You may have noticed that earlier this month, I launched Live Your Passion Radio. And launching a national radio show, my friends, is quite the undertaking. Setting up a studio. Scheduling interviews. Learning audio editing software. Whew. There are a lot of steps in there. All of it really, really, really cool. But still, a lot. And, it’s kind of a big deal in my life—one that began, believe it or not, when I was 17-years-old. But before I take you back to high school, let me first explain how this whole thing came about.
About two months ago, I was chatting on LinkedIn with a Life Coach named Mari Mitchell Porter. She’d started an interesting thread. The conversation went back and forth. A nice exchange of ideas was growing. Fun. I noticed on Mari’s profile that she hosted a radio show. It sounded interesting. So, I asked her how I could listen to her show. Then, something unexpected happened. She sent me her phone number and asked me to call her. No details. Just this: Call me.
Hmmm. That was unusual. LinkedIn is usually conducted online and via email. A request for a phone call caught me by surprise. Now, I’ve spent the past 20+ years as a journalist and marketing consultant so I thought, well, maybe she wants to interview me. A request for a phone call could mean an interview. So, the next day, I did. I called.
And she said this: “I’ve been to your website and I like what you do. Love the Avocado. I was talking to the owner of the radio network two days ago. She says she’s looking for a new host and I think you’d be good at it. Are you interested?”
Bang. Just like that. Was I interested?
Now, we’ve got to go back to when I was 17-years-old to understand the implications of that question.
Little me, a teenager at George Washington High School in Northeast Philadelphia, wanted a summer job in the gap between junior and senior year. Not content to work at MickeyD’s, I wanted to do something unique, meaningful, creative. I had an interest in the media. So, I pulled out the phone book, (yes, we used those way back then), and I called every television station and radio station in the Delaware Valley. To my delight, WCAU-AM, a CBS owned & operated talk radio station, granted me a job interview. I hightailed it downtown and they offered me a job. Kinda. It was an internship. But as a high school student, there was no formal internship program in the Philadelphia school system. Luckily, I was in an advanced placement program and had a mentor at high school. My mentor, Barbara Siegel, God Bless Her, said we would just create an internship program. Just like that. Yeah, not the last of the just-like-that moments in my life, but maybe, just maybe, the first. So, I took the internship. It was supposed to last three months. I stayed for nine. All of senior year. I worked in programming, in production, in traffic, in the newsroom. I called the Screen Actors Guild to book talk show guests. Sound familiar? And I was hooked. Radio had me at hello.
After graduation, I went to what was then called La Salle College in Philly and majored in Mass Communications, which means I studied all forms of media: film, television, and, of course, radio. I worked for the college radio station. Not a high tech affair, my co-host, Stan, and I played our favorite songs and we gave the weather forecast by looking out the window and describing what we saw. I loved it.
The summer between my sophomore and junior year in college, my family moved to Florida. I followed them south and attended the University of South Florida. The college radio station there was an NPR affiliate that didn’t hire students. Not to take no for an answer, I got a part-time job in research at WRBQ-105, then Tampa’s, and Florida’s, most popular radio station.
After college, my first two jobs were in radio advertising sales in Naples, Florida. Not that sales was my interest, but radio was, and the station owners said I could write my own commercials and voice my own spots if I sold them. So, I did.
From there, life took twists and turns into marketing and finally freelance writing. All along the way, radio kept coming back. Either I was buying ads and writing them for clients, or being interviewed on the radio to promote one product or another.
When I moved to Washington State and for a short time took a job as a director of marketing for the local economic development association, two weeks into the job I was back on the radio promoting a fundraising event. Radio appeared again.
And now, here I was, on the phone with Mari, and she was asking me if I was interested in hosting my own national radio show.
Four hours after I said YES to Mari, my phone rang. It was Raven Blair Davis, owner of the Amazing Women of Power network. She offered me a timeslot and my first show aired on June 4th.
It’s funny, after the call with Raven, I did what most women would do. I called my mom. And I said to her that I realized that everything I had ever done in my life led to that phone call with Mari, to the call with Raven, to my show called Live Your Passion Radio. All of this time, radio had always been there, simmering just under the surface while I did other things. It’s really so fascinating when you look back at your life and see how perfectly the path unravels behind you, isn’t it?
So, I challenge you to look back at your path. Can you see that ribbon of road unfurled behind your footsteps? Do you see a theme emerge, an element that keeps appearing? I bet you do. And when you get the call, will you recognize that this is the moment when everything comes together? Will you say yes to your dream? I hope you do. Working on Live Your Passion is the most fun thing I do all week. I know it’s what I’m supposed to do. I wish the same for you.
Please tune in and let me know what you think of the show. It airs every Tuesday at 1:30pm Eastern/10:30am Pacific with a replay at 7:30pm Eastern/4:30pm Pacific at www.liveyourpassionradio.com .
I’ll see you on the radio.
Stacie Zinn Roberts is a nationally recognized, award-winning writer and marketing expert with more than 25 years of experience. She has won more than 40 national awards for her work including the United Nations Environmental Program for retail environmental marketing, as well as from organizations such at the Public Relations Society of America and the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. She’s written for industry publications such as Golf Course Management, Sports Turf, Golfdom and PR Daily. She spent eight years as the president and director of marketing for Environmental Turf, where she developed the branding for SeaDwarf Seashore Paspalum, the grass that eventually became the greens grass for the Rio Olympic Golf Course. Stacie served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Florida Turfgrass Association as Chair of the Research & Scholarship Committee where she worked closely with the scientists from the University of Florida’s turfgrass breeding program. Stacie founded What’s Your Avocado? Marketing & Public Relations in 2012.