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You…Better…WORK!

After almost 20 years in radio, I’m now at the point where people ask me for advice. (I know, ME, which is crazy in itself, but of course, I oblige!)  Lately, a lot of High School and College students have been asking on tips on how to make it in radio- or anywhere else for that matter.  And really, it’s simple.

YOU HAVE TO WORK.

It’s funny how no one ever wants to hear those four words.

Look, there’s really no easy way around it if you actually want to make your professional dreams come true.  You have to put in the time and effort, plus a little extra to stand out.  Here’s a few things I’ve learned over the past almost 20 years that I feel that I can expound upon you:

 

1: SHOW UP:  Simple right? You’d think so. But I cannot tell you how many people cannot master the task of showing up to work.  Even in my early twenties when partying was life, I managed to show up to work.  I may have been hungover and smelled like a brewery, but I was there dammit, and I always got the job done.  My husband, who is a Major in the Army said something recently that resonated with me- Show up at the right place at the right time in the right uniform with the right attitude.

Which brings me to my next point…

 

2: ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING:  Yeah, sure, talent is great.  But what good is it if you’re a total dillweed that’s difficult to work with?  I’ll be honest- I’m not the most talented (or brightest) crayon in the box, but I’ve always had a really good attitude, and that has always gotten me ahead of some of my more talented peers.  Talent isn’t everything. Attitude and work ethic are also key ingredients. Mix up those three, and it’s a hell of a recipe.

 

3: LEARN EVERYTHING YOU CAN: I once had a co-worker years ago who refused to learn how to edit commercials. “That’s not my job” she would say, as she was an On-Air personality.  But here’s the thing… with the world constantly changing and consolidating, it is ALWAYS  a good idea to learn as much as possible about your chosen profession, even if it’s not in your current “job description”.  I learned how to do as much as I possibly could (aside from engineering- God BLESS engineers, especially ones who have to deal with me) and it’s always worked out in my favor.

Knowledge is always power, kiddos.

 

4: LOOK LIKE YOU CARE: Even if your job is casual, be a stylish casual.  Don’t roll up looking like you just came off a 24 hour bender- even if there’s no dress code.  I say this because in radio, there usually isn’t. No matter. Look your best, because you never know who you’re going to run into.  The day you come in looking like a scrub is the day the GM will want to speak to you, or new clients are in the building, etc.  You don’t have to be a supermodel, just put yourself together, and for crying out loud, STAND UP STRAIGHT!

Posture is everything.  I learned that early on. My mom used to tell me “Titties and Teeth” when I would ride into a horse show arena to remind me about posture.  You know what? It stuck.

 

5: BE NICE!:  This seems to be a tough one for people to grasp.  Common courtesy and kindness in the workplace can go a loooong way.  I’ve dealt with rude, bully-ish co-workers my entire career. I just continue to smile and be polite.  That’s really the only way to combat that kind of behavior in others. It’s always amazing how adults can resort to acting like a bunch of snotty teenagers in the workplace. You know what? It only makes THEM look bad, and not you. Carry on and be kind. Even if you don’t particularly care for someone, unless they do something absolutely horrid to you, just take the high road.

Fun Fact: The High Road and The Extra Mile usually have low traffic and lead to the same rad destination.  And it’s free. Um, WIN!

 

6: SOCIAL MEDIA MATTERS:  Are you looking for a new job? Clean up those socials!  As someone who has been in management and hiring positions before, let me tell you, you are being judged by your social media.  The first thing I do when a potential candidate would come up is look them up on socials.  You can tell almost EVERYTHING about a person by their social media presence.  Here’s a few red flags:

  • ANYTHING Racist/Hateful/Disrespectful to others
  • Too much political posts
  • Conspiracy theories
  • Filters!!!! Stop with that.  What are you trying to hide? More points taken off for a snapchat filter, especially if you’re out of high school.
  • Complaining about your current job/life/ex/houseplant/ and if I see a “SMH” abbreviation, I’m shaking my head right back at you.
  • Spelling and Punctuation Errors:  These things still matter. Your social media is your online footprint. Have respect for your language if you want decent job.
  • Photos of you getting high or wasted.  This is why I’m glad social media didn’t exist when I was in college.  Still- watch what you post and make sure it’s in line with the job you want.  I can get away with things like Wine Workouts because I’m in radio/media.  But if I wanted to be a lawyer, I wouldn’t be able to do that. Just something to think about!

