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The Adversity Advantage with Doug Bopst

Nov 16, 2020

If you are feeling stuck or uncertain right now, then you need to listen to this episode!


The television and film industry has definitely changed during this pandemic and my guest today is the co-creator, show runner and executive producer of one of the most popular shows there is right now, that like many had to pause production during COVID. The show I am referencing, Billions is also one of my personal favorites and a favorite to so many.


My guest today is Brian Koppelman. He is the co-creator, executive producer, and showrunner of Showtime's hit drama series, BILLIONS. Over the past two decades, Koppelman and his writing/producing/directing partner, David Levien, have created an influential and diverse body of work in both film and television. Some of their most noteworthy credits include Rounders, Ocean's Thirteen, Solitary Man, The Illusionist, Runaway Jury, Tilt, ESPN's 30 for 30 (This Is What They Want), and I Smile BackKoppelman is the host and creator of the hit podcast, The Moment with Brian Koppelman.


If you are currently struggling and uncertain about your future, this is the perfect episode for you! He will give lots of advice about how to deal with the feeling of being stuck, and tips on how to be able to follow your heart’s desire and do what you really love. 


Everything he is about to say in this episode is all based on his life experiences, and I’m sure that a lot of people, especially in these hard times can truly relate. 


Brian’s Backstory:


Brian loved the arts, and he was in every play, and assistant directed all the plays at school, but he didn't think that he was a particularly gifted artist.


The hardest part of school for him was school itself because he had pretty severe ADHD.


Brian was always singled out as being smart, but being lazy or not willing to do what was necessary.


He was drawn to books and movies, and music and comedy. 


He loves listening to people talk and then being able to repeat it and incorporate it in his own language. And he always could remember the dialogue and memorize movies. 


He just didn't know that those are necessarily useful skills for his life as a writer, it just didn't connect for him for a very, very long time.


Since the show industry paused, how does Brian manage to go through that?


According to Brian, whatever the challenges are, with regard to dealing with the pandemic, and whatever uncertainty he is grappling with, he doesn't dwell on it. That’s his secret.


Brain’s life in the music industry:


Brain had a very successful career in the music industry. He was 30 years of age and his first child was born when he realized he’s not doing the real thing that he loves.


Listen to this episode to hear Brian’s story about his moment of clarity when he was listening to Counting Crows, and he was like “This isn't for me.”


Brian’s advice for somebody who's feeling stuck during these times:


Trying to find the reason you need to make the shift is very important. Once you know the reason, you will be able to do anything because the reason is strong the reasons to make the change.


Brian’s health secret:


Brian will be talking about his transformation in his health and will share some of his tips based on his own experience that a lot of people could adapt into their day-to-day life.




Get to know the backstory of the show “Billions”. You will learn the deeper reason behind everything, and why did they come up with the idea of creating this show.


Brian’s advice to the anyone who is currently struggling in different aspects of their life:


Remember that you have so much more power and personal agency than you think in your low moments. You can take some steps today make a plan today.


To move forward, it starts with figuring out what you want.


Take out a piece of paper and tell yourself, you're not going to censor, and just write for a half hour.


Even if you're not a writer, grab a pen, and just write down everything that's going through your mind, and find the thread of where you want to go.


Let that be your North Star and just take a small step in that direction.


If you're really struggling, find somebody to call today and talk through it with them.


Don't suffer and struggle alone.


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