This insight comes from famed TV producer Stephen Bochco (Doogie Howser, NYPD Blue) by way of Neil Patrick Harris, who told the story on Kevin Pollak’s chat show.
Harris became a TV star at a very young age, thanks to Bochco, but after his run as Doogie Howser ended, he went through a long dry spell. (Remember “Stark Raving Mad“? Neither can anyone else.). At loose ends, he talked with his old mentor, who had this advice, which is as applicable to the startup life as it is to Hollywood:
“Success is like riding a wave. It carries you along, and you feel unstoppable. But eventually it’s over, and you end up crashing on the beach. At that point, you have to decide whether or not to swim out through the pounding surf to try to catch another wave.”
Do you still have the will to swim out for that next wave?