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Life Lessons: Debbie Mitchell

Ah yes, one of my favorite people is #occupyinglifelessons today. I worked with Debbie Mitchell years ago at that big TV gig I had a few years back. I admired her for her smarts; now I’m in awe of her reinvention. So read Debbie’s Life Lessons and remember, if you’d like to take part, email us; we’ll send you the questions. Come on.. it’ll be fun! (oh and um, how great is it that she put RENE SYLER ahead of Barbara Walters as top TV talent? Uh-huh.. So there!)

Are you happy at the moment?

I am pretty happy at this moment in my life. I suddenly lost my job at CBS News after 10 years and have spent the last 18 months working on reinventing my career. For the first time in my 25-year career I’ve had the chance to step off the fast-paced, television treadmill.  Today I am working hard and using my extraordinary skills both, old and new to build a fulfilling  professional life along with gives me more balance.

If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

I would tell my 16-year-old self that she is going to have a pretty amazing life filled with great opportunities. She needs to know that time will go by very quickly and it’s better to work smarter than harder. Always have a “B” plan because she just never knows what life is going to throw her way.

At 33 she’ll be in the best shape of her life but at 43 the two times a day hardcore, cardio workout will become a three times a week yoga workout. Close friends she thought would be in her life forever will fade away and be replaced by new ones.

She will not have a traditional life with a husband and children in her 20’s, 30’s and mid 40’s.  But she will watch her friends have kids who will be her surrogate children.  As for falling in love, she will have a few hits and misses but learn to be patient and live a full life until the right guy comes along.

Some people will disappoint her, but others will be her biggest champion. Everybody’s path in life is different so don’t compare herself to anyone else just do the best she can. All the lessons her dad and mom taught her about finances (SPEND BUT ALWAYS SAVE) will come in handy as she figures out her next big career adventure.

She will experience first hand that nothing in life stays the same. Work, friends and she will come across a few unbelievable challenges that will make her a little tougher.

One day she will have to bring all her skills, confidence, patience and faith to the forefront as she builds the next chapter of her life.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
Wow this year was filled with lots of lessons. Losing my job at CBS was the worst and best thing to happen to me. I love a good challenge and my level of curiosity is stronger than ever. Rene introduced me to the world of social media and now there’s no turning back.  Now I am using my years of traditional television skills with new social media skills in my consulting gig at Deborah Mitchell Media Associates.

What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months? 

I want to take one day at a time and continue to be open to all the possibilities that come my way both professionally and personally.

What’s your secret to happiness?

Who says I’m happy? 🙂 I really don’t compare my life to others. I want the best and treat people the way I expect to be treated. Unfortunately it is not always reciprocated.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

I usually exercise in the morning.  As I said before, the routine is not as rigorous but  yoga is a great workout.  These days I meditate and pray each morning.

What’s your biggest regret?

I hate saying I have regrets. However, I should have taken more pictures in my lifetime. I have met some amazing and important people through my job and didn’t document it. During my travels I always allow  friends to take the pictures since the act felt a little like work for me. I always believed I would remember everything. Well, let me tell you these days I barely remember what happened yesterday so of course I don’t remember the details of my trip to France almost 15 years ago.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

I don’t have any kids.

What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

The bad habit I would most like to change is my inability to ask for help. I think I can figure most things out, but sometimes I can’t. So please feel free to ask me if I need help.

Aside from motherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

I am single and don’t have kids but I am proud of the fact that I have lived a life that includes always finding a way to help friends, family and some strangers. There is something to be said for Karma. I believe it is real and what you give out is what you get back.

When were you happiest?

I am happiest when I am traveling and experiencing new people and cultures or just spending time  being near the water. I am a Pisces so that might something to do with it.

What ten words best describe you?

Since I am biased I took a poll of friends to answer this one. Here is what they came up  with: Intelligent, compassionate, loyal, dependable, responsible, adventurous, feisty, opinionated, persistent and determined.

Debbie is an Emmy nominated, multi-media producer and manager with extensive experience in network news and syndicated daytime talk show production.  She has worked with the industry’s top talent including: Rene Syler, Barbara Walters, Susan L. Taylor, Geraldo Rivera, Regis Philbin, Bryant Gumbel, Harry Smith, Hannah Storm, Maggie Rodriguez and Julie Chen. Debbie is currently very excited about her transition from producing traditional television to social media.  This foodie loves people, fashion, travel, SCUBA, yoga, all things Italia and thinking outside the box. You can follow her on Twitter @TVProducerDeb.

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