, things were very amicable. I mean, we, we all shook hands. They thanked me for the work I had done. I apologized as much as I could. But again, like I said, You can only apologize so much, you know, and then you gotta move on.

And, uh, that, that night before I flew home, I did eat an entire pizza and drank quite a large amount of beer by myself. I've been there just trying to drown it out. But, um, we, we've moved on, you know, and, uh, it, there, it's been a few weeks since this whole situation has happened and. I've had time to kind of reflect and look back and, you know, you look back at the things that you did, the things that could have been done differently, and I don't know it, uh, I can't tell you that that helps, but it gives you food for thought.

Mm-hmm. Um, and kinda like we were talking about earlier, time has definitely helped just heal the wound, I guess, because it, it is not as fresh, but there's still not a day that goes by where I don't wake up or I'm like on a bike ride and I'm like, You know, what if I'd done, you know, A instead of B, that sort of thing.

Mm-hmm. Um, I don't know if that answered your question. I feel like I just kind of went, you know, that way.

[00:19:57] Zack Arnold: No, I think, I think that's great. Uh, what I wanna, uh, focus on more now. Mm-hmm. Whether or not it's a blessing or a curse that you had something lined up right afterwards. Because I think that it's a blessing in a way.

Mm-hmm. Because it's like, oh, that happened, you know, whatever. I've got my next paycheck. Right? But then there's also a part of it that kind of forces you to ignore what happened. You don't get to emotionally process it, and I feel like you've done a really good job despite the distraction of going onto another job of actually processing it.

Whereas I think a lot of people that either go through this once or it's kind of an endless cycle. I know multiple people where this is just a repeatable cycle every six months to a year, but they always go to the next gig. So they never really dig into what actually happened. Mm-hmm. And how am I emotionally processing it?

So how did you, uh, at least partially avoid the idea of, whoa, got the next job, got the next paycheck, that didn't happen, moving on. Well, and, and that, that

[00:20:46] Chris Salter: definitely was not the, the attitude of like, okay, well that's behind me, like, let's go. You know, forget about that. Like, it, it sits with you and I think it should, you have to look at the things that went wrong.

And I guess that goes back to the, like I said, on bike rides or whatever, you know? I see. What happened and you know, hindsight is 2020. And so there's there, that's where the, the thoughts of I should have been more prepared for this, or I should have understood this, you know, Kodak better or whatever the case may be.

Um, that little bit of extra knowledge that might have saved the heartache. And that's why you, you, you have to choose to learn from what just happened. Okay? So you can sit there and you can wallow him and you can feel sorry for yourself. And I think that that's healthy to a point. Then you need to move on.

Like you need to understand that there, there is something back there that is teaching you something to move forward. And so, yes, I had this other job lined up. It really didn't. I say that, um, I was gonna say it really didn't affect anything moving forward with this job that I'm on, but there are times now where I'm like, I'm looking at things and I'm like, wait a minute.

That color space doesn't seem right now. You know, things like that that maybe before I wouldn't have thought about because I'm in an offline edit and I know that's very technical. But all that to say like these little nuances that before I wouldn't have necessarily cared as much about. I pay more attention to now.

And so all of that to say, I think that you have to choose, no matter if you have something lined up in front of you or you're just looking to the next opportunity, what can you take away from what just happened to make sure that it doesn't happen again? I love all of that. Now,

[00:22:24] Zack Arnold: what I'm wondering is probably what, uh, other people might be wondering that have gone through this.

Yeah. Yeah. That all sounds great. How do you not let this get into your head at the next job? Mm. Right? Because one, once you've had that, uh, that traumatic emotional experience, and I don't wanna take anything away from much deeper, um, you know, much more traumatic experiences, but even to the body and the mind in a way, this was a traumatic experience for you, right?

You hold that in your heart, you feel that? Mm-hmm. So how do you not allow yourself to get in your own head? Doing something that you've done a hundred times when I were like, oh, but I failed the last time and I'm just waiting for the next thing to go wrong. Like, have you felt that at all at this new job?


[00:23:04] Chris Salter: to an extent. Uh, I have a decent relationship with the, the producer that I'm working with on this job, and like, we, we go back. So that hasn't been a problem, but it's like, you know, when you're, you're doing something and. Like you said, you've done it a thousand times before and it wouldn't be a second thought.

Now there is that moment's hesitation, well, maybe this isn't the best choice, but the, the difference now is that I'm making more creative choices versus like workflow esque things. And even, even to that extent, like I. Again, part of my history, like I started a whole video department at a college for their athletics group.

