My two least favorite words in the English language.

Did you guess ’em?

I’ll give you a hint.  My two least favorite words are not, “Didn’t Recoup.” (Which is technically three words anyway.)

And surprisingly, they are not Jeremy Piven. (Still bitter and proud of it, after all these years.)

My two least favorite words in the English language are . . . Unrealized Potential.

What is Unrealized Potential?  Oh, it’s a lot of things.

It’s the stack of already-paid-for flyers for a show that are sitting on a shelf because nobody has handed them out yet.  It’s a script sitting on a writer’s shelf fending off dust mites, instead of getting produced, somewhere, anywhere.  It’s an empty theater that could be filled with a show if a landlord would just bend the rent a bit.  It’s the actor who blew off the audition because it was easier (and less risky) to sleep late or go to the park.

It’s all over the place.  And it’s super sad.  Because with just a spark, that Unrealized Potential could ignite into something spectacular.

Great Producers, Artists and Entrepreneurs have fantastic UP radar.  They recognize it in their own work, or in other people’s, and then strike a match, and light the fuse.

That’s your job.  To find Unrealized Potential in other people or in yourself, and slap the “un” right out of it and turn it into Realized Potential.

Have I told you what my two favorite words are in the English language?


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  • Sue Cohen says:

    Ouch! Thanks for the slap!

  • Kurt Daw says:

    Given the grammatical parameters of your least favorite words, I am guessing your favorites are “recouped bigtime.”

  • Grace says:

    Ken, I got to work with you a few summers ago at NextStopBroadway in Dallas. I sang “Boy Next Door” for you… I’ve been thinking a lot about this kind of idea of Unrealized Potential. In your opinion, how much of someone’s success is based upon their belief and trust in their own potential and their stubborn persistence to keep going? And Often, others don’t seem to see that potential as much as you do.

  • Debbie Saville says:

    Seeing potential and taking it into reality, a three year journey, a belief, mixed emotions even up to dress rehearsal, a learning curve for all involved and the result? Sold-out performances, standing ovations every night, Approached by musicians/bands wanting shows written around their original music, I experienced all of this over this past weekend. I can now tell you from experience… “If you believe, you can achieve.” And I will also add “The road isn’t easy, but it is definitely worth it”

  • George Rady says:

    100% agreement there! 1.) “Recoup’d” means only ONE thing to me… I failed. I failed to do the proper research, preparation, marketing – CUT COSTS – and I failed to back – at the very LEAST – the money that I am my investors put into… a project (let’s not talk about just “shows”) Unfortunately – there are so many out there that simply think IF I can just “stage it – they will come” and don’t really think hard (even care) about how their product will bring back – at least – the money that good people decided to risk on one’s venture… which is eventually why the money to produce dried up!

    2.) I call the 2nd one “leaving money on the table” and by that I mean the biggest “unrealized potential” is that IF you have something that is working… peopel are coming in… WOM is getting around… there is a buzz… and you don’t have your Plan B (if not C/D and F) to extend the run and sueeze every last cent out of a winner… well… you won’t last long either…

    It’s like Poker (the greatest game an investor can play) you keep the hands modest… you stay in the game… and you don’t bluff (until you can afford to!) but when You get that “hand” the Straight, the Flush, the Four-of-a Kind… you ride that baby as far as the table will take you!!!

    (Then you can start bluffing!)


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