It is Up to You

By Nathan P. Gayle


Good-bye 2013 and hello 2014.

January started off warm and then the arctic vortex moved to the south for a few days, just like some of the family members you were tired of from December, it left. And now the weather is in the upper 50’s,when this column was writen, but next week it will be in the mid 30’s. By the time this article is printed the two teams for the Super Bowl will be picked and ready to play on February 2. Will Peyton Manning end this incredible season with a Super Bowl win?

There is nothing like a new year to make us think of the one we just left and the questions of things yet to happen linger in our mind. Will I get that job I want? Will the girl/ boy finally notice me?

It is easy to say “let go” or “it is, what it is,” but without the proper leg work or just simply putting yourself out there, then how can you achieve what you want? You can’t. You have to do work. You have to put yourself out there.

This past year was a little hectic for me. There were so many lofty goals I set for my self that I never would have thought I would reach in a years time. One of them was I wanted to take more photos/ video of news events and my other goal was to get an entry level job in the media market some how.

How do I get to news events? How can I be there and get into the action of the story? I thought about this for a while. Then I saw I reporter who was asking a question on Facebook and it dawned on me. I would use social media to be the vehicle I would use to get out there. I started to ask friends, who I had worked with at the Times Free Press, for help. They steered me in the right directions. I started showing up at events like Andy Berke’s coffee meetings that he would have around Chattanooga.

Taking photos of that event and others led to an old co-worker of mine noticing I was getting out more and he asked me to join the board of Lookout Wild Film Festival. I said yes. This led me to an interview I did with Jeff Styles. Jeff gave me his email and when Riverbend started up, Friends of the Festival needed an intern to shoot video and photos for them. Guess who Jeff called? After working both Riverbend and Riverfront Nights, I got to know the WGOW 102.3 crew. I grew up with Brian Stone, but we had just been reconnected because of Styles and when an opening at WGOW came  up for a weekend producer came up… I think you know where this is going.

“The Book of Manning” by ESPN films touches on my next point. The father was just happy to make it to the NFL. He played for the Saints in the worst years of the Saints history. The oldest brother never got the chance to play in the NFL because of his spinal stenosis. The youngest brother sky rocketed to two Super Bowl wins. But Peyton Manning has put in work. He has had the best season of his career. He has broken few important records this year; all after coming back from neck surgery and being an older football player at the age of 37.

Taking a lesson from “The Book of Manning”, that not all of us is going to get that corner office right after college. Some will, but most will not. Some of us will take entry level jobs. Some will stay at that job, while others will flourish and move up the ladder to that corner office.

Had I not been willing to put myself out there and do a good job, my name would not be known by the people out there. I understand I had a lot of good breaks go my way but I still say that it was being in the right place, at the right time that has led me to my job. I may not be the best at what I do but I took direction well, I was willing to do what others are not and I do not complain about the work I have been given.

I hope all you flourish this year and years to come and do not get caught up in the vortex of not trying.