Turning Mountains Into Molehills

Hey there!

Getting anything started is a series of little wins, not the whole project done at once.

That big looming thing you have to do is really a set of dozens or hundreds of little, manageable things.

Once you start to look at it like that, you’ll ease the pressure and fear of getting started.

Here’s how to organize that process.

(Click/tap ↑↑↑↑↑↑ that red YouTube button to subscribe to my channel. You’ll get notified when I release new videos.)

Hope this helps!


All Episodes

One Step At A Time

Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me

Five Ways To Have A Crappy Coffee Date With Me

Taking Advantage Of The Wisdom Of The Tribe

How To Be A World Class Complainer

The False Nobility Of The Struggle

Watch Out – The Rules Are Going To Change

“Show Me The Secret, Daddy!”

Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating

The Perils of Live Performance And Why Jeremy Kappell Should Not Have Been Fired

Let’s Welcome To The Stage…Failure!

Don’t Confuse Price With Value

Whiteboards In The Hallways

Go Wake Up Your Luck

Playing and Planning

The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon

10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.

The Curse of Knowledge

The Trick Charlie Munger Uses To Make Better Decisions

Everyone’s A Customer, Not Just Your Customers

“What do you mean, you’re a ‘process guy’?”

Pay Attention To Your Storytelling, Not Removing Your Breaths

How To Conquer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

The Problem In Every Commercial Script

The Job In Every Commercial Script

The Secret In Every Commercial Script

How To Pick Your Stage Name

Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.

Helping Make Resolutions Stick

ACX Jobs: They’re ALL SAG-AFTRA-Friendly

Non-Union? You Can Still Open An AFTRA H&R Account. What?

Who Says You Need To “Feel Like It?”

Are You Engaged?

Your Day Job Might Just Be Worth Keeping For A Bit Longer

Want To Learn Something Really Well? Teach It To Others

Don’t Confuse What Works With What You Like

The Lost Keys And The Microphone In My Elevator

My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips

What Open Loops Are And Why They Work So Well

Two More Things For Which You Can Use Open Loops

Three Things Not To Say Or Do…When Trying To Learn Something New

Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management

How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 1)

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 2)

A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself

Ready, Shoot…Aim

How You Can Use The MVP Model As A Performer

How Lazy Can You Be?

Avoid The Struggle Porn

The Robocall Equivalent Of Unsubscribe

Saying Goodbye To A “Failure”

Making Your Links Irresistible

HTTPS Is Not Just For Banks – It’s For You

The Threat That Made Me Create a New Page For LAME

The Resource You Must Guard Most Carefully

How New Media Is Using The Oldest Ad Model Ever

“You Could Be Hit By A Bus!”

Killing Customers With Kindness

I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About

How I Answered’s Inquiry

Turning Mountains Into Molehills

Motivation: Your Three Big Needs In A Cool Little Package

Go Ahead. Multitask. But Try It Like This.

The Prodigy Game Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment

I Don’t Want To Go Blind

What Fair Markets Are, And Why Isn’t One

Trevor’s Three A’s From Apple On Killing Customers With Kindness

Getting Ready vs. Getting Started

You’ll Never Believe Who Got Rejected By Harvard

There Is No Failure, Only Feedback

Who Is Your Most Dangerous Adversary?

73 Videos In, My First Hater Appears

If You’re The Smartest Person In The Room, Do This ASAP

Your Glasses And Crucial Laptop Positioning Info

One More Insanely Over-engineered Piece Of Gear: My UPS

The Crazy Backward Way IKEA Prices Their Stuff Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy

The Gig Economy: RIP?

For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.

Celebrate Your Isolation!

Mr. Wonderful Is Actually More Wonderful Than I Thought

Let’s Finally Close The Digital Literacy Gender Gap

The Guaranteed Way To Completely Avoid Criticism

The Two Things People Judge About You Within Seconds

Prioritizing…Nashville Style

Are You Committed? Or Just…Interested?

Audible Retail Samples: Why They Suck And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter

How To Voice Copy That’s Set In Italics

Dyslexia, And The Palindromic Poem. The Wha?

Increase Your Chances Of Being Seen And Heard On Facebook

Jamie Has Some Thoughts About Fiverr

Is Simply Discouraging Distracted Driving Enough?

“Young People Are Just Smarter.”

The Real Purpose Of The “Can You Hear Me?” Phone Scam

Beware Of Overkill

Laying Down The Perfect Slate

An AMA Preview: The Word “Ethnic” – A Slur, Or An Essential Adjective?

10 Rules of Profitable Self Discipline from Napoleon Hill

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 1)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 2)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 3)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 4)

AMA Answers Part 5 Plus A Medical Warning

Last AMA Answers (#6): Gear, Services and Success

A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”

Do You Have A Plan? And Is It The Right One?

