One night in December 2011, I met a man who changed the course of my life.
His name is Scott Einziger. Yes, this is the same guy I set my friend Olga up with a while back.
Scott and I met at a party, and I told him how I was trying to leave the New York Post if he knew of any opportunities since it was clear he was pretty connected and he seemed to want to help. We fell into a pattern of texting nonstop, and when at one point he asked me why I didn't just up and leave my job, I told him I couldn't afford to financially.
He said he understood, and he promised to help me think of some ways out.
Scott is a high-end investor in multiple endeavors, and while he isn't, say, Steven Spielberg wealthy, he is quite successful by Hollywood standards. Still, I expected nothing. At this point in my career, I was pretty jaded when it came to guys like this. Most recently, I had just co-written a book for -- and gave more than 100 pages of spec writing to -- one international multi-millionaire who promised the moon and stars but never bought me so much as a cup of coffee.
It was all words, words, words.
But I enjoyed Scott, so while I figured all his talk was pretty much just that, I kept texting with him about a few different ideas I had for branching out so I didn't feel chained to my job. At one point, Scott texted and said, you clearly have great ideas, and I could hire you as a consultant.
I appreciated the words. They were nice words.
I do appreciate words. And gestures. And notions. So I smiled at the text and moved on.
Then my email pinged.
"You have been sent $1,500 from Scott Einziger via PayPal."
I dropped to the floor. Literally. I fell off my chair at the New York Post, and my eyes welled up with tears.
Suddenly, I knew what it was to be dealing with a man of action.
"I don't even know what to say," I texted him.
"You don't need to say anything," he texted. "You're my consultant, and this is a retainer. You deserve it."
Over the course of the next few weeks, I gave him information he could use in his projects, and we eventually decided I would move to Los Angeles with his financial assistance to do consulting full-time. During our time working together, Scott changed my view of what I expected and felt I deserved from men in higher positions than me.
Up until this point, here's the kind of behavior I would tolerate.
- Promises made but never followed up on.
- Emails or phone calls just ignored or overlooked.
- Having to swallow lies that I knew were lies because confrontation was not an option.
- Being told specific actions that would be taken -- repeatedly, but no action was ever taken.
- And repeat.
Words, words, words.
Whether in business or in personal relationships, notions are not gifts.
Stringing along and indulgence only translates to cruelty, selfishness and wasted time.
Scott taught me that I only deserve action -- not bullshit.
He taught me this. The next time you're engaging with a high-powered man -- in a business or a personal relationship, or perhaps even both -- who SOUNDS too good to be true, stop listening to the words.
Look at the actions that are actually occurring.
If someone wants to help, they actually help. They make a phone call. They make an introduction. They put themselves on the line. They make an investment. They follow up.
Talk and talk and more flowery bombastic talk without action is, quite brutally, a very loud action in itself.
It is one that says: I do not respect you. Here. I've got some more words for you.
Scott changed the course of my whole life starting with that first investment in me as a consultant.
He showed me to always believe in my own worth.
Because at the end of the day, it is only my actions toward MYSELF that are teaching others how to treat me.
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