It seems that every time one of my clients makes a big market jump, I hear from a few people wondering how that person did it. But since everyone's situation is different, what worked for one person might not work for another. While I have some basic advice I give to everyone (be an ethical reporter, use nat sound, watch your back) I try to tailor what I teach to the person I'm mentoring.
Bottom line, you send the same tape to two News Directors: one thinks you're the greatest new talent he's seen in years, the other hits the eject button after fifteen seconds. Same reporter following the same advice, very different results.
That's why patience is such a virtue in this business. Whether you get advice from this blog, your own personal mentor, or a combination of stuff, you often need to give that advice time to see if it works for you. I might tell you to put a certain three packages on your resume tape and the first ten tapes get no results; that doesn't mean you should blow up your tape and start over. No results after fifty tapes, then we step back and make a change.
Instant gratification is both a blessing and a curse. While it saves time to zap a frozen dinner in the microwave, anything homemade that simmers on the stove for an hour will taste a lot better. In the end, it is worth the wait.
Sometimes advice takes time to simmer, just like a spaghetti sauce. It might not taste right when you first put everything in the pot, but after awhile things come together and blend perfectly.
When seeking advice, give things time. It might not yield the results you want right off the bat, but given enough time it often brings the end result you were hoping for.