The VFX Morning Show is on a self-improvement kick that was started by McCall and the big question is the what and why. What are your goals? Why are they your goals? Why are you doing the things you’re trying to do? The questions can be ever changing but there are always things you should be evaluating.
For me the what and why for my career has changed. I started doing radio in high school and the what and why there was because it was fun. My dad was actually the one to suggest I do radio just because it was something different interesting. He was right and it was a ton of fun, but when I was high school I didn’t think radio would be my career. It was a blast but I thought my career was more in newspaper.
When I went to college, because of my high school program’s reputation, I got a job at the NPR station and did that for years. Even then it wasn’t going to be my career it was just a way to pay the bills. I got an intern at the radio station in town reporting sports scores. I loved sports and so it was just a cool way to get to do something I loved. Luckily, my perseverance and hard work turned an internship into a part time job.
I worked other meaninglessness part time jobs like at clothing store, at a skate center and at a factory. Working those jobs made it quite obvious how much fun working in radio was. That’s what the what and why were, it was better than any other job and way more fun. It was still a way to pay the bills and a cool job to have a story about.
I was able to move in to just radio with two part time jobs and that’s when I really started to fall in love with it. My passions grew for radio and I became the super utility part time worker doing whatever I could to get more involved. After two years of being a board operator I finally got my first on air shift. I was doing nights on our Top 40 station. I found success as the top night show in my city. That was wear a found a new passion, falling in love with the competition. I wanted to work hard and be the best.
From there I added a Morning Show on a Class Hits station and then afternoons on a Country station. I was in the building all the time because I fell in love with radio. My why became a desire to be the best while working a super fun job. Radio is such a creative job that to be good at it you have to put all your soul in to it. It becomes so personal that if things go wrong it can really be crushing.
I got promoted and started running the country station, but work started to be super not fun. I was dreading the things I was doing and really was questioning my future. I was unsure of my why because the fun disappeared. I was definitely in a rut after finishing college and getting my first full time job. I thought about quitting just because I was dreading going to work and felt like I was miserable all the time.
After spending my whole life in town, going to college in town, working in town I was offered a job in Las Cruces, New Mexico. People in my family thought it was a big risk but there were a lot of positives that made it a no brainer for me. I packed up my life and moved across country to do afternoons on a country station and nights on a classic hits station. It was tough to be somewhere where I only knew one person but I needed to try and strike out on my own.
I had more ratings success in Las Cruces and even won the award for Best On Air Personality in a large market. Unfortunately, the owner of the company came down before I won my award and wasn’t a fan of mine. The job only lasted 11 months before I was let go. That was really tough to have move home with no more radio in front of me.
The why in New Mexico was to re-find my passion and to compete. Once again another none fun job was crushing me once again. I was having success, had great coworkers but was being flattened again and unsure about radio. When I was let go I actually found it to be a silver lining because my why was to be the best and have fun in radio. It was not so much about just having a cool job anymore, when I decided to move across the country it became my career. It was my livelihood and now I was out of a job.
When I was laid off for seven months I really had to think about my what and why. Sadly, there were people around me that told me that maybe I should leave radio behind me. That was never an option for me. I had found a career that I loved and was never going to give it up. Even though I had been through two jobs that wore me down at the end and I had been fired it was still my passion and I wasn’t going to leave it behind.
My what and why became a love for what I do and a desire to be creative and to be part of a community while having fun. It took a lot of patience but I finally had a few job interviews that ultimately ended up with me doing the morning show at VFX. It was terrifying to do my first morning show and to be the lead of a station for a new community. But that quickly became my why. I was part of this new community and wanted to be the lead for positive things in Logan, Utah.
Each time I got a new radio job I thought I was hot stuff only for that to come crashing down once I realized how much I still had to learn. That was only sped up by the fact that McCall and I were lucky enough to go to morning show conferences, which were entirely overwhelming but so amazing. It further fueled my why, to be the best. Competition is what I fell in love with radio. I’ve always wanted to be the best but something else was added.
I felt connected to an audience, to a community that I never had before. Despite not being from Utah it has become my home. My what and why became to be the best morning show for my own personal career but to do whatever I could to entertain my town and to do good and inform the community.
There is definitely a bit of an ego trip that comes along with the job, but it’s all about the connection with people that it’s really about. When people tell us they listen, it never gets old, and it’s so special that people give their time and attention to our show. When people use us for birthdays, promposals or even just share their stories with us it feels great to be part of people’s days and lives. That will always be my why going forward.