 

7: LEARN TO TAKE CRITICISM:  It doesn’t matter what career path you take, you will need to improve your skills. How does one do that? By taking constructive criticism.  No one wants to hear that they aren’t perfect, but it’s a fact of life, and the better you can take the advice given to you, the quicker you can work on your weak spots and get better.  In radio we have what is called “Air Checks” where your boss (or several of them) would pull you into an office and play back your audio from a recent show and pick it apart.  I dreaded them! But I also knew that they were necessary to get better. To be fair, some bosses are better at giving back feedback than others, but in the end, its all a tool to make you better.  One girl I used to work with would cry in her airchecks, and another co-worker would get combative.  Not sure if they’re even in the industry anymore… anyway, learn to take criticism, and use it to build a better you.  I still get air-checked, and I welcome it.  You know why?  Because I STILL want to get better.  I know I can, and I’m always trying to improve.

 

These are just a few tidbits to help you get where you want to be.  Basically, show up, work hard, and have a good attitude are the most important things you can do.  This parlays into any career, not just radio. If you have any to add, please drop in the comments!

 

Good Luck!

 

 

Don’t Be a Joy Thief

A few years ago, I bought my horse Angel.  I was SO excited to be able to get back into horses- which was my passion growing up and into my early twenties.  BR Angelina Gold was my “dream horse”- a golden palomino Arabian cross, who through a strange twist of fate ended up in my life.  I was overjoyed when she arrived, and here are some of the things people said to me: “Why didn’t you get a Quarter Horse?” (Because I wanted an Arabian)  “Well, she’s small, isn’t she?” (Well, she’s an Arabian, so yeah)  “Why did you buy an Arabian? They’re crazy!” (Because I love them, and they’re my favorite)  and “Why didn’t you buy a Friesian?” (Maybe because I don’t have an extra 45 grand to drop on a horse? Hm….)

My point is, having Angel come into my life was such a joyful moment for me, and when I shared my news with others, I got a lot of negative feedback and comments from friends.  FRIENDS!  And I never even asked for anyone’s opinion.  I just wanted to share my happy news. Why is it that so few people can say, “Hey! Good for you. That’s awesome!” when someone shares something big?  Why does there have to be any comments at all?  Things like that can chip away at someone’s happiness.   And it’s not just in this particular situation, it’s happened on almost every happy occasion in my life, there always has to be a few people to be snide or say something hurtful as if they almost want to dim that glow of happiness.  Thankfully, I’ve learned to ignore it, but still… how strange is it that people tend to say things (unwittingly or not) that can put a dent in one’s excitement?  Why can’t we just clap for the other person?  Even if you don’t agree or if it’s not what you would choose to do with your life, what’s it to you?

Happiness is hard to come by. If anyone can find something in life that makes their heart swell and makes their life worth living- be it knitting or comic books or figure skating or collecting salt and pepper shakers- then you should be happy for them.  Because guess what? It’s not about you.  If we could all get that in our heads and realize not everyone is going to be just like you, think like you, live like you, believe like you, vote like you, etc… and actually be OK with those facts…perhaps the world would be a better place. If we can try to fix ourselves instead of “fixing” others, and concern ourselves with our own lives, maybe we could be better for it.  And for anyone dealing with those negative people in your life- and we ALL have them- remember: people who aren’t nice to you is not a reflection of you, but them.  Anyone who feels the need to rain on someone’s parade, no matter how small that parade may be, has some serious issues with themselves that they are struggling with.  Don’t let them project their unhappiness onto you.  Keep doing you and what you love and be who you are regardless of what others say.  I know I said this in a prior blog, but the point remains… it’s YOUR life, so live it how YOU choose.

 

Basically, clap for others, and if you have something salty to say, keep it to yourself, unless your opinion is specifically asked for.

That’s all. Easy peasy. Now go forth and don’t be a jackwagon! You got this.

 

 

New Song of the Week 3-22

Darius Rucker is just one of the coolest dudes… who else can claim fame in one of the most iconic 90’s bands (Hootie and the Blowfish) and then just randomly pop up on the Country Music scene in the late 2000’s and just become a permanent fixture in that genre as well?  That’s easy.  NOBODY.

