Fox News' Kimberly Guilfoyle's rise did not start out in front of the camera. In fact, it all began behind a deli counter.
Indeed the success of the co-host of The Five, panelist on Outnumbered and frequent guest on shows like The O'Reilly Factor was forged in jobs as diverse as delicatessen manager to assistant district attorney. Guilfoyle shares how she was able to pursue her passions and achieve such success -- and how we can apply her lessons to our own lives both professional and personal -- in her new book, "Making the Case: How to Be Your Own Best Advocate."
We had the chance to sit down with Guilfoyle in her midtown Manhattan office and talk about the lessons of a career that took her from the deli counter, to the bar and now the top of the world of political media. Below is a particularly poignant portion of our in-depth interview:
With the whole idea of being able to make the case and be an advocate, my father said ... "Pursue those goals. Pursue those dreams." So whether it was me applying for a job working in a delicatessen with Mr. Kim where I had to make the case that I would be the best choice for a manager of a deli that was brand new that opened -- it was in a really nice supermarket that had opened in a great area -- even though I had had no prior experience working in a deli ... But I had been making sandwiches all kinds of places, especially raising and taking care of my little brother after my Mom died.
So then I went in there and I put forward this whole thing -- my Dad loved it. He goes, "Do your research. Do your homework. Look at the other delis." So I wrote down all the prices. I lowered my prices by five cents, by a nickel, which at the time seemed to be good so that "Hey, come to me. Our sandwiches taste better and they're more affordable."
... And then when I went to go apply for the [San Francisco] DA's office. Same thing. How could I distinguish myself? There was an internship program that was the narcotics prosecution. Then that program became full. But I was able to connect, and penetrate, and make a connection with one of the men that was top DA in the office, Michael Hartmann, who went on to be a UN War Crimes prosecutor. And I just went everywhere with him. I mean he knew how passionate I was about being a prosecutor. So I didn't give up. "Oh this program's full? Let me try another way." You've gotta be able to pivot. You've gotta be able to try. You can't sit there and be worried about "Oh I'm embarrassed I didn't get this." Or, "I don't want to fail." "Oh, what will people think or say." No, what will you think and say about yourself if you didn't even try?
And you can have those impactful moments in life where you connect with someone and they can tell. They can feel your passion and your desire about how much you want that position. How much you want to be there to learn, to grow, from them, and have that mentoring position.
So I started working in district attorneys' offices when I was in college at UC-Davis. I volunteered at the Yolo County District Attorney's office. I was a consumer fraud intern. And I went in there and I took that job very seriously. I also had a full load -- full load of academic units, plus I was working at the local Clothestime store to make money so that I could also do the internship that I like.
That's the kind of thing I was doing. My father encouraged me to do that. He wasn't like "Well maybe you're taking on too much." He knew that I would be able to make a value judgment about how far I was extending myself, and also about passing up opportunity. Some of these things they pass in front of you: Don't assume that ship is gonna pass right in front of you again and you can get on. You've got to max it out. And you've gotta always be like my military friends always talk about ... on target ... I always think about moving, getting to the "X," what it is that I want to achieve, and what are the steps specifically that I need to take to be able to make that happen. It's that type of thing that I think about every day.
During our conservation, we also had a chance to discuss a number of other topics including:
- The value of "paying it forward
- The virtuous circle of contributing and achieving success in life
- The influence of Kimberly’s father on her career
- Lessons Americans can apply to their own lives from the military
- The value of a legal education
- And much more
Note: The link to the book in this post will give you an option to elect to donate a percentage of the proceeds from the sale to a charity of your choice. Mercury One, the charity founded by TheBlaze’s Glenn Beck, is one of the options. Donations to Mercury One go towards efforts such as disaster relief, support for education, support for Israel and support for veterans and our military. You can read more about Amazon Smile and Mercury One here.
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