4:00 am DJ
Okay, it has been awhile since I have taken the time to tap on the keys and attempt to knock out some words of wisdom. There has been so much happening that I was thinking that there was really very little I could offer with so many experts blasting their advice to us during this during these remarkably challenging times.
Well the moment is here! As a matter of fact, I have often thought about writing a book and have literally started three different ones. Unfortunately, I have finished zero…that is none/notta. However, the one that I have gotten the furthest with is actually the basis of this short blog.
It all comes from a lesson I learned years ago when I was studying communications at Central Missouri State University. I was sitting in class and the professor was talking about what seemed like everything under the sun and then he started discussing something that in the moment seemed so simple. As a matter of fact, I really didn’t even comprehend it until I was much older and I had actually started coaching.
The lesson was this, “every day you wake up, you need to attack the day just like the “4:00 am DJ.” The moment I heard this, I too scratched my head like many of you thinking, what “H” does that mean? Years later it all came to me! The thought is that no matter how tired or what negative thoughts you have at the beginning of the day, you need to approach the day just like that 4:00 am DJ. In other words SELL IT!
The 4:00 am DJ regardless of what is happening in his/her life, when they get to the radio station, they have to sound as though life is nothing short of fantastic. Even more importantly, they have to convince you to believe that is true as well. If he/she gets behind that microphone and doesn’t have the necessary energy to keep his/her listeners engaged, the short attention span of the listener will be a death sentence. With the flick of a finger they will change the station. Yes, the 4:00 am DJ’s very job and the station’s ratings are all at least partly due to what presence and energy that he/she brings to the show.
FYI, “drive-time” at radio stations especially in the early morning and late in the afternoon are critical to a station’s success. As can be expected, this all significantly pushes ratings and advertising dollars. And, here is where it gets even more real. I truly doubt that every DJ who got up at 3:00 am and races to the station to start that morning sign-on is always having the perfect start to every day. I also really doubt that he/she woke up with the spirit of Howdy Doody in his/her heart 365 days of the year. Regardless, the message, the tone and the excitement delivered has to be “spot on” or else the listener-ship will tune out just about as fast as they can hit their search bar on their cars radio dial.
So what’s the message? It’s the same message that has been driving me pretty much my entire adult life. Regardless of how you feel, put your best foot forward and do it with excitement and enjoyment. People are listening “remember the radio example from above paragraphs or possibly even “watching” which now you have to insert “TV” into the metaphor.” I often think that if we all performed with that mentality how things would be different. There is a sense of urgency to get it right and do it with thrill and emotion. I believe it is true that we all sometimes feel we are just playing the game and no one is even listening or watching. That is likely not true. At a minimum a friend or a spouse or a peer, possibly your son or daughter is actually paying attention. The reality and most importantly, we may just need to persuade ourselves!
Lastly, it sometimes is literally the mind leading the body and other times it is the body leading the mind. But either way it boils down to finding a way to be a 4:00 am DJ.
You are expected to be a great mom/dad/brother/sister/employee/student/boss/leader/follower. No time for pity parties or dwelling on the negative hand you have been dealt, find a happy note in your song and be willing to sing it to everyone! Be or Become the 4:00 am DJ.