What’s Your Next Big Move? Are You Ready?

Build Your Future On Your Own Platform, Not Someone Else’s

I’m Leaving Facebook: Why Groups and FB Live No Longer Spark Joy

Time To Accept That I’ve Failed At Something – Happily

Crowdfunding Without The Internet: Pulitzer And The Statue Of Liberty

The Amazing Power Of Recognition And Badging

Might We Have A Possible Cause For Alzheimer’s?

Why Podcasting And Radio Are Out Of Whack

Value Enthusiasm, But Value Persistence More

Ten Ways To Make Money With Podcasts Besides Ads

One Quick Question To Find Out How Important Something Actually Is

The Workflow For Producing These Videos (So Far) Part 1

Why Not Wade? And…Why Not You?

Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend

Why Gen Z And Millennials’ Love For Audiobooks Is Crucial

American Idol: It’s All About Story, Not Just Singing

Less Beating Yourself Up, More Talking Yourself Up

Resist Oversharing. Instead, Start A Dialogue.

Vocal Care: It’s All About What Works For You

3 Biases You Should Be Aware Of

3 More Biases You Should Also Be Aware Of

Wow. People Really Grokked Biases. Let’s Tackle Fallacies.

Three More Fallacies You Need To Watch For

What’s Your Imprint?

Fallacy Follies, Volume 3

Two Last Big Creativity-Crippling Fallacies

Fail Sooner To Succeed Sooner

A New Lead Source For Performers: Voice Assistants And Smart Speakers

A Great Way To Handle Trolls and Haters

Quantity Does Not Usually Equal Quality

Is Facebook Truly A Monopoly? No More Than Microsoft Was.

Fear Of The Unknown, Or The Day Before My Surgery

A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t

Want To Grow? Don’t Go It Alone.

How Am I Doing? I’m Gobsmacked. That’s How Am I Doing.

Why I Give My Agents 10% Of Everything

Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly

Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube

What’s Better Than Willpower? Grit.

Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper

Of COURSE You Wonder What Porter’s Five Forces Are. Who Doesn’t?

Don’t Waste Your Time: Talk Shows Aren’t Meant To Be Fair

Sooner Or Later, I’m Really Going To Tick You Off

Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should

Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!

Enjoy Your First Booking. Pay Close Attention To The Next Three.

Pattern Interruption And The Musicality Of Voice Over

Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?

Increase Your VO Accuracy, And You’ll Increase Your VO Profits

Age Range Isn’t Really A Valid Metric For VO

What Is The Overton Window?

How To Stop Jealousy From Killing Your Progress

Even The Bible (And Game Of Thrones) Has One-Star Reviews

How Much Is Enough To Make Per Hour?

With Royalty Share Plus, ACX Makes Hybrid Stipends Official

Wait, Vices Can Be Good For Your Health?

What A Lovely Thing To Discover: Praise From CourVO

I Figured Out What I Provide: The Onboarding Performers Don’t Get

You Don’t Need Permission To Care Or Contribute

It’s Not Just You. It’s The Superstars, Too.

Do You Sometimes Think Irrationally? Maybe. Here’s How To Stop It.

The Struggle Of Announcer-y Versus Non-Announcer-y Voice Over

How My VAs Support Me And My Team

What Exactly Is “The Cloud?”

The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach

Please Unsubscribe From This List. But Don’t Do This One Destructive, Lazy Thing.

Don’t Mistake The Joy Of Knowing For The Joy Of Doing

Why Giving Yourself Some Simple Homework Can Be Life-Changing

One Weird Trick I Do That Makes My Note-Taking Superhuman

The Worst Thing About The Biggest Money-Making Entertainment Category

What Can We Grab From A Schedule This Strict?

Get Better At Executing Today’s Plan By Starting Last Night

How To Create Useful, Organized Audition File Names

Where To Find Related PDFs For Audiobooks on Audible

I’m Halfway Finished. What Have You Valued Most? What Can I Do Better?

Our Digital Attention Span Is Incredibly Brief

“Serves You Right!” She Actually Has No Idea How Right.

Create A Safe Environment For Self-Improvement

Why I Use One Single Channel For Crucial Communication

The Even Cheaper AT-2020 USB Plus Microphone?

Fred Willard (and Billy West) On Quickly Creating Authentic VO Characters

Leo Makes Your Searching Spectacular

On Asking For Things Performers Can’t Do

How To Battle The Urge of “Efficiency”

One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain

Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz

10 Words Of Encouragement When You’re Stuck

Seek/Give Mentorship That’s Appropriate To The Journey

Two Cases Where You Might Not Want To Simply “Follow Your Passion”

Having Fun With Headphone Volume

Please Stop Rushing To Perform

Something To Consider: Everyone’s Internal Menu

One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom

For The Sheer Joy Of It

The Most Commonly Consumed Media Is…!

