As a radio presenter working in the entertainment industry it is easy to see who the competition is. The competition is everyone else.
And if you think like that then you are in for a lot of disappointment and heartache.
As a young wannabe radio presenter in my teens I made the mistake of looking at the radio stars of the day – both local and national – and I copied them, emulated them, tried to sound like them, or tried to be better than them. All of them. I didn’t want to be me – I wanted to be them.
Of course I was young and stupid, and it took a few years before I ran out of energy. Years earlier all the more experienced DJs I had spoken with advised me to “be myself on air”, I hadn’t believed them. I thought that was something people say when one is not making any headway.
But it is true? Who is your competition?
Want to know who your competition really is? It’s you. You are competing with yourself to be better at your job tomorrow than you were today.
There is always a bigger fish, there will always be someone you perceive to be better at your job than you – that’s life. So you have to concede today that you are you. Your voice is your voice and your personality is your personality.
You can change all of them – for a while – but by not being true to yourself you are not being honest with your audience.
If you are trying to make a career by emulating or sounding like someone else – STOP IT NOW.
If you are lucky enough to have your own gear, go and do a show and be yourself. Just record a show for yourself where you do all the things you really want to do and let your true personality come through. Find your voice.
To be honest, shaking off old habits and allowing your true self to come through can take months if not a year or more. One reason for this is confidence. You need to believe in yourself, to love your voice as it is, to say what comes into your mind so your personality comes out.
Sure you have to remain professional on air, but allow yourself to come to the surface.
What if people won’t like the real you?
Some won’t, some will. Who cares? But the ones who do enjoy your DJ’ing will like the true you. You can feel good about that. And you will only get better.
Just be yourself
Don’t believe me? Take a quick look at all the people you admire in the business. Are they all the same? No they aren’t; each one is different. Each person is unique. You are unique too, so set yourself apart by being true to your personality.
If nothing else, it’s a lot easier than trying to be somebody you aren’t, and it takes next to no effort for you to be you.