And what’s cool is, Darius has continued these past 14 years to put out great, radio friendly Country music that is easy to listen to and relate to (and doesn’t mention getting blitzed on Fireball while making your girl with her cutoff jeans and tan legs give you a lap dance while getting a beer, which is a rarity these days) and his latest single “My Masterpiece” continues his hot streak.

 

I spoke to Darius today (Not even joking.  I’m still in shock) and he says the new album is due out by the end of this Summer, and if his last two singles – this one, and his latest #1 “Beers and Sunshine” are any indication, it’s gonna be another great effort by Darius.

Country Music is lucky to have him.

 

Stay tuned for my interview with him out later this week!

The Advice Not Taken

Looking back on the past 38 years, all the things that happened, all the paths taken and the ones bypassed, I often wonder how I got here.  So many random twists and turns have led to right now, which I’m going to be honest, is a really good spot. And a lot of the best things that have happened to me is because I am really good at is ignoring well-meaning advice.   It’s part of the human condition: people LOVE to tell others what they should do and how they should go about it because that’s what they themselves would do.  We like to project ourselves, our beliefs, our likes and tastes onto others, perhaps in a way to validate ourselves?  I’m not sure, but it seems that it’s something we humans like to do.  Ever since I can remember, for the most part, I would smile and nod, and go about my merry way and do what I felt like doing.  And you know what?  Some of the best things in my life are the product of decisions I made where I didn’t take the “good” advice.

#1: My Career Choice: Ever since I was four years old (I kid you not) I wanted to be a radio host.  So when I got to college, I majored in Communications. I remember my advisor telling me NOT to get into radio as it was a dying industry and I would never go anywhere.  I was 17 years old, and I remember looking at him and thinking “Watch me, bro.”

21 years later I’m still on the air and still loving it.  Had I listened to him, like many teenagers would have, what would I be doing? Maybe I’d be happy, but there’s something pretty rad about realizing a childhood dream.

 

#2: Dropping Out of College:  Perhaps if I had made a better choice for my university, I would have stayed the course.  As it turns out, the Summer after my Junior year, I got my first full-time radio job at 20 years old.  It was a huge opportunity, and I’d have been a moron to pass it up. Problem was, when the Fall semester of what would have been my Senior year started up, I had to schedule classes around my full-time job.  I spoke to the advisors, and no one wanted to help. The one class I needed- another Spanish class to meet my language requirements- was only offered in the Fall and was full. They refused to make room for me or let me independent study (even though I was a good student), AND they wanted me to intern at a competing station without pay to fulfill my internship and Senior Project requirements. Because THAT makes sense. I spoke to the Dean and he was like, “Sorry, rules are rules”. So I broke a rule of my own. I dropped out and never looked back.  I remember a lot of people told me I was making a massive mistake (except for my parents, who stood behind me) and some people still recoil in horror when I tell them I never finished college, but guess what?  Never needed to. Now, if all of a sudden radio stations started saying, “Hey Meg, you need a Bachelors and a Masters to do what you’re already doing” then sure, maybe I would.  But in the meantime, I’m just glad I got out of that school and took the amazing opportunity that ended up setting me up for life in my dream career.  Sorry not sorry, Lambuth University.

Oh wait, you don’t exist anymore, do you? Shocker.

 

#3: My Husband: I met my husband when I was 22. I was working at 98.1 the Max in Memphis, and he was a college kid on the remote crew. Basically, he would set up the live broadcasts that I would be the DJ at, drive the vehicle, etc.  We were just friends, as I was with the whole crew because we were all in the same age group, and we all liked booze. That’s all it really takes in your early twenties to make friends, right?  Eventually JB and I started toying with the idea of being more than friends, which pretty much EVERYONE (again, except for my parents) thought was a terrible idea. On paper, I totally see why. We had recently dated each other’s friends, which of course, is extremely awkward. JB was also in ROTC, meaning that when he graduated a few months later, he’d be Active Duty Army and all that that entails. Plus, JB had a reputation as a “ladies man”- which he denies. He says he was simply a “serial monogamist”… so yeah, you see all those red flags flying, right?

