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  • Writer's pictureEric Dahl

Embracing Setbacks

No matter what you call them setbacks, roadblocks, detours, wrong roads, obstacles, potholes or a different path – they happen to us all in our personal and career lives. The question is how we react or cope once we hit them. Anytime we set goals or dreams that we desire to achieve, particularly if they are a new idea or concept, resistance is inevitable. Sometimes we undermine ourselves by being afraid to push the boundaries or fearing failure by trying something new that has potentially greater benefits but more risk. Frequently others will thwart our efforts either by planting the seeds of doubt or outright blocking us from what we hope to reach. This is why mediocrity and complacency thrive because it is much harder to push the envelope and try a new direction than it is to settle for the way things are and resign ourselves to living with that. Recently I had a setback that threw me for a bit of loop and forced me to learn something about myself. I began hosting and creating the Rock & Review TV interviews back in January of 2012, because at that time no one saw any value in what I wanted to accomplish but they would allow me to do it if I wanted it enough to take on the responsibility. The show evolved and as I had more great music guests on to interview the more I enjoyed it, I learned something and hopefully shared this with the audience. The company I work for has launched a new video streaming service called STIRR. Thanks to a fellow promotion manager that went to work for the STIRR division they became aware of my interviews and liked the content. In fact, they liked it so much they want more interviews, plan to edit past interviews into thirty-minute programs and are seeking other avenues with it. So, after speaking with the manager in charge they asked me if I could create a few special half hour programs that would air in a prime spot. Creating a show out of the Rock & Review had always been a dream of mine just to see how it would perform and if it would go over. So of course, I said yes to their proposal that included an aggressive deadline to achieve. But the obstacles to achieving full length programs are greater than they may appear. Including: hours to shoot the interviews, hours to edit the interviews, voice over, music beds, graphics and final posting of the shows – plus closed captioning. The next hurtle is that no matter how much I want to accomplish the interviews and create thirty minute shows it is only myself and one producer/editor working on the projects. And although this still serves the company I work for, my primary responsibilities remain with promoting, programing and commercial production for my three television stations especially during critical February viewing times. Therefore, I knew what I had to do. I contacted the management at STIRR and told them we would need to postpone the shows, I contacted my interviewees and put them on hold, talked to my producer/editor and put the brakes on the entire project. Being a responsible adult is not for the weak of heart or mind. I was forced to make the best decision, but it took the wind out of my sales for a full day. Then I stepped back and came up with another plan that is workable over a longer period and won’t be so draining on the staff or me. Instead of setting out to create entire full length programs we will videotape and produce a segment per week that can air independently and be merged into a longer form show as well. The content will air on more outlets and have more frequency and not be so daunting to create. My point being, setbacks only stop us from achieving our goals if we allow them to. If we embrace it, then we can devise other ways to reach the same destination. The opportunities are unlimited when we open our minds to them and don’t become married to one idea and stop when we hit resistance. There will always be setbacks, obstacles and resistance to our best laid plans in live and career. The true test lies in not accepting defeat but developing new paths to victory. Maybe in the end what we come up with is even better than what we had originally planned because it required more critical thinking to achieve it?

The Setback of a loss can be a Victory tomorrow!


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