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  • Personal Branding Inteview: Mel Robbins

    Today, I spoke with Mel Robbins, who is a syndicated radio show host and a business success coach. She’s involved in so many different types of media that I wanted to get her impression of how they differ and what she likes the best. We also talk about what it’s like to interview celebrities like Donald Trump, how she got on the cover of Inc. Magazine and how you can succeed despite the recession. She’s very honest and open as she explains, from her experience, how she’s become successful. Enjoy the interview!

    Mel, you’ve dealt with many different kids of media, including TV, radio, and blogging. Which one is your favorite and why?

    I love radio more than any other media because it provides me the opportunity to do what I do best – talk to people. I love helping people get what they want, get unstuck, spot opportunities and tap confidence. And while I’m busy talking to one person – millions of people can tune in to the conversation and be both entertained and inspired as they listen along.

    Radio also respects people’s anonymity. Unlike TV where it’s all about what the show looks like – radio is about the conversation. Its about story telling – both me telling the crazy stories from my life and you talking about yours.

    I’m an open book – and I talk about everything going on with me on the radio. But, most people aren’t as open. Radio allows people to be anonymous – so they are much more comfortable discussing deeply personal issues and telling the truth about how they feel about their lives – when their privacy is respected. And the more honest my callers are about what they want and how they feel, the better equipped I am to help.

    A close second is the social networking applications like twitter, facebook, etc. My company, Advice for Living, is actively figuring out the best way to marry the daily radio show – with the lastest technology online to reach the largest number of people.

    Please follow me on Twitter!!!! I’m @melrobbins

    How did you go from a criminal defense attorney to a technology executive, to an executive coach, to helping high schooler’s with SAT prep and now to a syndicated radio host? Did you have a career plan from the beginning, or did it just kind of happen for you?

    I actually practice what I preach. When clients (or callers) ask me how to do something that they are passionate about for a living. I tell them – you start by picking something big and embarrassing. Something you like daydreaming about – but might not utter aloud at a cocktail party b/c it sounds so big. Mine (yes, its embarrassing) is that I want to be the #1 syndicated radio host in America. Rush Limbaugh has that spot and he currently has about 25.5mm more listeners and 600 more stations than I do…..so it’s a little daunting to put that goal out there in public. It’s easy when you say something that crazy for the establishment to laugh at you. But do it anyway.

    Once you have that big, embarrassing thing in mind – you start taking small steps toward it and watching for signs in all areas of your life that it is happening. You say yes to anything and everything that takes you closer to it (especially if you don’t think you have the time). And you let go of your timeline for how long it will take to get it done.

    And then, a funny thing happens. As you are on your way to achieving that big dream – all kinds of stuff will happen to you – and you’ll find out what you actually really want to be doing….you will bump into it while you are pursuing that big embarrassing thing. I bumped into being a coach, while I was busy becoming a criminal defense attorney in Manhattan. I bumped into being a syndicated radio host – while I was busy becoming the best coach I could be (you get the point!)

    What was it like interviewing Donald Trump for the first time? Was it easier since you’ve interviewed celebrities in the past or were you still very nervous?

    It was nerve wracking! Yes, I get nervous. Of course I get nervous. Whenever you are doing something that you care about, when the stakes are high, when you want to do well – you get nervous. Get used to it, nerves never go away.

    In the case of meeting Donald – we met up in his office first, before going down to conduct the interview in front of thousands waiting on the set – and right after we met – he informed me that my false eyelash had come off and was stuck to my eyebrow. I thought I would die on the spot when he said it. After the initial freak out, the clean up job on my face and the lingering embarrassment. I just pushed forward despite it all.

    One of the ways that I have learned to push through my nerves is just to talk about how nervous I feel, make fun of it, break the ice with it and then when the cameras start rolling it’s out of me and I’m ready to rock and roll.

    You were part of the cover of Inc Magazine a few years ago. What lessons in PR can you give to the average worker, consultant, author, etc?

    That cover story came from an email I replied to one night. The kids were in bed. I was sitting in my office, drinking a glass of wine – and I received an email. A writer had put out a request to speak to coaches and my friend forwarded it to me. Now, by the time I got it, the email was 30 days old, but I thought what the hell – why not reply. So I just whipped off something stream of conscious and hit send.

    All too often we analyze things to death. Wait to get things perfect before we reach out. Stop that. Just hit send. Something about the “real” quality of my email – caught her eye – even though she had already spoken with dozens of other coaches already. She called me, the rest is history.

    Point is – stop thinking about the right way and just hit send. Get your ass out there. Subscribe to and comment on the most popular blogs in your subject matter area. Join the conversation. Reach out. Refer people, and be helpful to other business owners and it will come back 10-fold. And, say yes to every opportunity to speak to anyone about what you are doing.

    What advice can you give to people who have been recently laid off and are looking for work?

    You can’t control what just happened. You can’t control the job market or the recession. The only thing you can control is the attitude you adopt and the steps you take to pursue your goals. That’s it.

    I suggest you start looking at this as the best thing that could have happened to you. And realize, a year from now when you are back on your feet and settled into a whole new routine – you’ll look back and say, Thank God.

    Today – you should focus only on what you can control. You can control how you spend your time, how many people to speak to, and your attitude. Put yourself on a media diet and edit out the negative crap you watch and listen to. Tune into my daily radio show – it’ll make you feel empowered. Listen here.

    I actually have a workshop that I created with Success Magazine that hammers this exact topic. The workshop teaches you to build the right mindset to beat this recession. To take control. To spot opportunities. To join the elite few of us who see this recession as a time to pull ahead of the pack and make your mark. I invite you to check it out – you can hear 15 minutes of it for free at www.success.com/mel.

    Consider it your personal bailout plan from me!

    And one more thing – if you are looking for work, you might as well look for something that you’d love to do. Not just limit it to the same old crap that you’ve been doing because you think you have to. And if you are thinking about launching a business – now’s the time. Check out StartupNation.com My buddies over there have all the information you need to get that business started.

    And if you really feel stuck. Just call me. 888-454-3378. I’m free from 10am-noon EST every weekday – and I’m here to help.

    Mel Robbins is a no-nonsense life and business coach who has turned her expertise and love for helping people into an impressive media career. She is the producer and host of the hit syndicated radio show The Mel Robbins Show, broadcast in 40+ markets across the country. Mel has recently been tapped to host a Saturday morning show on Boston’s Talk Evolution, 96.9 WTKK and to serve as the spokesperson for Microsoft Office Live.

    In addition to the radio show, Mel and her company Advice for Living, Inc. are engaged with CNBC as a regular contributor, as a monthly columnist for Success Magazine, and co-developing and distributing personal improvement products with Success Media. Mel also hosts and produces an interview talkshow for Borders where she has interviewed high profile celebrities and authors including Barbara Walters, Dr. Oz, Donald Trump, Mandy Moore, and Bill Cosby.

    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in Career Development, entrepreneurship, Interview, Job Search, Marketing, People, Personal Branding, PR, Success Strategies
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