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Ian Marshall - Bolt Action.jpg
  • Writer's pictureNate Marshall


Updated: May 10, 2023

The definition of a Catalyst is "an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action". You may have heard the term used in a lab setting or in your high school chemistry class as the presence of a "catalyst" is required for a chemical reaction to occur. In superhero movies, before the hero becomes "super", he is typically just a normal guy until he encounters a "catalyst" which in turn enables the dramatic change.

All throughout my life, I can remember a handful of people who've had a tremendous impact on my future because of their willingness to invest in me in the present with little to no anticipated return. I now attribute these encounters to being the catalysts that lead to my personal growth and heart change. Through loyalty, dedication, and just plain old honesty, these people are responsible for me becoming the man I am today. Because I recognize the potential impact of being a catalyst for another's success, I try my best to be one for those who need it. Afterall, there really is nothing more valuable than seeing someone take the tools you've given them and watching them use those tools to build their legacy. But, as you could probably guess, investing in others can take a large emotional toll, and because of that, I took a long break from doing it.

Typically, it takes a lot of convincing before I feel comfortable investing in someone, especially a young professional, and that's because I have learned time and time again that to be successful, you need to work really hard. Most people say they want to work hard, but when it comes right down to it, they're just not willing to put in the effort. I think most people would be amazed at what they actually can accomplish if they really put their minds to it. Many times, after a big recognition or celebration, my team will look at each other and say, "that wasn't so hard!" or "next time will be even better!". Time and time again, after looking back and reviewing my own performance, I usually realize that I was entirely capable the entire time, even during the times I was in doubt. Often times I even surprise myself with how effective I can really be when I am committed to putting in the work. Although the benefits of hard work can clearly be seen and desired for myself and others, for a lot of people, that is not the case. Take the time to observe the habits of others and you will begin to realize that although you may indeed desire something good for someone else, it is only possible if they actually have the willingness to put in the work.

I once invested in a very talented young woman who wanted to be a musician. She was an outstanding singer and had natural vocal control like you wouldn't believe... She had a sound that I believe to this very day the world would have fallen in love with at first listen, and for a moment, I wanted to be the one to help her see that reality through. I wanted to show her just how far she could go with a little dedication and a small equipment investment. The issue was that she was missing a very important element to her equation; hard work. She was insufferably lazy... She expected success to be handed to her on a silver platter and she only surrounded herself with people who supported this outrageous fallacy. You may or may not be surprised to know that she is nowhere closer to achieving her dreams now than she was two or even five years ago, but I am sure she has plenty of excuses as to why not. This experience had taught me two lessons. The first was one I should have already known, and that was "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make her drink." The second lesson, arguably more important than the first, is the lesson that talent is practically worthless if held by someone who isn't willing to work for what they want to achieve.

After seeing that my time and investment into this person lead to nothing productive in the slightest, I began to pull back from offering such support to younger professionals all together. My realization was a simple one, and it was that if somebody worked hard, they probably didn't need my help, so if they were asking for my help, they were probably just as lazy as she was...

This was a mistake.

I realized in time that I had let one bad apple ruin the whole bunch, and that by refusing to help others, I was contributing to world becoming the very place that I couldn't stand. Lucky for me, however, I learned of my mistake and worked through it before potentially losing one of the best teammates I could have ever asked for. Making the decision to invest in a young professional again started with Isaiah, and now Isaiah is exceeding our expectations every single day. He is on a good path with a strong foundation and soon, he won't need my resources to be successful. I do sure hope he decides to stick around though. I believe Isaiah has what it takes to be one of the best audio engineers in the game and I want his skills to stay on my team.

Isaiah once told me that he enjoys being in an environment where he feels that his ideas are really being valued. He said that typically, people don't treat his ideas that way... This broke my heart, but at the same time, I completely understood this feeling he was describing. In fact, that feeling is one of the reasons why I decided to go into business myself with the mission of delivering high quality media to everyone, regardless of budget or reach. Most people are so ridged that they believe that their ideas are their only source of value, and if a new idea in any way conflicts with their own, they will shut it down. This is because if they were to accept the new idea, they would have to admit that they could be wrong... "And there's no possible way I'm wrong". This is how a perfectly good idea gets pushed aside to make way for someone else's ego.

This may be how the rest of the world operates, but not us. At ROMATAC, we want to hear your ideas... All of them. We want you to be excited to come to work and ready to create. We want our team to know that you will never be limited; not by technology, not by resources, and certainly not by our lack of ideas. We will foster and encourage fresh, new ideas and use our incredible talents to see them through. That is the work, and it can be very hard at times, but if you look at that hard work as an opportunity, then you're exactly the kind of person we want on our team.

If you have digital media production experience and think you have what it takes to join our exciting team of digital media engineers, feel free to reach out to Nate by clicking here.

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