Not too long ago, it was reported that Matt Lauer had signed on for another 5 years at “The Today Show,” which he helped build into the most profitable running program on television today. Last year the show alone brought in over 800 million dollars in advertising money for NBC.
According to some outlets, Lauer’s contract was for around $25 million a year. But i’m not here to debate whether or not that’s true or even if he’s worth that kind of payday. What’s important to talk about here (especially for those of you who are either currently or aspiring to be a host) is that no matter how much money comes your way in TV, in the end that’s not what will ultimately give you the fulfillment, no matter if you think that or not.
Case in point, Lauer was recently interviewed on CNN by his friend and ” Today Show” contributor Donnie Deutsch. He was asked about his payday and what that meant to him at this point of his career. Keep in mind, Matt Lauer is one of the most celebrated hosts and professionals in the industry. He has interviewed just about every big name on the planet and has helped build an audience that still averages 5-6 million loyal viewers every morning.
I was extremely pleased and fascinated by his answer. While that kind of money is foreign territory to most of us, what mattered to him was not the contract and the money, but the reason he decided to do it. Click this link to listen to the excerpt from the interview.
The fact that he was more like a father nurturing his kids speaks volumes about his character. It also teaches a good lesson to those of you who may be thinking about doing this job because of the money.
At the end of the day it’s about passion, it’s about acheiving goals, it’s about feeling fulfilled by what you do when you roll out of bed in the morning. Because let’s be honest, if you go out and make millions but hate what you do or despise what you stand for, it will eat away at your concious and you will never truly be happy in your personal life. Sure, to the audience watching you can put on the smile and the fake front, but like all shows, someone will eventually take your place that has more energy, youth, passion and drive to do it.
So why not set out to do what you love and enjoy it for as long as you can rather than focusing on getting a bigger paycheck. If you are good at what you do, the money will come along with that.