Start doing things now. Don’t wait for a lot of money to start, just take whatever you have and take the first step today.
Robyn-Sierra Whitmore is an actress, writer, director, and producer of the film “The Cotillion.” Robyn-Sierra also portrays the character, attorney Shayanna Gaines in the film.
She founded Robyn Whitmore Studios in May 2016 after hosting seminars about the entertainment industry. Robyn-Sierra had worked on large budget films such as, ‘The Fighting Temptations’, ‘Drumline’, and ‘Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail’ while an undergraduate student at Georgia State University. During her junior year, a screenwriting professor suggested that she take some business courses and learn the business side of the entertainment industry, and maybe even consider completing an MBA and learn how to direct and produce. Robyn-Sierra took this advice and completed both bachelor’s of arts degree and an MBA, while studying the directing styles of Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Arthur Penn, Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, and Steven Spielberg.
She resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I got the idea to name the overall company after myself from Oprah Winfrey and Lucille Ball. I name all my subsidiary companies after my favorite Bible verses, such as Romans Eight Twenty Eight and Ephesians Three Twenty.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day is unique in that my characters wake me up when they are ready to have dialogue around 3 a.m. I write everything until they are finished at 7 a.m. I go back to sleep around 8 a.m. I write down about five project ideas I would like to produce. I head to the production office around 11 a.m. to get ready for table reads. The actors arrive and go over scripts and blocking before filming. I allow actors to film however long they need. After the actors leave, I head to editing department and review the dailies before heading home.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I get ideas from my own life experiences and specific situations in the lives of people with whom I have come into contact. It’s easy to place yourself in the environment creatively.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I always enjoy reenactments of African-American history.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
First, I pray for guidance and direction. Second, I’m constantly researching and studying people who are currently where I am striving to be.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to not be in such a rush all the time. I would enjoy the fruits of my labor and vacation more in between projects.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Study constantly the individuals who have come before you and who have done things both correct and incorrect to learn from others past mistakes.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I constantly challenge myself to learn every aspect of the business, especially anything that intimidates me.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I have learned a strategy called D & T. I declare that I already have what I want and start acting and speaking like its already happened, and then I trust whatever comes in my future.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I put a movie in theaters way too soon because I felt I had something to prove to outside influencers. The movie bombed at the box office and I learned going forward to never allow others to get you to make moves guided by emotions.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would encourage unisex salons to be joined to cinema franchises instead of having people just waiting in the lobby.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I get journals, pens, and aromatherapy scents like tea tree, lavender, and sandalwood and check into my favorite hotel suite and just create. Probably be a little more than $100, but that’s what I do often.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I love using ‘Final Draft’ for screenplay writing.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
‘We Got Fired!–and it’s the best thing that ever happened to us’ by Harvey Mackay. This book shows people that sometimes if we become too comfortable in our situations, life will push you into your greater purpose.
What is your favorite quote?
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.”–Michael Jordan, NBA legendary athlete
- Always start your day with a Higher Power that you believe in.
- Start doing things now. Don’t wait for a lot of money to start, just take whatever you have and take the first step today.
- Never give up on yourself because success is not overnight.
- Don’t get discouraged when obstacles come. Obstacles come to teach you and help you grow.
- Always give back to the community and sow seeds of positivity into another individual who may be dreaming being where you are currently.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.