Fair warning peeps - not everything I write about or post is going to be related to weather. I like to step outside of what I'm "known for" and offer advice to those who may be able to use it in a constructive way. I believe in transparency - I live my life as an open book and I hold nothing back. If there's even ONE person that benefits from the things I put out there, I've accomplished something.
Today I'm going to be talking a little more about my background story and how I came to be where I am currently. In doing this there's going to be a common theme - BELIEVING IN YOURSELF to accomplish goals and set out on a path to success. Be honest here - how many of you have been told NO, before? Now, I'm not talking about something trivial like no to a material item that you're looking for or an expensive vacation etc. I'm talking about a solid NO to an idea you have had or a career path you wanted to go down. It's OK - I was told no many times growing up, myself. It's important to take the opinion of what you should do with your life, if it's in a negative tone, with a very small grain of salt.
If I listened to the first person who told me no, I surely wouldn't be typing this blog right now. If you've got to put the negative energy aside and follow your heart. You are truly the only person who can tell you what you want and don't want in life. If you want to be a doctor or lawyer or teacher or astronaut - GO FOR IT! Work hard, pay your dues and keep your nose to the ground. BELIEVE in your ability to get to that next level. You're going to encounter a lot people who won't really have your best interest at heart. For that reason it's important to surround yourself with people who WANT to see you succeed. These people will become the support network you'll need in life. Cut the negative energy. Get rid of the dead weight. You need people in your life that will lift you up and encourage you. This is the first step on your journey to succeed.
Last week I wrote a message to those graduating high school and college. I want to re-visit that message and expand because I believe this is something people at all stages of life can relate to. Perhaps you're not graduating from school - but rather graduating to the next level in your life. It could be a promotion, a new job, moving, a marriage etc. Change is inevitable. There very well may be some apprehension when taking those next steps and I get it. I was there. But by BELIEVING in yourself, you will set out on that journey more confident.
Now, I know some of you may be thinking... "what could a twenty-six year old possibly know about success"... and that is a completely valid question. Some may know my backstory, many may not. I'll give the abridged version so you can get up to speed.
I was given away as a toddler. My family had substance abuse issues. Luckily I had a loving grandmother who raised me. She was diagnosed with Alzheimers when I was twelve. I stuck by her side and grew up fast so I could take care of her. Eventually she would succumb to the disease and my life would change forever. I moved into my parents house - people I didn't have anything in common with and people who didn't understand my thirst to succeed. My dream, since I was six, was to be a TV weatherman - but how would I obtain my version of success? I did weather in elementary, middle and high school, but that alone wouldn't be enough to catapult me in front of a real camera and real audience, right? Well... normal convention tells us no. Society tells us that we HAVE to go through a certain process in order to become who and what we want. It's a preconceived idea that most follow. Me? Nope. That process wasn't for me.
I worked hard in high school. I got all A's and took challenging classes. By senior year I was awarded a full ride academic scholarship to Penn State to study meteorology, but I turned it down because my grandmother was sick and I couldn't bare the thought of her passing while I was hundreds of miles away. I couldn't leave. I had to be there for her. I turned down the scholarship and looked for other ways to get to where I wanted to be. My family certainly didn't have the means to put me through school and I didn't want to end up in debt so I figured working my part time job would help me get there. I started at ShopRite in Hammonton at sixteen pushing carts. Because I worked hard, I was put on the fast track to advancement on the corporate ladder. Within just a couple short years I found myself in management jumping to other stores in the chain. I succeeded at ShopRite because I BELIEVED in myself. It was challenging. I ruffled A LOT of feathers, but I changed things for the better. But even with all that - It STILL wasn't where I wanted to be. Not even close.
Backtracking just a bit here. I want to introduce someone who is extremely special and important to me. And HE is the reason I have such a love and respect for teachers. Gary Joseph. He was my media / english teacher. What a great person. He lives his life by the teachings of a book called The Alchemist. Essentially it teaches that if you want something strong enough and you push hard enough, the universe will conspire to make it happen. It also teaches the need to pay it forward. This man helped me out in ways I can't even explain. He encouraged me to make a demo video and apply for jobs in the industry. At the time I thought he was nuts! I did it though and I was hired at WMGM-TV NBC40 when I was just seventeen years old. Insanity. But it paid off. While TV40 would ultimately end up closing, it would set me up for where I'd go in the future.
For several years I was a manager for ShopRite and worked various shifts at NBC40. It was A LOT of work - it was exhausting but I did it and it was worth it. I would go on to leave retail and go into broadcast full time for SNJ Today where I worked for four years. Now I'm in the process of starting my own TV station while continuing to build the NorEasterNick brand. I've been fortunate and blessed to be able to stay in the market I love and continue to do the job I've wanted to do all my life.
Truth be told - my journey isn't the typical one people take in my field. I didn't go to college right out of the gate - it actually took several years to do. I did it online when I did get to the point. In the words of Frank Sinatra: I did it MY way! I continue to BELIEVE in myself. I've been studying this stuff for a couple decades now. I know my audience, I know my job and I know how to make a difference.
I'm here to tell you that you can do it YOUR way too. There are going to be countless trials and tribulations you're going to encounter on your journey. Your ability to succeed is going to be based on how you handle those situations. It's going to be hard at times but as long as you BELIEVE in yourself and your ability to succeed, you will make it. Color of your skin, gender, sexuality, socio-economic status or family background. It means NOTHING. Don't listen to the people who say "you're this so you should be doing that". Break through the ceiling and shoot for the stars. YOU are the ONLY person who can tell you how far you can go in life. NO ONE else. Have a great day!!