Blog Posts by Secrets To Your Success

  • Secrets to Your Success: Alexa von Tobel

    LearnVest founder Alexa von Tobel says financial planning should be accessible to everyone. "Financial planning shouldn't be a luxury," she says. "Every single person in the country should be able to have access to trusted financial advice." And she won't stop her mission until LearnVest is helping millions of people.

    More on Shine: A financial expert solves couples' biggest money problems

    Growing up in Florida, Alexa tagged along with her two older brothers, playing touch football and other outdoor games. She says that taught her to be able to get along with different groups of people. Alexa attended Harvard, studying psychology. During her senior year at Harvard, she came up with the idea for LearnVest, developing the business plan while working as a trader at Morgan Stanley. Alexa left her Wall Street career behind to attend Harvard Business School in 2008.

    "I won a business plan competition of sorts," says Alexa, "and I had a few professors say, 'You know what? This is a really big

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  • Secrets to Your Success: I Am Who I Am Because of My Mom

    Mom changed your diapers, kissed your boo-boos, and said you could do anything you ever wanted. She instilled qualities, like humor, strength, and courage. She believed in you and ultimately has influenced your life and career. These four successful women say they are who they are because of dear Mom.

    More on Shine: The best advice from Mom

    Comedian Tig Notaro says her mom was a "wild person," doing anything to make her laugh. "I think that I definitely got her sensibility as far as comedy," explains Tig.

    Lisa Leslie, a former WNBA player, says her mom was her first and is still her biggest role model. Even when kids would tease Lisa for being tall and skinny, Lisa says her mom would tell her, "Lisa, some people grow on the inside and some people grow on the outside, and we've been blessed enough to do both." Lisa's mom encouraged her to hold her head up high. Lisa says her mom worked to empower her to feel good about herself and be thankful.

    When Kristen Trattner, a cancer survivor

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  • Secrets to Your Success: Tanya Zuckerbrot

    Tanya Zuckerbrot, registered dietician and founder of the F-Factor diet, says we live in a world where we simply can't control a lot of things, but we can control what we eat every day. "You know, what's at the edge of that fork," she says, "it's up to you."

    More on Shine: Is your diet making you angry?

    Tanya grew up in a family of cooks and says, "I just think that I have always loved to cook and loved to eat." After college, Tanya headed to NYU to get her master's in nutrition. She went into private practice as a registered dietitian and started working with doctors to treat their patients. She says when she worked with cardiovascular patients, the goal was to lower their bad cholesterol and improve their good cholesterol, and when she worked with diabetics, the goal was to manage their sugars. But with both patients, they were losing weight. Although the diets were different, each diet included fiber.

    "If someone loses 20 pounds, people notice," says Tanya. She started receiving

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  • Secrets to Your Success: Sally Jessy Raphael


    Talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael's iconic, over-sized red glasses were purchased out of necessity. She says that when she went to the optometrist, they only had red glasses, so that's just what she bought. Sally exudes confidence. "I knew from the day I was born what I wanted to do," she says. "I wanted to communicate, and I wanted to make a difference in the world."

    More on Shine: Sally Jessy Raphael reveals why she bought her famous red glasses

    Sally says she grew up in a privileged family with very supportive parents; however, when her father became ill, her family fell on hard times. She says they slept in a car and learned to survive on what they had, but Sally pursued her dreams and went on to study theatre in college. She turned to radio and television when acting didn't work out. In her early career, she worked at 28 different TV and radio stations, often facing discrimination as a woman.

    After a guest appearance on "The Phil Donahue Show," Sally finally got her big break

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  • Secrets to Your Success: Dori and Ilissa Howard

    It's a well-known fact that women love shoes, and Dori and Ilissa Howard, sisters and founders of Milk & Honey Shoes, know no one would try to dispute it. They also know every woman has an idea for a pair of shoes she just can't find in stores, but Milk & Honey Shoes can make your shoe dreams come true. "If you want a crazy pair of green glitter shoes," says Dori, "well, then you should have them."

    More on Yahoo! Shine: Top 5 metallic sandals

    Dori and Ilissa say they had a typical upbringing, and even though they had opposite personalities while growing up, they have always been close. Dori and Ilissa both headed off to college to pursue separate careers. Dori was a film studio executive and Ilissa worked in product development for the toy industry. Dori says her job at Paramount was "glamorous" and "exciting and thrilling," but she didn't see anyone over the age of 40. "That concerned me," she says. "I just couldn't see the future in it." Meanwhile, Ilissa loved working in

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  • Secrets to Your Success: Choose a Career You Love

    Choosing a career is not just about bringing home enough money to pay the bills; it's about finding a job that will play to your strengths, and, most importantly, it's about finding a career that you love. So, whether you're searching for new opportunities or changing paths, how do you choose a satisfying career? Here are a few pointers on choosing a career you'll love from four successful women.

