Well folks, I am 42 years old. Yes, just over 30 days ago I reached my “Life, The Universe, and Everything” birthday. (I know, I should have posted this sooner.) And in that 42 years of life I have done a lot of stuff, met a lot of people, and learn a lot about myself. (To be fair, I learned more about myself after I turned 30 than before. I wasn’t as introspective before I reached 30.)
So now I bet you are expecting me to regale you with stories of my adventures here on planet Earth like how I brought about and aborted the Zombie Apocalypse while shopping for shampoo, or how I once set fire to and pushed 100 blood thirsty ninja vampires down a flight of stairs in the secret jungles of the main Amazon.com warehouse, or about the day I realized that you can not buy a main battle tank and 123 bottles of Bourbon with 176,000 counterfeit Canadian Pesos . Those are great stories. Someday I will tell all those and many, many more in my autobiography: The Fool that Pitied Mr T. Instead I am going to speak of a truth that I really began to understand around the time that I started podcasting. A truth so powerful and amazing that I could sell it for 27 easy credit card payments of $39.99 (or 176,000 counterfeit Canadian Pesos at the current exchange rate). Something that will shatter your world and leave you shocked amazed and wanting more. And that very truth is…
We make our own opportunities!
Let me say that again. We make our own opportunities!
Sure, once in a very long while someone get lucky, and unexpectedly everything just happens to fall in to place, but 99.9% of the time in is our hard work and persistence that pays off. (As a Christian I do believe that God influences this as well, but that is a debate for another day.) So in the end, if we don’t step up and pursue our dreams and goals they won’t be achieved.
Now, I suspect that some of you are unclear as to what I mean by we make our own opportunities. Let me explain via some examples.
I started podcasting in June of 2005 (more or less in the first wave.) I had no idea what I was doing. I had a cheap headset mic and a program called ACID and an idea. I went for it. And with each new podcast produced I tried new things, met new people, created a lot of different shows, did a lot of interviews, and in the end developer a reputation, a brand as it were, for doing a good interview, being interesting to listen to, and giving fair and honest reviews. I also developed an audience, although not a large as I would like, and inspired a lot of other people to get into podcasting as well.
All this work has resulted in publishers and authors sending me books to review. Film makes sending me film screeners. People coming to me wanting to be guests on my show. I chance to use my skills professional doing an internal podcast for a company. Offer of a very late night spot on a local radio station (which I turned down). And a few things more recently that I can’t talk about yet.
All the work and money, I put into my podcasting pay off in opportunities, created by my hard work and persistence. Opportunities that aligned with my goals at the time, to entertain and inspire people.
My hard work and persistence paid off. It created many opportunities for me to do thing and meet people I would never have had had I not started podcasting in the first place. Now those opportunities had a price, the decision to try podcasting and all the work and money that went into it.
Now as I start down a new road in the writing arena, I know that if I work hard at writing and do what needs to be done. At some point down the road it will pay off in opportunities as well.
Figure out what it is you want to do, and give it a try. Work hard and keep at it. Learn what it takes to succeed in your chosen endeavor. (There are tried and true method for getting to write, radio, film, TV, etc. Don’t discount them just because you want to do things your own way. Your unique style will show through even if you are using the same techniques as successful people in your chosen field.) Give enough time and effort, you will create the opportunities you want. (Remember it takes about five years to create a brand personal or otherwise.) But if you stick with it, it will pay off.
Get out there and start create those opportunities.