Expanding Growth
Getting In
Passion vs. Talent


I was thinking I wanted to become a master glass blower. I set aside a week or two figuring that’s more than enough time. I watched a few videos on You Tube and it looked pretty easy.

Well after several few weeks of burning my hands, wasting a lot of money on tools and renting time at studio with a furnace. I realized it was going to take more than a few weeks to master the art of glass blowing.

Funny thing is that I have lectured, taught and written hundreds of times about “mastering” or even become proficient at a craft takes dedication, practice and a lot of time. Nobody jumps from, “ I think I wanna do that..” to mastering it in a few weeks, months and in many cases even years.”

Unfortunately, we live in a time when people believe in instantaneous success.  They believe, I deserve it so therefor we should have it. They believe social media “likes” has something to do with professional success.

A million years ago there was a show called “This Old House”. Each episode covered a remodeling of an old house. It was based around one or two contractors tearing down every inch of the house and rebuilding it from floor to ceiling.

Since I grew up around contractors I knew it took a whole lot more technique and skills then what that show covered. It left the uninformed viewer thinking “oh that’s not that hard, I can do that.”  I often wondered how many DIY projects got started because of that show and how many homeowners crashed and burned half way through the project.

Why? Because the show never told them that the master craftsmen who was actually doing the work had spent a life time in the “woodshed” honing and developing the necessary skills and talents to make it look easy. (Woodshed; definition: a term used primarily by musicians to represent a quiet place to rehearse and practice for hours.)

Today there are some very sophisticated tools available with very basic learning curves. But just because you can make your sister look like your grandma on an app, doesn’t mean you are ready to do an animated graphic design for a network commercial.  Throwing a few beats together on LaunchPad doesn’t mean you are ready to design a deadmau5 tour.

Knowing how to use those basic tools means you are at the starting gate of learning how to become a master, IF YOU’RE READY TO PUT IN THE TIME!

I have been blessed to know a wide range of talented people and real masters of their field. None got to the top of field without putting in the time and work. It didn’t matter whether it was sports, music, tech, live performance, film, even circus clowns.

Yup! I grew up with a kid named Ronnie Severini who ran away and joined the circus to become a clown. If you follow that link and read his story, you will see it took him a life time to go from entry level clown to eventually the third ever Dean of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey’s Clown College. It took Ronnie years of dedication and passion to become one of the best ever.

Need another? I got dozens of firsthand accounts.

Let’s jump to pro sports. In 1994 I was contracted to produce a sports show for FOX, which ended up being a twenty-seven-year relationship with the NY Giants’ entertainment department. 

My production company, Ferro Productions, was embedded with the NY Giants from training camp to the end of the season, including playoffs and Super Bowl.  When I say embedded, I mean embedded.  During camp we lived with the team on location in the dorms at the University of Albany. Then during the season, we produced weekly programming in their broadcast studio located in the middle of NYG’s headquarters, six days a week. 

Since all our programming included members of the team and the fact that we covered the team’s every move, all day everyday including sharing meals together, we developed close relationships with players, coaches and staff.

Getting to witness firsthand the work ethic pro athletes and the coaches put in building and maintaining their careers is amazing.  One of the players I became close friends was Michael Strahan. Over the years I watched Michel’s dedication to his physical and mental training develop bringing him from a great athlete to a Hall of Fame athlete.  During the week he was the first one on the field and last one off. When the team’s day ended with meetings, Michael would stay and study film on his own.

The times Michael and I spent talking about growing up, his stories all revolved around dedication to being the best he could be. He was and is laser focused on his goals and always willing to put in the necessary time to achieve those goals at the highest level.

I’ll give you one more, Dave Rosenthal. Since 1993 Dave has been playing keyboards with the Billy Joel band. Currently, David is Billy’s keyboard player and Music Director. Prior and during that time he has played with Bruce Sprinsteen, Elton John, Enrique Inglesias, Robert Palmer, Whitesnake, Steve Vai, Richie Blackmore and Rainbow, Cyndi Lauper, Yngwie Malmsteen, Little Steven, and tons more. He is a graduate of Becklee College and still returns as a guest lecturer.

The skills, talents and network Dave developed didn’t just happen. It took time and dedication.

Dave and I have been friends most of our professional careers.  During that time, I’ve never known him to layback. He is constantly working to enhance his skills and talents. He is constantly striving to expand and enhance his musical skills. He is a student of musical theory and has spent thousands of hours in the “woodshed”. He is always moving his achievement bar higher, looking to conquer new challenges and achieve all he can be. (sorry I just stole the Marines tag line but it fit perfectly here). 

It takes time and dedication to master anything. Knowing that our world rises people to global notoriety in the blink of an eye doesn’t mean they have accomplished anything and definitely doesn’t mean they will hold that position for long. In the music world the best they will be is known as one hit wonders.

You want the trophy but don’t want invest the time? 

Then that trophy isn’t going to mean much.

I love playing my guitar but I am not willing to devote the time to become a blues god.

But anything relating to storytelling or chasing a vision that no one else can see is my passion. 

I will spend hours, days, weeks, months and sometimes years developing all the skills I need to bring that vision to life.

As they say, “it’s not the destination it’s the journey”.  That journey is the trophy. It will bring you a true sense of accomplishment. It will provide you with all the tools, skills and talents to achieve goals you haven’t even identified yet.

Time is not your enemy, it’s your collaborator. Embrace it when setting out to master your goal.

Fast track your entertainment production career