Journalist To CEO: Soledad O'Brien

Soledad O'Brien handles many roles and responsibilities – CEO, wife, caregiver, mother of four children and the roles she is probably best known for - journalist. Lauren Wesley Wilson interviewed O'Brien for Forbes about her transition from journalist to CEO of her multi-platform media production and distribution company, Starfish Media Group.

Here are a few excerpts:

I start each morning attending a yoga class... I follow up Yoga with a 30-minute treadmill workout. I try to get my workout routine all done before 8:30 am.

Most recently I’ve taken on the role of Caregiver for my aging parents. My dad is sick and I’ve spent recent mornings having breakfast and attending to him.

I also run the PowHERful Foundation, focused on getting women of color from low income backgrounds the financial resources and training necessary to attend and graduate college. We just sent 4,000 girls to a series of PowHERful conferences across the country (seven conferences in seven cities). One of our graduates just got her PhD in nursing, which I’m really proud of.

Women, particularly women of color, need to leverage their network. Who will be your accountant? Lawyer? Your IT person? You want to get these items set up before you jump into running your company because it will be hard to balance the work while looking for the items that keep your business structured. Network in advance of your leap. ColorComm Network is a good example of teaching this.

There are so many people who are willing to be helpful in developing your career. When I was younger I was more afraid to ask for guidance. I would encourage young people to speak up and ask for help when you need it.

In my personal life I would tell my 30-year-old self to not stress over the stuff that worry won’t fix. Sometimes you just have to let things work themselves out. And most importantly, I would tell my younger self to stop stressing.

Horseback riding. It’s one of the very few times through my day where I have to be disconnected from my day-to-day tasks and solely focus on riding.

Wesley Wilson: How do you conclude each day?
O’Brien: With a big glass of red wine.

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