Again, I went with my heart, married him the next year.  I remember people taking bets on how long we would last at our wedding.  I hope you guys didn’t bet too much…

It’s been almost 14 years, and I cannot imagine a better human to spend my life with. What if I had listened to everyone else?  Woah. Potential bullets dodged.

 

Those are a few big examples of ignoring the “good” advice.

On a smaller scale, I remember all the advice thrown at me for smaller decisions, like “Don’t buy a sports car!!!” (Why? You don’t like awesome?) “Don’t wait too long to have kids!” (Um, not my call baby doll. Also, never say this to someone. Ever.) “Don’t get a Husky. They’re crazyyyy!”- that was from pretty much every dog person I knew when I was searching for a dog after our Great Dane passed.  I didn’t listen, and I have the best Husky on the planet who likes to make a habit of randomly showing up on tv with his antics. Maybe had I bought a GoldenDoodle that never would have happened. Or “Don’t get an Arabian- they’re stupid!” while horse shopping.  Cool. I have two now.  #noregrets

Also, “The Bachelor”, “Twilight”, “Fifty Shades of Grey” are all crap.  I can’t tell you how many friends told me to give it a chance. Totally should have listened to my gut there.

You see?  Bad things happen when you ignore your instincts.

 

The main thing is, it’s YOUR life. So many people will tell you how to live it. But guess what? THEY don’t deal with the consequences, but YOU have to.  If you want to be a circus performer and wear tutus to the grocery store, then DO IT.  If tax law is your thing and Brooks Brothers is your crack, go for it.  Don’t let anyone stand in the way of what your heart truly wants. Unless it’s to be an ax murderer, and then that’s a whole different issue.

You get one shot, and you might as well do it your way.  There will always be someone telling you what they think you should do. Smile, nod, say thanks, and go the other way.  Just keep being you, and trusting your instincts.  You won’t go wrong.  And when you look back like I am right now, it gives you even more to smile about.

 

 

 

New Song of The Week 3-8

So, a few weeks ago, I had mentioned on air that I really wanted new Bruno Mars. He’s definitely up there as one of my favorite contemporary artists.  Well, a few days after I said that, I found out that Bruno Mars has teamed up with the crazy talented Anderson Paak (who also has one of the best smiles EVER) for a project called “Silk Sonic”.  That got me all excited, and when they dropped the first single this past Friday, I was NOT disappointed in the least.

“Leave the Door Open” is a great mix of old school R&B, Motown, and modern sounds.  It’s got swag and of course, amazing vocals from Bruno Mars who is one of the best out there.  It was one of those songs that I was all about as soon as I heard it.  I want more of this on the music scene, and I can’t wait for their full album.  I’m really excited to hear more!

 

Sorry, kids. This beats “WAP” all day long.

 

 

New Song of the Week 3-1-21

I love Miranda Lambert. I love Elle King. So… yeah, suffice it to say I was pretty jazzed when I heard they were collabing.

“Drunk” is a fun, upbeat song that reminds me of me in my early twenties when I was a hot mess express who thought Jager was a food group.  (Turns out, it’s not. Huh.)  It’s just a fun Pop-Country Bop that we need right now!

 

Plus, Miranda Lambert is a freaking QUEEN. That’s all.

Bullies are the WORST!

It’s International Stand Up to Bullying Day, and the subject is one that I have a lot of personal experience with.  I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes and thinking, “oh, she’s talking about this again? Let it go, Meg.”  But here’s the thing, I like to share my experience with bullying because you know what? It might help someone else who is going through a tough time. I know that if someone could have told teenage me what was up, I would have maybe had an easier time with things.  So, roll your eyes all you want. Here’s my story:

My family moved to Tennessee from New Jersey when I was nine years old.  Oh, and I skipped a grade that year. So imagine moving to the South as a Yankee where they were still practically fighting the Civil War in 1992 and instead of going into 4th grade like I should have been, I got to go into the 5th grade instead. (I scored high on some IQ test or something. Turns out, I wasn’t really that smart.  I just had super high reading levels.) So… that right there was a bad start. Not only was I a year younger than everyone in my grade when that actually mattered, but also a new grade, curriculum, and a school where most of the kids have been together since pre-K…yeah, not exactly a great recipe for popularity.  I definitely did NOT fit in, and it would just get worse from then on.

