The Today Show Producer (Mary Ann Zoellner) Explains the Art of Rising to the Top

Show Notes

From Northeastern Oklahoma State University college student to Larry King intern to Emmy-Award Winning Producer, Mary Ann Zoellner explains her path to the top.

Mary Ann Zoellner’s Books –

  1. Today’s Moms: Essentials for Surviving Baby’s First Year
  2. Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us
  1. Mary Ann Zoellner first went to Northeastern State Oklahoma and studies journalism – 2 years
  2. Mary Ann then went to George Washington University and triple major
  3. Landed a job at the National Association of Broadcasters. 2 years
  4. Landed a job as an intern at CNN on the weekends. 6 months
    1. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “When I was an intern my montra was to be accommodating.” – Mary Ann Zoellner  
    2. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.” – Seth Godin (Best-selling author of The Purple Cow)
  1. Mary Ann interned at the Larry King Show. 2.5 years
    1. As a Floor Director she go to meet some very famous celebrities and politicians such as President Richard Nixon, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Brooke Shields.
    2. Fun Fact – “Richard Nixon was one of the nicest people in the world when I met him.” – Mary Ann Zoellner
  1. Mary Ann went to Spain to study abroad. 10 months
    1. DEFINITION MAGICIAN – au pair – a young foreign person, typically a woman, who helps with housework or child care in exchange for room and board.
  1. Mary Ann interned at Jenny Jones. 2 years
    1. FUN FACT – Jenny Jones is an American stand-up comedian, presenter, singer and talk show host. She hosted The Jenny Jones Show from 1991 to 2003.
  1. Mary Ann interned at MSNBC and became a senior producer and was hired by Phil Griffin. – 3 years
    1. FUN FACT – Mary Ann loves working with Dolly Parton and Blake Shelton.
    2. FUN FACT – The day that Elvis died, Bill Murray decided to fly to using his NBC credential to attend the burial of Elvis burial. 33 Minutes
    3. FUN FACT: As a producer Mary Ann does the following:
      1. Write the intro that the host reads
      2. Research and do a pre-interview
      3. Write the questions
    4. 18 years onto the Today Show

Top 5 attractions to see when visiting NYC

  1. Boat tour
  2. Central park bike tour
  3. Rockefeller Center during the taping of the Today Show and behind the scenes tour.
  4. 9/11 Memorial
  5. Whale watching of the coast of Manhattan
Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

Two men, 13 multimillion dollar businesses, eight kids, one business coach radio show. It’s the thrive time business coach radio show. Get ready to enter the thrive time show.

Oh yes. Thrive nation. Welcome back to your daily Dojo of Mojo fo sho. My name is Clay Clark and I am an knocked my maniacally focused on helping you to make Mo. I am joined here, each show with my cohost, mr eric chop down to business coach and I am joined here very, very often with the man with the plan, the cohost with dr robert zellner, but typically, sir, you do not bring your sister on the show with you now. It’s like I brought a little treat today and you know what? Thrive nation. I’m just going to. I’m just going to do this upfront. You’re welcome. do you. Do you see real quick because we’re going to do a show today. We’re going to be talking about chasing unicorns and why it does take longer to get rich quick. We’re going to talk about how you can leap frog and grow your business dramatically.

Time at come data. Yep. I thought this was the get rich quick podcast. No, no, no, no, no, no. That’s 4:00. We’re gonna be talking about today, how to create processes and systems to grow a business. That doesn’t sound sexy. We’re going to talk about why you want to be the bearer of good news. Why no one wants to work with the debbie downer, but z. Do you have like 70 minutes so I can read your, your, your sisters bio on the show? Maryann Zoellner, do you have 70 minutes where I could read your bio? Is that okay? Yeah. All right. Okay. Let me queue up. You say I’m going to queue up my, My epic music hub if you will. Please do the echo. I need that sort of vibrato hEre. Here we go. Get a devil echo today. Ladies and gentlemen, on today’s show we have maryann Zoellner.

I New York times best selling author and an emmy emmy emmy award winning produCer opposite a show for 18 years only being 24 years. All. Alright. So Maryann Zoellner, I want to start by asking you a bunch of questions about this alleged. Allow 18 year career. You’ve had at the today show when you’re, in fact just 24 years old now. So, um, I just turned 25 yesterday. You, that makes more sense. Muster identify the numbers are adding up now. Okay. So let’s, let’s introduce you to the thrive nation. A lot of people might say, well, how did you get to with the position you’re in now? So what was your first entry into television, into tv production in when did you first have the thought that you wanted to get into tv? Um, my first job, I’m from tulsa, Oklahoma.

