Yesterday I was checking one of my many work emails, when I find an intriguing one about a television show. A few emails back and forth clarifying she wanted ME, not my father, we talked on the phone. I’d also done some Googling to know who this person was…
Let me stop right here for a moment. Three years ago the website she reviewed was about 14 pages. The boring stuff everyone says “contact us” page, “FAQ”, “about.” It was also a small website to sell our products. She would have never FOUND that website and even if she did hear of it somehow, she would not have spent much time….and not have called. But I learned a lot in the last three years and that site is now closer to 400 pages, which represents my authority on the subject matter and helps brand me as something unique.
This person is pitching a TV show and did a lot of research and found yours truly. Being impressed with the website and my expertise, she thinks I would be the perfect person for this particular role she wants to fill for the TV show.
There are quite a few steps from here to there, including TV Execs buying the show (she is expecting a a bidding war, actually!) Then me demonstrating I’m “Camera friendly.” I’m not super worried as a Today Show producer said “you’re a natural!” (Though I got cut from the final story..c’est la vie.)
I have a fairly sensitive body and can only describe the surge of hormones, adrenaline, dopamine, etc as having a distinct feel and smell. It was at once energizing and mellow. And within a few hours all the energy crashed. Fortunately I was able to enjoy my evening finishing up the brain science book I’m reading. I was worried I’d be “good for nothing” last night, unable to concentrate on anything, including TV! I found myself doing a dinner prayer with my kids for the first time. I needed to climb back to Planet Reality after the idea and potential of being on a 13-part national TV show. (Plus kids are awesome….my five year old and I when back and forth that if Mommy is on TV HE WILL SEE ME, I won’t see *HIM* through the TV.)
Having a media saavy father has a huge role in my emotions and philosophy about this. First of all, I know that a TV show, while AMAZING, is not a make-or-break event. It may lead to great things, or it may just be a fun story to tell my grandkids some day. Secondly, I know that getting this type of opportunity can distance you from people who may feel jealous or inferior. They project all their crap onto you and you’re left trying to one-down yourself. And unlike all the interesting responses I’ve been getting about fame, money, “glad I knew you before you made it big!”, this is my soulful reaction: This sounds so FUN! I expect no money and no fame. Just a really good time and a fascinating experience. I know I had some control in WHY this happened but a lot is a fluke (and yes, search engine optimization for that website to be found by an important TV person!)
And as a lot of people can tell you, a lot can happen from here to there. I’ve heard horrible stories about people who got on Oprah, their book advance was $100,000 because of the shows potential, and they staked their entire career and non-profit growth on the appearance. And then a disaster strikes and the show is pre-empted. What may have been the biggest event of their life was a non-event. Talk about a crash and burn! Or a reader of this blog who got an amazing CBS Morning Show appearance to talk about her marriage prep class in California (10 years, once a month it’s been happening!) Guess what? The fires in California mean the ONLY state that didn’t see the show was her state.
I can’t share any details but I’ll let you know when I can share more! But please take away the message here about why your website matters. The more you’re self-absorbed, self-promoting, all about YOU, YOUR classes, YOUR books, the less likely you are to necessary be attractive to others. But the more generous you are with your wisdom and the more you talk about OTHERs concerns and issues, the more you appear to be addressing real people’s issues. You’re not locked behind your workshop/book/therapy. You’re exposing yourself so a journalist may call you as an expert, or a business may find you and ask you to do a workshop, or yes, clients may be more likely to call you because they have a sense of who you are. And apparently there are big TV people surfing Google and may call you for a TV Show?!!! Wow.