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Tom Olsen: Blog

One way to find employment

Posted on March 2, 2011 with 0 comments
One way to find employment is to create something. If you create it, you can potentially earn a living from it. Is this creative career choice conventional? I'm betting not. Truly successful entrepreneurs blaze their own trail.

Like the comedian Chris Rock said recently when interviewed by Maya Angelou on her radio show. He was in a room with lots of comics auditioning for Saturday Night Live - and noticed most of the others had done way more preparation than he did for the audition. Much to his surprise, he was chosen over them. When he asked Loren Michaels about that, he said: 'you had original ideas - I will hire someone with an original thought over all the others'. Chris went on to become a comic who tours nationally, starring in tv, movies, albums, downloads, books, and his own store of merchandise.

Take a closer look at Maya Angelou. Here is a great example of the power of personal creativity. Maya is a poet, educator, author, playwright, activist, historian, producer, actor, and director. Her website http://mayaangelou.com/ has tabs for News which includes: The Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, Films, Public Speaking Events, plus Books, Films, and Media; plus another site called: http://mayaangelouonpublicradio.com/. She is a person who began with a love of reading and writing and who has blossomed into what is now Maya incorporated.

On Saturday mornings there is an NPR radio show called Car Talk with Click and Clack - two brothers who are either really entertaining to listen to, or very annoying (I am in the bunch that finds them entertaining). People write in to their show with car related problems - and they make comments to help the would-be do-it-yourselfer-car-mechanics among us decide if we can fix it ourselves, don't try this at home and hire a professional, or call the car mortuary and start surfing the web for the next model. They tell lots of one-liners, laugh the entire time, and end each episode with a long list of fictional co-workers who they credit with helping them air their broadcast. I bet this started small but look where it is now - http://www.cartalk.com/. It is a virtual cottage industry with the Radio Show, Actual Car info, Email and Chat, Commerce, and links to Cars.com - with lots of well paying advertisers all around. This from a couple of guys who can talk about cars in a funny way.

What about the Prairie Home Companion? http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/ Garrison is a story teller who sings, writes, acts, tells jokes, entertains, sells advertising, creates retail products, and gets lots of web hits. This from a multi-talented guy who can tell a good story.

Or a recent favorite of mine - Sleep Talking Man http://sleeptalkinman.blogspot.com/. This pretty conventional person has vivid conversations in his sleep that have been recorded and sampled into t-shirts, mugs, and all kinds of other products. His wife started a blog to describe her husband's witticisms and now it has grown to 11,705 followers and more than 9 million unique visitors.

So - what do you love to do? Can you create something while doing that? If so - take the first step, and don't be surprised if some new directions present themselves. Keep taking steps!