Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Creating Opportunities

Opportunity rarely falls into your lap. Sure, we can point to a few anecdotal examples of people who were just "walking along," and then BAM! Life-changing events catapult them to glory. We can also anecdotally point to people who have won the lottery, but I'd be more willing to bet that the statistical odd of either happening to the average person are about the same.

Let's take Barbara Corcoran, for example: she worked tons of jobs before she started the PART TIME business that turned into the most profitable job she's ever held. This didn't happen through waiting around for an opportunity. She set herself to work, strove for success, without listening to anyone who told her it couldn't work. And now look at her. All because she didn't wait for opportunity to come to her.

Over the past year, I've learned that lesson several times over, and I can thank Kevin J. Anderson for opening my eyes to it, even if he didn't mean his comment in our first interview to hit me so drastically.

This week, we have Jim Butcher, Josh Vogt, and Senda from She's a Supergeek. Jim Butcher has been my favorite author for eight years. Josh Vogt is someone I've been aware of through the Denver writing community and twitter for a couple years, and I'd never heard of Senda's podcast before DCC (mostly because it's so new). Last year, I made the TERRIFYING decision to ask Jim (through his WONDERFUL assistant) if he would let us interview him. At first I thought there'd never be a way he would join us. Unless we got SO huge that HE sought us out. IF that ever happened. But I asked, and he said "Yes."

So when I found out he was coming to Denver Comic Con, I asked again, and he said "Yes" again. Now the awesome bit: Josh Vogt recently had two novels published (his debut and a second novel in a different series through another publisher a few weeks later). In an effort to put himself out there, he contacted us to see if he could come on our podcast. We'd met at Anomaly Con, so he knew about us. But putting yourself in the hands of others, regardless of their "size" in an industry is always scary. Asking someone to help promote your work: that's terrifying!

Of course we said "Yes." He has GREAT experience and a lot of stuff to talk about. Stuff I think our listeners would really enjoy. And who turns down an opportunity to get good content?

At Denver Comic Con, Senda came to us to get her name out there. She only has a few episodes out as of now, so cross-promotion with other podcasts is always a great idea. And we REALLY dig what she's doing!

Where does all of this come together? Well, Jim Butcher doesn't need our little podcast to help promote his career. If anything, he might've been better-served using his time at DCC to go to a bigger "media" outlet. But he's here. We get to talk to an awesome author, and we get some exposure. AND...! Josh and Senda get their names out in front of a HUNDRED people (just yesterday, since the episode dropped) who may or may not have ever heard of them. Not to diminish what they do or who they are, but the internet is HUGE! There are hundreds—literally HUNDREDS—of role-playing podcasts. And even with the niche that Senda is aiming to fill, it's an uphill battle. Josh has experience getting his name out there and is working with two awesome publishers who will push and push and push to help him grow his author brand. But MILLIONS of books are published every year.

Why am I telling you this? Not to brag or puff myself up. I'll be the first to admit that we're still working to grow OUR brand. We're making progress, but we're not The Nerdist. I'm telling you this because Josh, Senda, and the three of us at Beyond the Trope took a chance. We asked for something that could have easily been denied for any number of reasons (both logistical and pride-related). For that matter, Jim Butcher did the same thing when he started pitching The Dresden Files. None of us got to this moment by sitting back and waiting for it to happen.

And Beyond the Trope is going to continue to pursue and create opportunities for ourselves (or try, at the very least). There are going to be failures, but hopefully you'll be with us the whole way. Hopefully we can help create opportunities for some of you. Or at least point you in a direction that allows you create your own opportunities. But don't wait for it! Because even if it DOES drop into your lap, you gotta be prepared to seize that opportunity, or it'll be wasted.

Giles is exceptionally grateful for each and every regular, old-school, and new/visiting lister and reader. Beyond the Trope would be nowhere without you. Some day, maybe they'll get to meet you. At a con or a live event (if they ever happen). Until then, thanks for listening and reading.

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