I mean, hired people, bought servers, bought cameras, did all of that. I mean, I'm not dumb when it comes to that, but I. Even now moving forward with workflow stuff, it makes me second guess my initial reaction. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, you know, because that makes you go back and say, all right, I would've been a hundred percent on this, but maybe I'm 95%, so why don't I go check out this little thing in the back of my mind that's bothering me.

Let me go look at that. And to that point, I think it's helpful. Mm-hmm. I mean, I, I hate that this situation happened. I'm happy that it's, it is making me think about things kind of like that in a different way. So I, I, I don't wish that it would've happened again. Like I, I wish I could have learned the things that I'm thinking now as far as like, let's go reassess before we commit.

In an easier way, but that's just the way things have to happen sometimes, you

[00:24:40] Zack Arnold: know? Yeah. And again, going back to this idea of having the fixed versus the growth mindset. Mm-hmm. The fixed mindset is, well, I can either wallow in this or I can just say, well, it's all their fault. Mm-hmm. I'm awesome at what?

Like, guys, come on. I worked for Trailer Park. I've been doing this for 20 years, right? Like mm-hmm. Clearly you guys need to get your workflow together. Call me when you're ready. Right? Fixed mindset. The growth mindset, but the, also the, the, I don't even know if there's a term for it, but just the, the growth mindset where you're coming at it from, well, that happened and I can learn and grow from it, but I'm also taking all the weight of it on my shoulders, and now I'm afraid to put myself out there again versus, oh, go ahead.

[00:25:16] Chris Salter: Well, I was gonna say, That hasn't hit me. Be afraid to put myself out there and I realize that I, I, I may be unique in that respect. Like I know if you've just been beat down and beat down, it's hard to get back up. I, I understand. What I was gonna say is that it's almost good to carry that weight with you, you know, like that, that is almost inspiration of.

I don't want that to happen again. What do I have to do to stop that thing? Like, I don't want to forget about it. I, I don't think that's fair to the, to the people that were involved, me and the clients. Like, I want to, I want to grow from it and I want to remember it because it was awful and I don't want awful

[00:25:53] Zack Arnold: to happen again.

Yeah. It's, it's funny you say you don't want to carry the weight of it, cuz it's just reminded me of something that's very, very related to this, which has to do with my whole American Ninja Warrior journey just last night. This is not hyperbole. You are an exercise or an example. Literally last night I was hanging from a rope that I have hanging in my den, wearing 75 pounds.

Mm-hmm. Because I'm, uh, improving my grip strength specifically for being on a rope. The reason I'm doing that is because on national television, in an entire dome in front of 30 cameras, I have fallen on a rope. Not once, but twice, and both times that I fell, it's like, what am I doing? This is so dumb.

Clearly I'm not cut out for this. This is not my thing. But then there's another part of me that keeps waking up a few days later that's like, no, just figure it out. Mm-hmm. Right. If I can really break it down to the essence of the problem. The problem is I don't have strong enough grip strength when I jump from a pedestal and I have to grab a rope.

So let's get better at that. So now I spend at least one, if not two nights a week, just hanging from ropes with immense amounts of weight tied to my body. How long, literally, how long do you hang? Uh, so what, what I'm doing is I'm testing my max grip strength for just 10 seconds. Okay. But I do it in multiple sets.

So you basically, I hang, so I put, I put on a weight fest and then I hang a kettlebell on top of me. So now it's like 75 to 80 pounds on me, and I just jump up to a rope and I hang for 10 seconds and it's excruciating. Then I stop for three minutes and I do it again, and then I do it again, and then I do it again over and over.

I do it on ropes, I do it on a bar, I do it on rings. The point being, I could say I'm not good at this stuff. This isn't my thing. I'm a failure. Or the reason I failed is I didn't focus on grip strength last year, which I didn't. I was working on it in general, but not for this one specific skill. And I told my trainer, by next year for the next show, I'm gonna be able to jump to a rope with Vaseline on my hands and I'm gonna be able to hold onto it.

That's how strong my grip is going to be. And this goes to something that I talk about a lot, which is the difference between motivation and inspiration. Most people think these are the exact same thing. They're very, very different. Inspiration is, oh, that's amazing. I would love to do that. And you convinced me I could.

Right. Motivation can be a very negative thing that drives you. It doesn't have to be this positive, wonderful feeling. I am motivated by never wanting to feel that pet in my stomach. Mm-hmm. Of falling in the water again. And you're using that negative feeling and allowing it to motivate you positively, which is, I never wanna be here at three in the morning figuring out some stupid Kodak with an editor over my shoulder.

[00:28:26] Chris Salter: Sure. I mean, there's no doubt that I'll be somewhere at three in the morning and somebody will be hovering over me. I think that's this line of work. Mm-hmm. But I want to be the guy with the solutions. Like, we should be waiting on something, or I should have another, you know, three solutions backed up after that.

