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3 months ago

30 for 30

30 for 30

by Ezra Cohen

3 months ago


In just a few short days, I turn the big 3-0.

And I know 30 is a daunting milestone for a lot of people.

The end of an era...
REAL adulthood...
One step closer to 40 😅

But to be honest, I've never been more excited about a birthday.
And I’ll tell you why this is kind of a big deal for me...

When I was a teenager, I was terrified of turning 20.

Media idolizes youth more than anything. From movie stars to Apple products, we continuously throw out the old and chase the newest thing.

So many experiences today subconsciously teach us to live terrified continuously of an invisible expiration date and becoming irrelevant. Telling us the lie if we slow down, we'll lose.

That fear turns to hustle.
Hustle turns to burnout.
Burnout turns to giving up.

But a few years ago, I started realizing that all my favorite directors, the people I respect for creating content of actual substance...

They aren't 20.
They're not even 30.

Terrance Malick is 76
Christopher Nolan is 50
Wes Anderson is 51
Ridley Scott is 82
Spike Lee is 63

And it makes sense!  

Look at the life that goes into their films.
Look at the triumph. Look at the tragedy.
Look at all the crappy years (that look like 2020 or worse).

It makes me nothing but excited about the weeks, months, and years ahead.

I'm not racing the clock anymore.

My encouragement to you is the same (especially in times like these)

Take it slow. Breathe it in.
You'll only be richer for it in the long run.


After pondering for quite some time, I've come up with 30 takeaways from over the past few years. And I figured I'd share...

Some are my own.
Some are from others.
None are in order of importance.
All have been massive, whether personally or professionally!

So here we go :)

01. The messier the timeline, the happier the accident.

02. "It's pretty, but I don't feel anything" -Jillian Cohen (best feedback I've ever received)

03. When in doubt, go for a run.

04. Budget doesn’t dictate creativity.

05. Sample everything you can. Never waste your time on a job someone's already done.

06. Color grade in pre-production (not post)

07. Time > Money (better to be free than rich)

08. "No one ever went broke by giving" - Mother Theresa

09. Art has a 20-year cycle (it's true, look it up)

10. You are what you eat (check your inspo).

11. Follow the artists that your favorite artists follow

12. 5 minutes of prayer is better than 5 hours of brainstorming

13. There's no shortcut to 10,000 hours. Put in your reps.

14. Take a weekly sabbath. No excuses.

15. Never underestimate the power of collaboration

16. Focus on becoming a better audience member (get out of creator mode, and you'll become a 6etter creator).

17. McDonald's tastes best at 3 am.

18. "It's the last 5% that takes something from good to great." - Salomon Ligthelm

19. Equity > day rate (better to get less paid forever than more once)

20. Track your hours. You'll quote/budget more accurately.

21. Store up for the winter (December - February are dead months for freelancers)

22. Productize your workflow. Learn your patterns and save time

23. Never respond to client feedback immediately (cool down. don't be defensive)

24. Comparison kills creative

25. "I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn't have the time." - Abraham Lincoln

26. 1 year of obeying God is better than 100 years of hustle.

27. Contrast is everything.

28. "Don't be nervous. Be yourself." - Jillian Cohen (yeah my wife is a good one)

29. "Trying to be John Mayer only leads to you being a worse John Mayer." - John Mayer

30. People over projects. Always.

I hope you found this helpful. As a way of saying thank you for all the support you've shown me and the collaborates we work with, I would love to give you a gift on my birthday. :)

During this week, use the code BIG30 and get 30% off anything in the store. The discount ends on August 14th, so be sure to share this with a friend.

I'm excited for 30 and can't wait for a new decade of creativity and getting to share it all.

Until next time... Happy Editing!

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