Listen to the audio version
The founder of Make Your Own Break, Jennifer Lieberman, is a visionary leader who has single-handedly taken her life from a never-ending chain of failures to perpetual success. A known personality in her domain, Jennifer has gone from one massive failure to the other and relates to every person who has no hopes of seeing any success. Apart from being a great leader, Jennifer is also the proud recipient of a Gold Medal at the 2022 Global Book Awards for Coming-of-Age Books and the 2022 IPPY Bronze Medal for Romance/Erotica ebooks, among several other international awards.
In an interview with PerceptivX, Jennifer shares how she transformed her failures into accomplishments. Below are the highlights.
Writing her own story
Jennifer Lieberman: “The big game-changer in my creative career as an actor and writer was when I stopped trying to get a ‘foot in the door’ and decided to ‘build my own house’. I spent years knocking on doors with no success and resolved to start creating my own projects. This in turn put me in a position where I was making my own opportunities instead of waiting for someone else to choose me. Once I started to build a body of work for myself, I realized I could help my friends, peers, and colleagues do the same thing, and that is what led me to found Make Your Own Break, a consulting business. It helps emerging, struggling, or frustrated creatives in the entertainment and literary industries create and launch independent film, theater, new media, and literary works.”
The plan unfolds
Jennifer Lieberman:” I never thought I would be a leader. I do not think there was one pivotal moment that set me on this path, rather it was a series of tiny little pivots over time that brought me here. It was my willingness to work behind the scenes when there was not a role for me, to learn new skills, and stay curious about the process of theater production and filmmaking. That is what helped me develop the skills and confidence to start creating my own productions. My solo show went on to get some recognition and I realized I was onto something. Then friends and colleagues would come to me for advice, and I realized I had a lot of value to offer people who were a few steps behind me. With each script, book, or production I keep moving forward and have more value to offer those seeking help.”
The real challenge
Jennifer Lieberman: “The challenge in the entertainment business is that there is no formula for success like in many other industries where you go to school, get a degree specializing in your field, and then start working. In entertainment, no two people have found success the same way; some people went to great schools like Yale and Julliard, but many did not. Some people had a famous relative, but many did not. Some people were discovered as children, but many were not. Some people got lucky early on, but many did not. Some people spent decades at it and finally broke in, but most people in the industry never get their break. A lot of it has to do with luck. Most creatives never make a living at what they do, period, and many still do it anyway while working a 9-5 or a side hustle and creating as much and as often as they can. This is the biggest difference between my industry and every other industry out there: we keep going, we keep creating, and we keep showing up regardless of the paycheck. No other industry has thousands of people working for hope alone, for joy alone, for things that are neither tangible nor stable. This industry takes more passion and perseverance than any other and we all know going in the odds are against us and most of us will never succeed and we do it anyway.”
Bigger the setback. Greater the comeback
Jennifer Lieberman: “I’ve NEVER felt like I wanted to do something else, I knew this was my destiny since I was a child. That being said, there have been countless times when I felt exhausted, frustrated, and broken to the point where I seriously considered giving up. I gave up on my novel “Year of the What?” three times in seven years, faced countless rejections, and now it’s won 5 awards and is a #1 Best Seller. My short film “Details” fell through six times in ten years, so I decided to direct it myself. It was the first film I’d ever directed and was a Semi-Finalist for Best Female Director at the 2022 Art House Festival in Beverly Hills. Through all my setbacks and frustrations, I’ve had to do some soul searching, redefine my goals and I’ve come back stronger every time.”
Inspired by the best
Jennifer Lieberman: “A great leader has to be an exceptional communicator and will inspire loyalty and enthusiasm in their team and their colleagues. A great leader will never pull rank in a disagreement and will hash things out until everyone can come to an agreement without being forced into it.
I admire ballsy women who do not back down, stick to their guns, and aren’t afraid to fight for their vision. Women who have the strength to be unpopular and misunderstood and who stand up to criticism. I admire women warriors because there is a war in art, in creativity, in new ideas, and in innovation, and it seems that for women to get ahead, we sometimes need twice the amount of courage as men.
My grandmother, Meme Jasmine, is one of my greatest inspirations. She met my grandfather at a well in Tunis, Tunisia, when she was 16 years old. At 25, she traveled to Canada on a boat with my grandfather and four children aged 5 and under. She raised six children in a foreign country with no family and no support. She nurtured 15 grandchildren, beat breast cancer twice, volunteered with several women’s organizations, and was the epitome of class, grace, and understated beauty. My Meme was one of the strongest and most determined women I’ve ever known, and her memory continues to inspire me every day.”
Pearls of wisdom
Jennifer Lieberman: “Don’t wait for the right time, the right opportunity, the right connections, or the right resources to begin. Start creating your own opportunities with the resources and connections you have now. That initiative will create the momentum you need to attract the things you aspire to. Try and fail; failure teaches us how to succeed. Life is short, time is limited, and your possibilities are endless.”