Like when this doesn't work, um, and not, you know, crossing my fingers and hoping that this is the thing that does it this time. So how do we

[00:28:47] Zack Arnold: not fall into the trap of devaluing ourselves? You get fired from the job? Well, I don't know, like maybe I should be working on easier stuff or I don't know, maybe I should drop my rate.

Like, do I, do I give them a refund? Like how, how do we manage all of those thoughts

[00:29:00] Chris Salter: that, um, I'm glad you said that because that, that popped up into my head when this was all over with. Like, this was a job. I had to invoice them at the end of it. And my thought was, I'm still, I'm still, I'm wanting to salvage whatever relationship that I had built, you know, in the days prior.

And so I'm like, do I, is this. Do I cut them a discount because things didn't work out the way that we wanted to? Or is this just what it is? And where I landed was that this, and again, this is also thanks to just my wife being my sounding board, it's a business thing. I didn't go in and. Do. I don't wanna say I didn't do a bad job because things didn't work out the way they should have, but I gave it everything I should in 99% of the circumstances that I had been in prior to that.

It worked out flawlessly. Things were great. Ultimately, I decided to. Charge my full rate because that's what we agreed to before I went on the job. And you know, obviously I was sent home three days prior to that, so I didn't charge them for the days I didn't work. But there was this, if I cut you a break now, does it buy me goodwill in the future thought and.

I don't think it necessarily would have, I think it would've been like, oh, well that's nice and then, you know, it would still be the same result. Ultimately, I think that comes down to who you are as a person. Um, and just your thoughts on business and, uh, I guess work in general. But that's why I ended up, it was definitely something that went through my head.

Because money is a part of what we do.

[00:30:28] Zack Arnold: Mm-hmm. And it's not, it's not about the money. Money in and of of itself really has no inherent value. It's the value that the money represents, which is your expertise. Yes. That's where it gets challenging. It's not, well, I worked X number of days and because I didn't work these three extra days, I'm not gonna bill you.

For them. It's a much more emotional conversation than it is a mathematical one. Mm-hmm. It's, this is the value you are paying for. Can I bring that value? I don't know. That's where gets really, really tricky and you don't want to devalue yourself, but it's, I'm sure all of those thoughts went through your head.

Mm-hmm. I mean, there's a

[00:30:57] Chris Salter: lot of things that you have to, it, it goes kind of back to where I am now as far as like, you look back at what happened. I mean, what would I have done differently? What should I have done? And there's many things that I wouldn't change. And ultimately, kind of what I landed on is I, I was as transparent with this client as I could be upfront as far as.

I have worked in Avid before. I have edited these things that you can go look on the internet and see, but I haven't, you know, my, for the past 10 years, I am Premier and Da Vinci resolved. That's what I do. Uh, and I can get back, I can refresh myself and go, like, I, I did not hide that from them. And in the end, that's kind of what got us.

I think it was, it was a little thing, um, just dealing with just the way that Avid hand handles media. And, and burn us. And where,

[00:31:48] Zack Arnold: where I think that's really, really important to dig into more is I think that a lot of people hesitate to share something like that cuz it might not get them the gig and they really want the gig.

Yes. And what I respect about you and the way you handled this is you told 'em up front. This isn't really my thing. I'm a premier and I'm a da Vinci guy. And the fact that they knew that upfront defers some of the responsibility on you because if you went in and they said, how are you with Avid, awesome, Bulletproof, right?

Mm-hmm. Like, I basically lied my way into that part of the job on burn notice. Mm-hmm. I knew I could cut the, the show in my sleep. I just didn't realize what a learning curve it would be to go back to Avid. Mm-hmm. But I worked unpaid nights and weekends so I could get myself back up to speed doing all the things that I creatively knew I could do.

Just having to do them technically right. So I took on that burden. But if it hadn't worked out and I didn't know Avid, that's a hundred percent on me cuz I kind of lied as opposed to if I had said, listen, I've been on Final Cut seven for a decade. It's gonna take me at least a couple of weeks to get up to speed, learn key frames.

How do I do picture and picture number one, they wouldn't have hired me, but number two, they couldn't have blamed me if I was slower. But in this case, they knew what you were coming in with. So I feel like it's kind of some form of shared responsibility where they couldn't expect you to know everything about the AVID workflow.

[00:33:04] Chris Salter: I would say yes and no to that. Um, I agree that it, it might defer some responsibility, but again, what I like to build myself as is the solution. Like mm-hmm. You have a problem. I wanna be the puzzle piece that, you know, completes everything. And again, things just, you know, didn't go my way this time. And it was something that I, I tried to prepare for, but it was stuff that I, I wouldn't have known to look up the problems that popped up.

