This Is the Secret to Mindy Kaling’s Incredible Work Ethic

It frustrates her that “hard work” is sometimes equated as “lack of talent” in certain parts of Hollywood – as if accomplishing things should be effortless.

Courtesy of Tinseltown / Shutterstock
Courtesy of Tinseltown / Shutterstock

Mindy Kaling, daughter of Indian immigrants and showbiz multitasker extraordinaire, has taken on Hollywood and won – as a writer (The Office), actor, and producer (The Mindy Project). She wrote, produced, and stars in the upcoming film Late Night.

She’s successful enough so that she could pick and choose her projects, and relax in between. But Kaling likes to keep it green: the secret to her success is that she treats her projects like a side hustle.

In an interview with Glamour, Kaling also told the magazine that she likes to work on three movie or TV projects at once while also writing something in her spare time, “like a book of essays. That hasn’t changed so much, the amount of what I want to do.”

Kaling has a new baby that she’s raising on her own, however, so she says, “I think eventually it will.”

In the meantime, however, her child sleeps a lot, and she finds the work to be “energy-giving, not energy-depleting.”

No more “mysterious cats”

It frustrates her that “hard work” is sometimes equated as “lack of talent” in certain parts of Hollywood – as if accomplishing things should be effortless, especially among women.

“I think the process, the work, used to be seen as something you hide, because everyone puts a premium on being so effortless,” Kaling said. “Women don’t have to be these alluring, mysterious cats who get things done and you don’t know how hard they work, how hard they work out, what they’re eating. We now celebrate the fact that women can say, ‘Yeah, I sacrificed this…’ It isn’t effortless.”

Kaling observed hard work firsthand from watching her parents, who she said never took vacations. “My mother was an ob-gyn and would leave in the middle in the night and miss huge chunks of things because she was delivering a baby.” Her father was an architect and super-commuter who drove from Boston to New Haven every day.

As immigrants, she said, they really had to “hit it hard.”

Kaling had a similar feeling when she went to Hollywood.  She felt that “as a woman… as a writer and particularly as an actress,” there was a limited amount of time to get her foot in the door before it slammed shut. “You have to make your imprint and get your coin, frankly.”

Originally published on The Ladders.

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Theo Wargo / Staff / Getty Images

According to Mindy Kaling This is Absolutely Integral to Career Success

by CW Headley
Rich Fury / Staff / Getty Images / Presley Ann / Contributor / Getty Images / Barcroft Media / Contributor / Getty Images

What 5 Powerful People Can Teach Us about Success

by Jane Burnett
Mike Coppola/Staff/Getty Images

Mindy Kaling’s Commencement Speech Advises Us to Embrace the Unexpected

by Anna-Elena Maheu
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.