We talk a lot about the concept of goal setting – from ways to achieve better fitness to how to be a better parent to just general ways to crush life as a guy in the 21st century. Let’s talk about the importance of taking action on the scariest of goals and why you should always bet on yourself to succeed.
I’ll use my story as an example of how times may be tough, but they always work out in the end if we keep our focus laser sharp and our dedication relentless.
The greater part of my 20s were spent as a small-town celeb of sorts as a television sports anchor and reporter. It was my mug all over your high-def LCD screens delivering the best scores and sports news in the area. Sounds like a pretty awesome job that pays well and leads to a life of glitz and glamour.
Nah. It’s really anything but that. And my fiancée at the time and I both knew it.
She was the news reporter that I met and fell in love with at our first small-market job from hell in teeny tiny Macon, Georgia. We both made the move to a bigger more stable situation in North Florida. But after 4-5 years of long hours, small pay and little rewards, we knew it was time for a change.
The landscape of media in the early 2000s was scary. Ad revenue was pulling out, which meant stations were cutting resources, and people – we actually still see a lot of this in the newspaper business, which has been immensely slow to recover.
As a result, the fun of being the fun guy on television who talks about sports for a living was starting to be sucked out of me faster than a Dyson vacuum cleaner pulls dirt off a carpet. It was similar for my future bride.
We made the call to make a change that took a whole lot of guts and perhaps a little bit, or maybe even a lotta bit, of stupidity. We quit the news industry. We packed our bags. Sold our cars. In April of 2009, my future baby mama and I took a one-way trip to New York City at the height of the Great Recession, despite the news reports, and perhaps even conventional wisdom.
We understood the concept to always bet on yourself and made that investment in us.
For almost 10 years, I’d spent my time telling the news. For the next five years, I’d be the one pitching my former colleagues about news that they should share as a public relations and marketing specialist.
I bounced around a few places. Enjoyed some key wins for some big brands. I even joined a major nonprofit that allowed me to feel better about schlepping B.S. to journalists for a living. It was a rewarding change to the usual large-brand marketing spin I’d been forced to convince bloggers and reporters to talk about.
No offense to the loads of PR flacks out there. It can be a really respectable career choice. But the idea of pitching misleading junk to anchors and producers and reporters who were once my peers was disingenuous to me. I needed more.
Once again, it was a crazy move to fill that void that I had missed since stepping off-camera. I needed to get those creative juices flowing again.
In 2014, I finally made the call that I needed to make all along: to work for myself and exercise those creative demons. It was time to flex my muscle as a voiceover actor and bet on myself to deliver the results I’ve always wanted.
Our Manhattan apartment was thus converted into a small studio to block out the crazy sirens and random noise that the East Village of New York City will rain down upon us. My day now consists of performing once again. Instead of reading the news and sports and being all kinds of awesome to people in front of the camera, I’m now behind a high-powered microphone.
Voice acting allows me to pretend I’m a different person, performing a new role each and every day.
While that main role of my life is still the diaper-changing, baby-burping and daddy-daughter bonding of the fatherhood variety, I get to set my own schedule and my own rules for the road of business success.
My time in TV news taught me the ins and outs of performance and how to read a script. My time in public relations and marketing taught me the importance of branding and how to market both myself and my business.
And now I’ve been able to put it all together to start this small business that will prove to be the scariest, craziest, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done – besides the having a kid thing, that’s always going to take the top honor, but you get the point here.
Looking back on that move from Jacksonville to New York, it was perhaps the timing that was near career-suicidal. Sure, we probably should’ve gutted it out a few more years before jumping ship. Yes, things could’ve ended up much different if not for some hard work and a bit of luck. But, we are here now. We are better for it.
Our challenges and obstacles that we faced only strengthened us as people and it’s that same resolve and determination that define our style as role models for our young daughter and as the entrepreneurs we are today.
Always bet on yourself. Always be willing, ready and able to take that leap of ultimate faith by investing in your own passions and goals and dreams.
Set your sights on that big time dream of building the body you’ve always wanted, on writing that book you’ve always talked about, on starting that business you’ve always been too afraid to launch.
But in order to get to that point, you have to start.
The biggest obstacle that most aspiring authors face is the fear of getting started. One of the mightiest challenges that entrepreneurs encounter is the reluctance to get their feet off the ground to begin building their dream. The highest mountain that we face in a weight loss journey is actually putting on the shoes and doing the work.
All of this is out of fear for failure.
As an entrepreneur and writer myself, I’m here to tell you that failure is all part of the game. You’ll get to a part when you anticipate and even appreciate the setbacks. It’s those challenges that make us better business owners, authors and people.
We learn from them and grow from them and then take that information and adapt from them to ensure success as a result of those mistakes and setbacks and failures.
It’ll lead to a much more rewarding path along the way.
This is a portion of my newest article – 5 Core Values that will change your life for the better – featured at PeteCataldo.com
Feature photo by: Michał Parzuchowski