Sort of situation. I mean, it was niche man, and that's not trying to excuse what happened. It's just me saying that I did my homework, but I still, you know, dropped the ball and it, it sucks, but again, you just gotta pick yourself up. My guess

[00:33:50] Zack Arnold: is that the hardest part of all this is the one that we haven't talked about yet.

Mm-hmm. It's one thing. To feel I'm the solution to your problems. I am a consummate professional. I've done this for many, many clients in the past successfully. You come into the job, it doesn't work out well. The component we haven't talked about is how badly you wanna work on their other projects.

Mm-hmm. How do you handle the fact that you saw that as a potential route to working on something that was really fulfilling and the right fit for you, and now potentially you've burned the bridge to get there. I mean,

[00:34:19] Chris Salter: luckily, at least being in the market that I'm in, you know, not being in Los Angeles, you, you get used to really having a lot of feelers out there, you know, and so, I mean, my clients are, they're all over Texas.

There's la they're, they're all over the us, got a few worldwide. So, I mean, you get used to being spread out and helping things, you know, stick. So when one burns, it's not bad, but this is the first time that I'm the one who burned it in a similar. Kind of crazy connection back. This was a year or two ago.

I was actually talking to you about this in a hot seat where there was a producer that I worked for and we, we had a great working relationship. It was awesome. It was my first time to go freelance with him. We were doing some great stuff at the same time. That's when my wife and I were like, yeah, I think it's about time to move back to Texas.

And then things just kinda lined up real quick. And I had a job in Texas that I had to be at in two weeks and I had to let him go, and I set him up as best as I could, like helped him up with another editor that could finish what I had started. But it was a, it was a rough situation. He understood that it was a, Choice that I was making for my family and my future and that that was helpful.

But from a business standpoint, it still sucked for him. You know? And I didn't talk much with him in the years past that. Where this goes is it aided me and I kind of went through about the time that I was working with you, I was doing some other kind of soul searching. And I really just had this itch to like reach out to him and you encouraged me to do it.

You were like, send him a note. Just tell him you're thinking about it and thinking about him. And so I did. I told him I was, you know, again, just sorry for how things went out. I don't need anything. Just wanted to apologize. Like, this is what's going on with my life. You know, I've got two kids now, like I'm established in this situation and things are really good.

Like, I'm sorry for what happened, but. It really did end up, it's what my life needed at that point. Fast forward another two years, he's the producer that I'm working with on this current job, and not because I asked him for a role, but because again, things just happened and he ended up reaching out. We started talking, the relationship got rebuilt, and here we are.

So all of that to say that at this moment, I don't feel like I will work with these people again because I, I dropped a ball, but. Maybe in some weird universe, the goodwill that I had instilled as far as the work I had done before things went to pot, will come back and when they need help with something, they might be willing to give me another shot.

Um, and again, that might be with strings attached or something else, but at that point, You don't, you don't say no, like you want to rebuild that relationship. You want to help them out and, I mean, just, I can't emphasize how nice these people were. Like it was like otherworldly and I, I want them to be better if I can help them.

You know? First of all, I

[00:37:15] Zack Arnold: love the follow up to the story cuz I remember us doing that hot seat and how concerned you were about having burned this bridge. And I'm like, I, mm-hmm. I don't know if you have, No, let's, let's just knock on the door and check in. And now you're like, yep, I'm working for him again.

So first of all, I love the capper to that story cuz I didn't even know that

[00:37:30] Chris Salter: that happened. Well, well, and, and just, just to clarify right there, like, this wasn't like a quick thing, like I reached out like, Hey, I'm sorry Uhhuh. Hey, you want a job? Like, this was multiple years of nothing happening, but things.

Mellowed and here we are. Right. But what

[00:37:46] Zack Arnold: I love about it is that you are making chess moves and not checkers moves. Mm-hmm. Which means that what just happened, Could be a very early chess move on a much larger and bigger board, as opposed to, well, that happened, right? And why this is so important, and this is what I always tell people, is you can't always control the situation that you're in, but you can control your reaction to it, right?

And if you walked away with your reaction being like, we already talked about, well, you guys clearly don't know your workflows, and this AK thing is stupid, blah, blah, blah, that's it. Done. It doesn't matter if it's in a month or 10 years, they're gonna remember you. You're never getting hired again. Mm-hmm.

