I had breakfast with Carly Fiorina, Diana Sawyer…

This morning I had breakfast with Carly Fiorina, the ex-CEO of Hewlett Packard, Ivanka Trump, yes Donald’s daughter, Dara Torres, the 40-year-young Olympian, of course Bobbi Brown, from the make-up empire was there too, and Gayle King was also among the bright and inspiring women who joined me as I ate a bowl of oatmeal.  Impressive right?

Well, guess what?  You too could have breakfast with them (for free – except BYO oatmeal) and lots of other super inspiring women – all worthy of imitation, all willing to share their journey to success with you and me.  Here’s how – click on this link and you’re there.

Aside from having access to podcasts of interviews of these women, at www.womenforhire.com you’ll find a wealth of free resources for your career. For the guys reading this, advice does not come dressed in pink on this site.  And unlike other sites where they offer teasers and then when I get to what I really want, they ask me to pay, this site does have free sound advice.  Finally someone who doesn’t use ‘tactics’ to get money from me.

(no, they are not paying me to say any of this)

Here are my favorite lessons from this morning’s breakfast meeting:

Just by listening to Carly Fiorina – who was named at 43 by Fortune Magazine as “The Most Powerful Woman in Business” – I learned that after her very public firing from HP, even that did not seem to her like the end of the world.  As traumatic and disappointing as the experience was, she was able to find a lesson – she now knows that she’s not afraid of anything. 

By listening to Diana Sawyer, one of Good Morning America’s anchor, I learned that I’m doing the right thing by waking up at 5am.  To all my friends who for years have asked me what do I at 5am, all I can say is there’s no doubt in my mind that the day belongs to those who are ready and able to seize it.

I loved hearing Joy Browne’s interview because like me, she’s worn lots and lots of hats throughout her career.  Trained as an engineer she got to work at the NASA space program, training astronauts.  And from there she’s worked in radio, written books, and worked in archaeology among other things.  Based on her experience she recognizes that every role she’s had is related simply because there are transferable skills.  To you that means that nothing that you do at work is entirely new.  In other words, as many times as you switch jobs, you’ll never ever be starting from scratch.  I’ve known this in my career as a job hopper but it’s always great to hear it from someone so accomplished. 

What I loved most about what Dara Torres, who at 40 years-young swam at the Beijing 08 Olympics, was that she was open and honest.  Among the great insight that she shared was that she did not know early on in her life that she was going to be a swimmer, let alone an Olympian.  She figured it out at an age that’s considered to be too late by elite athletes’ standards.  That tells me that if you still do not know what you’ll be doing for the rest your life, that you still have time to find out and even succeed.  She also says that being dedicated, organized and focused has had a lot to do with achieving the goals that she’s set for herself.  Hint, hint…

I hesitated to click on Ivanka Trump’s interview because I feared that I’d be listening to a silver-spoon-fed spoiled brat.  I was very surprised to hear that Ivanka, who has had all that she has wanted and then some, has really made a life for her self.  That tells me that regardless of how much we’re given, it is up to each of us to make a life for ourselves – to cast our own shadow.  The fact remains that we are each given a life to live – and it’s up to each of us to live it.  Ivanka could’ve very easily made a career out of embarrassing her self at her dad’s expense, but instead she chose the high road and is making a career for herself.  And guess what?  Before she went to work at her dad’s business, to learn the ropes, she was employed at another organization.  That’s a huge hint for anyone who wants to have their own business.  Donald Trump knows that a great way to prepare yourself for owning your business is to work within an another organization.  I wrote about this in an earlier post and it’s quite refreshing to see it put in practice by one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.

These are my top 5.  I’d love to hear what you learn from these remarkable women.  

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