What They Don't Tell You About Following Your Dreams
My journey started 10 years ago, and is still going strong. A DECADE in radio!! Crazy. I
still remember that eager girl who was hungry to learn everything she could about
radio. I was in broadcasting school when I landed my first internship in the
production department…that later turned into a morning show intern (where I fell
in love with mornings)…and later into a part time promotions assistant position.
Nobody teaches you how to balance, that’s a skill you grow into. You are either
hungry for it, or you’re not. I wanted to absorb every opportunity thrown at me and
ask as many questions as I could. I knew what I wanted, and knew I had to hustle my
way to the big picture.
Finally, after hard work, holding down internships, jobs, and wrapping up school, I got my big shot. I’ll never forget this day, July 4th 2010. The day my PD, Byron Harrell asked me to cover an overnight shift for someone. I think I about passed out after he asked me. This was it, my shot at finally doing radio part time in Detroit! I was doing it! After a year of being on air in Detroit, it was time. Except one thing, I didn’t want to move out of the Detroit area. Big problem. If you want to TRULY make your dreams happen in radio, you have to relocate. I had a
radio sister, Roxanne Steele (now at WYCD in Detroit) push and encourage me
EVERY weekend to send material out. So, I finally did…..
My Father passed away in 2011, after a long battle with multiple sicknesses. It was
the perfect time to pick up and go after this vision I had. You know that feeling of
working towards something and it just FEELS right? All the stars are aligned? That
was Vermont. The first big shot as a full time radio personality. I had NO clue what I
was getting myself into. There is no “how to guide” on moving to a new city alone to
chase dreams. Moving to Vermont? All I knew, they were home of the maple
syrup. Seriously. I wanted this plan to launch. I worked hard. I matured in Vermont.
Grieved my Father, dealt with work challenges, worked through a lifelong battle of
self confidence issues, culture challenges, I was BROKE, tired, hungry for success,
questioned what the hell I was doing, almost walked away about a hundred times,
and the list goes on. It was the most rewarding 4 years (and a half) of my life. I
discovered who Amber truly was. I transitioned from what I thought others wanted
me to be, to discovering exactly who I was.
Fast forward to today. The dream of having my own morning show is now a reality. I
had no “how to guide” on being a solo woman in morning drive. WHAT?!!!! I
remember driving from Vermont to Indiana with all of my things crammed in my car
thinking…what…did…I…just…agree….to? All I knew was the vision I had for my
morning show. BIG thanks to Laura Daniels (Morning Host at Mix in Buffalo) for
giving me great starting out advice. This required a new chapter of growth. Holding
a conversation with yourself, feeling confident about it, and praying people would
enjoy you. I’ve now been in Fort Wayne two years. I am standing in my truth, and
discovered my voice. Time. Patience. Trust. All things needed to stay a float in this
business. Nothing great happens overnight. Ever.
I’ve learned some hard, yet soul filling lessons in my career so far. I want to leave
you with these final thoughts…..Stay humble. This business is filled with egos, don’t follow that trend. Remember
where you started. Stay hungry. Stay in a place of gratitude. Never think this
business owes you anything. Work hard. You WILL be alone. You WILL feel alone.
You WILL lose touch with people who aren’t meant to be with you on this path. Your
dreams will morph into something more than you could have ever imagined, if you
allow the flow of life to happen. You WILL be broke, like eating out of Hot N Ready
pizza boxes for a week I hope I don’t overdraft broke. Never chase the paycheck,
chase the vision. Give back. Find a strong support system to help you when you feel
low. Trust in yourself. Stay confident, this business can swallow you up if you allow
it. Most importantly, believe in yourself. You’ll have moments where you think
you’re crazy for chasing this “thing” you see playing in your mind over and over.
Only you know what you’re capable of accomplishing. One last thing, love what you
do. I hope this inspires you to stay motivated and focused on your vision. If nobody
else around you believes in you, be your own role model.
Go get it gurl Xo