– Me in fifth grade, age 9 (Sweet mullet alert!)

In Junior High I managed to stay invisible, but as soon as High School started it got pretty rough. Mind you, I was 13 when I started, and I was a late bloomer, and just all-around awkward.  I had zero fashion sense, I wasn’t a great student, I was not very attractive (My parents said I was beautiful, and bless their blindness) and never would fight back when people picked on me. So, I was basically the perfect target.  Oh my gosh, I wanted to be popular SO badly.  I wanted friends, and that dream high school life that I saw on all the teen movies, but I was basically “Josie Grosie” from “Never Been Kissed”. To be fair, I was a bit of an odd duck, but I was a nice one, that never meant anyone any harm. But let me tell you, it was brutal for a few years.  Here’s a few examples of how awful kids can be:

  • Singing in the high school talent show, and having 90% of the audience boo at me.  How I ever got onstage again, I have no clue.
  • My freshman year, a table of the hot Senior guys started catcalling me at lunch and told me to come over. When I did, clearly excited about the attention, they laughed and told me they would never be into a skank like me.
  • One of those awful senior guys spread a rumor that he slept with me.  I was 13. I had no idea what he was even talking about, but to this day people still think that happened.  That rumor haunted me my entire high school career,
  • In the lunch line, one kid loved to come up and kick me in the ribs daily. This went on for weeks, until I finally told my parents, and they went to the school who then blamed me for “being flamboyant” and bringing too much attention to myself.
  • One of the Senior girls decided it would be nice to put gum in my hair at an assembly, which ended up having to be cut out. Again, my parents complained and nothing was done.
  • I can’t tell you how many times I found gross things people put in my backpack.  Rude.
  • I always hated the change of class, because people would literally saw “ew, gross” as I walked by them in the hall. This was a daily occurrence my Freshman and Sophomore year.
  • The few times I tried to show interest in a boy, he would make a show about how skanky I was, and how he’d never be into me.
  • When I tried to act and dress “normally” I would just be called out on it. “Look!  Megan is trying to be like us! Ha! Loser” I couldn’t win.
  • I’ve been told I should just kill myself on several occasions.

Those are just a few examples.  It did get better by my Senior year (not totally, but it was better) and I was lucky to have amazing parents to come home to every day.  My mother would always tell me “Birds Only Pick on the Best Fruit” and dad would say “Consider the Source”… but at that age, it was hard to really understand how right they were. I was just lucky to have them.  I can’t imagine kids being bullied at school, and then NOT having a support system at home.  I can easily see how they could go off the rails.  I don’t know what causes someone to act like a bully, or why it’s even an accepted behavior, but it’s seriously awful and damaging at ANY point in life.

-Me in 10th grade at age 14.  I wish my brows were still that thick!

It took a long time to get over constantly feeling like a loser, and I ended up having social anxiety over it for years, Honestly? Sometimes I still get it when I meet new people. It’s ingrained in me to automatically think that people won’t like me, because that was the norm for me.  And bullying goes beyond school. It’s everywhere. In the workplace, in social circles, in sports, in politics, and of course, it’s rampant online.  I’ve seen people be terrible to their co-workers because that person was simply different than they were.  In social circles, women being rude to others because they are jealous or petty or who knows what.  And the vitriol on BOTH political sides is sickening. Sure, lets express hate because someone thinks differently than you do. That sounds fun!  Can we please just stop? Take a deep breath, and remember that we are all human, and we are all going through something, and move on? Why is that so hard?

That all being said, having experienced bullying at all stages in my life- heck even now- I do feel like my experience in the end has made me a better person, and most definitely a stronger one. I know what it’s like to feel left out and hated, and I would never want to knowingly make someone feel that way.  I would never want to knowingly hurt someone’s feelings, or make them feel less than, and that’s sadly a rare trait.  Over the years, my skin has thickened, and I can now honestly say from experience to anyone who has experienced bullying that it DOES get better.  YOU will be better. It just is tough to deal with when it’s happening. But stay strong, be kind, work hard, and when your dreams come true eventually, it’s pretty cool to know that you did it, despite all the hate and negativity. You will rise above it. And it will be AWESOME.

 

Middle Age, I See You!!!