I live in New York city now for 22 years. My husband and two beautiful children. Um, but I’ve always wanted to be in television. I started off going to northeastern state, which is a really smart school here in Oklahoma. And I transferred into a George Washington university, which is kind of a fancier university. But the great thing about it, when I was in tulsa, I ended up doing internships. So the best advice you can always do is do multiple, multiple internships. So you figure out. And I had the bug early on, I thought I wanted to be a reporter, but I came from a small town and once I went and got my first job in television, which was at the Larry King live show at cnn when I was still in college because I was just that kind of hustler person that never slept. Um, I realized that I didn’t want to go back to a small town. So I kept going and working behind the scenes in the production world. But I’ve traveled the world and I’ve done a lot of cool stuff because of it.

Hold on, I got a great question and I’m going to read. This is gonna be a reveal. Oh wow. I’ll put the thrive time nation. And once again I’m just going to preemptively. You’re welcome. Well, so after that she goes to chicago and she’s doing the jenny jones, jenny jones and jones shafter Larry King, or before, after Larry King larry king’s into, in the George Washington dc. I still watch jenny jones every night. So she’s in the dc area doing during Larry King. And then she goes over to a jenny jones, Johnny Jones and her highest rated show that she produced was what? Marion,

I think it was lesbian trucker. Maaco.

How could you not to of that? Where does that even start and where does that end? I don’t know that it was ratings gold. But can you say it again? Lesbian trucker makeover.

Um, ratings. Gold.

Yeah. So you know what, what, you know what they say. See abroad to get that booty down. A smack on the back. Okay. So chicago,

he gets a job and going to New York with msnbc. Right.

So msnbc, nbc, and then I became a senior producer and it was so funny too because the guy, my boss, phil griffin, who now runs msnbc, wasn’t going to hire me because they had already hired all of his people. But I kept badgering him. I kept sending him. I was honey badger and I kept just sending him ideas after ideas and then I’ve called them up and then at that point it was like a payphone because it was that and kept saying, I’m like, did you get my. Did you get my latest ideas? he’s like, okay, can you send me more? So it was like I kept sending him more and faxing and everything.

No faxing, fax pages and pages.

Can you do this one for brian? Can you do this one for katie card? Can you do this? when I was like, all right, so these are all imaginary shows that I’m coming up with at the time anD I’m like, how many imaginary shows do I have? But appaRently had enough that I, he ended up hiring this and it was so funny too because when you go into those jobs that you feel so inadequate because it was like all of these nightly news people with is hard news background and I’m coming from jenny, jenny jone show. Um, and I had so much gear. I’m like, I’ll never be able to be as smart as they are ever. It’ll never happen. They’re so much smarter than me. Fast forward, I was the only one who knew how to do a one hour talk show, which was that as well, which was what I was hired for. So everyone else knew how to do a two minute nightly news package, but no one else knew how to break down the segments and do a one hour show. So then shortly after that I was promoted to senior producer and then I left there and started later today, which was the first third hour of the today show. And then I was brought over when that show ended and I had been at the today show for 18.

I have a lot of questions in between these massive a career events we just covered. So. So you, you went to northeastern Oklahoma, right? That’s in tahlequah, tahlequah, Oklahoma. The river hawks. What did you study there at the river hawk festival? Journalism journalism. Okay. If you studied your jet was put that on the show notes because some of our listeners are kind of wanting to know the path. So you studied journalism and northeastern Oklahoma. Then you went to George Washington,

George Washington university where I got a triple, triple major in communications journalism and political science.

Wow. So a triple major. Okay. So then after you get the triple major and then you interned at Larry King?

No, no. I ended up getting a job while I was still in school. What was your job at at and so I started off at the national association of broadcasters. I was the receptionist there and then I ended up getting a job as an intern for cnn and then getting hired at cnn while I was still in college, which is kind of unheard of in the kind of corporate

I feel like that a lot of people, a lot of our listeners out there, we probably have, I’d say 35 percent of our audience is that they’re business owners and probably 65 percent want to own a business and Z. And I talk about this a lot, the power of interning. If you want to learn a specific skill, volunteer to work for free. How did you land that internship at cnn? What did you do? Did you show up every day? Did you call people? How did you get that gig?