But the fact that it didn't work out, but you owned the situation and they were nice about it, who knows? Two years down the line, something else comes up where they don't need you to know about Codex and eight K conversions and everything else, but they need your storytelling abilities. They can say, you know, Chris was a cool guy and we liked working with him.

Just don't let him touch anything on the assistant side. Right. But it, it's more about who you were as a person as opposed to who you were as a technician, right? Yes. You're probably never gonna get hired to to do workflows and onlines, but if you can look at the bigger picture, that might not be a bridge that's burned.

Mm-hmm. Right. So that's another relationship. That's six months or a year down the line. You can make the same outreach. Two years later you're doing that next big project that they worked on, and you're like, I wanna be a part of that someday. So I don't, I, I'm saying this to you and to everybody else listening, just cuz the door shut doesn't mean that it's never gonna open again.

Sure. If you react in the proper

[00:39:13] Chris Salter: way, and I, I have not viewed this current situation in that light. And that's, that's

[00:39:18] Zack Arnold: funny. So who knows? Like you, you thought years ago that the, you left this guy hanging in the wind totally screwed him over and now you're working for him again. This could end up being the same kind of a story.

We can hope.

[00:39:29] Chris Salter: I I, I don't blame them and I'm not gonna hold my breath, but, you know, I, I think what you said as far as you can choose to move forward with that, that's, that's my choice as far as what I do. I can either say, well, I screwed up, I'm never gonna talk to 'em again. Or I can still keep that door open on my end as far as the things that I do with my other clients.

Why not, you know? Mm-hmm. I mean, until they tell me to stop talking to 'em, here I am.

[00:39:51] Zack Arnold: Exactly. So it, it's, again, it just comes back to this idea of really adopting this idea of a fixed versus a growth mindset. Mm-hmm. And saying, I wanna see this as a growth opportunity, a learning opportunity. A hundred percent responsibility doesn't lie on your shoulders.

A fair amount of the responsibility does, and you're willing to own that. Well, and I

[00:40:09] Chris Salter: think, I think you have to own it. Even if it, even if you feel like it was 50 50, especially since you're the one working for these people, you should be the one that you know, falls on that sword, is my opinion. Like you need to be able to go in there and say, I should have brought more to the table.

I should have been able to fix this. I should have done whatever, whatever the case may be. You should be the one. Telling them that you could have done better.

[00:40:33] Zack Arnold: Yeah. And that, that's always the, the advice that I give in the way that I treat it myself is that whatever it was that may have gone wrong, whatever I feel my percentage of responsibility is, I'll take double that responsibility.

Mm-hmm. What I won't do is cross the line of being taken advantage of. Yes. Or being exploited, but at the same time, even if I'm like, eh, this wasn't really my fault, but fine, I'll, I'll totally take responsibility for it cuz that's what's gonna move us forwards. Mm-hmm. Right. But again, I don't wanna be taken advantage of, or I don't want you to train people to think that they can treat me as the doorstep that no matter whose fault it is, I'm always the one that takes the blame.

That's different. But in general, whatever the, the level of responsibility, I'll take more of it upon myself. Even if I kind of know it wasn't all my responsibility, cuz I feel that's the way that the bigger person should handle it.

[00:41:17] Chris Salter: And I, I think it's just the best thing that you can do to start to mend that relationship.


[00:41:23] Zack Arnold: Exactly. Because again, it's always about the relationships. The job is one thing. The relationship is way more valuable than any job or any invoice or any weekly rate. And something tells me that this relationship may end up, uh, turning into something else in the future. Just the way that the relationship you have with your current producer has as well.

Well, we can always hope. Yeah. Can't we? Alright, so now I have another interesting question, which is usually the final question that I ask people. And this one might take a little bit longer to answer than it would others, but with hindsight being 2020, knowing what you know now about how all of this came down, jump in a time machine and go back to the point where you're offered the opportunity all the way from there to where you were let go.

What would you change, if anything, knowing what you know now? I would've

[00:42:10] Chris Salter: asked more questions. One of my faults is that I, I do have a large amount of confidence in what I know, and there were things that I was like, well, obviously this is how this was treated before I got here. So it should work this way.

I realized on the job, you know, at probably hour 36 of the 48 that I mentioned earlier, that we were not on the same page as far as the relining process was gonna go. And I think had I asked more questions about specific verbiage that I used and they used. I think we would've had a clearer picture of where we were going, and we could have avoided some of these

[00:42:48] Zack Arnold: pitfalls.

What prevented you from asking those questions?

[00:42:51] Chris Salter: Confidence. Um, what's, what's the, what's the word for that? Like, I, the opposite of what I was is like, I've, I've been humbled by this experience. Like I, I was too sure of myself and how like, This is what the textbook says, this is gonna work. And then the textbook was wrong, maybe not wrong, but it didn't have all of the, like if then statements underneath it.

