• Hate your boss?
• Suck at interviewing?
• Deserve a promotion?
• Can't negotiate your way out of a paper bag?
• Suffering through a professional crisis?
• Have ISSUES?

Then you've hit the right place.

Through brutal honesty and concrete advice, the Reluctant Genius effectively helps you manage all aspects of your job and career. With 18 years of experience in Hollywood, the RG has figured out how to make it to the top AND SURVIVE, somewhat unscathed.

Available for consulting services and speaking engagements. Write to: info@thereluctantgenius.com



DAMN! Why didn’t I think of this 10 years ago? Where the hell was I? Oh, that’s right. I was busy working 7-days-a-week, 18-hours a day with and/or for a bunch of cock-sures.

Here’s the deal. Many moons ago, British philosopher Bertrand Russell uttered the following brilliance:

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cock-sure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

Well, years later, after his untimely death at 100, a study scientifically PROVED it.

Seems that, in 1999, as I was busy cage-fighting with a producer who really believed he was brilliant, but couldn’t formulate a sentence written or otherwise, psychologists Kruger and Dunning were busy staging massive experiments at Cornell University to prove their following predictions:

Incompetent people dramatically overestimate their ability;
Incompetent people are not good at recognizing incompetence - their own or anyone else’s.

They took that notion and did a crazy-ass battery of tests ranging from humor to logic to see how these people would score and then, with the results in hand, asked the participants to rank themselves against the others. Well, guess what? The COMPETENT people ranked themselves accurately while the INCOMPETENT GROSSLY overestimated their rank.

“Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd.”
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1999, Vol. 77, No. 6. ] 121-1134

Dunning and Kruger’s study also showed that incompetent people failed to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy, and they failed to recognize genuine skill in others. So here it is in black and white: Those people you thought were idiots, are idiots.

Here’s another hilarious irony that David Dunning found:

“…94% of college professors believe they do ‘above average’ work, although it’s statistically impossible for virtually everybody to be above average.”

Ha! Brilliant work, Mr. Dunning (and you, too, Mr. Kruger).

This study makes it scientifically clear that the producer I was fighting against was incompetent and would never be able to see his shortcomings. (It also gives me Ivy League back up for my theories expounded here on The Reluctant Genius even though I went to state school.)

Now, perhaps even more important, because this applies to YOU, the study found that most competent people tend to underestimate their abilities. Since I would like to believe that you fall into the competent corner, I’m going to ask that you pay attention to this: MOST COMPETENT PEOPLE UNDERESTIMATE THEIR ABILITIES. (You little devil, Bertrand, you knew this all along.)

The Dunning-Kruger study reinforces WHY, assuming you’re competent, you must bullshit your way through a variety of different situations. If you’re incompetent, you don’t HAVE to bullshit because you truly believe yourself to be stupendously brilliant and you’ll never figure out that you’re an idiot.

On the other hand, if you have self-doubt, but know deep down that you can do something -- even though it might scare the hell out of you, and you’re afraid to say you can do it -- then you must learn to BULLSHIT. BELIEVE IT. SELL IT. Trust yourself. You’re far better than you think you are. It's scientifically proven!

For more on bullshitting, check out What I Mean by Bullshitting.

Today: Do one thing that scares the living hell out of you. Bullshit your way through it; pretend you can do it and you will. Hell, that’s what I’m doing right now.

LAURA INGRAM -- "DON'T COME IN MY EAR" -- This sums up life in TV



Tracy Mazuer’s coaching skills are entirely responsible for elevating my career and status in the television industry. Tracy has recognized and helped to define a vital yet consistently overlooked part of building and maintaining a successful career in the entertainment industry – how to successfully market yourself.

I have worked in television as a Producer/Director for many years. Prior to discovering Tracy’s abilities, I promoted myself so poorly that...(read more of this testimonial)

"In a town that really has no rules, its nice to know that there's someone out there on your side. The stories use the entertainment business as a background, but all the examples and lessons are applicable to anyone in the working world. And coming from someone that has been getting advice from the Reluctant Genius for over 8 years, let me just say...Its worth the read!" - David Tobin, Producer

"Tracy has been a great coach and mentor to me in my current job search. Having worked for the same companies for many years, my idea of networking was to call my past employers and beg for work. With Tracy’s help I have re-energized my job search, making new contacts and taking meetings more successfully. Her positive and pro-active approach has given me a new way to “work the room.” I feel more in control and positive in meetings than I have in years. Thank you, Tracy." -J.G. Writer/Producer

"Tracy Mazuer's advice and guidance not only helped me to overcome my fears of asking for what I want (and become successful at getting it); she also helped me to realize the true value of my worth to the creative world! After consulting with "The Reluctant Genius", I landed more meetings, got my ideas more streamlined, and most importantly learned the sacred art of kicking ass! She is a rockstar in the consulting world! I would recommend "The Reluctant Genius" to anyone who is looking to get what they want!" --Johnny Appleseed (aka Shawn Colin Young)

"Tracy Mazuer's genius has saved me from many heartaches and headaches. I was reluctant to be as bold as I am in business until I started working with Tracy. She helped me take what I learned in the independent world and bring it to a larger audience. Tracy is part of the genius behind the creation of Stirring Up Trouble! If you are ready to go to the next level (no matter what level you're at) then you must consult with 'The Reluctant Genius' I don't know what I would have done without her!" -filmmaker, writer and host of Stirring Up Trouble
Tracy has a way of teaching you something without pointing her finger, being condescending or coming at it from a “I know it all” attitude, because frankly she doesn’t and nobody does, but she admits it, and that is what makes her “real” and most certainly approachable! Tracy has a way with words and people, truly a gift and surely something that can’t be taught, but she treats you like her equal. She has always been my boss, never vice versa but it’s always seemed as though we were fighting the same battle and we were at war side by side. (read more...)

The Reluctant Genius - check it out
Connecting Reality - Wednesday, 29 October 2008
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