Samantha Ponder is the host of ESPN’s NFL Countdown. She knew from a very early age that she wanted to be a sportscaster, but her journey took her much further than she imagined. One of the things that made her successful in a male-dominated industry is her ability to embrace failure. She isn’t scared of it.
Sam is also Mom to three children. Early in her career, she felt compelled to say “yes” to every opportunity that came her way, but as her family started to grow, she learned that a lot of times the word “opportunity” will cost you something: not money, but time away from other areas of your life. When Sam had her second child, she made the decision to start saying “no” more often—a difficult decision in an industry that is used to hearing “yes.”
When you say “yes” to something, you, generally, are saying “no” to something else. Listen to the full episode to hear Sam’s story and how she handles the complexities of being a working mom.
A few lessons from Samantha…
- Stop avoiding failure. Don’t be scared to try something because the risk is high. Try it anyway and learn from the failure, then try it again.
- Evaluate every decision based on your current priorities and your current season of life. Is the opportunity going to take away from an area that is more important to you? Is the opportunity going provide you the progress you desire? Stop using “yes” as your auto-response.
- Lean on your support system for help picking up responsibilities so that you can be 100% present wherever you are. If you are at work, be at work; when you are home, be at home.
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