Pursue Your Passion, Don't let Ignorance Stop you!
A very great broadcaster on a very great station in New York City, Harry Harrison once said to me as a very young man,"If you have the desire to get into the radio business, you will, no matter what."
Let me digress for a bit, I came from a family that discouraged rather than encouraged. I was told "you can't" rather than "you can." As a child and as an adult, my self confidence level was always on the low end of the scale.
My passion for radio began when I was in Elementary School. I was bullied and had trouble making friends. In the Summer, my mother wanted the kids out of the house because she felt that they shouldn't be cooped up inside. So I went outside. I didn't have many friends so I used to go for long walks and would always take my transistor radio with me. I listened to my favorite music and my favorite DJ's day after day. Listening always made me feel like I wasn't alone. The DJ's on the air were having a good time playing great music and I felt like I was a part of that.
I quickly got the urge to go into radio. I wanted to play great music to people who enjoyed it as well as make them feel as if they weren't alone just like I felt.
Unfortunately there were many obstacles to over come. I wasn't blessed with a great voice and I lacked the confidence necessary to persist and deal with rejection which is a big part of the radio and entertainment business.
I always remembered the words of my radio mentor, Harry Harrison, "If you have the desire to get into the radio business, you will, no matter what." When I entered college I quickly became part of the college radio station. I was given a weekly show and was blessed by meeting many wonderful, encouraging people many of whom, I'm still in touch with.
Even though I held a full time job after graduating college I worked in commercial radio for over 30 years. I pursued my dream by working weekends. You see self confidence came back to bite me. I felt that it was too risky to work full time in radio because the business is very unstable at times. I was brought up in a world where, you worked to get paid even if you hated your job. My father hated his job later on in life.
As I grew older, and with the changing face of radio, the music was no longer pleasurable to me and I felt that I could no longer deliver it in the warm friendly way that I was always used to.I decided to leave terrestrial radio in 2002. The internet gave me an outlet to continue pursuing my passion and bring the music that I loved to people who also loved it. I started this internet station not without it's trials and tribulations.
To this day some people are not encouraging. They try to drag me down. My station's objective is to preserve the music that I loved and to share in with other people who grew up in the same generation that I did. I also present it in a 60s and 70s style. I would like to make people feel that they aren't alone like I felt. I also love to give people the opportunity to promote their local events on my station.
People always find ways to discourage and drag you into the mud. If you are going through negativity and people are trying to "take you down" I say to you, ignore the ignorance and pursue your passion. Like my mentor Harry Harrison told me: "If you have the desire to get into the radio business, you will, not matter what."
Keep at it and cast the ill informed, negative, ignorant people aside!!