Mm-hmm. And so yeah, it, uh, that, that, that was the biggest thing is probably being overconfident and not, not asking those questions. Um, and also because I didn't want to embarrass myself. You know, like that's a big one. Nobody wants to, especially when it's something that you think that your client thinks you should know.

You don't want to ask that question, even if that client is again, the nicest person in the world, and they'd be like, yeah, man, it, it was, I didn't wanna be embarrassed. And I think that that's probably a big part of it.

[00:43:49] Zack Arnold: All right, so then a part of it is really the, the fear of the perception that maybe you're not as competent as they thought you were.

Yeah, don't, it's a matter of you thought I knew these things and if I'm asking a basic question, like in my case, uh, how do I make an audio key frame in Avid? Mm-hmm. That's not what you're supposed to be asking when you're editing the number one show on cable. Mm-hmm. It doesn't matter if you knew or not, you should not be asking those questions.

Yep. Right. So what I'm trying to deduce is the difference between everybody's gonna have questions and unknowns. Like I never stop asking questions, but at the same time, I'm not going into a TV series saying, um, the, the letters on the slate, what do those mean? What do those things? And I bring that up cuz I asked that exact question after I was hired to cut some scenes and a sizzle reel for a feature.

It was an indie feature. Mm-hmm. And when they gave me all the paperwork, I'd been in the trailer world for years and like, I'll take this like somebody's looking for sizzle reel and they want me to cut two scenes and put together a package to sell it and raise money for the studios. This is perfect.

Yeah. Right. They bring me the binder. And I asked those, the either a production assistant or assistant, I'm not sure. So some, you know, entry level person and I open it up, I'm like, what are the letters? Same look. He's like, I'm sorry, what Now? Like the letters next to the numbers. What do those mean? Mm-hmm.

It's like those are the camera setups. What do you mean? Well, that's when they move the camera to get coverage. Oh, okay. That makes sense. And again, that look like you are cutting, this guy is doing this. Yeah. Right. So I don't know how I keep getting away with it. It. But once I knew that, I'm like, okay, now I understand how to organize my footage.

And I cut the scenes and I cut the sizzle reel and got the job on the feature, and it ended up getting purchased by Searchlight for 5 million. How that's possible without me knowing what a camera setup is. I don't know. The point being, I knew the creative part of it. I didn't know the technical part of it.

Mm-hmm. So that's a question I probably should have been more careful to ask, but I was so green it didn't even, it didn't even occur to me. Right. It didn't come up. Yeah. So it's a fine line between I just ask questions no matter what. Versus I'm gonna ask the questions that are showing that I'm engaging with the process and I want to be the best that I can be.

But you are running up against the questions of, if I ask this, they kind of know that I don't know what I'm doing. Ah,

[00:45:57] Chris Salter: maybe, and maybe I'm hesitant because I, I don't want to admit that it was probably a lot of, all the above, you know, it, uh, I didn't wanna show incompetence. And that, that's probably the biggest key.

But even then, like, it wasn't, like, I wasn't vocalizing the problems we were having, like when we started the relink process. I mean, I spent half a day just trying to relink the sequence, like the, the avid way, if you will. And we kept getting these error messages popping up and they're like, I. I don't know.

That's strange. Why is that happening? But then I think the other thing that bit us, uh, and again, I build myself as somebody that's been in these situations as the timeframe and the timetable and working under, like, it's ridiculous that you expect us to finish and edit and get it colored and do all of this in however many, you know, days.

Like that's, you know, obnoxious, but. That's what everybody asked for now, so it's not obnoxious. It's, it's the status quo still. I think that situation is what, is what got us. I can't, I can't really, you know, speak to anything more than just, I wish I'd have asked more.

[00:46:59] Zack Arnold: Well, we don't have time machines. We can't go back and redo it, rewrite it, but going forwards.

What have you taken away from this that you think is the, the most important part of it that you can apply to either future job interviews or going into jobs that you already have? Like what do you take away from this that's going to, uh, help change you, give you more awareness and make you better the next time?


[00:47:19] Chris Salter: one of the things about this job that I said at the beginning of this, you know, uh, of us talking was this. Was sort of unusual that I jumped in at the end of the process. Normally, I'm either at the beginning or it's just all me, that situation, so I would've asked more questions coming in about how they brought the media in, why they did it the way that they did it, and how they saw the online process going.

Rather than just picking it up and doing what I normally do. I should have better understood their methodology because that would've determined what my methodology. Should be, rather than what I just, this is just what I do. This is, you know how it goes. So less of a robot and more, well, I guess robots can ask questions these days, but yeah, less of a robot and more of a person, you know, ask, ask what's going on so you can determine what that final outcome would be.

