It’s been one year: one crazy year.
One year ago–on the heels of 22 years with KPLZ and KVI radio, KOMO radio and KOMO TV—I was gently sent off on a new adventure from my former Fisher family. Leaving the people was the hardest part. As I told them in my goodbye, many of them were with me when I got my internship, met my wife, got married, bought my first house, lost my Mom, had our daughter, had our son, got on TV, lost my dad, landed my own radio show and got my first crack at interviewing a big time celebrity (Ewan McGregor). There are plenty of “former” co-workers that I’m still in touch with and that I care a great deal about.
Until November 15th, 2013, I had never been fired or laid off. I had gone through plenty of change. I had plenty of moments when I wanted to leave. I had plenty of reasons to leave—especially one General Manager with a mustache that hid a mouth full of lies (the only bitterness you’ll read in this). Through it all, I always demonstrated my ability to adapt and still find a way to grow.
I remember times in the office when people would criticize me for spreading myself too thin or for getting my hands into too many things. “Just do your job,” they’d say. I loved that criticism, because I knew they were seeing me as a guy who can’t just sit around and watch; a guy who doesn’t only do what he’s told; and someone who was still trying to learn, for his future.
Because I live off of creating ideas, trying new things, going on adventures and connecting dots, I was ready for the opportunity ahead. I really was. And I know it was hard for a lot of people to believe, mainly for their own fear of not “having a job” and not having a steady stream of income. Don’t get me wrong, the income part of this story is the toughest part and it still causes me to lose sleep. But what has happened in the last 365 days beats that fear down and keeps me looking forward, with a pretty darn good view.
Still, there have been tough choices to make—on what to not spend money on and what TO spend money on. I’ve invested in a couple of dreams, I’ve insisted on some family opportunities and I’ve rolled the dice—in Vegas and in life. I’ve worked for free and had more time to volunteer on things that matter to me. I also got to spend a whole summer with my kids. Try to add that up.
Through the year of searching, I have scratched away at a lot of things to keep afloat. Yes, I did apply to be an Uber driver (never finished the registration, though, but it still sounds like fun). I’ve done demolition, made dump runs, seriously considered a job at a local hardware store, sold-off items on Craigslist, traded in for a used car, considered selling our house, thought about selling my truck and I have continued to wear shoes with a hole in the sole to all of my interviews with A-list celebrities. I’ve taken on gigs to manage social media, develop marketing plans and to Host some really cool events. And it has all been to the tune of about 1/10th of what I was making. Just being honest.
While more and more opportunities are coming up, with solid income potential and great satisfaction, I do want to look back for the rest of this piece. There are so many people to thank for really tremendous support over the past year. Many of them have said, “don’t forget about us when you make it big.” I can’t remember their names, though. Just kidding. I remember every name of every one of you who has given me a pat on the back, a word of encouragement, a lunch, a cup of coffee, a phone number or something as simple as a thumbs-up. I really do.
I’ve spent a lot of time on social media in an effort to build my brand and reach new audiences, with hopes that someone out there sees something they really like. And, believe it or not, that has resulted in some pretty interesting connections.
I’ve even been surprised by friends who have taken to social media FOR me. Most notably, Michelle Strom, who sent out a single tweet to America’s Funniest Home Videos in the end of March 2013. It was a single tweet that resulted in AFV following me, asking for a demo, sending me a vest and sharing my work with their digital audience. That AFV connection helped me land the interview with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, where I learned that I apparently “have a nice face.” And that interview led to Tom Bergeron chatting with me on KOMO radio, thanks to Gregg Hersholt and Frank Lenzi. As for what’s next with AFV, I really have no idea. My fingers are crossed, I’m not quitting and I continue to appreciate your support. Michelle started it, but you’ve all kept me going with your likes, shares, comments and private messages. Thank you.
As you also know, I’ve spent a lot of glamorous time on airplanes, in fancy hotels and face-to-face with some very cool stars. That has been fantastic! But away from those invigorating experiences, there have been lulls where I’ve wallowed in self-doubt, felt like a pest with phone calls and emails, feared dark possibilities and have felt like completely throwing in the towel. I’ve sat in bars and coffee shops, staring at a blank screen, way too many times to remember.
Finally, a giant Thank You to my secret weapons: my kids, my wife, my mother-in-law and long list of other relatives and incredible friends. There are also members of my “junket family” that I can’t thank enough for their support—and I hope they know who they are by now.
What a year!