I am about to save you thousands in self-help books.
Every inspirational message on how to achieve your dreams from the Dali Lama to Tony Robbins really boils down to three things:
1 – Passion
Before you know how to broadcast, you have to feed your passion for it.
I’m talking about the type of passion that makes you think about radio or tv or new media when you should be doing the dishes, or in the shower, or falling asleep at night. That same all consuming passion of when you first fall for a pretty girl…only focused on broadcasting.
Don’t tell me you love sports, but don’t know the score of last week’s game. Don’t tell me you love news, but don’t know who the head of the Federal Reserve is. Don’t tell me you love music, but don’t know the top three artists in your genre.
Passion is when you think of clever radio bits while driving to work. When you can’t watch TV without thinking of ways that commercial could have been shot differently. When you call the game out loud – even when you are alone in the room.
I can see you bobbing your head and snapping your fingers and saying, “I’ve got Attitude, girl!”
That’s not what I’m talking about.
I can see you saying, “I’m, like, totally happy all the time!”
That’s not what I’m talking about either.
Attitude is being humbled and awed and grateful for any opportunity that puts you closer to your goals.
That means being humbled and awed and grateful to be fetching coffee for the guy who has the job you want…because you know it is one step closer to opportunity than if you weren’t trying to remember if he takes sugar or Splenda.
You know the guy in the office who is the first one in the door and the last guy to leave at night? You know, the one who works really hard when he is there instead of taking selfies? The guy who never calls in sick, is never late and is always happy to pick up extra shifts or responsibilities?
That is the minimum of what I mean by Work Ethic when it comes to broadcasting.
I know a news guy who got a phone call from Hospice that his dad was fading fast. He finished up his three hour radio shift before heading over. His father died fifteen minutes before he got there.
I myself finished up a newscast (rather flawlessly I might add) while having a heart attack live on the air and signed off before being rushed to the hospital…one hour later.
Or you may remember the Los Angeles CBS reporter who finished her live shot at the Grammys…while having a stroke.
Yeah, Broadcast News is a no holds barred contact sport.
Now, for better or worse (better, much better) the culture in this competitive industry has changed quite a bit and you no longer have to chase a story while being mauled by a dog (well...except for the NBC reporter that happened to last night)…but the message should be the same.
You see….here’s the thing: no one forces us to have the “everything else is a second priority” mentality.
Broadcasters do it because we like it. We do it because to us…it’s not work. To us, there is no higher calling and no where we’d rather be.
That’s the impetus of the Passion that feeds the Attitude that creates the Work Ethic.
Now, I won’t lie; Luck, Networking and the Skill that comes from emulating your mentors plays a large part in a successful career in broadcast too.
But you’ll never have a chance to get those three…without mastering these three first.