What’s Dangerous For Us To Care About

Please, Clever Copywriters…Stop Using This Term

Wait, Wait…What? They Actually Listened?!

Why You Should Take The Same Classes Twice

How Your Character’s Menu Informs Your Performance Choices

What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success

Someone Awesome Who’s Also Rising To A 365-Day Challenge

Union Or Not, Start With Union Rates

O. M. G. Look What Matt Zurbo Did!

So Where Will That Huge Facebook Fine End Up?

The Root Words of “Typecast”

Avoid That One Obvious “That Worked” Sound We Make

Why Union Members Can Audition For Non-Union Work

200 Auditions. 1 Booking. A Ghost. Really?

I Can’t Do One Thing I’m Asked To Do Every Single Day

One Of Your Secret Weapons: Agility

Do Networking Events Make You Anxious? Let’s Fix That.

Project X Is Just About Ready. I’m A Bit Giddy.

The Difference Between Mansplaining and Advice?

Too Late, Melissa. You Already Are.

Help Me Solve A Lovely Mystery!

Speeding Up The Playback On The Audible App

Why Those Other Casting Sites Usually Aren’t Worth It

Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and you’ve heard the phrase a million
times don’t turn a molehill into a
mountain she’s making mountains out of
molehills he’s making mountains out of
molehills you know the phrase means
building something bigger or giving
something more importance than it
actually deserves and what I’d like to
do is the opposite today and I’d like to
show you how to turn mountains into mole
hills for success so you get anything
started you look at this
huge mountain of work that you need to
do right and it seems insurmountable but
you really want to do it so you like get
a running start and you think I got so
much to do well what if there was an
easier way of avoiding all that stress
and getting started on what you were
the way to do that is to reduce that
great big pile of stuff that you need to
do into what it already is which is
discrete small individual things to do
there are people that call them micro
tasks there are people that call them
steps right so if you keep thinking in
terms of all the different things that
you need to do or the results the
outcome it’s gonna be really hard for
you to see the step-by-step process that
needs to happen just to get started and
to get things moving you also want to
build momentum right and the only way to
build momentum is to get some early wins
you know get some wins under your belt
it doesn’t have to be big wins in fact
it’s probably better if you have more
small wins than one big huge win you
know as I’ve been making these videos
I’ve learned so much about the little
steps that I need to do every time I do
one you know setting my lights setting
my my sound making sure that the image
looks good making sure that I don’t have
anything else running on my computer so
I get the best frame grabbing there’s
probably well I would say given you know
like the notes that I take that I do for
each one and then the building of the
webpage and the publishing to youtube
and the adding of anyway the point is
there’s literally dozens of things and
they’re all part of a much bigger
project which is the 365 videos for the
year but if I looked at this as one big
glob of stuff that I had to digest like
a snake swallowing a pig it would be
next to impossible but the idea that I
can break it down into individual little
tiny tasks and get them done in order is
a much more manageable thing and it
builds that muscle memory like when I
sit down to do a video I have a pretty
good idea of the path I’m taking all
way all the way up to getting if YouTube
provides it to me getting the the closed
captioning that they do and putting it
on the vo to gogo web page for raw SEO
it’s like the last step making sure that
it’s scheduled properly and all that
sort of thing and when you first start
especially if you’re doing this for a
business there’s a really big reason
that is kind of adjacent to all this to
make sure you’re doing micro tasks as
opposed to big big big things that might
require staffing or might require outlay
for equipment or software and that is
that when you’re first starting off
doing something you may be what will
Schroeder calls in startups comm
resource-constrained you know you don’t
know what it’s gonna cost you in terms
of time in terms of money in terms of
you know people to help you
relationships support so you want to
break these down into little tiny chunks
so that you’re not spending a whole ton
of money and when I say tiny chunks it
can be an hour or less a lot of the
things that I do to do these videos is a
few seconds right you know setting the
the the gain and the brightness and the
contrast on the camera every so often
you know copying the the the stuff that
YouTube gives me in terms of closed
captioning bringing it into BBEdit which
I love and getting rid of the line
numbers and so on that they’re their
files give you that’s like a very
straightforward process takes maybe 10
seconds to do it
and even if it takes up to 30 minutes or
an hour that’s still considered a micro
task it’s still considered a small
enough task that you can see the end of
it right so if this has helped you great
I’d love to know what big big big
project you’ve got looming in front of
you maybe it’s a class you’re taking
maybe it’s a project you’re working on
your demos your resume
maybe it’s your on-camera demo that’s
like that you’re on camera reels an even
bigger process than than just doing a
voiceover stuff who knows whatever it is
if you’re not a performer tell me what
project you might be working on that can
benefit from reducing it from one big
globby thing to do into a series of
small discreet micro tasks that are
steps that move you forward and help you
build momentum let me know in the
comments below I’d love to know that and
if you’d like some insight on how I’m
making these videos I don’t know if it’d
be helpful to you I’m really proud of
the little tiny things that I’ve learned
along the way and if there’s questions
you have I’d love to do an AMA later on
and ask me anything where I gather up
all the the questions that people have
asked in the comments I’d love to do
that’s a lice nice little micro task
that I could do for a future video or
five as we do these videos all year long
if you’d like to subscribe to my youtube
channel go ahead and click on my head
there if you see my head there if you
don’t look for a subscribe button
somewhere on the page then if you want
to see the latest video that I’ve done
go ahead and click on that frame there
and YouTube will play it for you I’m
David H Lawrence xvii I so appreciate
you watching these videos and I’ll talk
to you tomorrow.

