Correspondent Tamron Hall speaks at the TIME and Real Simple's Women & Success event at the Park Hyatt on Oct. 1, 2014 in New York City.
Larry Busacca—Getty Images for Time Inc.
By Charlotte Alter and Eliana Dockterman
October 2, 2014

Television host Tamron Hall spoke with Frozen songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez, former CEO of WWE Linda McMahon, and Real Simple editor Kristen van Ogtrop about her path to success and the advice she’d give to young women. Here’s what she said:

On whether she ever doubted herself:

I’ve never not felt successful… My grandfather had a second grade education, he was a sharecropper, I don’t even know if my grandmother had a birth certificate. We didn’t have paved streets till the 1980s… I was always told by my grandfather, who took me home from the hospital, that I was special.

On how she measures “success:”

When I walked into this room, when you connect eyes and there’s this glimmer… That’s how I measure success: when you can walk in and see yourself in people, and you can actually help. A five-second conversation or a quick email, being able to have this voice or opportunity or space to help people.

Overall I measure my life by how I can help people. It’s my total journey. I’m not trying to be Oprah or Gandhi, it’s just how I was raised. I can’t measure it by my bank account, because I have a shopping addiction, I can’t measure it by sleep, because I don’t get any.

On failure:

Every single job I thought I wanted and didn’t get, there was something better for me…So far, every job that I’ve applied for that I didn’t get, every idea that I thought was great that crumbled in front of me, there was something else out there.

On telling kids they’re special:

Life, in itself, keeps you from feeling entitled, unless you’re just a jackass. I think it’s okay that your parents tell you you’re special, because there are enough people who will tell you you’re not… Life, as we all know, will tear you down. Thank God someone told me I was special, because you should see what people say to me on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

Write to Charlotte Alter at charlotte.alter@time.com and Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com.

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