“Your name is in rooms your feet haven’t even entered yet.” That’s a well-known quote circulating the internet, especially in communities of high achievers. It’s impossible to pinpoint who said it first. The inspirational quote is in hundreds of Instagram captions, Twitter threads and TikTok videos.
We may never find the originator, but Scott Evans is the perfect embodiment of that quote. He’s an Emmy-nominated entertainment journalist who has appeared on shows like Access Hollywood, World of Dance, OWN Tonight and America’s Big Deal. Some of his auditions were by invite, which means the right people knew Evans long before he met them.
In this episode of Brilliant Thoughts, Evans tells SUCCESS People Editor Tristan Ahumada how anyone can land rare opportunities. Although he works in entertainment, entrepreneurs looking to level up can learn something from Evans’ inspiring journey.
Be relentlessly positive.
The stress of entrepreneurship can make even the most level-headed person want to scream, and that’s OK. Starting a business is hard. You have every right to feel those uncomfortable emotions when things aren’t working out. But if you can help it, don’t stay trapped in those feelings for too long. Negative emotions like fear and doubt sour your outlook on life.
Evans chooses positivity every time. He believes that being positive or negative is a decision like any other, and people have the power to choose.
“I’m going to be the guy who is encouraging—who, regardless of what the situation or the circumstances might be, decides that it’s going to be a good day anyway,” he says.
One way to stay positive is to find an affirmation you love and commit it to memory. Evans likes to chant the Hawaiian prayer for forgiveness and reconciliation, Ho’oponopono. Aloud, he says, “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.” It’s a cleansing ritual that halts negative thoughts, especially when he’s about to entertain millions of people on live TV. Instead of thinking, I don’t belong here, or, No one is going to watch this show, Evans finds his confidence again.
Even if you never speak to millions of people, you do need confidence as an entrepreneur. It helps investors, employees and customers recognize the level of talent and value your business provides.
Be authentically you.
At auditions, Evans used to mimic other TV personalities. He would shift his voice up or down in ways that both felt and sounded odd. It wasn’t working at all, and he quickly realized he couldn’t “sell” his talent by becoming someone else.
“I thought it was what you do,” he says. “You give them what they always pick, and so you just give them your version of Ryan Seacrest.”
Now he knows the truth: No one will recognize your talent or vision if they’re never allowed to see it. It’s something you have to promote shamelessly.
Whether Evans is in a boardroom, at a social gathering or hosting on live TV, he is authentically himself. That’s half the battle when it comes to selling yourself. The other hurdle is projecting the right energy so people are captivated by what you have to say.
Here are some tips from Evans to project your best self:
- Be present in the moment. Put your phone away and give people your full attention.
- Think confidently about your abilities, and that will show in your body language.
- Be yourself and no one else when you enter a room.
- Tilt the room. Make your presence known so everyone’s attention shifts toward you. Say hello and introduce yourself to strangers.
Be a hard worker.
There are few shortcuts to the top of anything—countryside hills, outer space and yes, even the pinnacle of your career. It’s a massive cliche, but you really do have to work hard before you can play hard.
Effort is relative, so it’s best to identify the type of work required for your industry. Evans knew he would have to work early, stay late and never complain to make it in entertainment, so that’s what he did.
But there’s another side of hard work we often overlook. It means almost nothing if you’re a hard worker who, for whatever reason, no one wants to work with. So once you’ve mastered the grind, spend some time learning the art of collaboration.
“What I would come to learn is that it meant being the one no one had to worry about,” Evans says. “You show up, you’re on time, people know where you are, you’ve done your research, and you are prepared. Because you are prepared and practiced and no one has to worry about you, you can also ask for what you need.”
If you’re frustrated because no one recognizes your talent, audit a few areas of your life. You may find you still have work to do before people can see how amazing you are.