Episode #11 | Dave Goetsch: Collaboration – Lessons From The Big Bang Theory
June 4, 2019
"Always pitch the fix. Sometimes people will want to point out what's wrong about everything, but it's just a lot easier to solve the problem, rather than pointing out the problem and not having the solution."
- Dave Goetsch
In an exceptionally competitive industry, Dave Goetsch has thrived. Co-executive producer of the Emmy-nominated sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" and long-time writer for "3rd Rock from the Sun," Dave has mastered the lonely existence of the Hollywood writer. But how? By embracing the power of human connection and collaboration. In this episode, Dave reveals the secrets behind getting things done in the boisterous writers' room and tells us why few things are better than making your friends laugh.
About Dave Goetsch
Dave Goetsch is a storyteller. More specifically, he is a sitcom writer with quite an impressive track record. Dave is a co-executive producer of the Emmy-nominated sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” wrote for “Third Rock from the Sun,” and sold a film script to DreamWorks. He has had a unique set of experiences, both in his professional work and in his personal financial life, which underscore the power of collaboration.
In a recent talk about the lessons he has learned from the writers’ room, Dave described the importance of embracing uncertainty in the creative process. Of course, it’s also a fundamental part of personal finance. In this episode, Dave shares his history with money and how he came to recognize the power of collaboration.
Manisha’s Top Takeaways
- Collaboration with colleagues is the secret to creation.
Dave shared three rules on collaboration that he has picked up in the writers’ room: (!) Always “pitch the fix,” i.e., don’t whine, present a solution, (2) Catch-and-release. By all means, put your ideas out there. But if they’re not the right fit, have the confidence to let them go, and (3) Aim for the highest percentage of success. It’s not about the quantity of your input but rather the quality of your output. You don’t need to be speaking up all the time to make a difference; make sure when you do speak up, it’s with your best possible ideas. [5:00]
- Partnering with a trusted financial advisor early in your career can make a huge difference to both your finances and peace of mind.
What stood out to me most as Dave spoke about his experience with money was the massive transition Dave’s felt going from being fearful about losing everything to feeling relief that everything was going to be okay—all thanks to bringing in a fiduciary financial advisor whose investing philosophy matched Dave’s life philosophy. [11:15]
- Collaboration isn’t always an outside job. Sometimes, the most powerful collaboration is with yourself.
Dave pointed out that life takes a toll on everyone. Embracing one’s rough patches in life can bring a humility that can play a significant role in your ability to connect and collaborate with others successfully. Don’t be afraid to put your real self out there. [10:00]
Other Major Topics
- Dave’s answer to a colleague who wanted to know what to do with $1 million [0:15]
- Theodore Roosevelt’s surprising comment about collaboration [2:20]
- The relationship in his life that Dave wishes he had found it earlier. [16:25]
Resources Cited in the Episode
- “A Dying Banker’s Last Financial Instructions,” The New York Times
- The Investment Answer by Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon Murray
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