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Rob Wagman “YOU’RE FIRED! Now What?? Be The Ball”

It was 9:30am, Tuesday May 9th 2017, and Faron Dice walked into my office at WAY-FM, took a seat, and outside my office I heard conversations in the hallway, and saw Lloyd Parker and Matt Hahn coming in from the parking lot.  They joined the conversation in the hallway outside my door and as I saw Faron looking down into his backpack, I asked, “Are you waiting for Matt Hahn to come in here so you can fire me?”

Matt walked in on cue and Faron stammered, “Yes, yes, I am.”  And they closed the door.

In the game of pinball, the ball gets shot up the ramp, and immediately it begins hitting bumpers, sliding through obstacles and racking up points.  This is like the radio career taking off and riding high for a time, heading for an all-time high score, but then just as it seems likely that you may get an extra ball or perhaps, a free game, everything stalls.

The GM or the OM, or the PD calls you into their office and lets you know that “they’re moving in a different direction and there’s just not a place for you in their future plans.” 

Inside, you begin to sink, as if the chair you’re in is a bean bag; with no arms to rest upon or to help you, as you attempt to stand.

Momentary Lapse of Reason

That’s the part of the pinball game where the metal ball gets stuck in a hole, and time seems to tick by with nothing going on.  Being impatient at this time, can create anger resulting in the sudden movement of the whole machine, resulting into a TILT, which voids everything you worked for up until that moment.

Patience however, during this downtime, allows one to think things through; praying for wisdom from where have they been and guidance to where are they going, getting clarity on what it is they really want in life, or better yet, what God wants for them…what His will is, on earth, as it is in heaven.

Jeremiah 29:11 is not just a bunch of words to make us feel good when we’re down; but it is a promise that God has already made it so. 

“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope, and a future.”

Death, Where Is Thy Sting?

Being fired is not the worst thing in the world.  If you are a child of the living King, it simply means one assignment is finished, and another one is beginning.

God didn’t let me stay in bitterness or anger long after being let go.  For about 40 minutes, I wrestled with anger, resentment, disappointment and bitterness, and God said, “Give it to me,” and I did, and since that day, it has been pure joy, and He has been true to His promises of prosperity, provision, hope and joy in this journey, as we step every day one step further into the future, never forgetting to enjoy and live in the now.

It is like the pinball in the hole, and time ticking by, but THEN all of a sudden, options come, and maybe they were a jock in their last job, but now, there’s a promotions director opening, and they think about going for it.

Just then, the ball, which seemed to lie dormant in that hole, pops out, and using a little flipper that sits strategically near that hole, you press the side button kicking the ball higher into the machine, and now, in the new role of promotions director, you begin racking up more points, and all of a sudden, your career, is back on track.

If It Seems Too Good to Be True, It Is

And just as it all seems too good to be true, the metal ball comes down the main lane towards the two flippers, and the right flipper is too far to nudge the ball to the left, and the left flipper is just shy of having an ability to nudge the ball to the right and the ball gets past them both.

The good news is you’ve only used one ball, so there are two left.  It’s as if you’ve switched from being a jock to being a promotions director, to now working in production, and you’re ready to pull the spindle back to send the new ball flying for an opportunity to rack up some points in a not yet familiar arena.

The point is this.  No matter what position you’re in, be the ball, as the ball is in play and active, and being anything else isn’t going to get you to where the Spirit is leading you.  Don’t second guess the ball in play.  It isn’t smart to daydream about being a GM when you’re on the street team and hanging banners, taking away from being the best banner hanger ever, because when given the role to hang banners, hang them with the greatest joy, with the highest quality, and do it as unto the Lord. 

They will be shocked when, with just one more step, you are appointed to the role of General Manager. When you’re blessed in the presence of enemies, you are also, at the same time, blessed in front of some friends as well.  God is good.

It Is God’s Will Than None Should Perish

It happened to me in 1993, when I was the marketing director of a station in Tampa which called itself the Power Pig, 93-3 WFLZ.  I was hired away by a Christian man running a pop station in Syracuse to be that station’s night jock at 93Q in Syracuse.

By the time my next position came two years later, I became Program Director of a pop station in Greenville SC, where I became the boss of two of my former Tampa co-workers.  They admitted they were shocked to see me go from hanging banners to running the show in two moves.  Here’s where it gets good.  I invited one of those gentlemen to church, and it was on that day that God got a hold of his life.  He remains on fire for God, and also, in spite of more than 20 years in Greenville remains in morning drive in that fine city.

So, the point is this.  Whatever ball you’re on, play it to greatest of your abilities, and don’t forget to have joy in the journey.  Faith without WORKS is dead, but you are not, therefore, be alive while you dance off the bumpers and soar to the highest heights.

And when God takes you to the levels He has already promised, the machine won’t be able to deny you a FREE BALL, and with that, keep on rackin’ it up.

The Ball in Your Court Is You

And know when technology has advanced you beyond the past positions, so you don’t get stuck in a rut, you can never pop out of.  Keep learning in everything you do, in all the positions offered, so that when the day comes when the metal ball itself has been replaced by video and graphics, you don’t have to sit in the corner of a shady bar, wishing someone would take interest in you like they did in the good ol’ days.

Be the ball, until it’s no longer cool to be the ball, then be open to what God has next, because with Him, all things are possible.

Since 1991, Rob Wagman has been known first by his faith, and then by his skills in the secular side of this Industry, and now is known by his versatility, having succeeded in both radio and records in multiple formats from Christian Contemporary, Rock, Alternative, Top 40, Rhythm, Urban and Hot AC, in various roles from On Air to Programming to Marketing and Promotions.

Wagman has worked in all of the Top 3 markets, LA, NYC and Chicago, and returned to LA in 2012 as his entry way into CCM, in PM Drive at KFSH, 95.9 The Fish before becoming the Network PD for WAY-FM.

In 2013, Wagman launched Straight Path Media + Entertainment, a consulting firm which hyper focuses on talent and each station’s greatest need for growth, supplying a la cart programming services for branding, from music strategies, promotional and marketing think tank brain storming, promo and imaging creative, talent coaching and airchecking. Wagman presently coaches 27 air talents, consults 13 stations plus 4 clusters.

Contact Rob Wagman at StraightPathMandE@gmail.com

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