We’ve all heard the phrase, “dust yourself off and try again.”
But what if that means living out of a motel and sleeping in your car when you couldn’t afford it?
That was the reality for radio personality Dee Porter, better known as Lil D. But it was all in the pursuit of her dreams. She chose to struggle in order to succeed.
Porter tells her story in her book “Route 2: My choice to struggle to succeed.”
Porter is originally from Shreveport, Louisiana and began her career as an overnight radio host. She remained in her hometown for three years before landing her first salary-paid job in Toledo.
"I was a night jock, it was my first full-time job, you know I was on salary, an I'm on-air every night," she recounts.
But after a short year and a half, Porter was fired.
"I got fired after about a year and a half, I got canned. But the station was so awful. Honestly, to this day I can’t tell you if it was better being unemployed or working there," Porter recalls.
After about a year on unemployment and sending her credentials to more than 70 companies, she finally got a call back to be a part-time, one-day-a-week, personality for Cleveland’s Z107.9.
Unable to make ends meet, Porter quickly found herself back down on her luck.
“I couldn’t pay my bills, because I was poor, and so I got evicted,” she explained.
Porter then found herself at a crossroads.
“It was stay up here and keep this radio job or go back home to Louisiana and start all over,” said Porter.
She choose the former and used her opportunity and passion for radio as a place of refuge.
“When I was on-air, that was my time to be happy. I didn’t have to think about the fact that I didn’t have any food, or no gas, or five dollars for the next five days.”
Refusing to let her situation get her down, Porter pushed through to her next opportunity. But unlike most, she is content with the memory of her struggle; which she discusses in her book.
“I chose the alternate route for my life, my dad told me, ‘you can just come home and start over.’ I was like daddy if I come home, I’ll be out of radio again.”
Porter is the true definition of perseverance. Lil D is currently the mid-day jock at 97.9 the Beat in Dallas,Texas, the founder of 'You Go G.I.R.L, and a published author. To visit her website, click here.
Hear Porter’s full interview with 3News’ Kierra Cotton in the YouTube player below.
If you’re in the area, Porter's book signing is taking place Thursday, October 24 from 7-10 p.m. at Gatewood Work/Share located at 818 East 185th Street. The event will offer light refreshments, an Q&A session and panel with Cleveland’s own Sam Sylk, DJ Knyce and 3News’ Kierra Cotton. The panel is being moderated by BlameSwoope.