You may recognize her from a brief cameo on ABC’s The Goldbergs earlier this year (in which she plays herself), but Nancy Glass is more than just a host on camera. For decades in the media business – despite the seismic changes in the way companies make money and stay relevant – Glass has done it all: She became the first woman to host a nationwide syndicated news show and started her company, Glass, for over twenty years Productions before.
Glass spoke to Lifehacker about how they have worked over the years.
How do you stay motivated despite setbacks?
There is no success without failure first. When something goes wrong, no matter how painful the situation, it is an opportunity to find out how to do things right. As I was rowing with the rowing team, my trainer said, “If you screw up a stroke, don’t stop at it. You have to concentrate on the one in front of you. ”
The fact is, things will go wrong. You need to have the ability to focus on what you want to achieve. If you deal with the bad moment instead of learning from it, your boat will tip over. And in my case, I didn’t have a choice. When I started my business, I had children that I had to support. I had to keep rowing.
If your to-do list is long, do what you least enjoy first. Then everything else seems a little less daunting.
What was one of the most important work lessons you learned?
It seems like everyone is juggling right now. We’re all too busy. The only way to get things done in this environment is by splitting it up. Focus on one project at a time. It’s not always easy, but when you think about everything you need to do at the same time, you will get overwhelmed. Another thing: if your to-do list is long, do what you least enjoy first. Then everything else seems a little less daunting.
For anyone looking to take a career leap on their own – I’m thinking of how you started your own production company – what is your most important piece of advice?
Do not give up. When I started my company 20 years ago, everyone I spoke to (and even those who had just heard about it) said it was stupid and it would never work. It was terrifying, but I didn’t listen to people who underestimated my work ethic, ability to learn, and optimism.
I also turned the negative into the positive. We don’t pay rents in NY or LA so we can put the money on the big screen. Customers got quality work. As for the staff, people like to live in Philadelphia; It’s a great place for families.
What are some skills that you have developed over the course of your career that you think are applicable beyond work?
Leading people was a wonderful learning experience. It made me more patient and a better listener. It teaches you that divergent viewpoints are healthy and should be considered. You will learn how to help without interfering and how to support independent thinking. You also learn that it’s not just your stars or fighters who need attention. Everyone deserves to be heard.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Lots of exciting things are happening. Our podcast space is growing exponentially. It’s a very fulfilling way of storytelling. We are working on new shows for CNN, A&E, TLC, Discovery and HGTV in addition to our current program. We just partnered with Marcus Lemonis from The Profit. As a company, we’re constantly thinking about challenging ourselves and in a business where shelf life is somewhere between cottage cheese and yogurt this has been a great run. I can’t wait to see what’s next.