The Old Way of Thinking
I remember growing up and the mantra that a majority of parents taught their kids was “get a good well-paying job with benefits and a steady paycheck.” It seemed at the time that we were on the same path, it just depended what industry or field we wanted to go into.
Then, unlike anyone else I knew, I decided to pursue TV Hosting and everyone thought I was crazy! It certainly didn’t fit in with the status quo “salaried” type of job, unless you did TV news. And in terms of stability, you can forget about that, the TV business is more volatile than ever.
Yes there are still some industries out there that offer “stability” where it’s relatively hard to be fired, you’re salary doesn’t fluctuate much and your responsibilities tend to stay the same. They are the less risky careers in areas like government, education, engineering and healthcare.
Steady Paycheck or Volatile Paycheck?
But let’s for a moment compare someone working full time in the corporate world compared to a freelance TV host. The TV host doesn’t know when his next paycheck is coming in. He has ups and downs. He has to hustle to build up a network of producers or companies to land jobs and keep up with the changing market and economy. His income is sporadic, and every now and then he lands a big gig (national commercial) to keep him going.
The corporate worker by contrast, gets a steady paycheck and an automatic promotion every couple of years. He always eats well, until the day comes along when the companies’ pensions explode or cost cutting measures destroy his department. Now he’s screwed. He will starve, because unlike the TV host, he has no idea how to deal with the downs.
TV Hosting is All About Resiliency
Here’s the truth. Without taking frequent calculated risks, you are setting yourself up for major disaster down the road. Immunizing yourself to risks is like immunizing yourself against the flu. By injecting a small bit of flu vaccine into your body, you’ll be able to survive a big flu outbreak. By introducing unpredictability into your career, you make the devastating surprises survivable. You gain the ability to absorb the shocks of life without breaking down altogether.
Pretending to avoid risk with a “salaried” job like mom and dad wanted you to have actually causes you to miss opportunities that can change your life for the better. It also drags you into a life pattern that can be very dangerous, leaving you exposed to a huge meltdown in the future. Yes, TV Hosting can be a very volatile and scary career, but for many of you, your passion to do it outweighs the fear of not doing it and so you do it anyway. If you’re one of those, let me just say “BRAVO!”
Some people may give you all kinds of hell because you don’t have a steady paycheck or a “career” in corporate America. But understand that we can never perfectly predict when blow-ups or career threatening events will happen, but when you’re resilient, you’ll be able to pursue big opportunities without a lot of worry about all the possible consequences or hiccups that may occur.
Fact: As a member of the TV host community, you will become resilient if you aren’t already.
The bottom line: You can’t avoid risk. If you don’t find risk, it will find you. Take some risks in 2013 and don’t live in fear or regret of what might not happen or did not happen. You won’t ever know until you grow a pair and actually try.