What’s Next?

Aaron Sorkin’s successful series “The West Wing,” featured Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet. The show’s rapid-fire dialogue, constant deadlines and behind-the-scenes look at the fictional Bartlet administration, enthralled viewers who enjoy politics, drama and news. President Bartlet handled problem after problem with the line, “What’s next?” after each situation was addressed.
For some time, my pace has been rapid-fire; deadlines every ten minutes, as I faced an unforgiving broadcast clock that drove me to be at the ready even if power was out or every drop of blood had theoretically drained from my body. It was always fascinating to see people’s faces when I explained to them I only had a production assistant; no team of writers or producers or any real help in compiling, writing, editing and producing the news of the day. The pressure was certainly nothing like a White House administration, but I knew doing morning drive news in a major market, all eyes and ears were watching and listening. When problems arose, I addressed the situations, fixed what needed to be fixed and often, out loud, said, “What’s next?”
Out of that history, I now begin What’s Next Productions, LCC. As with any business, the process is anything but rapid-fire; there’s research, education, planning, questions and more questions. My business plan outline is a work-in-progress. Being a one-person operation for now, I’m reaching out to the many resources available to firm up my ideas. My 30-second elevator speech is this:
What’s Next Productions offers public relations, media training and crisis management services to mid-sized and small businesses as well as non-profit organizations. Another service I’d like to offer is recording business or family histories that could be used to document a company’s progress over time. Family histories would be recorded for future generations.
So, the process is underway with the business entity formed and online “paperwork” processed. Now, looking into a web site, content and rounding up those clients will take time. My mind touches the wise words of my friend who said, “Find something that really makes you happy.” The prospect of working on my own or with a partner or two, setting a schedule that makes sense without the pressure and stress that enveloped me for so long, sounds attractive. Will this make me “happy” professionally? Time, of course, will tell.
I continue to volunteer with the Community Foundation of South Jersey, which is launching in the coming weeks, the public relations committee at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Cherry Hill, Sustainable Cherry Hill and just beginning work with the marketing committee of the Burlington County YMCA. The transition continues with the change now being to look forward at What’s Next, not at what is past.

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