Entitled or Just A Bad Salesman?

Showtime picked up "Billions," a "drama about power politics set in the New York world of high finance," starring Damian Lewis, that will air in 2016. I'll give you a moment to calm down.

Speaking of a "moment," the show's co-writer/producer, Brian Koppelman, spoke with his life-long friend and creative partner, David Levien, on this week's "The Moment" podcast. When Levien talked about his 20s, specifically wanting to become a writer, he said this:

I thought it was something that was going to happen to me, rather than something I had to do.

It might sound like he felt entitled, but I don't think so. There's a difference between feeling entitled and simply failing to sell.

Entitled is the state of believing we're inherently deserving of something—that it should simply come to us because, hey, we're pretty awesome. Failing to sell entails a misdirection or lack of energy to connect two dots—me and a destination. Levien was clearly the latter, as he described modest, but significant efforts to learn, write, and network in his 20s. However, it paled in comparison to the prodigious output in his 30s and 40s.

From an outside perspective, it's often difficult to discern the two. Does candidate A feel entitled because of her pedigree and name-brand, albeit brief, experience? Has candidate B simply failed to sell himself, notwithstanding his impressive, though off-brand credentials? Or is it the other way around? 

That's why it's critical to sell and market ourselves with care and persistence. It's not enough to possess the ability or experience; we must communicate it as well. Otherwise, we're just waiting to be found, which is lazy and risks being perceived as entitled.