[00:48:12] Zack Arnold: Yeah, I like that. I'm, I'm always a big fan of making sure that I can ask the right questions, even if it means I disqualify myself. I would rather set myself up for success than set myself up for failure. Mm-hmm. So for me, a big part of the interview process is making sure that I know what I'm getting into.

Mm-hmm. Well,

[00:48:29] Chris Salter: and I mean, when we started, a lot of the things that we did, I mean, there was a lot of workflow talk when I got there as far as like how to bring stuff back online and you know, how we're gonna get it to the, the color correction facility, all of these things. And I felt like I was very integral in that and just kind of the, the, you know, hashing out, like, how is this gonna work?

But one of the things that I didn't go back to was, how did you initially get this stuff on? Like, you know, how did, how did you get the offline materials where it is now? Like I need to understand that. And I wouldn't have asked that question had I been in like a premier da Vinci situation, but it was because it was avid and it was different.

And I now going into an avid situation, I will absolutely wanna understand how did you get to the point that you're at now? You know, tell me the exact start, like how you ingested all of your things. And I know that that's very nitty gritty as far as like the technical side of it, but. Understanding those details about something that's slightly different than what you're used to can make a big impact on what happens in the final

[00:49:34] Zack Arnold: outcome?

Yeah, well, once you get to the level that you're playing, it's all about nuance. Yep. Right. It's, it's not just that I'm, I'm capable, I'm professional, I have all the, the basic standard qualifications and hard skills. It's all about nuance. It's no different than the difference between a minor league baseball team and a major league baseball team.

Mm-hmm. Right. The minor, the best player in the minor leagues is better than 99.9% of people that ever swing a bat. That 0.1% is the reason they're in the minors and not the majors for understanding how the ball comes and the wind direction and where do I need to place my front toe versus my ankle.

Like all these little tiny nuances that you talk to people at the top of their game, they focus on that 1%. Mm-hmm. So it's not like Michael Jordan wasn't twice as good as everybody. He was just that 1% better than all the rest that were the best in the world. Mm-hmm. And I feel like at a certain point people get so wrapped up in their standard qualifications, or I've been doing this for 30 years, like.

That means nothing. Right. It's your ability to understand the, the nuance. And even if you've done something for 30 years, have you done it exceedingly well and have you focused on continually improving? Because just cuz I've had a driver's license since I was 16 doesn't mean that I

[00:50:41] Chris Salter: am also a NASCAR

[00:50:42] Zack Arnold: driver.

A nascar Right. I'm not doing nascar cuz I've been driving a car for 25 years. Mm-hmm. I have some basic level of competency higher than when I was. 16 and better reflexes and can think faster in, you know, tenuous situations. I'm not driving NASCAR cuz I don't focus on continually improving my ability to be a better driver.

So that's why I just think that the, the years of experience or these skills, whatever hard, soft skills like that doesn't have as much value as really the nuance of really being in the trenches.

[00:51:09] Chris Salter: I, I appreciate that baseball analogy. That one, um, that one landed.

[00:51:13] Zack Arnold: Okay. Well I'm very, very glad to hear that.

So then, um, going forwards, If you were to take something from this knowing that the chances are fairly decent, a situation like this could potentially happen again, we're never gonna prevent it. It's not like, well, that happened. I'm never gonna get myself in one of those situations again, from an emotional standpoint.

How do you better equip yourself to handle this going forwards

[00:51:35] Chris Salter: emotionally? Man, that's, that's a, that's a hard one. I would say emotionally, it kind of goes back to what my wife said, like it, this moment, this thing that happened doesn't define who I am as a person. Like, I, I am not a, a failure and I, I should not view myself like that.

It sucks, and you should, you should embrace the suck and understand, and again, build from it and really just, Again, tell yourself, I don't wanna feel that anymore, but because I, you know, failed here, that doesn't make me a bad dad. That doesn't make me a bad husband. That doesn't make me a bad friend.

Things just didn't go my way. And I think the, the more you can detach yourself from your job being what defines you. I think that's what helps you the most. I mean, when I talk to people, that's probably the first thing I say is that I'm a video editor. So yes, it, it defines me to a point because it tells you what I do, but it shouldn't be what dictates, you know, my life and how I feel about my day-to-day.

I could not

[00:52:40] Zack Arnold: have given better advice than that. I have been pounding this drum for years because I too made the same mistake. I assigned my entire identity to my work and what I did because frankly, that's the way that we are conditioned for the sake of running the capitalistic system. Not gonna get too deep into the nuances of that.

