10 Questions with ... Chase Murphy
June 21, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Programming stops at WSSX, WXLO, KHOP, WFBC/WSPA and now San Antonio (KXXM/KQXT/KQXT-HD3) and Central Texas Region.
1) Congratulations on the release of your second book. What inspired you to become an author?
If you would have told me five years ago that I was going to publish a book, let alone two, I probably would have laughed at you. I started writing a blog a while back and it kind of caught on with people and that encouraged me to keep going with it. I have now written close to 200,000 words and almost 200 posts.
After the death of my older brother Michael a few years ago, I started looking for ways to help finance his daughter's future. I promised to provide for her education, and realized that my gift of writing could potentially finance some of that. Every dollar that comes in from the sales of these books goes into her college fund. I don't personally take a cent from the books I write.
2) What's the premise behind #Tryharder?
It all started with a picture.
A few years ago, a co-worker of mine straddled two parking spots while parking a compact car. I watched them do it, look around to see if anyone noticed, and then walk into the building where we worked.
I was sitting in my car listening to the morning DJs talk about the start of our huge station promotion, and I was monitoring to make sure they explained it correctly.
After they were done talking and started to play the commercial break, I gathered my phone and bag and headed toward the door to the building. As I passed the terribly parked car, I decided to stop and take a picture. I wanted to expose my co-worker on Facebook and have others join in my jeering of their terrible parking job. A part of me just wanted to poke fun at them, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this poor parking job was an extension of something bigger: a sense of entitlement and a slight disregard for others, coupled with plain old laziness.
I posted the picture and tagged the co-worker in the photo. My comment consisted of only two words: Try harder.
This book is about doing just that. It's about taking a moment to stop and do the right thing. To try a little harder in life and be aware of the people and the world around you. To do right by others and make the additional effort to improve not just your situation, but theirs, as well.
I didn't know it then, but that picture and post changed my life. I hope that these chapters may possibly change yours, as well, and encourage you to #Tryharder.
3) Did you share some of your radio experiences to make your points?
Certainly! The book consists of daily observations and life experiences, so after 20+ years of radio, many of those moments found their way into the chapters. From being in the same room with Kanye West and listening to him talk about self-belief, to coaching talent, to the reason why I hate handing out business cards. All of these offerings in the book have a common theme of doing the right thing and explain why we all need to help to lift each other up. I believe in the betterment of others and our industry. I have always been great about sharing my ideas with others in our industry and this book gives me an opportunity to pull the curtain back on what we do a little and share it with the rest of the world. Radio is a lifestyle and not a vocation, and although it doesn't define me, "radio" is woven into the fabric of who we are, so naturally it's going to be integrated into the takeaways in #Tryharder. Our industry will connect on a whole other level with this book!
4) What books/authors have inspired you?
Rudyard Kipling (If), Seth Godin, Julien Smith and Hugh MacLeod just off the top of my head. One of them is actually a regular reader of my weekly #Tryharder blog, so that's kind of cool!
5) You stressed in a blog that it's up to the reader to get the most out of a self-help book, by taking personal responsibility for the "self-help." What advice would you give to readers of your book?
When I wrote this book I felt a need to over-explain many of the takeaways because I wasn't confident that people would make the connection. You will find that it is not your typical self-help book. I was concerned that they wouldn't understand where I was going with a topic or how that topic would connect with them. I stress in the first few pages exactly how to use #Tryharder and that is to not read it cover to cover in one sitting.
A few weeks ago, I met up with a guy at a bar who had read the book and wanted me to sign it. As I flipped through the pages, I realized that he had phrases and paragraphs highlighted with various colored markers. The gentleman was well educated and I was humbled that he felt my words were powerful enough to make note of.
Too often people are looking for you to tell them exactly what to do. They open books looking for a Hail Marry of some sort that will cure what is plaguing them, and that's not what it's about. Sometimes you just need the right words at the right time and I hope that I can help push the reader in the right direction. I am just a planter of seeds...
6) Your subtitle is "Planting The Seeds Of Change, One Bad Parking Job At A Time." Steve Jobs, by all accounts, was a notoriously bad parker. Was he an exception to the rule?
Not at all! If he was still alive, he would get the #Tryharder bad parking picture treatment too! I don't care what advancements he has made in technology! A bad Steve Jobs parking picture in my book would certainly help to sell copies! HA HA! You still have to take the time to park better and care for our community of people. You still need to be sensitive to the world around you and the chain reaction that occurs from your actions. Nobody gets a pass in this world ... we all have to work at being better people no matter how amazing we are perceived to be!
7) Is there a common trait that radio people have - or lack - when it comes to "trying harder?"
Loaded question! Radio people are a unique bunch! The common trait would be confidence. Some of the greatest on air talents are the most introverted people you will ever meet and some of the most perceived confident people you encounter are really a shell of what they project. If you are a true-to-the-craft radio artist, then you are going to have some cracks in your confidence. As a coach, I have always been sensitive to this, but have never allowed the talent to use it as an excuse or crutch. We all need a gut check from time to time and I believe that there are takeaways in this book that can help to push us in the right direction.
8) Can you give an example of something that you've had to "try harder" at?
I struggle with putting myself higher on the totem pole at times. As a husband and father, I spend the majority of my time and energy taking care of my family and I am not the best at giving myself a break. I write about this in the book as well as the chasemradio.com blog. Truth be told, I direct something at myself in almost every chapter. I am a work in progress and certainly don't consider myself an expert at anything.
9) How are you promoting the book? Can we expect to see or hear you on any talk shows?
I've done several local TV shows, national podcasts, radio shows and publications. I also have a Skype interview with a show in England next week. I feel like an artist trying to launch a new song! Funny, after interviewing artists for years, it is odd and exciting to be on this end of the interview. I've learned a lot and I think it will make me a better interviewer. My publisher (Motivational Press, Inc.) is currently looking to book me for speaking engagements; there is certainly more press to come.
If anyone wants to start a campaign to get me on Ellen, I'd be fine with that!
10) What advice would you give to others who are considering authoring a book, or even a blog?
Everyone out there has a book in them. We all have a unique perspective or story to tell and with the success of podcasts, Vlogs, blogs, etc. ... there is an audience out there for everyone! Unlike radio, where you program to a specific audience, I write from my perspective and don't filter things to gain audience. You are either into it or you're not. Putting your thoughts, theories, life experiences and feelings out there into the world is a very liberating thing. You don't have to love everything I write. I have written two books, Pull the Trigger and #Tryharder. I have a follow-up to #Tryharder in the works and I will be shopping a children's book, which I have already written, in the Fall. The hardest part is committing to the process and carving out time to write. Truth be told, I wrote pretty much all of #Tryharder with my thumbs and on my iPhone.
Can you give us an example of someone in the public eye who didn't try hard enough?
I have yet to catch an artist in the act of parking like a jerk, but I certainly have a long list of record reps I could call out at this moment! Some of them actually made the pages of the book!