 

I’m 38 today, which is cool.  I’ve not been one to really cry over getting older.  The other option is way worse, so I’ll take it. And to be honest, there’s not much difference between 18-year old me and 38-year old me, aside from a few crows feet, and my neck starting to do weird things, and my back hurting when I wake up sometimes. Aside from those minor indignancies, those 20 years have been pretty dang good.  I’ve even learned a few things over the past two decades.  Since I’m a kind and giving soul, I shall pass on what I learned to all you whippersnappers.  And those who have a few years on you, you never know. You may learn something anyway.

#1: Love Yourself!

Like the great RuPaul once said “If you can’t love yourself, how in the HELL can you love someone else?”  It’s pretty profound, because it’s true.  People who love themselves (in a healthy, non-Kanye West like way) are happier and more able to keep that love going.  People who truly love themselves and have a good relationship with oneself have no need to be hateful, spiteful, or any of those non-fun things.  I highly recommend it.

Really, you SHOULD love yourself, because you’re the one stuck with yourself all day, everyday. Makes total sense to me. So, get on that.

 

#2:  Work Hard

You would think that’s a no-brainer, right?  But there’s a lot of lazy fools out there who think that things should get handed to them because they breathe.

Um, no.

One of the best things I learned from my parents was a work ethic. You want something? Great. Earn it.  You get a job, show up, have a good attitude, learn, and wear deodorant. It’s not complicated.

 

#3: Learn About Finances

I can’t stress this ENOUGH!!!!!  I’m not math major, but money coming in should be more than money going out if at all possible.  I’m going to quote my mother on this one, “Always live below your means, and you’ll never be broke”.  She gave me that advice at 20.  For once I actually listened.  I really feel like money and finance classes NEED to be a Core requirement in all high schools.  Pretty sure that would have been way more useful than the ecology class I had in 11th grade where all I had to do was take out the trash to pass.

 

#4: Don’t Bleach Your Hair

It will die. And you will be sad. And it will take seven years to grow back. True story from the time my hair got accidentally bleached at a salon in Manhattan, KS.

 

Which leads me to #5…

#5: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!!!!

I learned this one later in life.  I was always thrifty and saved money where I could.  Which is great, and very helpful…BUT some things are worth paying more for. Hair is definitely one of them as I found out the hard way.  Same goes for running shoes, toilet paper, and coffee.

 

#6: Only Be Around People Who Are Nice to You!!!

Again, a later in life lesson for me.  If someone didn’t like me, I used to freak out, wonder what I did wrong, and then TRY to make whatever tasteless human who didn’t like me, and guess what? Doesn’t work. Not everyone will like you.  But also, not everyone is smart.  So…just be around people who like you.  Life has been so much better since I worked that one out.

 

#7: Also, Love Someone Kind

Young me only liked boys who were NOT nice to me. (My sincerest apologies to all of the lovely young men who I may have hurt during my late teens and early twenties.  It really wasn’t you. It was me. I was a moron. Most young women are when it comes to love.) Thankfully I saw the light at the age of 24, and settled down with someone who is a good human, AND loves me for me. God bless him.

I highly recommend not settling down with an asshole.  I don’t care how hot he or she is.  Just, no.  Trust me on this one.  Happiness is fun.

 

#8:  You CAN be nice to someone even if you disagree with them.  I think that 96% of the population forgot this one in recent years.  Really, to dislike someone because they have a differing opinion than you is not only stupid, but childish.  And if you must be angry at them for this, then just ignore them instead of being rude on social media all the while misspelling half of the words.  Which brings me to my NEXT life lesson…

 

#9: Grammar is Your Friend, People!

Learn it.

Use it.

And for the love of GOD, if you’re going to argue on social media, spell and punctuate correctly.  Or your post will be automatically dismissed. At least to me it will.  I’m not the brightest crayon in the box, but I know what a comma is for!

And if you send me your resume, please don’t e-mail me saying “R U looking for an employee?”

No. I’m not.   Not until you can spell out the word.  And that actually did happen more than once.

 

#10: Forgive

People will always disappoint you, as you will them. It may take a while, but forgiveness lightens a heart and gives you less wrinkles. At least, it should.

