After being in the industry for 25 years. I can honestly say there is very little that I would have done differently. I get asked these questions all the time by industry people and wanted to use this forum to address some of the ways that we sabotage our own careers. I’ve made some of these mistakes as well but no experience is a bad experience if you learn from it and there’s ALWAYS a silver lining in every cloud. If there’s something I missed let me know with a comment.. Enjoy… Kev
Be Bold and Stop Procrastinating
There’s always something else that we want to do in radio and in the music industry but we often get so caught up in the jobs that by the time the thought crosses our minds again, we’re too exhausted to get things going. You have to find a way and the time to change this. Nothing ventured nothing gained and you must respect the essence of time. Also, use time to your advantage to understand how long you want to be in or at a situation before you move on as your motivation.
PARTNERS IN RHYME on ALLBLK
Be Bold and Let Go of Fear
There is truly nothing to fear but fear itself and it is the catalyst to destroying our growth in all aspects of our lives. What is it that you fear? Most of us have the fear of failure AND the fear of success and are most comfortable with stability… but is there really such a thing as “stability?” Hell no, everything is for the time being so you might as well take part in the race instead of waiting on the sidelines for someone else to determine YOUR fate.
Be Bold in Your Approach to Meet “Winning People”
Make it a golden rule to run in the opposite direction of people who can’t move ahead and live in the past industry. I view them like stubborn farts that you can only get relief from after you blow that shit out. You can’t move ahead with the living dead. Surround yourself with progressive, forward-thinking doers. I find entrepreneurs (real ones) are the best people to hang with because we constantly hustle and never stop working and trying new ideas. If you know of one that’s doing well, take no TREAT him or her to lunch or dinner and you will see what I mean.
Roll the Dice
How long will you be able to work? How long will you live? What does the future hold for you? Some say that you have no control of yesterday or today or tomorrow but I beg to differ. You CAN control tomorrow by taking chances TODAY. If there is something that you really need to do whether it’s a career change in the industry or to supplement your income put it out there like the lottery, you never know what the return might be, might be a little or more than you can handle, be careful what you wish for but at LEAST wish for it.
Know Your Value
Corporations are certainly huge and their goal will always be to make money OFF of you not give it to you (if you’re anything but a white man) but one of them is not the beginning or the ending of ALL of YOU. If you want a better position and you are not having good luck trying to move up internally, apply to an outside corporation but play it smart, ask around to people at the other corporations that you know and trust first. If you don’t know anybody take a chance and apply.
The Best Time to Find a Job…is when you Already Have One
Many of us fall prey to the false stability of our current positions not wanting to think about the possibility of being laid off or fired. Truth be told we should ALWAYS be on the alert for new opportunities. It is well known that it’s easiest to find a job when you are already working. .. so why wait until you’re unemployed and desperate. When you walk into a job interview and you’re desperate you can’t hide it, when you walk in and your confidence you can’t hide that either and it’s more appealing. Put yourself on the other end of that situation, a person who is desperate may just be looking for ANYTHING to supplement their income and if they are so valuable why are they not working now? In addition, the person who is already working has leverage for more pay and a better position.
Increase Your Value
It’s always amazing to me that community college in many states is free and people don’t take advantage of that. We will stand in line five blocks deep to spend our rent money on the new Air Jordans to make Michael Jordan richer while we remain poor but we won’t go to college for free so that the money that we spend on those sneakers won’t matter? There are certain courses that you can take ONLINE if you don’t have the time that can either double your pay or give you a second career option to increase your job security. For example… in radio, one of the hardest jobs to fill is a webmaster. You may say “What?, there are millions of them!” You would be right but there are FEW that understand radio, can walk the walk or talk the talk. Take a look at most radio websites and you will see what I mean. Many have very low page rankings because the information is recycled and dated. Imagine how much money you can make as a radio and/or media web designer working independently? (for example)
Keep Your Plans and Ideas to Yourself Unless …
I am not fond of the word “haters” because I don’t think that’s always the case. People will always advise you based on what THEY can see, what THEY can do and how THEY feel. The question that should always remain paramount is how do YOU feel. I can guarantee you that if you take bold chances and succeed, those same people who would give you bad advice beforehand will he your biggest cheerleaders or “haters” when you get there. We only tell others our goals and dreams for validation but you rarely get that and why do you need it? How can telling your next door neighbor about your plans to build an empire help you to do it? Talk ONLY to those what can help you achieve your goals.
We ALL know what the problems are and we don’t need to keep talking about them or having them pointed out to us THE SOLUTION IS KEY. If you want to live a very lonely and isolated life… COMPLAIN. People have their own problems to deal with and the effort immediately labels you and people will avoid you like the plague. Who is going to take care of your problems in the end anyway? YOU.. and you already have the solution BEFORE you complain. People love it when you call them and tell them how you SOLVED a problem that you had. In addition steer clear of the people in your workplace who complain. Think about it, how often do you hear upper management complain? That’s part of the reason they got to where they are… they usually don’t.
Mingle even if it’s Online
I get invited to a lot of industry events and as I get older I’ve learned how to not be so jaded at industry people who only deal with you when they want something.. I mean it is a business, right? Who said they have to be your friends. If you are looking to grow keep in mind what I said earlier, it’s always easier to find a job when you have one so take FULL advantage of all of the opportunities that are related to your goal. In addition, I can almost guarantee you that if you get fired, the invites will stop coming too so you will be totally out of resources. GO, MINGLE and MEET.
You Know Nothing Until you Ask
I cannot tell you how many times I have been amazed by getting what I wanted just by asking for it. This of course, should always be before you have time sabotage the outcome with every possible negative outcome imaginable. You also won’t GET SH until you ask. Keep in mind that by asking, you really do have nothing to lose because you already have nothing BEFORE you ask so you only have something to gain. If you have an impulse and there is something you want, make sure you exude a level of class and not DEMAND it, but simply ask.