Well, it’s great that you asked because I was actually a scene at an intern on the weekend. It was the, it was the weekend that I got the job at and I ended up networking through the national association of broadcasting and just asking and asking and asking and asking and finally knew a friend who knew a friend who helped me get an internship there, but they were only available on the weekends and no one wants to work on the weekends. Right. So, but it was great for me because I gave me a little place to shine. So I was going to. It’s amazing how much news happens on the weekends. So I was going to press conferences, I was asking questions, I was logging the tape. I was getting to know everybody on the desk. I was getting to know really important people that we’re not always going to be on the weekends and we’re going to move up into higher and bigger positions which happened. And so then when I needed a full time job during, uh, during the nighttime so I could go to school during the day, the job with Larry King live came available and so I had all of these people that were giving me great recommendations because they saw how hard I worked on the weekends and the ones that the interns, the interns during the week, there were so many of them that no one really

stood out, stood out, work hard. Were you the one of the first people there? One of the last people that will leave. What kind of things did you do to demonstrate? I’m obviously hitting deadlines because there’s so many people see that I feel like I don’t know how to even stand out. Were you the first person there? Marianne? Were the last person out? Were you just the most intense intern of all time? What were you doing?

I would volunteer for everything. So I always feel like it’s, it’s whether or not you’re getting the coffee, getting the water, you just, your job as an intern is to make everybody’s life easier. So my whole motto since the very beginning, I started working at age 14 was to be accommodating and, and, and, and so by being accommodating whether or not it’s going to get water, going to get the copy going to go to this. Can I logged this tape for you? whatever it was. I tried to be the one that was there when you needed that, when you needed me. Right?

You know, seth goden, uh, one of the best selling author of the purple cow and a lot of other books he says, and this notable quote I want to read to you here, he says, in a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failure in a busy marketplace. Not standIng out is the same as being invisible. I think you had to tactfully stand out. And I think that’s a challenge. I think it’s a challenge for people to how to use tactfully stand out when you’re Interning. Absolutely. And, uh, just as a little, a little sidebar, sidebar z, let me get my son motor sound real quick. Here we go.

We are going to have seth goden on our podcast. We interviewed him and we actually get to run that win in november, in november, in november. I listened to it every day. We had the man, the myth, the legend seth on the show, and that was so much fun. You’re making me cry. I think he really enjoyed it. He gave you a lot of compliments. I think you guys had a slight to moderate bromance working. I’m going to say this. If I’m a great, great relationship with my wife and I am a judeo christian, you know? Oh yeah. But if I was not a interrelationship with my wife, I would. How I would say that I have all out man crush for seth godin. I mean, I would. I would call him a lot. I’d probably stock am I probably get arrested again. I’m a big seth. What are you doing? I love That guy. I love that guy. I love his artwork. I love his writing. I love his style. I love his energy. You’re right seth. a lot with a little heart after it or things like that. What’s that? Funny. Was funny, too much. That change your mInd main to almost seth.

You’re working there for cnn as

an internal. The weekends you start standing out,

brilliant move and listen. If you have ears to listen, listen to that. A lot of people are wondering how they get ahead, how they get their next big deal. You get the big deal by going by, going into internship, by being a servant, by being someone who lays down their life and saying, you know what? I’m going to get the coffee. I’m going to get the water. I’m going to do all the grunt work. I’m going to be that person. Like my sister just said, I’m going to go that extra mile, and then when the opportunity comes up, guess what? All these people you’ve been kissing there for, you know, however long, guess what? They’re all like. She’s a great gal. She’s super, she’s wonderful. She’s awesome. She should get the job and she got It.

When you worked at cnn there, marianne, I know there’s so many different personalities there, but who did you work? Was there anybody that you worked with? Maybe a famous personality. Some of our listeners might know, or someone that you worked with or observed where you thought to yourself, wow, that person really is talented or very hard worker or somebody who was impressed you when you, when you do your time interning at cnn.

