LOS ANGELES — What is the secret to success? It is the million dollar question everyone wants to know. Just a cursory online search finds over 2 million books, articles and columns written on the subject. But which one offers the right answer? In PragerU’s newest video, “The Secret To Success,” PragerU contributor and sideline reporter for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, Michele Tafoya, gives her take on success with no secrets included.
In the field of sportscasting, Tafoya’s experience is unmatched. She has worked for the NBA, the NFL, the Olympics, college football and college basketball, to name a few. In 1996, Tafoya made broadcast history when she became the first woman to give television play-by-play calls of a men’s NCAA tournament game and the only person to be nominated for the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Reporter in all six years of the awards existence.
Tafoya credits her success to one factor alone – work ethic. “I won’t lie – it’s a dream job,” she admits. “But it isn’t a dream come true. There’s no fantasy involved. Just a lifetime of hard work.”
Tafoya began working from a young age and accumulated valuable lessons from each experience:
“I had my first real job at 13. I was a paper-girl…That job taught me persistence. I learned that to succeed, especially in sales, you have to knock on a lot of doors.”
“In high school, I worked at Baskin Robbins…That taught me accountability. Until you run the show, you answer to the person who does. “
“A few years later, I worked as a telemarketer for an insurance company…[I learned] the path to success is paved with failure.”
“As a waitress in college, I learned that you need to smile and treat customers well, even when you’re having a bad day.”
After graduating college, Tafoya had a total of seven jobs. She worked long hours as a public relations assistant in Los Angeles and eventually transitioned to producing a morning radio show. While at the station, Tafoya was inspired to become the “talent” herself and later landed a journalism job with a sports show in North Carolina. Tafoya put together a demo and sent it out to every station she could find an address for. Finally, her demo caught the eye of a sports show in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“I decided that I would never think of myself as a “female sports reporter,” but just as a sports reporter,” said Tafoya. “My ambition is to be the best sports journalist, period.”
As a sports journalist, Tafoya took on every possible assignment, especially the ones no one else wanted to do. After five months of long hours and hard work, she began getting job offers from other TV stations, such as CBS Sports. Tafoya took the job at CBS Sports and immediately jumped headlong into the public eye as a reporter.
“I made a lot of mistakes – some honest ones, and some really dumb ones.” Said Tafoya. “This pushed me to screw up less and taught me how to deal with criticism. Mistakes are life’s way of highlighting what you need to improve.”
Tafoya worked at CBS Sports for five years and then accepted a job with ESPN. After 10 years, Tafoya joined NBC and currently works there as a sideline reporter for NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
“After all of that — a lifetime of work — I think I’ve learned what it takes to succeed,” concludes Tafoya. “Whether it’s your first job or your dream job, the formula is always the same: Get to work. Keep working. And don’t stop until the job is done. That’s the secret – that’s not a secret – to success.”
MEDIA NOTE: PragerU contributor, Michele Tafoya, is available for interview as is PragerU’s Founder, Dennis Prager and CEO, Marissa Streit. Contact: MediaInquiries@theKcompany.co
PragerU, founded by Dennis Prager in 2011, is a not-for-profit organization that helps millions understand the values that shaped America and provides millions of Americans and people around the world with the intellectual ammunition they need to advocate for limited government, individual responsibility and economic freedom. In 2016 alone, PragerU’s videos received over 250 million views, a figure that will eclipse 350 million in 2017. PragerU is a resource for all who value liberty. It is a threat to all those who do not.
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