When I was in the process of producing my first television show in North Carolina, I never thought about the possibility of failure. The following five tips are takeaways from the things I did to keep me focused on success instead of failure.
Above: Luisa Diaz
- Just do it, darling! My first step in producing my first TV show in North Carolina was simply to go and do it. Independent of what everybody was telling me (things like, "You have no experience in TV” and "You've never produced a show before, so how are you going to do that?"), I didn’t listen to them. Instead, I listened to my own intuition and believed in myself. One of my strongest traits is being disciplined, which has always helped me accomplish anything that I put my mind to.
- Put most of your eﬀort into the preparation. My second step in producing my show was to get prepared for it. To do this, I researched everything I could about television, production, and how to pitch and air a TV show. Preparation is the key to gain confidence in the doing. When preparation meets opportunity is when people start telling you how lucky you are. However, they don’t know the hard work you have been doing to get that lucky.
- Research with the goal of learning more about your target reach. My third step was to make a list of all the local networks. Then I would call each of them and try my best to convince them to see me for an interview. That's how I got a few interviews from diﬀerent networks. During the interviews, I presented my ideas for my show to the network executives, and I was prepared to answer the hard question, "Why should I have your Spanish-speaking show on my English- speaking network? My answer was, "The buying power of the Latin population in North Carolina alone is $8.8 billion... don’t you want a slice of that pie?" That's how I got their attention.
- Follow up and be persistent to achieve your goal. My fourth step was to follow up with the diﬀerent networks, and be persistent about getting my show out there. I had to call many times to finally get to talk to the right person, but I never gave up. One day, a network called me and asked, "Would you like to take an opening spot at 5:00 AM?" Without hesitation, I said, "Yes! I'll take it." When they asked me if I was ready to start shooting next week, I confidently replied, “Yes.” However, I had no idea how to produce a television show yet. When I ended the call, I screamed for joy! After screaming and laughing, I pulled myself together. Now that I finally got my own air-time, I had to figure out what to do next. The first thing I did was to visit some local businesses and ask them to be my sponsors if I featured them on my TV show. That's how I got the furniture and everything I needed for my set. Then I went to Time Warner Cable, and they became my first sponsor to fund the production of my fist TV show.
- Take the opportunities given to you and make the best of them. My final step was to take this opportunity that the network gave me, wearing many hats in the process. For instance, I had to sell commercial spots, produce and host the show itself, promote and market it, and more. How did I do that? I just went and did it. I never doubted myself or thought of the possibility of failure. Because I was able to successfully promote my show, it became so popular that the network changed my time slot from 5:00 AM to 10:00 AM. My "Luisa Su Voz Latina" talk show remains the longest running Spanish-language television program on a major English-speaking network station, with the highest 1.1 rating. I learned how to navigate through the production process in order to create and host a successful TV show. This exciting experience came with its great challenges. Still, I was able to do it all while enjoying the journey since I was truly passionate about it. That passion didn’t allow me to think about failure.
Founder of Mi Amor Gala