Um, I think that the, the, the, the greatest thing that I saw in the greatest experience I had, especially when I was working at Larry King live, was, you know, larry as very complicated person. But one thing that he taught me, which is a great, it makes a great for a great interview. And if you, if you think about his style, is he said, you know, all of his career that what he does is he listens. And that’s a really interesting word to think about because a lot of us want to talk about top, top, top, top, top, top, top, top, top. But there’s very few people that want to stand back and actually listen to what someone has to say because they’re too busy in their brain thinking about what they want to say, that they never listened. So he always tried to make it. So instead of having like a set of questions, he would have a set of talking points maybe laid out, but in the end he would never have questions because he didn’t want to that to, uh, uh, hurt you who he didn’t want to be thinking about the next question and not actually listening to the person. So that, that was a really great piece of advice that can kind of translate it to business and to life.

The complicated person that is Larry King recently, he’s done a lot of interviews where he’s explained in great detail some of his personal winds, personal failings. He’s been very transparent about his career. Can you share a, what is the most endearing aspects or what was the most, the things that are the best aspects of working close with Larry King? What was it like to work with the talk show legend up close and personal?

Um, it was, uh, it was a very interesting dynamic because when you work for a host like that, you have a lot of bosses ahead of you, right? So there’s a lot of people in between you and the host. But we would have our, our night every night when, when I was in the control room, I mean in the studio with him because I was a floor director so that, which meant that I would mike him up and give him, give him his time cues. And so it was always memorable just in the sense that the people that through, when I was working there every, I met Richard Nixon twice, sir Anthony Hopkins the first time when, when a silence of the lambs came out.

Oh wow. And I was telling him, I just saw it

and I went behind him and I mean, he. And then he came behind me and he goes, did you quit? You saw.

But it was a great show because you were, I was able to be exposed to like the biggest actors of the time, the biggest, uh, politicians, the biggest political debates and all that kind of stuff. So kind of everyone ran through there. And I remember, um, one of the people that reallY stuck out for me when I was younger was a brooke shields walked in and she was with her mom. And this is after all of our success as a child actor and everything like that. She was in in college at this point and are just graduated from princeton and she came with her mom and she was, she was so insecure and she was talking about her lipstick and she was talking about her hair and she was talking about this and that. And I, I, it, it occurred to me that celebrities, we put them up on a pedestal, but the fact of the matter is, is that they’re just like you and me, which is one of the reasons I’ve been able to do my job. And it was a really great reminder that they have the same insecurities that all of us do and they’re just people. So sometimes you know, this kind of like to put somebody in idolize him. So then when they fall, it’s so harD for people. It’s like maybe you should not idolize him in the first place because they’re just, they might have great skills but are not just like you and me.

You know. I’m glaD you brought that up because every show, I’m almost every show. Chip is this, check me on this if I’m wrong, but clay seemed obsessed with is lipstick color that he has on. It’s like, it’s like a. It’s like he’s. I don’t know. He can’t. He can’t settle on one tail. Aren’t going to see you. He can’t. Yeah. It’s a radio show. Anyway. It’s all over that mic over there and I know. And so it’s the, you know, or before the show started, I was in the dressing room getting ready for the radio show. Yeah, we’re alone. Can see me. I’m in there getting ready. We see you. We see it right. Then chop has a nest camera in there to make sure nothing weird happens in the bathroom. It is accountability, security purposes. This is audio of what I was saying into the mirror to myself. Private conversation. By the way, I myself, yes, this is the self talk I was having and then shop decided to gather it and play it on the show for violating my rights. It’s a police state. Not any. Any laws anymore? No. This is this brilliant. Okay. This is. This is what I was saying in the mirror to myself,

like I picked the wrong. We quit smoking. Quit drinking. Like I picked the wrong week when I’m filming. Right?

Yeah. Don’t build me up in your mind.

Thrive nation. I’m trying to quit glue sniffing and smoking and all in the same week. Better. Still a turbie even used nowadays. I don’t even know if I want to go back to Larry King, Larry King for a long form interview cause I want to have a long form interview with your sister, ms dot maryann zoellner here, the emmy award winning ms dot maryann zoellner. So multiple. When you’re watching Larry King, you’re sitting there observing, you’re interning, you’re working. Was there a particular interview or a couple or they stood out to you as like, wow, that was magic. I mean, just just getting nixon in a room. I’m sure that guy’s using every. Every one of the laws of power. He’s probably trying to control the interview or tell me, can you ever get a behind the scenes stories of anybody that you witnessed them being interviewed and you thought to yourself that is something.

