Use Your Leverage
Leverage your Success and Outsource your Weaknesses.I can't tell you how many Pro Broadcasters that I talk to who do NEITHER. Your past success is your leverage or your ‘money in the bank.' Invest it and us it wisely by morphing it into something else. In my case, I used my radio experience to start Digital and Radio Facts because I literally saw where radio was going in 1995 and I was right. I didn't want to be a 50-year-old man pushing buttons for a comedian's show on the radio while I was waiting for another radio gig and it was the best decision I ever made and I've been doing it for 21 years. Sometimes it takes a bit of gambling but we can generally see what he future holds if we look at how it's trending. Where you are weak? Hire someone to help you. Many pro broadcasters are weak when it comes to Social Networking an absolute MUST in today's business realm. If you are weak hire a kid or someone else to set up your networks and to auto post from one to the other. It may cost you a bit in the beginning but the investment will have a very high return in the end. “Click NEXT for next segment”
I can only post this video of Oprah to explain no further she said it all right here. Click “NEXT” for new segment
Get Into Tech
Lori Lewis, VP Cumulus Social MediaThe Social Nets are NOT going away, they are going to keep coming and getting better and bigger. Right now, there is room for someone else especially on the Black side in the industry to become an expert in social media and to be hired by radio execs and corporations. A prime example of this is Lori Lewis a very successful industry FaceBook friend of mines who took advantage of a great opportunity…Lori was a sidekick for Bubba the Love Sponge then she became a successful PD in Baltimore in 2008. She LOVED the digital space and she wanted to try something different. So she quit her job and moved back to her hometown. Telling herself that if she failed she would be around close friends and family. At the start of her career as a social media expert in the industry she got a LOT of rejection, here's a quote from her to Digital and Radio Facts readers…“I had fear leaving day-to-day programming in 2008. Fear my radio colleagues would judge me as someone who couldn't succeed as a programmer so she did something else. But the truth is, I didn't like being a PD. I loved the digital and social space. So in 2008, who knew, I was actually paving the way for others in radio to be OK with leaving programming for digital and or social. 8 years later, we have a great number of former PDs and on air talent helping radio in the digital space now. It's exciting looking back at what was a blank space and no promises to what's happening today. Evolving our careers is critical. No need to ever feel the fear I had. I'm proof you can evolve successfully.” Lori admits it was difficult in the beginning because the ‘progressive' industry that we work in can be VERY behind the times, which is so true. It almost took me 2 year to sell my first ad for the online version of Digital and Radio Facts because many labels didn't see blogs and websites as the new frontier. As far as Lori, today she is the VP of Social Media for Cumulus Media. She helps to develop integrated social media strategies for the corporation's stations as well as Westwood One. She took a chance and came out on top.
What are you good at? I mean REALLY good at? You don't have to be an entrepreneur but consider using whatever that skill is to create a cushion for yourself and to make extra money in the industry. Go back and watch the Oprah video again. Stop waiting for someone to open the door for you, OPEN IT YOURSELF.
Stop Sabotaging Yourself
Stop believing the negative crap others put on you. If you are passed over for a promotion or fired from a gig maybe they really ARE cutting back to save money or maybe the person that was hired is better suited for the gig but TIME is NOT on your side and you have to take control of YOUR OWN career. Either you gamble and wait two to three years until the new person leaves and hope they consider you then or you leave and get the opportunity that you deserve NOW. I would leave.When we stay at stations that reject us and pass us over for promotions we're not only being mislead, we may have done something to CAUSE ourselves to be mislead. Perhaps being too desperate or too available or too eager. Sometimes that can work AGAINST you and you never stop begging or being viewed as ‘the desperate one.' That can become your legacy at that outlet especially for an inexperienced, selfish or insecure PD. If you see this happening… MOVE to another station or opportunity and don't keep repeating previous mistakes.
