In less than 72 hours, I’ve endured five flights, landed in four different cities and spent nearly $1,000 in the course of one weekend.
It was quite an adventure that contained its ups and downs, but looking back over these last 72 hours was it worth it?
This weekend, I flew to Los Angeles for a broadcast journalism program a friend had convinced me to attend.
It took a little nudging, but I finally gave in after I considered the amazing experience I had in New York City a year ago when I first delved into the world of TV news reporting.
Just two days ago, I was sitting at a camp site in Calabasas listening to seasoned professionals in the field of broadcast journalism discuss what it takes to break into the business.
At times what they said was a bit intimidating and even cynical, but one TV reporter’s advice stood out above the rest and will likely stay with me for the rest of my life.
His advice applies not only to journalism careers but any single goal or life-long aspiration.
He spoke of a valuable lesson that we often hear, but just as often forget. A lesson emphasized in movies, TV and sports, but not so easy to enact in daily life.
Though I’m sure you’ve heard it once or twice, in honor of the very value this reporter was harping on I persist in telling you again.
If you want to unlock the door of opportunity, then know that the key lies in persistence.
The LA reporter spoke before the crowd on the significance of developing the vital characteristic and warned of the inevitable rejection that comes with the business. He assured that the word “no” would become ten times as common as the word “yes.”
But those “no’s,” he insists, should never discourage us. Though sadly, when most people knock on the door of opportunity and hear the simple, two-letter word, they turn away and never look back.
Every once in awhile, he stated, you’ll find the person who’s willing to walk to the back door and try that as well. Yet alas, two “no’”s become two “no’s” too many.
For a guy who’s on one of the top TV talk shows in Los Angeles and often featured, albeit against his will, on the E! show “The Soup” when Joel McHale is satirizing him, if Steve Edwards says persistence is the secret to success, then chances are you better learn to develop a keen sense of the quality.
As Edwards advised, “Knock on the front door, the back door, the side door, the upstairs door and come back to the front door, because you can fail 93 times but all it takes is that one yes and 1 for 94 will get you in the door.”
It’s easier said than done, but if you truly want something, you have to keep knocking. Don’t hold back, and don’t take any form of rejection personal.
So what if one person doesn’t see something in you? Someone else will, and when he or she gives you the green light, go full speed ahead.
As Edwards summed up his speech and ignited a fire in each of the bright-eyed, fresh-faced journalists sitting in the room, he paused for a second and spoke with an emphasis on each one of his parting words.
“If you want it, if you believe in yourself, and even on the days when you don’t, you fake it, you’ll get what you want.”
It just takes persistence to barge through the door, and when someone tells you “no,” shake it off and keep on trying. Be humble enough to ask them again, and even if you feel devastated and defeated by the answer, act unfazed; act like you own the place and believe deep down that one day you will.
I’m not yet where I intend to be in five years, but I can tell you I’m going to do exactly what I was told this weekend by Edwards. And five years from now, 100 or so knocks later, I trust I’ll be on the other end of that door called opportunity.
It’s a lesson that was drilled into dozens of aspiring journalists this weekend and one that everyone should have embedded deep within their brains.
When one door closes, another one opens. If no door opens, a window will open. And, if no window opens, find another door.
Or go back to the first one and knock the f*cking thing down.
Category: Between the Lines
About the Author (Author Profile)
Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).