Good Friday morning, Everyone! I definitely appreciate all of you who have continued to come through to check out the JayScottSmith.com. Seriously. THANK YOU. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on Twitter, Facebook, and in my text messages. Keep that shit coming! It’s time, once again, for the JSC Words of Wisdom, a.k.a. #JSCWOW. Reminder, This will drop every Friday morning, more often than not, at 6:00 am Eastern Time. Feel free to share this on your favorite social media outlet with the hashtag — #JSCWOW.
For this week’s Edition, playing off of last week’s message of consistency, I had to dip way back into Ancient Rome to find this week’s message: Keep Working.
Again, a little backstory.
This picture is familiar to people who know me, but for the newbies, Yes. That is me. This was taken in December 1995 outside of Martin Luther King High School in Detroit. The dude I’m talking to is Brett Perriman, who was a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions. To show how long ago this was: Brett’s son now plays in the NFL. At the time, he was in the midst of the best season of his career — 108 catches, 1,488 yards, 9 touchdowns for a Lions team that finished 10-6 and closed the season with seven (!?!?) straight wins. He had just finished speaking at a program at MLK and I, just by chance, ran into him in the parking lot as we were headed back to RHS. So suddenly, I’m face to face with this cat that I had just seen on TV a few days earlier and I’m just out there with a day planner and a red pen in my hand. This is 1995, remember. There were no smartphones. I didn’t have an iPhone with a ready-made recorder on deck. Also, as a 16-year-old, I wasn’t very well-versed on the whole “dressing for the occasion” thing — as evidenced by my oh-so-journalistic varsity jacket and Detroit Lions hat (oy!) — but nonetheless, here I am. Just chatting it up with an NFL Receiver and a National Champion in a cold ass parking lot in Detroit.
Of note: My friend, Shannon Shelton, took the picture (she would chew my ass out if I didn’t note that).
The funny thing about that photo is that ever since then, I’ve used it as motivation. A constant reminder to be ready. Yes, it’s a cool visual and almost like a peek into a window in time where I was skinny as hell and wore glasses. But ever since then, I’ve always kept a notepad and a couple of pens on me at all times. Whenever I go out on stories, I always try to put myself in a position to have it ready to go so the next time I run into a Pro Bowl receiver, or powerful politician, or an elusive celebrity, I’m not out here looking like a friggin’ goober with a day planner and a red pen. Just last week during the NFL Draft, my prep paid off when I was able to catch Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf for a quick interview.
I often tell young journalists and college students two things in regards to their burgeoning broadcast careers. The first thing is never to be afraid of how you sound the first time you’re on air. No matter how good you sound the first time, it will always suck compared to what you’ll eventually become. I thought I sounded great my first time I was on the air. I went back and listened to it just three months later. And…Yikes! Secondly, and more importantly, I tell people to constantly work on what you do and seek to improve everyday. As the quote says, excellence is habitual. Just when you think you’ve got it down, do it again. Then, again. The best are never satisfied.
So, whether you’re a reporter, broadcaster, podcaster, lawyer, doctor, or you bake bread, stay after it. You’re only getting better with every passing day. Keep looking for ways to get better and…Success Is Certain.
Until Next Time, That’s The Way It Is. Friday, May 5, 2017.
Take Care, God Bless, Always Dare to Be Different, and G.O.M.A.B. Σ