13 Responses to Turning Mountains Into Molehills

  1. Robbie March 3, 2019 at 8:18 am #

    How do you eat an elephant? Answer: one bite at a time. You won’t get it eaten in one setting, but over time, with a little persistence and consistency, it will happen. Good things to remember! Thank you!

    • Charles Galco March 4, 2019 at 7:04 am #

      Thanks for the daily video visit.

  2. Linda Roper March 3, 2019 at 10:29 am #

    David, I am someone who always see’s the big picture, how much needs to be done and get overwhelmed and that feeling gets in the way of thinking clearly.
    So your video today was a real help and reminder, about taking little steps.
    Also as I looked at you full screen on my computer I was aware of what an excellent video, visually it is. I can see you have been working on improving your camera presentation. Yes I would be interested in learning how you do it. Later though. As I need to continue ,one chapter at a time on my latest audio book.. Distraction is something else I need to be aware of,
    Thank you Namaste

  3. Chris Buckner March 3, 2019 at 4:05 pm #

    I look at micro-tasks with house work for sure. I’m building a Dungeons and Dragons campaign at the moment and I’ve been using micro-tasks for some aspects. I’ll probably create bits and pieces as I go rather than come up with the entire campaign before we start. Thanks for the video David.

  4. Gretchen March 4, 2019 at 10:04 am #

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE these videos! I look forward to them everyday. I had a question: I was on an Air Canada flight last weekend and was listening to the on board music. The voice that announced “You’re listening to Sting ray music” sounded like you ….. Was/Is that your voice? I was like ” That sounds like DAVID!”

    Thanks for being amazing,

  5. Heather Leavens August March 4, 2019 at 10:37 am #

    As a teacher and mentor, I get asked by our “kids” about stress and how to get things done, and I always work with them on how to break things down into something that is totally daunting into something manageable to deal with and move onto the next thing. How is it that we get ourselves into the place where we don’t even thing about taking our own advice? It can be a bit unnerving (ah, there is the Mountain) if you spend too much time thinking about it, but it happens. And having the tools to break it down are life lessons we can pass on easily. I am very interested in how your what your “set” looks like. If I were to do it, I would have a big mic covered in a sock in front of me and the lighting would have me backlit. So, yeah, how are you set up for this?

    • David H. Lawrence XVII March 4, 2019 at 1:58 pm #

      Simple three point lighting meant for on-camera starkness. Not interested in playing a mic. Two lights in front and a set of hair lights. That’s it. The message is the important part.

  6. Kirsten March 4, 2019 at 11:26 am #

    Always a good reminder David. I’ve got several irons in the fire and sometimes it just overwhelms me. Your reminder is timely, and I thank you! Kirsten

  7. Rebecca Yavner March 4, 2019 at 1:46 pm #

    I would love more insight into how you are making these video’s. For me, task lists keep me on top of things.

    • David H. Lawrence XVII March 4, 2019 at 2:00 pm #

      What exactly would you like to know? I’ll answer you and Heather at the same time in an upcoming video.

  8. Kendra March 5, 2019 at 6:55 am #

    My “globby thing to do” is to pull samples from the video games I’m in, archive them AND turn them into a video game demo, and get the credits corrected/updated into IMDB. So I have three mountains forming one giant super-mountain. It’s been sitting in my to-do list for over a year. It would be interesting to know your process for breaking things into smaller tasks – do you sit with the task for an hour and plan out the small things, or is it more of an organic “one bite at a time” approach?

    • David H. Lawrence XVII March 5, 2019 at 1:16 pm #

      Thank think it’s recognizing the actual steps you need to take, down to the individual moves you make with what sites, what you do with the results, etc. really mapping out the process. I’m a process person for the most part, so that approach really appeals to me. Writing those steps down helps as well.

Leave a Reply