Good Morning America co-host Lara Spencer took center stage at WOTC East and discussed her ups and downs in the TV news business and how she used her passion for flea markets to become the "Martha Stewart of Junk."
When you look at the statistics, fear is the No. 1 thing that holds women back. So it's that ability to try it and be OK to fail and get back up on the horse again that makes all the difference.
There are definitely times when I've gone for stretch opportunities that didn't go so well. It's been a long road, and I wouldn't change a thing. Just go back to the one-man band thing, who would expect an entry-level reporter making like a dollar an hour to really know how to shoot, write, edit, and drive the news van and have good hair? That's a lot. That's a lot to ask. I feel that going for those opportunities when you guys are looking at jobs where you want to take a leap, or stretch yourself, it's okay if you don't know everything that's required to do. It's okay, as long as you're open-minded and willing to do the work and want to learn. You're smart. You know what you're good at. Take the chance. So that's my message about that.
Let's talk about when you started to find your sweet spot because that's when the story starts to get interesting.
They asked me to become the co-anchor of the weekend show. To get a job in the local news to become a weekend anchor is the opportunity of a lifetime. That's how you get to the next level.
What I soon discovered was there was an interesting thing that was happening. It was probably because of that jerk from the news desk at WDEF, but I was very anxious. The first time I did the show, when we were doing very important news, I was not myself. I was not in my comfort zone. So much so that it was becoming un-fun. I made a big decision and went to my news director who had given me this opportunity and I said, "I don't think this is the right fit for me." He was surprised to say the least because anchor opportunities are very, very difficult to get. But I believed in myself. I believed in what I knew I was really, really good at and I rolled the dice. And I walked away from some money.
But that was short term because long term getting off of that news desk led to me getting a great role at the end of the 5 o'clock show, a segment called Life Around Here where I could really shine telling happy stories.