Living in YOUR TOP 1% INTERVIEW SERIES
The goal of the “Living in YOUR Top 1%” interview series is to break down the qualities of people who excel and to show that you can be successful and achieve personal greatness from any starting point in your life. The interview series looks at people from all different careers and industries. Some names will be familiar and others may not. The purpose is to understand and borrow from the “best practices” of winners to develop a roadmap to your TOP 1%. We will share a new story every two weeks.
This week’s guest is Stacey Gualandi. She is currently the host of The Women’s Eye Radio Show on 1480KPHX, and contributor to the website www.thewomenseye.com. Both provide an avenue for today’s newsmakers, authors, journalists, and entrepreneurs to discuss how they are making a difference in “the world as we see it”!
She developed her gutsy style of reporting at AMERICAN JOURNAL and for eight years at INSIDE EDITION. Stacey covered the world of entertainment, particularly celebrities at work, at play and in trouble. From the Super Bowl, junkets, movie sets, premieres and court cases (including Blake, Jackson and Simpson), to award shows like the Oscars, Grammys, SAG’s, Golden Globes and the Emmy’s, Stacey has rarely faced a celebrity story she couldn’t cover effectively. She decided to move to Hollywood to be an entertainment reporter
after she was Molly Ringwald’s stand-in on the film Fresh Horses.
Alissa Finerman: 1. What’s the most important strength you possess that allows you to be successful in your role?
Stacey Gualandi: My biggest strength that has allowed me to be successful in my role as a reporter is not being afraid to adapt. While I found
some success in an unconventional way, I never gave up, or listened to people who said I couldn’t do it that way. And even though there have been many times where I have failed, or when it has taken longer than I hoped to reach my goal, I remained in hot pursuit.
2. What motivates you on a daily basis to keep going?
SG: Receiving some sort of recognition or positive feedback is what drives me on a daily basis to keep going. When I see a story that I’ve reported on, or a show that I’ve hosted, or a print piece that I’ve written, it motivates me to do it again. And if I’m personally happy with the results, its a wonderful feeling! To feel that sense of accomplishment makes me want to keep going. And when the reaction is positive from others, there’s no stopping me!! ha. I get the most satisfaction and do my best work when I know I’m helping someone, and that person is pleased with the finished product.
3. What role do goals play in your life? Tell us a few words about your goal setting process.
SG: As I look at my past, I have been most productive and successful when I’ve set goals for myself. My process is to write my goal(s) down on paper. It seems to make me commit if it’s in writing. After graduating from college, I picked up and went to Hollywood without a job. My goal was to become an entertainment reporter by age 30. Normally one would start in a small market, but instead, I set out to become an effective writer/producer… networking, patience, working hard. It was a slower, yet step-by-step
process – paying my dues as they say! I made it with 4 months to spare!
4. What separates a good vs a great reporter?
SG: I think the difference between a good reporter and a great reporter is the ability to listen, be compassionate and be versatile. I think you have to be dedicated to preparation, research, and writing skills. I genuinely care about people. It’s also essential to put people at ease and to make them feel that they are in safe, trusting hands. That is always my intent. And to trust your gut.
5. What’s the toughest challenge(s) you successfully overcame?
SG: I think the biggest challenge that I am still trying to overcome is the passing of my Dad to cancer right before Christmas in 2009. For seven years, cancer was always on our minds, and I tried and succeeded at times to find
him the best care. But the last year of his life, I could no longer help my Dad. The cancer had taken over and I was devastated at not being able to control what was happening. It has been 18 months, and what is helping me
to move forward is not giving up, do what I can to keep busy and productive, and to participate in causes in honor of my dad. I still want to make him proud. (Stacey just participated in a cycling fundraiser that raised over $167,000 for Thinkcure.org.)
6. What are some of your most meaningful accomplishments?
SG: I have a few meaningful accomplishments that keep me inspired!
* Completing my first marathon. For my 40th bithday, my goal (and present to myself) was to complete my first marathon. I did it in 4.5 hours!!!
* Becoming an on-air reporter by 30.
* Becoming a certified yoga/spin instructor for YAS Fitness Centers after I was laid off from my last full-time job, and needing perhaps a reinvention while I figured out my next goals. I barely knew how to do yoga!! It was really really really challenging, and it seemed to open some emotional floodgates, but I came out the other end fit, calmer, and proud of myself.
* Starting the Hollywood Chapter of Dining for Women. I had participated in some charity work, but this spoke to me and has helped me give back.
7. What do the top performers do differently to excel?
SG: The top performers do not give up. They look at failure as an inspiration to try again, and plain and simple, believe in themself.
To learn more about Stacey, please visit The Women’s Eye. I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Stacey and she is extremely gracious, energetic, engaging, and prepared (listen to our interview) .
The “Top 1%er” interview series is presented by Alissa Finerman, a Professional Life Coach, motivational speaker, and author of the book, “Living in Your Top 1%: Nine Essential Rituals to Achieve Your Ultimate Life Goals” which is available on Amazon.com. She has an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. To learn more please visit, www.AlissaFinerman.com or Facebook.