Um, Well, Richard Nixon, president nixon was super interesting because, um, he was the nicest person ever. Really. Oh, so lovely. And I think I was a bit nervous because you didn’t have the most, uh, you know, seller reputation as far as niceness goes and as far as just being like this gentle spirit, but I think that it was enough time had passed and he was coming back and it was people were looking at him for his international accomplishments and everything else. And so I had to go downstairs and meet his limo as it came in, under the building. And by this time I was no longer an intern at cnn. I was working at cnn and so I came downstairs and I greeted him and I said, thank you so much [inaudible]. I was, you know, kind of the, the researcher greeter floor director type. And um, anyway, later he said to me, oh, I thought you were my researcher that’s helping him with his books. uh, I think her name was, was married, and he goes, but then I noticed that she had on a very short skirt today and your skirt was very long, so therefore I knew the difference and I was like, that is so hilarioUs. So hilarious. President nixon is, and sure enough we did. We looked so much alike, but he was so charming and just the opposite of what you would have expected.

So you enjoyed your time working on the Larry King show?

Uh, there were moments,

there are moments. What was the toughest part of working on the Larry King show? What was the hardest aspect of it? I think people build up in their mind. Tv is going to be such a great, a great job. There’s so many. I mean, tv is tough, tough work on ours. I mean, tight deadlines. The talk. What was the toughest aspect of working there with Larry King?

The toughest aspect was just the hours were a tap and I was going to school full time and working full time and you didn’t finish until 10:00 and it was a, a live show. So I mean you were just left. Well do you know at times it was like nine to 10 and then tend to love so we’re just like left, buzzy and then I had to get up the next morning to go to class classes and you know, I probably did go to bed till like two because I was doing homework. You’re like amped from the show. So it was just kind of the, the, the, the, the good and bad of it was just the kind of crazy hours.

And did you go to msnbc after cnn?

Uh, did I know that after cnn I ended up going to Spain for a year because I really wanted to travel abroad. So I ended up working for an au pair and then ended up at jenny jones, three of the. Yeah, three of the producers from Larry King. We’re now running jenny jones. And then msnbc was after jenny jones. Right, exactly.

So you went to, you said you went to Spain for a year? Yes. And you studied abroad there for one year in Spain?

Well, I didn’t study abroad because I’m not a rich kid, so I worked as an au pair for a family. It’s an old pair of, oh, it’s like a nanny or babysitter. Okay. Do you see live in with the family and then you help take care of their kids and then at the same time you’re doing language training. So, you know, by this time I had graduated from college, but I felt like I’d missed out a little bit on that kind of international experience and I thought this is a good time of my life to travel and see the world. And so I did.

So then when you went to work with, uh, with jenny jones, obviously you mentioned one of your top rated shows ever earlier, the lesbian a truck driver makeovers. Um, what were some of the most epic or most memorable moments of working on that? Sure, there had to be just moments every day, every show because the whole, uh, the whole, the whole way. The show’s constructed was designed to be what? Controversial and headline it do. I, I, I honestly have not watched a lot of it. I remember as a kid, if you’ve ever watched the show, there’s always some outrageous moment. What were some of the more memorable moments of working on the jenny jones show?

Well, every day what it was it was, it was literally one of the best jobs in my life because it was just the time of your life when you just. It was a crazy party environment with super low. Everybody was young. Everybody was working these, you know, 10 to 16 hour shifts every single day and then just doing it all over and over again. Um, but jenny jones, for people that don’t know who she was, she was a former comic who became a talk show host. And this was kind of in the time before oprah became the oprah that gave away houses. She was also doing, you know, problems with your marriage and slept with the neighbor and all that kind of stuff. And maury povich and sarah sally jessy raphael and jenny jones was like part of this group of talk show host that did the more salacious programming.

Um, so every single day we would get these calls are bought. My bosses was, was hilarious. He’s actually a executive producer and ella now and uh, and we’ve, we’ve made really great friends, but he used to have this rule that you had to be in the office every single day at 9:00 AM. So no matter what you could be up and, and dealing with people on the phone until 4:00 AM, 5:00 AM, your entire show could have fallen apart. But he wanted everybody in their chairs at 9:00 AM. Got it. And so I remember one time driving, you know, I’d been up literally all night long with guests and like, like riding my bike to work because that’s how I usually get around and I dropped my keys and I was so afraid to get there at nine because I thought my pay was going to get dark because he did dark pay that I literally left the keys to my house and to the bike on the ground and kept going.

But I did make the 9:00.

