… For The Better
It finally happened. Television writers across America did something about the fact that they are not fairly paid for their work. The result? They are on strike, and with them goes the writing that sustains late night television shows like Letterman and Leno, daytime soap operas and prime time sitcoms.
What does this mean for tv addicts? More time to invest in your business so you don't ever have to go on strike to force anyone to pay you what you're worth.
The Changing Media Landscape
Sixty years ago, televisions entered the living rooms of families across America and quickly became the centerpiece of American entertainment. Today, however, Americans get their media fix from a variety of different sources, including iPods, cell phones and computers which stream television shows on demand.
The problem is that when I watch Letterman's Top 10 online, I also have to watch an ad, which means CBS sees additional ad revenue. This is not good for the writers who don't get their cut of that increased revenue. Which by the way would not exist without their writing talent.
Hmmm. Wonder what took them so long.
Make The Strike Work For You
As with all things, television includes both good things and bad. I'm not one to throw out the baby with the bath water. Yet with all its good points, there's no doubt that television can be a huge time waster. If you're a tv addict, this strike can work for you. Skip the re-runs and invest the time in starting or growing your business.
One Would-Be Indie Mom's Challenge
I once spoke with a single mother of two who wanted to start a business. That revved up my engine so I offered to provide tips to help her get started. She was very open and I was very excited. The only problem she said was that once she came home from work, did homework, fixed dinner and put the kids to bed, she was too exhausted to do anything other than veg out in front of the television.
Today, she's still exhausted and she's got nothing to show for those hours in front of the tv, except maybe the ability to recall a few of Dave's most memorable Top 10 moments. A lot of good that will do when it's time to pay for college.
Join The Club
I understand the pull of the boob tube. I am the world's most addicted true crime fan. After true crime, I like fake crime. My favorite shows include Forensic Files, anything CSI, American Justice and Snapped. (My husband worries sometimes, in jest of course.)
I have never been a single mother but I do have family challenges of my own that make me want to veg out on the couch every night after everyone else is asleep. On the other hand, I understand that business ownership offers real life benefits that my favorite television show can't match. I much prefer to invest 30 minutes making my real life better than 30 minutes escaping from it.
We Have Choices
Like all of us, in the end, Would-Be Indie Mom had two options if she wanted a business of her own. Give up late night television or enjoy late night shows and get up before her children so she could work on her business. Both options are equally unappealing for a tv addict. But the reality is what the reality is.
Make The Strike Work For You
The writer's strike reminds us that we can live without our favorite television shows. If you don't know that already, skip the re-runs and do something really productive with that time. Imagine what you'd have to show for your business if you consistently exchanged your favorite show for a weekly online newsletter or updated website copy.
The other thing the strike reminds me of is the fact that most jobs do not pay employees what they are worth. The writers are striking because they are not fairly compensated for the use of their talent. They get paid for writing for a show that is later broadcast, but they don't get a cut of the spoils when the show is played using newer technologies.
Didn't anyone see this coming?
I am all for standing in solidarity with union brothers and sisters to fight for what is right. But I hope that some of the striking writers are also making the strike work for them by using some of the time to explore how their God given talent can be used to generate income on their own terms so they never have to strike again.