Movers and Shakers

You’ve probably heard it said, “It’s not what you know.  It’s who you know.”  I’m a firm believer that both are important. 

My company, Narrative Television Network, makes movies, television, and educational programming accessible for the 13 million blind and visually-impaired Americans and their families as well as millions more around the world.  When I first began the company over 25 years ago, I hosted a brief talk show before and after each program to introduce the show, interview some of the stars, and fill some of the network time so all of our stations across the country would besynched up.  These talk shows were taped in a studio in Washington, DC.  That same studio produced another program called Washington Reporter, and the CEO of the studio asked me if I would be willing to cohost Washington Reporter as well as the Narrative TV update.  I agreed to do this, and for two years, enjoyed interviewing people such as Senator Ted Kennedy, Dr. Henry Kissinger, and many others. 

We were having some challenges with the Federal Communications Commission in getting our Narrative Television delivered to stations across the country, and I was thinking about it one day as I interviewed Ron Nessen who had been the press secretary at the White House during President Ford’s administration.  After the interview, Mr. Nessen and I were in the makeup room at the same time having our makeup removed, and I shared my frustration with him.  He agreed to have breakfast with me the next morning to discuss my challenges.

Over breakfast, I shared with him my goals of making narrated programming and the Narrative Television Network as readily available in every part of the country as closed captioning was for deaf individuals.  After explaining to Mr. Nessen the complexity of my problems, I was shocked when he summed it up by saying, “Your problem is very simple.  Nobody cares.”  I argued, “There are millions of people who care,” and he explained to me some of the greatest wisdom I have ever learned.

Mr. Nessen said, “In every town or city in the world, regarding any issue that might exist, there are only 10 people who really matter.”  He went on to explain that there are movers and shakers that control various areas of interest throughout our society, and for any specific issue, if one of these movers and shakerscared about the Narrative Television Network as much as I did, our problemswould be solved.  His wisdom was priceless counsel then as it remains today for you and me.

Too many people waste all of their time, effort, and energy telling their stories and making their arguments to the wrong people when they would be much better served to determine who the movers and shakers are and plead their case to those individuals who can really make a difference. 

While it remains important who you know, it is critical that you find out what they know andwhether they are the people who can solve your problem or help you reach your goal.

As you go through your day today, focus on the critical elements of your goals and the people who can get you there.

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.  He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.  He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK  74145-9082; by email at; on Twitter at; or on Facebook at

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