So you, you worked on that show and there had to have been, uh, you know, did you have in your mind like a distant future you were going towards? Do you have in your mind I someday shall be shopping at emmy award winning producer for the today show? Or what was your goal that you were. I mean obviously being on today’s show is the achievement of your ultimate goal. Now you’re done. But uh, but no, but seriously, what was your, did you have a big goal in your mind? A big prize you were chasing?

I think the big prize that, hey, once I, once I got out of news and got out of that a live, uh, you know that from that, from Larry King, from that, you know, live television experience sort of thing. I really wanted to get back to that. So even though it was super fun, my best friends to this day are people that I worked with on, on jenny jones. So it was an amazing time to meet super great friends that I still have to this day. Um, but I ultimately wanted it. My heart was in news. I had the degrees that I’ve had. I love news and ultimately getting to the today show and when msnbc first started up, that was just such a huge, um, I mean, I just pursued it, like I said earlier with phil just calling him all the time and just really hammering him until he finally gave me a job. And, and it was magical. I mean, I have been at nbc news now for 22 years.

So when you’re working on the, on the today’s show, I’m sure there are certain things that, uh, I can’t you can’t comment on or maybe some things you can, but is the producer of the today show, are there some things you, some kind of stories you can share with us about maybe some of the different personalities or maybe not so much you tell us where you can go with that, but I’m sure a lot of our listeners are curious about what it’s like to work on the today show as a producer. I mean, it’s got to be exciting. You’re meeting so many fun personalities and musicians and what’s it like to work there?

Um, it’s, it’s, it’s amazing because the people that come in are, for the most part. I mean dolly parton is like one of the greatest people I’ve ever met in my entire life. And I’ve had the honor of producing her three or four times. I always, since I’m from Oklahoma, I always get the Oklahoma. So every time there’s somebody from Oklahoma, I always have a bet with somebody because robert, my brother here, he’s so nice. It’s been such an inspiration to me is I’m like, I bet you they know my family, so it’s one of the jokes that I have with the executive producers because we have a crowd in front of the today show. And if somebody says, oh, so and so’s from Oklahoma, especially if they’re from tulsa, I’ll go and say, hey, go see if they, they know my brother robert. And sure enough, that’s you.

If anybody’s from tulsa 10 out of 10. Absolutely. And if they’re from kind of the outskirts, definitely nine out of 10. And even if they’re in Oklahoma city and sometimes they’ll know that the zilner name. So it’s, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s quite fun little game I have never once. But blake shelton is a doll. He’s from a super small toWn in Oklahoma to domingo, which is kiki key. Say I say, no, you’re going to come there. and I’m like, uh, no, never. and then one time I said, no, never. And then I found myself like in the red river a noodling with carrie sanders one day I was like,

I was right down the street segment.

Um, but, you know, with all the amazing celebrities, like I’m going to be able to, uh, I’m going to be the producer I work with. Jenna bush hager a lot. We’re going to talk to ms dot loretta lynn’s soon. I’m roy fee who tragically lost his wife joey. So every single day is a new adventure, but it’s the stories, um, that, that, that, uh, I mean the most to me are the ones that, uh, when I can help and tell the story and help an organization and help people.

Clay, can I share a tragedy? Um, let me get myself mentally calibrated for the tragedy. This is typically what I do before we get into a darker part of the show just to transition.

Thank you. I am your boss. Okay. I’m ready.

I got to go. Here we go. My sister who’s on the show today. oh yeah, yeah. Whom I loved dearly. By the way. Sidebar, sidebar. Sidebar called me. Oh, it’s been a few years ago. Maybe a year, maybe three. Who knows? Time flies when you’re having fun. Time does fly. When she said, I’ve got one of your most favorite people that I’m producing that’s going to be on the show. Oh boy, I know who is it and we need to make it to where you can call in and ask a question. We didn’t make it to where you can. Can you clap in New York? I mean, can you. Me? Because I tried it. I’m like, what if I had a little bit more notice? Oh, I could maybe have been up there and casually with a cup of coffee and walked in the green room and go, did you get a chance to be on the kenny g show?

What are you doing? Are you crazy character you

but did she gave me that notice? Oh, did she come on now. The lamont now that a little baby sister should have been extended. Where’s The, where’s the money? Come on. I mean, I, I, you know, the spirit

of judgment of just tries to thrive nation. My sister’s awesome lover. Enjoy this show. I enjoyed the interview, but no, that I didn’t get to talk. I want to ask you, uh, did you, you recently had a one republican on the, uh, on the show? Did you just have them on there?