Radio is Just the Beginning NOT the END to EVERYTHING
Radio is just the Start to a LONG road of opportunity…Radio is an amazing opportunity to open doors for other things. I fail to understand why so many people can't seem to get away from it to better themselves. Sometimes you HAVE to walk away especially as you get older and the opportunities fade.On this very site, I've written MANY stories about Radio DJs being found dead or dying in the process of waiting for another radio gig that was never going to come when they were older. Set goals by using TIME, your MOST VALUABLE ASSET, as your barometer to progress NOW.Give a new station a year to see how they like you but MORE importantly how YOU like THEM. Explore other opportunities either in the market or outside the market. Stop being afraid to sell yourself. Nobody owns you.
When I worked at Urban Network in the early 90s it was new ground for me. I was a radio DJ who had moved to LA, a place I always wanted to live, and now I had an opportunity to write and be the Rap Editor for the popular industry trade magazine that I used to report to when I was an interim PD in Columbus, GA at Foxie 105. Foxie didn't hire me as the PD, they hired Phillip David March so I left the station and went to Denver to program KDKO. I was not going to wait a few years for the opportunity to arise again. KDKO lasted a year and then I took a chance and moved to LA. I was so close at that point. Working for Urban was an honor at first but then I HATED being the rap editor and the politics at Urban Network were outrageous. The power struggles amongst management was like a bunch of kids in the playground trying to grab a bag of candy and too many outsiders were invited in who caused a lot of negativity. I KNEW it was just a matter of time before I got caught up in the BS so I used that job as college, I let management fight while I did every job I could and learned as much as I could, once they fired me, which I KNEW was coming, I started my own trade magazine and became their competition.The more that you know and can do the longer you will have a career and the more valuable you become. You will be able to fall back on any other gig to keep yourself working until the next gig comes along. If the station asks you to do another job, make sure it's something that is a bankable career and not cleaning toilets in addition don't be afraid to leave if you are passed over for a promotion or to negotiate a higher salary if you are performing well but look at any industry gig as college, you are not only getting a great education, you are getting paid for it while everybody else complains about the extra work. That extra work can serve you well at a later date.
Invest in Yourself
I have a great disdain for lazy black folks. When I say that I mean the people who call you for free tickets from YOUR clients. I have never asked my clients for free tickets. If they support me I need to support THEM and buy my OWN damn tickets but I have had people call me and ask me to ask my clients for tickets for not only them but for their dates and friends? I will not tell you what I tell them when they have asked. Thank GOD I don't hear from those people anymore, mostly because I cut them off.Investing in yourself means surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Not a bunch of users. Also the “Hook a brotha up-ers.” If you are that guy I can promise you a lifelong struggle and pity. It's a turn off for most people and like a homeless beggar who CAN do better but refuses to. These types are like poorly dressed and dated pimps who think the world owes them something.When everything comes to you for free there is no value in what you are getting or giving back to the world. When you have respect for what other people do and you pay them for their services, you get back the blessings 10 fold.The other day, I purchased an ad from another trade and the person has never done anything for me and I don't expect them to ever do anything for me. I just felt like doing it to support them. A good friend dogged me out for it but by the end of that day, I made triple the money back without making much effort. I don't mind helping others if I see a good cause even if there is no return. We should not look for a return, the universe will take over. If you want to be paid full price for your services then pay other black people FULL PRICE for theirs and stop asking for free sh.
Find Mentors Online
Mentors are overrated. I never had one and Wendy Williams, during a recent interview with Digital and Radio Facts admitted she didn't have one either and she made a very good point. A mentor will guide you to be like them and it may not be who you are. She was so right. I'm SO glad nobody stepped up to the plate to train me because I would have never taken the chances or said or did some of the crazy and amazing things that I did. I was able to remain true to who I was and it served me and continues to serve me well.What I WILL suggest is that you can get AMAZING motivation online from people like TD Jakes, Oprah and Gary Vee. The person should be wildly successful themselves because you should never take great advice from an old fool who has nothing. That's a waste of time.