That's another soapbox for another episode. Um, but it literally first sentence of my, uh, website demo reel, cover letter for years editing is not just what I do, it's who I am. No, it's not.

[00:53:08] Chris Salter: Stop

[00:53:08] Zack Arnold: it. Right. I had to learn my lesson the hard way, and I'm trying to help people avoid that same trap. I love what I do.

I so believe in what I do. But I can't let it define me because there are going to be failures and there are going to be setbacks. Mm-hmm. And emotionally, that can be so, so disheartening when you attach those two things and you can't, uh, you can't, um, unlink them. So I think that's separate

[00:53:30] Chris Salter: it. Yeah.

[00:53:31] Zack Arnold: Keep, so I think it's really good that you've been able to do that.

And yeah, it still sucks. You know, you screwed up, you're gonna learn from it and you're gonna move forwards, but it, it doesn't have to weigh you down or completely debilitate your ability

[00:53:40] Chris Salter: to move forwards. Yeah. I mean, give yourself some time. I needed a moment to feel. Sorry for myself. Like I, I needed that because at some point that feels good because you're just like, well, you know, this sucks and you know, you can sit there for a day or two.

And I fortunately got, I, I had that luxury. I. But then I moved on, like, you, you gotta pick up and keep going because at that point, if you, if you are unable to do that, that's when I think bigger problems arise that you have to get help with. And, um, luckily I had a good just foundation around me. I mean, just with my wife and family and everything else like that, that helped me bounce back because that, that really reinforces the detached.

You know, persona from my job, because, I mean, the thing that I told my kids was, yeah, you know, um, you know, I went and did my work and they sent me home early because they wanted me to see you. And that's, that's exactly what they believe. That's what they need to believe. And that's what's important because at that point, I got to see my kids three days earlier than I was going to, you know, and it's a little thing.

And if you don't have kids, you don't understand and that's okay. But to them that meant a lot. You know, and being able to step back and to even see that from their perspective is, uh, it helps to just look at it from how somebody else sees what you've just done. And maybe, maybe, uh, maybe you failed, but you know, there's another person from the sidelines that watched what you attempted to do and they're inspired by that.

And that's, That's a big thing that you can always look

[00:55:14] Zack Arnold: back on. Yeah, I, I can relate to all that on so, so many levels. And just to bring it back to the example I had shared before about the rope, the hardest part about falling was watching my daughter on the big screen, crying when I fell. That was the hardest part.

That's still the hardest part for me. But you're right, there are other people that watch me fall that are inspired by the fact that I tried. Yep. Right? And that, that's what you have to keep going with. Um, so the fact that you came here today to share this and be very open and vulnerable, uh, and not just, here's my success story of how I became so awesome in trailers and promos and docks, but here's me massively failing.

I'm gonna do it. Publicly, uh, it takes a lot to, to put yourself out there and do that, and I really appreciate you taking the time to, uh, to share this with everybody else today in hopes that it can inspire them to also weather the storm if they're in the middle of it as well. Uh, before we wrap up today, is there anything else?

That I have not asked or we haven't discussed, do you think it's really important to share about this experience for others that are

[00:56:11] Chris Salter: listening and watching? Man, we covered a lot of ground here. I, uh, you've kind of put some things in perspective that I haven't thought about, like I'm, I'm serious about the baseball analogy, like that, that was a pretty key thing that you said there, and I feel better about what happened.

Because of that. But no, I feel like we've covered a lot of ground and, um, I hope that people out there will be able to use this to help themselves get through a situation if they need it. Uh, and I

[00:56:38] Zack Arnold: do as well. So, uh, you've been, uh, a very valuable member of the community in the past, and I'm glad that, uh, you being in the community brought you here out of our conversation today.

I look forward to seeing you back. When the time comes. But in the meantime, for anybody that's listened to this, that's been inspired by it, that either wants to just connect with you, say hello, or hell even hire you. Mm-hmm. What's the best way to connect with

[00:56:58] Chris Salter: you? Uh, easiest thing to do is go to the website.

It's just chris

[00:57:02] Zack Arnold: Awesome. Well, Chris, cannot thank you enough. This has been, uh, absolutely fantastic. Really excited to to share this with everybody and have it be a valuable evergreen resourcer for years to come. So thanks so much. You got it, man. Thank

[00:57:14] Chris Salter: you, Zach.

Guest Bio:

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Chris Salters

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Chris Salters is a freelance editor, working on brand films, commercials, and documentaries. He’s based in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, father of 2, likes woodworking, triathlons, and copious amounts of coffee.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared by Debby Germino and published by Glen McNiel.

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).

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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).”