Yes, I was asked to produce it, but I think I was out of town so it was not able to, but I produced him before I produced to um, um, to Ryan Ryan tedder before yo, she asked him the question I think. Have You heard my brother and I, didn’t you? Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. But his mom is a, a huge, uh, uh, works for nonprofit here and does a lot of like god’s work here in tulsa. RIght.

I knew we’d go to church together, so my mom knows her mom very well. Yeah. Or his mom very well. The question for you, the uh, when you’re producing someone I just mentioned ryan tedder because I went to college with them and know them pretty well. When you’re producing somebody on the show, like a musician or dolly parton or whoever it is, can you talk to us about the level of preparation that goes into when you say producing? I think people don’t know what that is. When you say producing, what does, what does that mean? What, what kind of preparation goes into it? You give us a look into what it means to produce a show.

Okay. So even though this is going to hurt robert very much, I am going to bring up bill murray again because this was a great example. Wow. About what i do in life. So that day I happened to be producing ms dot priscilla presley and I was not producing bill murray. He was on with another producer. So as a, as a, as a producer, what I do is I write the intro that the host reads, everybody comes in, you know, priscilla presley on for a new children’s book, um, and on and on and on, and then I write questions and I write the research. So I go on the internet, I talked to do a pre interview most of the time, get the, gather all the information and I give it to the host of our show are. And they ask the questions, but a lot of them they ask their own questions as well.

But a lot of it is to prepare them to ask their big questions. Well, in my research with priscilla presley, I thought, god, I remember bill murray back in the day doing an elvis impersonation. I woNder if there’s any connection between bill murray and priscilla. And guess what? There was really back in 1977, August 16th, 1977. The day that elvis died. Bill murray had just started. Snl, decided to get on a plane and he was seven. He was no number 27 on standby to get to memphis. But he thought this is a historical moment and I have to be there. So somehow manages number 27. This is talking about perseverance gets on from standby and gets on the plane. So using his nbc credential, because remember snl is, is, is, uh, is uh, done in our building studio eight h, he is able to convince the press bus to put them on the bus. So he’s on the press bus. So at one point he decides he’s in the, they’re, they’re burying him in the cemetery and he decides like, I’m going to get out of the press, the press bus and I’m going to walk. So he’s walking down Through the cemetery and then all of a sudden the limos, goodbye. It’s priscilla, it’s everyone in and, and all the big wigs. And they’re all like pointing at him and he’s going, oh, can I say yeah?

But yes, you could say it. Can I say, oh hey, they figured me out. I’m about to be arrested. But what he didn’t know was that he was standing in front of elvis’s mother’s grave, which is why everyone was pointing at him. I what a great story. So I looked up so I, I realized this. So I was able to tell the producer that was producing bell murray, hey, you should ask bill about his elvis could action and get the story out in front of priscilla. And priscilla had never heard it. So all of a sudden I made history connect topics. That’s hoW things get done. Boom.

Just in research. So I wanna I wanna I want to get into because you have, so you have so many great stories from over the years working on the, on the today show. You talked about some of the stories. Were you like helping people out. Can you maybe share a story that really touched you, that you thought throughout your career? Maybe a couple of stories where you, you’re thinking, you know, this right here, this particular story was a joy to cover because the story and the people and the impact that you are able to make, I think, I think what we’d like to know a little bit more, we’re trying to prying into the details here, marianne. So give us an example of a, of a, of a story where you really connected with the, with, with, with the story itself.

Well, one story that I did, and it’s been awhile back, but it, it completely made my career. It was one of the first stories I ever did at the today show involved, um, university of Oklahoma and president david boren who is the president of the university. So I come home a lot because I have a gigantic family and I love my brothers, I love my mama. And uh, so I tried to come home as often as possible and I was going to my dad’s church at the time with him and I see this little girl and she’s, she’s walking around and I’m like, she is so happy. She was like, head to toe and university of Oklahoma again, she looked like a little cheerleader and she was so young. It’s so peppy. so spritely and I looked down and I realized she just had one leg and I was like, wow.