    More on Shine: 10 no-fail ways to wow your boss

    Find your passion. Retired Four-Star Army General Ann Dunwoody says some people are working in jobs they're not passionate about and feeling stuck. "We have to allow people, kids, adults to experiment, and test, and find something they really enjoy doing," she advises. "I believe you'll know it when you do it."

    Love what you do. Lisa Price, founder of Carol's Daughter, says success is being able to do what you love and doing what you need to get the job completed. "To be at work from 10 in the morning until 2 in the morning and not

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  • Secrets to Your Success: Mary Ellen O'Toole

    "Empathy is such a critical trait, even if you're sitting across the table and somebody has said to you, 'Yes, I've murdered 48 people,' and I've had that happen," explains Mary Ellen O'Toole, a psychologist and FBI profiler.

    More on Shine: Revenge videos by female artists: Good or bad for women?

    At a very young age, she wondered what people thought about when they murdered other people. Mary Ellen says, even though these thoughts scared her mom, she was fascinated with people who do violent things.

    Mary Ellen studied psychology in college and went on to get her PhD. She worked briefly as a therapist, but felt drawn to a career in law enforcement. She says it must have been in her genes to choose that path. Her father was an FBI agent, her mother worked for the FBI, and her brother was a San Francisco police officer.

    She began her law enforcement career with the San Francisco DA's office as a criminal investigator, and in 1981, Mary Ellen became an FBI agent assigned to

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  • Secrets to Your Success: Katrina Markoff

    Chef and Vosges Haut-Chocolat founder Katrina Markoff uses chocolate as a medium to tell stories. "For some reason, I went into my kitchen, and I made an Indian curry, coconut, milk chocolate truffle," she says. "And that was when the epiphany occurred."

    More on Shine: Flour power: a healthier take on chocolate cake

    Katrina grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, near her grandparents. She says her grandmother was the one who taught her how to cook. Katrina studied chemistry and psychology at Vanderbilt University, but found herself struggling with choosing a career as graduation approached. Katrina moved to Paris to study cooking at the famed culinary school Le Cordon Bleu. She worked in top European restaurants, but took a leave of absence to embark on a round-the-world trip.

    She spent nine months traveling through Southeast Asia, discovering the close connection between people and food. When she returned to the United States, however, she realized she didn't want to be a chef.

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  • Secrets to Your Success: Siedah Garrett

    Growing up, singer, songwriter, and "Man In The Mirror" co-writer Siedah Garrett occasionally was a guest singer at churches, but it wasn't until she was in junior high school that she knew she had to be a singer. A guitarist at her school wanted to participate in a talent show, so he asked her to sing while he played. She says the next day she received rave reviews and praise for her performance.

    More on Shine: Debbie Gibson talks affordable fashion finds and living simply

    In her 20s Siedah worked as a backup singer for Sergio Mendes, but got her big break at an open audition for producer Quincy Jones. In a room full of producers and songwriters, she sang the demos from several songwriters. Siedah joined one of Quincy's bands as a singer and went on to become one of his songwriters.

    Tasked with finishing Michael Jackson's album, Quincy asked his songwriters to come up with new songs for Michael. Siedah says her songwriting partner Glen Ballard started playing a chord

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  • Secrets to Your Success: How to Make a Good Impression in a New Job

    Like the first day of school, the first few days of a new job can be absolutely nerve-racking. Among the butterflies of a new job, like what to wear or where to park, making a good impression probably tops the list of anxieties. Colleagues' opinions are often set early and can greatly impact your achievements at work. So, how can you set yourself up for success on day one? Here are four tips on how to make a good impression in a new job from four successful women.

    More on Shine: 4 work mistakes you don't realize you're making

    1. Be curious It's not enough to come early, stay late, dress nice, and act polite, says Kat Cole, Cinnabon president. "You don't stand out if you do that," she explains. "You do stand out if you're naturally curious, respectfully curious." She advises to ask questions and inquire why things are done a certain way.

    2. Eye contact, a smile, and a good handshake "Brave" producer Katherine Sarafian explains that it seems so simple, but not enough people do

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