I’m going to share a very personal story with you. One I’ve never told in public.
Fresh out of college, I wanted to be an on-air radio personality. My first paying job put me on that trajectory – kind of.
I was hired at a very tiny radio station in Springfield, MA – WSPR. The station had just been sold and the new owners were changing the format to talk radio.
As a publicity stunt, for the first two-weeks, we played nothing but Frank Sinatra music.
I had the late night shift and spun old-blue eye’s records incessantly. My only on air time was when I introduced a new tune.
After the publicity stunt was done and we went to real programing, I got to do the news and sports updates. Good Lord, I was terrible. I’ll tell you why in just a moment but, first let’s go back a few years.
At UMASS, my alma-mater, my friend Jeff and I had the top rated radio show on the college station WMUA. It was called “The Baker’s Dozen” and it was a mix of Letterman-esque type of humor and playing the top 13 alternative songs of the week.
I had a BLAST doing this. I loved planning the shows, doing the shows and everything about it. (We actually recorded a humorous rap song with some of the boys from BMCP – The Black Mass Communication Project – a very popular African American radio show that followed ours.)
My college radio show is what I really wanted to do professionally but I found myself sitting in a rinky-dink radio station doing a pitiful job with my joy for radio being diminished.
You could say, “You needed to start somewhere.” While that is true, there was really no chance of me getting my own show. It was a dead-end.
I then got a job at a slightly upgraded radio station. Although I wanted to be on air, I was told it wasn’t practical because I wouldn’t make any money. So I settled for a job as the promotions director and copywriter. I was okay as the promotions director but not a very good copywriter. Back then, I had zero training in this area.
Then I saw the people who were making the most money in the radio station, were in sales so I decided that’s what I was going to do. Not only was I terrible, I was miserable. I hated every minute of radio advertising sales but, alas, that’s where I thought the money was so that’s where I went.
For a good portion of my life, I followed this exact same path. Always chasing the money. Even when I was living my lifelong dream of being a full-time magician and being successful at it, I was always looking for the next thing that would make me rich.
It wasn’t until I recognized what my gifts actually were, speaking, teaching and selling one to many, and worked hard on cultivating those gifts, did I really start to make a lot of money.
So my questions to you are simple:
Are you really using and cultivating your gifts? Are you sharing your gifts with the world? Are you experiencing joy in what you’re doing? Or, are you still chasing the next thing that you believe will make you the most money?
Although I might not know you personally, I do know that because you’re reading this right now, you are a kindred spirit. And I want you to know I believe in you. And I know you can soar even higher than you are at this moment, regardless of where you are at this moment.
If you’re not connecting with your inner passion and tying that passion into work that allows you to fully express your unique gifts, it’s not to late.
Maybe now is the time you take that leap of faith.