by Kent Sterling
The number of times people Google “Kent Sterling Fired” leads me to believe that my timely demise as program director from Emmis Indianapolis reflects a level of interest that mirrors my own – none. The quality of my life is so much better that it’s hard to describe. My energy is much better. My health is better. My marriage is better. My friendships are better. People seem to be happier with me. That’s nice.
For the first time in years, I’m relaxed. While driving, I’m happy to just drift along at the speed of traffic (or at least not shout obscenities at every car or truck who pulls in front of me). I don’t judge people quite as quickly, but I still have some work to do there. The primary obstacle in my way is that I believe I am a very effective judge of people and systems. It’s very difficult for me to hand money to slack-jawed boobs who are indifferent to my patronage. Yesterday, I left two Arby’s before ordering. At the first, all of the workers were way in the back of the store when I walked in. The store appeared abandoned. At the second, as I ordered a lady walked up, and interrupted my order by asking for two bags. The man taking my order turned from me without a word and fulfilled the lady’s request. Next stop, Burger King, where the lady taking my order nearly incurred my wrath by responding to my distinct request for a “Whopper sandwich” with the typical and annoying “sandwich or combo”. I told her that I asked specifically for a sandwich, so my inference were I her would be that I want a sandwich. She gave me a look that forced me to keep an eye on her to see whether she might defile my food or signal the cook to do so. Clearly, I have some work to do.
February might have been the first month since I reached driving age that I haven’t used the car horn at all. Baby steps.
The two businesses with which I am involved are moving in the right direction. This website now has four writers other than me, and the page views more than tripled from the January (10,032) to February (32,105). Part of that is due to a couple of posts being picked up at “Extra Mustard” at the Sports Illustrated website, but page views are page views. In April, we will migrate this site to wordpress.org, which will allow us to sell some panel ads and start generating some cash. It’s nice to make changes without writing a 30-page dossier designed to convince management of the need to make the change. We have formed an S Corp called Moops Media to be prepared for the financial success that is inevitable.
The college search company Rob Nichols and I have started is moving along nicely with a beta test to be completed this month. Then, we’ll be ready for customers. Rob and I will be looking for a half-dozen high school sophomores or juniors this spring who are interested in participating in sports in college. We will build the collateral materials helpful in making that dream a reality. Both Rob and I enjoy helping kids, and that’s really the motivator for launching the business. I’m roughly 50 pages into writing a book on dads. That’s going a little slow going because I get a little emotional thinking about my dad or my son. It’s kind of a five-page at a time ordeal.
I also send unsolicited radio tips to an email database of industry bigwigs. It’s addressed from Sterling Media, as though I’m some kind of high-falutin’ consultant. Of course, I’m not, but I have learned a shitload about radio over the years that I simply don’t hear on even the best stations in the country, so maybe I can help a little with a little perspective. Maybe not. Regardless, it makes me laugh to sit in my living room and write tips on how to better manage programming at sports and news talk radio stations when I was asked to not do that anymore at the place where I learned most of what I know. Being presumptuous is fun when it brings no consequence.
Anyway, this is the last time I’m going to write about being fired because for that episode to be defined as an end of something is inaccurate. January 4 was the beginning of three very enjoyable vocations, and a course toward being a saner and more attentive person. Warren Buffett always says that rule #1 for gathering wealth is to never lose money. He says that rule #2 is to never forget rule #1. Being happy exposes a very similar dynamic. Rule #1 is to avoid things that make you unhappy or bring stress. If you only do what you love, you’ll never have a bad day. Sounds simple. It is simple. I’ll write more about what I’m doing, but not in terms of being fired.
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