Meeting Barbara Walters and Sage Advice

It’s not everyday you get to meet trailblazers. Glass ceiling breakers. It’s not every day you get to meet people who were doing it FIRST. I have been fortunate enough to have met and interviewed some remarkable people over the years since starting this women’s lifestyle brand 5 years ago, next month.

(From left to right: Richard Branson, Gene Simmons, Martha Stewart, Katie Couric, Marlee Matlin, Arianna Huffington)

This week, it was Barbara Walters. As a lifestyle and parenting correspondent on TV each week, you can understand why meeting broadcasting legend Barbara Walters was very special.

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In fact, if I am to be honest, it was thrilling to be a dressing room alone with Babs. She was so gracious and lovely. I told her we need The View Canada! 😉  It WAS on my Bucket List after all, if you recall!

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Barbara Walters was in Montreal to kick off the annual CJA (Combined Jewish Appeal) Campaign.  I have been a proud, active supporter of CJA for almost 15 years, having chaired a women’s event for 600 women and multiple entrepreneurial networking events. Federation CJA is doing important work to help people worldwide living below the poverty line, providing critical assistance and support to those in need. CJA raised $37.5 million dollars last year alone. Truly remarkable.

So, watch this.

I won’t give you all the details of the evening. But I will tell you my two favorite highlights.

ON CAREER ADVICE

When asked what advice Barbara would give a 20 year-old starting out in their career, she had a wise answer that I don’t think many millennials grasp today: “What I’d say to a 20 year old boy or girl, or 30 year old boy or girl starting out– Just get your foot in the door! If they want you to get the coffee, get the coffee! Be the first one in in the morning, and the last one out.”

This is smarter than you think. We try and guide our children and coach them to do well in school, get a good job, and not just survive but thrive in the real world afterwards. The secret that they don’t teach you in school is how to become irreplaceable. That’s the true secret ingredient to career success. When you are irreplaceable to someone, you set your price. By doing whatever it takes to get the job done, and not just meeting expectations, but EXCEEDING expectations, you become valuable to someone. You then become irreplaceable to someone. So for the millenials today who are so often clock punchers, or who don’t “want to bring the coffee because it IS outside the scope of my job description,” this could be a mistake.

Just food for thought…

ON HAVING IT ALL

My ears also perked up when Barbara talked about HAVING IT ALL. Such an ancient concept! She said the following: “Ahhh, Having It All! The Career (not a job, but a CAREER), marriage and kids. I used to say you could only have 2 out of 3. Today I think it’s possible to have all 3 because husbands are different. Husbands are better today.”

I actually thought this was so striking and wise. She talked about how when she started out, men wanted their women at home. A man wouldn’t dare want his woman to love her career and nurture her career more than her man. And while I agree, with more and more women in the workforce and husbands having to step up and help, this sounds very plausible.

But I also wrote an article a while back called The Sobering Reality. Here is an excerpt. You might agree or disagree:

“I have made my choice, (one that I am so grateful for and proud of) and have blogged about it umpteen times. It’s the only choice for me… my family comes first. It always has, and until my husband and I are empty nesters, I will make peace with the fact that I will continue to miss out. I will continue to have to, BITTERLY at times (if I am to be honest), turn down very fruitful career opportunities as they continue to present themselves, just because I am a mom. And if you are a working mother, chances are you will miss out too. And you will have to make peace with it too. Plainly put, we simply cannot compete with the woman who has no children. Shit, as hard as we try, it just ain’t possible— unless you are cool with your children being raised without their mom, or unless you have a super supportive full-time stay-at-home husband. It’s just not feasible, and it’s just not humanly possible.

It’s ironic that as I delivered a great speech last night at a conference on Chutzpah and entrepreneurship success, I still can’t help but feel the sobering reality…  I’m really not IN the game. And sometimes, I can’t help but wonder where I would be if I hadn’t chosen family first. Who knows? Maybe divorced with a bigger empire like Martha Stewart. Or maybe I would have made it all work beautifully. I don’t know, and honestly, I’m not going to test it. My family is my oxygen, I love being a mother and wife, and us moms, we don’t get any do-vers. I want to be the one helping with homework. And I want to be the one reading the bedtime stories.

I will close by saying, this is certainly not the annoying stay-at-home mom vs. working mom war, nor the childless women war either for that matter. It’s simply a point that as working moms, we all have the same sobering reality: we really just aren’t, truly, in the game. We may be good enough to make it to the playoffs, but we ain’t bringing home the Stanley Cup without losing something.” – Erica Diamond

Well, that was the evening. It concluded when we left and headed out to date night, so all around, a success.

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Would love to know what you think about the above and if you think women can have  it all. LET’S GO THERE!

Erica3

5 Comments
  1. I don’t think women can have it all. I think either you’re making a lot of money but not there for your kids or you are there for your kids and therefore not making a lot of money. Those three things that Barbara Walters talks about on having it all, I also think you could only have 2 out of 3 at best.

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