What does it REALLY take to make it in Hollywood . . . ?? In this episode of Whole U.® TV, we learn first-hand from Pili Montilla. As an EMMY Award Winning Producer, former MTV VJ, and social media influencer with over 100K followers - Pili shares how she:
At Whole U., we support people in the ongoing pursuit of their dreams. But this process is often long and hard. So in order to accomplish what you set out to do, hard work and dedication must be implored in order to harness your strengths and achieve your goals.
Pili Montilla, the EMMY award winning TV host, producer and influencer, has achieving her dream - which she attributes to the hard work and dedication she invested into her success.
After graduating from Boston College at 21, Pili headed straight for New York City (much to the dismay of her parents). Living with four other people in an apartment, she shared a bunk bed, and scraped by working as a cocktail waitress while she auditioned restlessly - struggling to afford her $700 a month rent which she supplemented with food she took from the restaurants she worked at.
When asked how she managed rejection during the time, she first describes it as extremely difficult. Looking back, however, she is thankful for her ability to manifest confidence within her subconscious, to resist internalizing the rejection she was constantly facing.
She also stresses the importance of being dedicated and passionate toward your craft—which she remains faithful to when dealing with rejection. During her time in New York, she stayed confident in her willingness to put in the time, have the discipline, have "skin in the game," and fully commit to her dream. For her, this also expelled the notion of having a back-up Plan B, or Plan C . . . (another idea her parents were not particularly fond of).
Despite her work in New York, Montilla found her biggest opportunity at home in Puerto Rico, which took the form of an audition for the position of "video jockey" (VJ) at MTV. She was initially hesitant toward the idea of auditioning, because she was first and foremost an actor, and hosting had never seriously crossed her mind.
But it was her mother who encouraged her to try. She got the part there, and stayed for almost three years -- hosting, producing, translating, and researching for interviews -- which proved to be an immense source of joy. Consequently, she fell in love with hosting. Following that, Pili started to build a career out of hosting—what she now recognizes as her "calling."
"I was born to entertain."
Montilla returns again to the importance of hard work, dedication, and passion, all of which she credits toward helping her on the path to this realization. She urges those starting out to take advantage of the same traits, and to take your passion (and the responsibilities that come with it) seriously.
After finding her calling, Montilla set out on another journey—one of a spiritual nature, that she thanks the state of California for. Because of her Puerto Rican roots, "spirituality" was not something she had been accustomed to. Spirituality was something her culture either omitted completely, or looked down on.
In California, however, she started to connect with spiritually conscious people, engage with the "Landmark Education," and experiment with the idea of having a life coach—things, she says, Puerto Rican culture might consider "strange." After taking these steps, she felt beautiful growth within herself.
Even after experiencing this initial growth, she still feared admitting to having a life coach due to the negative connotations that surrounded it. And the simple fact of the matter was that, for many, looking for help was not met with respect. Now, on the other hand, she speaks happily and enthusiastically about her relationship with her life coach:
"I could not imagine my life without her to tell you the truth."
She does not describe it as a codependent or dependent relationship, but one of mutual respect and love, and one she has experienced further growth as a result of. She now sees life through a lens characterized by love, which she believes makes her more human.
Now, Montilla is engaging with a myriad of things, no doubt as a result of her past spiritual and commercial flourishing:
Being an influencer is also among the many things Montilla engages with. She has close to 50K followers on Instagram, and describes her platform as an opportunity to connect with her audience, and show a sincere window into her world.
"The job of an influencer is to influence people's decision-making."
She refers to her responsibilities enthusiastically:
Montilla is also a member of the board of a non-profit charity based in Washington D.C. called "Friends of Puerto Rico." The charity is a great source of pride for her, being something she sincerely believes in. Over the course of her time on its board, she has helped raise over a million dollars toward relief efforts for Hurricane Maria.
"I wouldn't tie my name to something I don't believe in."
(By the way… You can donate @ www.friendsofpuertorico.org !)
She holds tremendous love in her heart for her home, and loves helping however she can . . .
"It's my island, it's where I grew up, it's where my heart is."
Montilla does not take her exposure for granted, especially considering how hard she worked for it. She's well aware of the responsibility that comes with such attention, and how extremely important it is for her to channel that responsibility into positive energy—a task she does not take lightly. Therefore, she continues to work hard in order to affect positive change.
Montilla's success story is impressive. Each recommendation she makes is challenging - but doable.
Will YOU do "whatever it takes" to achieve your dream . . . ?
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