“You aren’t ready.”​

Growing up, my morning routine of getting ready for school didn’t change much. Wake up at the last possible minute that I could get ready and still be on time. One thing that did change was what I watched while getting ready for school. Tom and Jerry was my choice out of the two options I had living in a home without cable. Looney Tunes took a time slot for a while and then G.I. Joe. When I was in junior high, we got cable. Sports Center was the selection among plenty of watchable options. I would even watch the same broadcast when the hour rolled over. The same highlights, same scores, didn’t matter.

One of my favorite broadcasters was Dan Patrick. Professional. Funny. Not over the top. Maybe it was because he was Jordan’s choice as well. At least that is what it appeared as Dan would get the big interview with MJ in the ’90s after winning another title.

Dan had a podcast while he was at ESPN, and I also listened regularly. I followed Dan’s career as he left ESPN. It was shocking when he chose to leave the four-letter network. I thought the sports voice of reason I came to love was gone. I was excited to hear he was starting his own podcast. That’s an entirely different story of perseverance and commitment. The brief of it, he recorded the podcast in his attic for over a year without a studio as he built his audience. Now that audible podcast is nationwide in a massive man cave studio that can also be seen on TV.

Through his latest podcast, I learned where Dan got his start. He grew up with Sports Center also. He had to convince his college roommates that they needed cable more than heat so he could watch ESPN. Dan wanted to be a sports broadcaster and one day be on Sports Center.

When you know where you want to end up, you are committed to the launch and loyal to the work to stay on the trajectory to hit your mark.

Here’s a story Dan told about working towards landing at ESPN. He rented tv/studio equipment and lights to film an interview and five minutes of commentary. With his broadcasting demo tape complete, he sent it to Bob Ley, who he watched on Sports Center. Bob took the time to write him back. Bob told him he wasn’t ready. Keep working and get more repetition. 

Dan kept working. Six years later he was sitting beside Bob doing Sports Center.

Keep in mind, when someone tells you that you aren’t ready, they aren’t saying you should quit. They are saying you should keep working!

So what about you?

You may not have a plan to land on the set of Sports Center like Dan Patrick, but you do have a dream landing spot.

How committed are you to landing there? Are you willing to invest by renting equipment to produce a demo tape? Are you willing to reach out to get critiqued so you can improve?

Are you willing to keep working after hearing you aren’t ready?