 

#11: Don’t Drink Two Glasses of Wine and Do a One-Handed Cartwheel on a Hardwood Floor

I just learned that two weeks ago. And I have a badly sprained shoulder to show for it.

 

#12:  NEVER buy the screwtop wine.

You’ll thank me for this, kiddos.

 

 

Cheers to living, learning, getting older and kind of wiser.

Be kind, love one another, bad grammar and all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Song of The Week 1/25/21

Maybe it’s the horse fan in me… or maybe it’s just that this song is that good.  Probably both.


Parker McCollum is the real deal.  And he’s on the verge of becoming the next big thing in Country music.  His voice is great, is songs are on point- well written, relatable Country songs that aren’t a copycat of FGL or Luke Bryan (Thank the Good Lord!).  Parker already has a huge following of college girls- that’s where it all starts- and just clocked his first #1 with “Pretty Heart”.  I know this isn’t his new single that just got shipped to Country radio (“To Be Loved By You”- it’s ok. Not as good as this one!) but as a true Country fan, I think it should be.

 

Check out “Galveston Bay” by Parker as well.  You’ll thank me later.

 

 

Going Viral (In a Good Way)

What’s it like to go viral?  Like on the internet? (Not COVID)

I may actually know a thing or two about that.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the “Wine Workout” videos – they were really popular a couple of years back- but if you have, most likely it was one of my videos. There were a few copycats later on, but I was the OG of Wine Workouts.  What a thing to be known for right? Overall, I’ve had over 500 million views total on Facebook alone, and I have no idea how many on other social media sites, but it was definitely a crazy thing! Here’s a few of my terrible ( but fun!) ideas:

So, yeah, those are a few of the videos that ended up making the rounds online.  I’ve had a few other non-alcohol related videos take off, usually involving my awesome dog Cash, or my family’s animals, and it’s been really fun to see them pop up in random places online, and see the internet’s reactions to them.  You can check out all the videos on my Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSkrUpVBFD-AWmFSsTcUl7g

 

That being said, I often get a ton of questions from people about the videos, and going viral in general. Here’s the ones I always seem to get:

 

DO YOU MAKE ANY MONEY????

Of course, people always want to know that.  Which, honestly, I find kind of rude.  But if you really want to know, yes, I do.  Not a ton. Not enough to get rich or anything.  But with licensing with great companies like Storyful, Newsflare, and Jukin, it’s a nice side gig. It definitely pays for wine and then some.  I’ve been really lucky to have zero overhead or production and to be able to randomly make videos that sell.  Now, to really make money off of videos, you have to really commit to it and grow your Youtube channel (which I’m bad at doing) and put a lot of work into it, OR be a celebrity and have built in followers. I’m in neither camp, and just see the videos as a fun anitdote in my life.  My real gig is radio, and I want to keep it that way.  The videos are purely for fun.

 

HOW DID YOU GO VIRAL?

Luck! And a random, off the cuff idea that I came up with one day after the gym. I came home, and I saw a cartoon of a girl drinking wine while doing push-ups. My friend Stacy had sent it to me, and light bulb had gone off in my head.  Before I lost interest, I poured a glass of wine and stuck a straw in it and gave my phone to my husband.  I put the video up on one of the Facebook page of one of the radio stations that I worked for, and it went bananas, getting over 27 million views.

Yes, my form was terrible, but it was done on a whim, and I had absolutely NO idea what it was going to do. I remember being so excited about it, and pretty much everyone at work was like “So?”

Gotta love that kind of support.

Anyway, online outlets took notice, and then companies started reaching out and it pretty much snowballed from there. I was definitely onto something, so I kept making videos. Wine not??? So that’s how it happened. A total happy accident.  I just ran with it.

WHERE WERE YOUR VIDEOS FEATURED?

My favorite was a story on “Good Morning America”!  Lara Spencer and Amy Robach (two of my favorite women on tv!) covered and I’m still not ok.

Also, sites like People, Daily Mail, all the viral sites like Unilad and Viral Thread, Viral Spiral, Newsflare… it’s all been really cool.  Local tv stations have covered it, and I’m still in disbelief that something so simple could go so far.

Other fun videos that had a lot of reach…

Thanks to my BFF Erica for making the unicorn noises on this one…

I filmed the above video while working a wedding on my parents farm. I put it on YouTube and ABC News picked up the next week. It just goes to show that you NEVER know what will be a hit!

