GIVING THANKS: “POWER OF ONE”
When you reflect on blessings this holiday season, beyond family and friends, who made a defining and positive mark on you? Possibly unknowingly, whose choices have reverberated through your life and influenced the person you are today?
For a many that special person is a teacher. For me, the “power of one” was ultimately found in two strangers I met at different times while dreaming about a career in an industry I knew little about and had no connections in.
Cathy Tobin, whose “power of one” I wrote about in 2009, gave me the early career break I needed to differentiate myself from the thousands of other starry-eyed college students.
She saw the potential in me – when I think I did not really even see it in myself – the day I met her at the “Howard Stern Show”. For the next few years, Tobin did everything in her power to push me to the front-of-the-line when it came to anything important at the show.
Because of her, I learned so much and had experiences beyond my brain.
I met the second “power of one” blessing in my life while I was still commuting into New York City at 3 am every weekday to corral the Buttafuoco family, strippers and Alec Baldwin at Stern. Rhea Landig, the wardrobe stylist for Carnie Wilson with a pile of resumes almost as thick as a phonebook in her office, took a chance on me and eventually hired me at the short-lived “Carnie Wilson Show.”
There, Landig patiently and like-a-sister-lovingly gave me the experiences and lessons a young guy does not get in college however would not succeed without.
Landig, so secure in her own amazing talents, sometimes put my priorities ahead of her own. This beauty shared her exposure and Rolodex with me and even paid me to be the nanny for her two beautiful dogs when the show went on summer hiatus (aka got cancelled). This, in an industry where someone would not think twice about strangling you when your back was turned.
Together, we laughed off neurotic entertainment executives and debated who was more certifiable – talk show guests or hosts. In between, Landig offered me opportunity, which is all anyone with dreamy goals really wants. When I told her I wanted the job at the “Maury Povich Show” she immediately volunteered to call anyone she knew related to the show. And everyone took Landig’s calls. Having someone in her position making calls for me? Without question she was what sealed the deal for me with Povich.
Landig’s selflessness had a resounding impact on my life. Her choices back then continue to help me now. l wonder sometimes what kind of opportunities I would have had if I never met her or Tobin.
Would I have been a frustrated soul looking for a creative outlet? Would I have been doomed to a smothering cubicle at a Fortune 500 company? Would I have been forced to have no stability or freedom freelancing for a zero budget basic cable show?
I am pretty sure I would not have been able to walk my dog on the beach every day – a gift for which I am so very, very thankful.
Who was your “power of one?” Give them a call or send them an email this holiday. I bet it would be a great gift to hear from you.