9 Cruel Truths About the Music and Radio Industry
I cannot tell you how many calls and emails I get from industry people who are so stressed out and concerned about things that have not happened yet. There are certain things that we must all face about the industry that we LOVE to make our lives and careers easier…
We MUST Know When to Move On
Some of us will wait until hell freezes over to make a move that we should have made 10 years ago. I see it all the time. It’s called Denial. People won’t accept the fact that it’s just time to move on and do something else. They cling to what once was and wait for opportunities that no longer exist or that 300 other people are waiting for and in that time there is so much more they could be doing. Everyone that I know of that has been hired in the industry recently was caught by surprise and/or someone approached them. We have to face the fact that if we have not worked in the last couple of years, it’s CERTAINLY time to think about doing something else.
We Think it will Last Forever
I was having a conversation with an entrepreneur yesterday about doing business in the industry. He was congratulating me on having such a great handle on radio and being successful with Radio Facts . I told him I’ve worked hard and I am thrilled that I’m on top right now but I’d be a DAMN fool to think things will always be this way, which is why I am constantly introducing new product and reinventing Radio Facts and separating myself from the pack. Enough about me and Radio Facts , how does this apply to you? Understand we are indeed in control of our own destinies if we CONTROL OUR OWN DESTINIES. If we leave it in someone else’s hands we will ALWAYS be disappointed.
So while things may be GREAT for you now this is not the time to relax it’s the time to WORK. Plan for your future, invest and prepare for those lean times because in this industry that we love THEY ARE COMING!
We Turn our Backs on Those No Longer Working
I used to be SO insulted when people did this to me. I hear people all the time at the labels and radio stations say they just dont’ have time to deal with former industry people. The main reason cited is former industry people want to reminisce and then ask for help. Is this wrong? No and yes… read the next section to find out why….
We are forced to realize it’s a business FIRST
Yes my industry brethren and sistrens. We are immature and foolish if we think the world revolves around us when we are not able to bring anything to the table and contribute but we are only coming with our hands out. I know it sounds cruel and mean but the favor that you did someone 20 years ago has probably been repaid 20 times. In addition, someone has done YOU a favor and could very well be complaining about YOU not returning the favor. People working in the industry are trying to keep their OWN damn jobs and remain relevant.
This is an incredibly stressful industry that has been cut by more than half since 2000. People have to progress forward instead of looking back in order to keep coming back… to work. Why not call an old acquaintance with an idea that can help you BOTH.
We Don’t always have as many “friends” as we Think
I’ve known at least 500 people in the industry and thousands more over the years think they know me. That’s fine I treat everyone with respect because I want to be respected at this juncture of my career but I’d be a FOOL to think I have more than 15 TRUE friends it the industry. If I was to quit doing Radio Facts tomorrow 99% of the people who read it and deal with me would cut me off and forget about me (lol) but if I went on to do something more successful, which I plan to do, I’ll make even more phony friends. Oh joy!
Fate is one Mean Bitch
I remember a good friend in the industry told me that he felt the company he worked for didn’t appreciate him. They were ignoring his ideas and pretty much ignoring him. I told him, that’s not a good sign, sure enough I heard a couple of weeks later they were going to fire him and you know how the industry works, other’s know about your demise before you do and as a friend I told him. He pretty much chilled until it happened a month later. He was in a position to look for something else but he was in denial. This was before all the cuts pre 2000.
We are all getting older by the day and if we are not moving up in position, which may spare us a few extra years in the industry, we will be replaced and fazed out. It’s an unfortunate reality that just happens. What’s in YOUR wallet (or purse)?
Age IS a Factor
We work in a YOUTH DRIVEN INDUSTRY once you pass 35 you better be in management of some kind if you are not you better be DAMN good at what you do because the opportunities start to fade. I know people in their 50s still looking for announcer gigs. I don’t want to discourage them and I’m not saying there is not something out there but…
Losing a Job Today Could Signal Career Death
Some of the many deaths that have taken place over the last several years are truly unfortunate because many of those people were out of work or had only one foot in the industry door. Many were dealing with major stress, depression, health issues and dreams deferred. Since I’ve lost at least six people in the industry that I considered friends I knew the story that most people don’t know. We must understand that while today losing a job in the industry could mean the end of your career in the industry it doesn’t have to be the end of YOU…PLAN, PLAN, PLAAAAAAAAAAN and PLAN NOW!!!
When Industry People Die, we Quickly Forget About Them
When was the last time you heard the names Vesta, Luther Vandross, Gerald Levert, Teddy, Teena Marie, Rick James, Donna Summer, Nate Quick, Ronnie Johnson, Tre Black, Mark Boyd, Mike Bernardo, Butterball etc? When people die we quickly forget about them and thier contributions and it’s business as usual so why do so many of us walk around like the living dead? Worrying about job security or things that have not happened? While you are alive, you might as well live.