By Trent Rentsch
What have we learned today? Hitting the snooze 6 times rather than the usual 3 will make you late for work? A diet coke and a bowl of Wheat Chex won’t stop you from attacking the donut box in the break room? No matter how low you drop the volume of the music, the client will still tell you that it’s too loud over the phone? Three and a half trips to the all-you-can-inhale pizza buffet still won’t stop you from checking to see if the donut box is empty? At least three orders will show up after 4pm… and at least 2 will appear at 4:55 pm? On the way home (at 7:30pm) the “Hot Donut” light is still damned tempting??? Oh wait, we learned all those things a long time ago, didn’t we?
Who said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result? Not that I’m going to argue, but it seems like that makes most of us total nut jobs. I’ve spent years researching this phenomenon in break rooms up and down the dial. As I would reach for a chocolate glazed, I’d hear lines like, “If I owned a radio station, things would be different!” Or, “I wish I could get in a big market!” These lines were uttered by people who continued to do the same jobs at the same station for years… never making a move at buying a radio station or even putting together a resume to send to a major market Program Director. My conclusion… how crazy is that?
There are two kinds of people, Dreamers and Doers. And as a member of the former, I must say that I’m damned tired of those Doers getting it all. Great jobs, great cars, great houses… I mean, can’t they share some of that greatness? I dream about having all of that too. If all those Doers would quit, well, DOING, maybe we Dreamers would get off our butts and make some greatness happen too. Yeah, it’s those darned Doers, they’ve taken over the world, made it too hard to even start working on achieving our Dreams. Might as well keep sitting there, living the same day over and over, dreaming of something better. Oh, and I bet it was one of those Doers that took the last Boston Cream too!
Maybe I’m being too hard on the Doers. I suppose we Dreamers need to accept some responsibility. After all, dreaming is not the most focused activity. Joe Jackson once had a minor hit with a major thought, “You can’t get what you want, till you know what you want.” The Dreamer might muse, “Oh, to have a fancy sports car!” The dream might be narrowed down to a model, a color… even the color hair of the super model in the passenger seat. But what the dream doesn’t take into account is the steps the Dreamer might have to take to own that car. Maybe a second job, maybe some practice to hone the Dreamer’s skills, perhaps years of hard work to get to the point where the Dreamer has a salary that makes such cars (and dates with Super Models) possible.
Work… such an ugly word. Such a waste of time for a Dreamer… and by Dreamer, I now mean some Creatives I’ve known. After all, being a Creative means that the All-Mighty reached down and filled one up with so much raw talent that the world should automatically come begging at our door, “Please, please, PLEASE come use your powers for the good of my company!!!!!” How can such a Meta-human be bothered with something as trivial as working to achieve something? Paying dues?? Please! Fame and fortune will come knocking… just keep doing the same thing over and over, day in and day out, keep dreaming those dreams and doing nothing about it. One day you’ll be eating a raspberry cream with sprinkles and POW! Stephen Spielberg himself will stroll into the break room and beg you to mix down the sound for the next Indiana Jones movie!
If you are offended by anything I’ve written I have to tell you that I’m mostly making fun of myself… and hoping that if you are offended, that I’ve stuck a chord and you’ll do something about it. Speaking as one, I think we are too easy on Dreamers… by Dreamers I mean Creative-types who might really have some skill but are too lazy/scared/convinced that they have no talent to do anything with it. These Dreamers are allowed to under-achieve, often flanking their dream job in positions that they really are over-qualified for, talent-wise. Of course, the Doers don’t mind… in fact, they love having some Dreamers take on the creative jobs they can’t do, so they can offer what’s created, often at inflated prices that fill the Doer’s wallet. If that sounds wrong, remember: the Dreamer is the one who will beg for the “security” of such a position, even if the salary is a fraction of the Doers.
In the end, all I’m saying is, Dreamers, give Doing a chance. You want to be the next radio imaging God? Do the work… seek out the current Gods, listen, learn, PRACTICE! You want to get out of the broadcast industry and mix audio for movies? Do the work… join the forums on the internet, make the connections, learn what you need to learn, PRACTICE! You want to own a broadcast network? Do the work… make connections, seek out those who have what you want, learn how they did it, put that knowledge into, you guessed it, PRACTICE!
I do think that Dreamers, the Creative ones with self-esteem issues, might be a little crazy. Still, that’s no excuse to be insane, continue to dream and dream as the world passes them by. If you have a dream, do something, make some forward movement, to make it a reality. And you might want to pass up the donuts tomorrow… that’s how the Doers stay so skinny.