 

 

BUT WHAT ABOUT THOSE COMMENTS???

One of the things about going viral for WHATEVER reason is that people are rude and salty and will make terrible comments about anything.  Admittedly, it hurt at first, but after awhile, I realized that it wasn’t that big of a deal.  People, in general, can be absolutely terrible, and social media gives those kinds of people an outlet to be keyboard warriors.  So I learned to just laugh it off, and move on. It’s not like I actually know those people (thank God!) so I don’t take it personally.  If nothing else, it’s entertaining for me to see how idiotic people can be.  Oddly enough, it’s made me stronger, having to see those things written about me, and realizing that these opinions matter absolutely zero.   But if you ever do have something get a lot of traction online, prepare yourself for that fun.

 

OMG!!! DO YOU WORK OUT LIKE THAT EVERY DAY?

I get this one a lot.

People are idiots.

Absolutely not. It’s a freaking joke. For the eight millionth time, it’s just satire.  A funny idea.  In a perfect world, maybe.  But it’s insane to realize that a lot of people think it’s real.  I mean, come the heck on, seriously???  Then again, people think “The Bachelor” is real, so… maybe not so preposterous.

 

ARE YOU, LIKE, AN ALCOHOLIC?

Yes, really. That’s another popular question.

Like, what am I supposed to say? “Well, now that you mention it, yes, I certainly am.  I better go to a meeting.”

No.  I’m not. I love wine, but I’m really all about moderation.  But nobody likes videos about moderation, sooooo….

 

CAN YOU MAKE MY VIDEO GO VIRAL?

I get a lot of people sending me things telling me to make them go viral. I never really know what to do in that situation.  I just tell them to send them to an actual company and go from there.  I honestly have nothing to do with it. Sorry friends.

 

But what I CAN do is give you some tips on how to make a video that will get attention and perhaps have a shot at lots of views.

 

1: Keep it Short

People have the attention spans of gnats.  Get to the point! Now, longer videos have gone viral, but a majority are to the point. Keep it under a minute!

2: Get That Good Lighting!

Like instagram photos, bright, sharp, well-lit  videos get more attention that dark, out of focus ones.

3: Have Something That’s Relatable to the Masses

That’s a big one.  It’s got to be something that a lot of people will want to stop what they’re doing and watch.  If it goes well on your social media, then you’ll know you may have something.

4: Promote It!

Reddit is great for that.  Also, tell your friends to share! Don’t be afraid to self-promote.  It took me a while to get over that one.  I always felt uncomfortable asking people to share things, but I got over it, and you should too.

5: License it!

If you have a video that performs well on social media, you may get approached by video companies and definitely look into it!  How that works, is that a licensing company will have the rights to your video, promote it, and sell it to major news outlets.  You’ll get a cut of the profits.  It’s a lot easier than trying to pimp out a video yourself, and you can make a little extra money.

If you choose not to license it, you can let anyone use it, but you won’t get paid. And not having it licensed opens you up to people stealing your stuff and you getting NO credit for it.  Which happened to me a ton.  The worst is those OMG Quiz sites, who like to screen shot my videos and use them for advertising.  So, licensing with a company can help protect that from happening. And let me tell you from experience, getting a social media credit doesn’t really do anything for you.  You may get a few followers, but not what you would think. For instance, the video of me with the wine curl bar on Unilad had 47 million views.  There was a social media credit.  Did it really do anything for me? No.  I think I may have gotten 50 followers off of 47 million views. People just don’t care enough to click on it, and I get that.  Other people may have gotten a ton of followers, but it wasn’t that way for me.

 

Overall, going viral has been a really fun experience. I love seeing all the random places my videos end up, and it’s just a fun anecdote in my life.  It’s just not something to take seriously (for me, at least).  Just know that once your video is out there, it’s out there. There’s no taking it back on the internet.  Since I’m in radio, my ridiculousness is kind of encouraged. But if you have a real job, just be aware of the fact that there could be negative repercussions.

Let’s just hope my husband doesn’t run for office one day!

Good luck, and have fun- you just never know what will make the news.  If I did it, then seriously… it can’t be that hard.

 

Cheers!!!!!!