Success tips from top Hollywood Biz Manager, Michael Karlin

“Work.  Give.  Clear your voicemail.”  These success tips  come in a mini leadership training from Michael Karlin, founding partner at NKSFB in Los Angeles.  He is responsible for managing the financial affairs of his many high-net-worth clients and known as one of Hollywood's top business managers.  

First today's leadership secret: 

Be bold.  Move forward.  If you make a mistake, learn from it.  To get a promotion, to move up in your career, you have to want it.  

Being passive and just reacting to whatever comes along won't get you very far.  Creative action will move you ahead.  

Our guest Michael Karlin has worked with many of today's most successful people.  I asked him for his thoughts about climbing the road to success. 

Shar McBee:   Sometimes people in our leadership trainings think that success comes in a hurry, like a direct rise to power and influence.  You’ve been very successful in your career, Michael,  so I want to know if you have any thoughts about that. 

Michael Karlin:  Nothing comes quick. Nothing is overnight. It’s all about putting in the work and the discipline, and then the payback is over time. So, there should be no expectation of success overnight. 

Shar McBee:  A really wise person told me that the way to build anything is little by little by little. Do you have any thoughts about that?

Michael Karlin:  You can’t get rich overnight. I’m still looking for a way to do that after 46 years. I think you just have to put in the effortand not have the expectation. If you just put in the effort, then you will achieve the results. You’ll achieve the benefit. 

It all  stems from that…from being prepared and putting in the effort. That’s what I live by. That’s the ethos that I live by.  It’s about discipline.

Shar McBee: I’m sure your clients appreciate that.

Michael Karlin: I hope so.  Most do, and the ones that don’t, I don’t continue to work for them.

Shar McBee: That’s good. That’s a great attitude.

Michael Karlin: I want to work for people who appreciate what I do, and what I do for them.

Shar McBee: That’s a great point. What a difference that makes in your life.

Michael Karlin: Sure, it does.

Shar McBee:  Do you have any advice about the relationship between generosity and success?

Michael Karlin: I think you have an obligation to give back from the source of the knowledge, whatever that source is,  and whoever provides it to you.  That could be in many forms. It could be from a religious organization. It could be from your university, or it could be from a medical facility that provided some lifesaving treatment to you, or one of your family members. 

I think it’s an obligation to give back. That’s one of the great purposes of life, is to not just take in, and take in, and take in, because then when you leave, then what? You make a difference during your lifetime by giving back.

When I ask my clients if they want to start giving charitably, they often ask, “How much should I give charitably?” 

Some of the religious organizations, I believe Catholicism, and the Mormon Church, and some other organizations have the concept of the tithe.

I believe it began because you would work six days and then have a day off and you would work one day for God. You would offer that money up. It’s taken the form now of 10% of your earnings or some percentage of your earnings. 

Clients don’t always relate to that. But what they do relate to is,  “Okay, you’re successful. You had a great year, would you be willing to work one week a year for charity?” 

That would be a way to start. One week a year is about 2% of your income, 52 weeks rounded to 50 weeks.  If you want to work two weeks a year for charity, that’s 4% of your income.

As your income goes up, you give more to charity.  If it comes down, you give less to charity.  Then at least you have that relationship with giving. That seems to be a method that has resonated with a lot of my clients.  They started working one week a year for charity then they moved it up to some higher percentage.

By far and away the clients and individuals that I work with who are the happiest, are the ones that give. It’s just a direct relationship. 

If you want to hoard and hold onto everything and not give, it tends to make you a little more miserable. If you want to be free and uplifting, give.  Whatever form that is for you. It could be to charity, could be to organizations, and could be to relatives.  It could be to friends who need it. Why wait to give it away? Make a difference now.

Shar McBee:  I’m so glad you were willing to do this, Michael. I think this is great advice for people.  Is there anything else you want to say to people who have their first management jobs?

Michael Karlin: Yes. Clear your voicemail. The most disconcerting thing is to call someone, wait through the whole greeting, and then it says the mailbox is full. Well, that’s not acceptable. You want to be in business, you want to be successful. Don’t have a full mailbox.

Clear your mailbox, number one. 

Number two:  Don’t bring your phone into a meeting. And if you do bring your phone into a meeting because maybe there’s a call that you’re expecting, put it face down. Don’t look at it during the meeting. 

Number three:  Do what you say you’re going to do.

Number four:  Make the difficult decision the first decision. Everyone puts off the difficult task or the difficult decision.  Wake up and make it the first thing you do in the morning. Address it head-on, don’t stall.

Shar McBee:  Michael thank you. Really appreciate it.

Michael Karlin:  Call me anytime, Shar.  

Shar McBee: Leadership with a Twist of Yoga

Bring Shar McBee to your next event.

Find out more information, including fees and availability.