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May 1, 2024 by Marc Peruzzi

Trade Secrets: Stay Childlike to Avoid Burnout

Featuring filmmaker and development executive Cole Sax.

Home Base / Salt Lake City, Utah

Activities / Skiing, climbing, surfing, skateboarding, adventure travel.

Insider Knowledge

“When you start your career,” says the filmmaker and development executive Cole Sax, “there’s a genuine excitement—it’s about exploring, building community, and connecting with both others and yourself. It’s a period of openness to life’s experiences. But, as you progress, you encounter more constraints: the naysayers, the corporate pressures. Yes, you need to navigate these waters skillfully, but it’s crucial not to lose the childlike wonder that propels the creative process.

“I remember working on my first big docu-series at 25. We were given significant responsibilities—like being handed the keys to a Corvette with a simple directive: ‘Don’t crash it.’ We pushed boundaries, managed a substantial budget, and it was a hit. Afterward, network executives advised, ‘Don’t lose that naiveté.’ It’s a good reminder to not become too greedy for more, or cave to the chorus of ‘no’s you’ll hear along the way.” 

In filmmaking and the outdoors, self reliance trumps listening to the "No People."

Quick Tip

“I heard some relevant advice recently for anyone in a crowded marketplace. Stop looking at your competitors and start focusing on what you do. Chase the work that you feel most connected to. Chase what’s fresh and feels good. That’s where you’ll find inspiration.”