What ‘Friday Night Lights’ taught me about success during the last recession


In 2009 I graduated smack dab into one of the worst recessions our country has ever seen. I found myself pounding the pavement in NYC, juggling three nanny gigs, working in a grocery store, and looking for any extra jobs that could help me make ends meet.

All while I pursued my dream of being a Broadway actress.

I’d get up at 5am to do full hair and makeup, get on the hr subway ride to midtown and wait in line (outside, on the street) for the casting offices to open audition sign-ups for the day. Then I’d go to one job, come back and audition (if I was lucky), go to my other jobs, then finally drag myself (and my lunch leftovers) back to Brooklyn.

I would come home after my roommate had left for her waitress job, and I’d plop down on the one piece of furniture we owned (a futon-couch thing from Ikea that was actually pretty great).

I’d plug our ethernet cable into my white brick of a Powerbook (ah, memories) and fire up my favorite show: ‘Friday Night Lights’.


To me, ‘Friday Night Lights’ is synonymous with that first year after college; it was one of the hardest and yet also one of the happiest times of my life.

Sure, I had no money. And yeah, it was exhausting taking care of other people’s kids all day before doing hours of kale inventory. BUT…

That was one of the happiest times in my life because it was my first taste of what it was like to be fully invested in pursuing a PURPOSE.

And listening to the timeless wisdom of Coach & Tamme Taylor every night before bed didn’t hurt!

While I traded in Broadway for Entrepreneurship (& am happy about it!), the amazing feeling of working towards a dream hasn’t changed. If at the end of the day I put my head on the pillow feeling like I worked towards something meaningful, I consider that SUCCESS.

That’s what I think Coach Taylor meant when he said,
“Success is not a goal. It’s a by-product”.

Success is the act of working towards a goal, not the end goal itself.

So if you ever find yourself thinking, “once I get X,Y,or Z, then I’ll be successful” (GUILTY) – remember that results aren’t the only thing that defines success.

What makes you come alive?
What lights a fire under your butt?
What makes your neurons zoom around like pinballs?

The simple act of incorporating more of whatever THAT ^^^ is into your daily routine means you’re successful.

‘Success’ is not a goal. It’s a by-product of actively working towards your dreams, one step at a time.