Why entrepreneurs are like the Olive Garden.

Broadway SaladWhen I say Olive Garden what do you think of . . .

For me?  It’s unlimited salad and breadsticks.  That salad just keeps coming and coming.  There ain’t no bottom of that bowl.  The salad and the ‘sticks just keep springing up like water from a well.

If you’re an entrepreneur, then I have got a feeling that you’ve got no shortage of ideas.  You’ve got ideas for shows, t-shirts for those shows, posters for those shows, other shows, products that will help you write other shows more easily, maybe even ideas that have nothing to do with shows . . . but one thing is for sure, you’ve got a bottomless bowl of ideas.

You’re like the Olive Garden.  Am I right?

Unfortunately, the ol’ clock on the wall ain’t unlimited.

There’s only a finite period of time to execute all those ideas.  And the curse of the entrepreneur (especially the ADD-infused entrepreneur, which is most of us) is that we want to execute ’em all.  Plays, screenplays, video games, reality shows (Oh wait!  There’s another one!) . . . we want it all to happen and all to happen now.

But it can’t.

I’ve come up with a rule for myself to make sure that I give the appropriate amount of time and energy to an idea I came up with yesterday, so it doesn’t get neglected because of an idea I came up with today.

It’s simple.

No new ideas until the old ideas have been executed.

Or to put it in the language of my mom . . . “Finish everything on your plate first before you ask for seconds.”

I know too many entrepreneurs that spend too much time chasing new ideas and never finishing their old ones.  Don’t be one of those.

The only way you’ll be a success is if ideas get to market.  Because ideas on a shelf aren’t worth the shelf they are sitting on.


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  • LA Producer says:

    Posted on my fridge: “There is nothing so fatal to character as half-finished tasks.” –David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister

  • David Merrick Jr says:

    I don’t like the metaphor, mostly because I CAN’T STAND the Olive Garden!!

  • George says:


    Keep your Eye on the Prize!!!

    Sorting thru the options for staging “Oliver” (with 150 kids) a “Fagin” might think (as has been suggested to me by people who do not have my “wealth management” background… “Great! We can charge the parents $$$ and sell professional picture of their kids, on the ($9K) set – and enforce the ban on taking picture during the performance…


    Why are we doing this???

    To GROW our audience – from scratch – and give parents and kids a GREAT experience… so they are ready to come back for more… and more!

    Gouging them for nickles and dimes (after they have already paid their premium ticket price of $80 which the top price point in this market) is, well, simply insulting, crass… what’s the Yiddish word “schnur?”

    NO – not only have I set aside two hours – post performance – so that parents can take ALL the pictures they like – I will have profession photogs there – who will assist with lighting and suggestions GRATIS!

    What’s more – no “orphans” in rags and barefoot… Parents don’t want that on their desks or mantle place… “Steam Punk” great costumes – the Orphanage is a “Military School” so – at the very least – the “orphans” will be in handsome uniforms (still hungry, though!) and the Street Urchins will be Steam Punk Vendors… and Fagin’s Gang will be Steam Punk with gadgets… of the kids own design… and paid for by the $10 per ticket they sell…
    so they have a – vested interest – in creating their own “bling” and individualizing their role as a 1800s Street Gang member in a mythical London of their imagination…

    When I was “young” (and though that money grew on trees… or was simply printed by the govt… or should be taken from “rich” people – I would have balked at the question of Artistis Integrity… what about Dicken’s intent to expose the poverty of London back at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution???

    Poppycock – we are doing a Musical version – for kids and parents – to give ’em a taste of what it’s like to be in a full blown Theatrical Experience – so they will want to do more… or, at the very least, go see more and having an intimiate and immediate knowledge of what it is like to do a Play!

    And – this is MY audience – groomed from MY Idea (and frontended by my customized Ticketing that will gather the email addresses so I can keep contact with the people who partook in the 1st Medallion Theatrical Production… aand will (most likely) want to be involved with the next… and the next… and the next!

    I am NOT going to be a schnur and charge them for they – most undoubteld – have already paid for… nor are they going to be paying “ticket processing” charges… or “parking fees” at the local garage – $80 is IT!

    No gouging… no nickle & diming… no grasping, as Fagin would have done and thought himself… an “entrepreneur”


  • George says:

    And I loved the whole Idea behind “Saving Mister Banks” Thank You Mister Disney for starting a Dynasty that is built on… Happiness!

  • Zanne Hall says:

    Amen … and that goes for writers as well. Finished your project (at least the first draft) before you begin anew!

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