What Do You Want From LA?

Picture courtesy of iNeedChemicalX

Picture courtesy of iNeedChemicalX

The biggest shortcut to success in LA is knowing exactly what you want.

I know this may sound obvious and some of you may be thinking…

“Of course I know exactly what I want…that’s why I’m moving to LA, duh!”

If that’s the case, then tell me why so many people move to LA and make career choices that lead to unhappiness and continue to make bad choices?

If you do not know exactly what you want to accomplish in LA, please stop reading this article immediately. Because if you don’t know, no matter how motivated you are, you will likely fail. Miserably.

I’ve seen many people lose their way in LA, become distracted by rejection, and decide to take a dead end job that leads to continued frustration and eventually forces them to move back home.

There is no hope of success for the person who does not have a central purpose, or definite goal at which to aim. When you have Definiteness of Purpose fueled by a burning desire to reach your objectives, nothing can stand in your way.”

~ Napoleon Hill, author of the classic Think and Grow Rich

There is something incredibly powerful about deciding exactly what you want. Things that were previously considered to be roadblocks become mere illusions.

Honestly, it’s not easy coming to terms with exactly what you want in LA. It took my first 2 years of struggling with this concept to ultimately find my true passion.

Initially, when I moved to LA, I wanted to work in entertainment, specifically urban music. I co-managed a hip-hop group back in Alabama while in college that really gave me the fire to tackle the music industry head-on. My hopes were that I would come to LA and make a name for myself, and move the group from Alabama to pursue a major record deal.

Me and my big dreams…

As you may suspect, it didn’t quite work out that way. The group was never really serious about moving away from their comfort zone of Alabama and making a name for themselves. Essentially, I was left to fend for myself in LA, with no magic plan to make my way into the music industry.

I met rejection at every step of the way and became discouraged quickly. I eventually lost focus and took several crappy jobs just to get by, that only increased my unhappiness.

Side Note: Don’t fret, there is a good side to this story. The music Producer of the group I managed moved to LA in 2009 and has become quite successful by producing for the likes of Rhianna, Beyonce, Shakira, Usher, and many other top artists. Check out his interview here.

Little did I realize that music wasn’t my true calling. It was much deeper than that…

I truly love creating powerful messages for causes I believe in.

That’s why I loved managing the hip-hop band so much. I believed in them, which gave me the energy to create powerful messages that opened the door to opportunities including booking shows, making albums, etc.

Hence, the reason I created “I’m Moving to LA” and The LA Survival Guide, because I believe in aiding in the success of people like you moving to and living in LA.

What do you want?

Ask yourself what is it that you really want from LA? If it starts with “I want to be famous.” or “I want to make a lot of money,” we have some work to do.

But, if you have a specific goal like being a Writer, know exactly why you want to be a Writer. It can’t be because you simply like to write.

Dig deeper.

Maybe you like to write because you love the way it evokes emotion from a reader.

Maybe you like to act because you can become anyone you want and tell powerful stories.

Maybe you like to make music because it touches your soul and releases a part of you that would otherwise not be revealed.

Know exactly what you want and why you want it.

Learn from my mistakes. Learn what it is that makes you come alive. And once you find it, never let it go, regardless of the struggles that may lie ahead.

Enjoy the journey folks.



Justin Resarieo is a creative entrepreneur and graduate of The University of Alabama. He has lived in LA for 6 years and enjoys the weather, creativity, and opportunity the city offers.


  • Reply February 4, 2014


    THIS IS SO TRUE. I thought I was the only one who was going through this when I first came to LA but I’m so happy to find that it’s more common! My roommate and I moved to pursue acting. Right away there was a divide in our experience because even though I was working a crappy job as a nanny, I was going on a lot of auditions and he was just a Starbucks barista. He was so unhappy that eventually he lost all motivation to try and he resented me for being cast in a movie and a play within my first 8 months there. He quit his job and for months never left our apartment. Eventually he moved out with only a 2 days notice and he went back home to his comfort zone. Some people just aren’t in the right headspace to survive in LA. It’s not easy.

  • Reply February 12, 2014


    First, let me start by saying that I have read almost every blog not only on this site but on moving to LA in general. I have researched apartments, areas to live, jobs, and anything that you could possibly think of in regards to relocating there. I’ve tried to come up with the perfect amount of money that needs to be saved, talk to my friends who live there or recently moved there and I will say hands down that this particular post has been spot on for what I need to hear. I currently live in Atlanta, GA and I work in TV and film as a stylist/costumer. Atlanta is currently a hotspot for TV and film so of course I get slack from people who swear that leaving Atlanta will be a mistake. A large portion of my family lives on the east coast so they also feel that it’s a bit too far to go. But nonetheless my boyfriend and I are headed to LA in July and have a few trips planned so that we can map everything out. I have realized through all my research and planning for the move that having a solid plan of what we are going to do will keep us focused, and not get too distracted by all that LA has to offer.

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