The first time I appeared on radio and on TV to promote my books, I was ready.
In each case, I had associates recording the appearances, and just to be sure there wasn’t a snafu, I asked the stations themselves if they would kindly preserve the shows and send me copies of the tapes.
Those “reels” became promotional items that helped me to secure even more guest appearances, and to sell more books. Plus, when I pitched new books to publishers I sent samples of my media savvy to dramatize my abilities and connections and to say I was definitely ready for my Warholesque15 minutes of fame.
Fame is one thing. Opportunity is another. All of us have moments during which we can seize a chance to shine, to get ahead, and to even get rich.
What we’re missing is the right preparation and the best helpers to take advantage of these moments.
I was offered a lucrative deal to do a video training film, to be distributed by a famous media company. It would have been a first for me, operating on a major “stage,” with worldwide distribution.
I selected the wrong attorney to represent me in contact negotiations. While he was an intellectual property lawyer, specializing in copyrights and trademarks, he wasn’t an entertainment lawyer.
By the time this became apparent, the damage was irrevocably done. Seizing an obscure part of the tendered contact as a point of contention, he scared away the deal, much to my financial and career-building chagrin.
Now, I am also a lawyer, and I can see how he erred, and how I erred as well in retaining him.
I asked him to operate on a playing field that was new to him. He was learning on my time and on my dime. Just because he was competent in filing certain documents didn’t make him a capable negotiator or “talent” representative.
I should have seen that, and I didn’t. Worse, I didn’t have a colleague or a consultant or a coach to see that for me, and to help me to arrange better representation.
I see lots of ads for “life” coaches but these people aren’t necessary, in my estimation, unless they are focused on assisting folks to rise to the most challenging occasions. These include defining moments in people’s careers, marriages, education and training, financial infusions and reversals, and legal situations.
Unless these advisors have special expertise in helping people during life-making and life-breaking situations, they aren’t worth their freight.