She just has this spirit about her. Like she just lights up a room, her smile. And so fast forward later, my boss said, I really want to figure out, we’ve never done on the today show, give a scholarship to college. And so I found out more about this girl. Her name is caitlin. She was the biggest ou fan. She was a, she lost her leg with spinal bifida and her father, um, at kind of a, you know, allegedly walked out when she was a little girl. Even the mom to take care of, but did wanted her to live like an able bodied child. so never babied her, never went out of the way. I mean, she just, you know, she did everything for her child, but she refused to let her child act like a. She had someThing wrong with her. So this child grew up with this amazing self confident.

She’s on the trampoline doing backflips with her one leg. she was extraordinary little girl. Anyway, so fast forward I ended up calling the, uh, my boss saying we need to give a scholarship. And I immediately thought of caitlin. It would be amazing. This person that loves the university of Oklahoma. She has her entire trailer filled with university of Oklahoma stuff and she dreams of going to school there. It’d be amazing to give her a scholarship. So it calls up the university and we ended up bringing the little girl out, telling her story and then surprising her live on air. The university of Oklahoma and band came out singing a boomer sooner and uh, and, and playing it. And it was, there was not a tear, a dry, a dry eye in the, in the house. It was amazing.

Chuck, when you put a put a link on the show, it’s still probably up on youtube. I would imagine. Maybe I could have stored the story. The story is the story was an unbelievable and, and marianne kind of tricked the family because it was the mom and the daughter will trick aeration. Look tricker ration. They, she tricked him. They had no idea what they were coming up to New York to really receive what they thought they were coming up for. Just a, just a first class. Fun time with the today show.

Vip style. Are you thinking we want a bunk bed of kenny g is greater. We got to fly to New York to get it. Okay. It’s kind of crazy. But you’re the premise of the show. You’ll kind of a big eight track of kenny g you’re and I get an eight track of kenny g, I get it. You’re the producer, you an emmy award winning birth. And I suppose I’ll trust you on this one. Sounds kind of crazy though, so she’s on the show and

they brought up, I think six or eight members of the marching band from. Oh, you and they come out playing the theme song for eu, which has boomer sooner bump bump bump and the president of the university’s walking out there and what he says over this young lady talking about her having the spirit, the drive that they are looking for in young people to come to that university and her all eyed shock, shock and awe, shock and awe over what’s going on. And he presents her a four year scholarship to the university right there on the, on the shoW. And the today show. I think it was, what was christmas in july? It was, it was summertime. It was a, they’re doing christmas gifts. And so they’re

trying to figure out outlandish things to do for different people. Christmas gave him the very next day you gave it to. Okay. And um, and I, you, I challenge you thrive nation. If we find it in chapter to put it on the show notes, the link. I challenge you, challenge this segment and not cry. I challenge you. If anybody out there can get through it and not cry, I will personally give you a free book from play. Clark. No fruit was a re. Watch it. If you. If you get the dry eye test, if you watch it and you say no, no to. He’s an optometrist.

That’s just stupid. I’m not even going to cry. If you could do that, then you know what? I’m going to send you one of play. What book of bikers? You’ve got like 12 out there. We’re not going to send. I think the the one that you’d want. We probably want to say the one is the one. No, the one that we really want to sit right now is the boom book. The booms. We teach to all of our workshops. It goes over so well. People love it. They love it. It’s like a magazine edition of the 13, but you email [email protected], right? You say, listen, I watched the segment. Didn’t cry, didn’t move, didn’t cry. You knoW what I really am, so find myself giggling at funerals in my, a sick freak, gimme a book. That’s just the kind of person I am as it. we’ll send you a free book. Okay. now I want to go back to marianne, to your, to your story here, because you went to northeastern Oklahoma. How long did your desert state northeastern state, Oklahoma. How long did you go there? How many years? Two years. How many years Did you go to George Washington? Three years. Okay. So you’ve got two years over here. At nsu you got three years and uh, so three years now when you get to you. Okay. Now what about how long did you work at the national association of broadcasters?

I workeD there for about

two years. Two years, okay. And then how long did you work at a cnn as an intern before you scored the job? I worked there for about six months as an intern before I got the job. Okay. And then you went to, you landed the job at cnn. How long did you work at cnn before you did the whole Larry King deal?

Uh, no, I got the job was working for there.

Okay. Okay. So how long did you work with larry? A two and a half years. So two point five years over there with larry. And then how long did you study in Spain? Were you there for, were you working in Spain? Was that a year,

clay, you realiZe my 25 years as living on earth is not going to match that, but we keep down this path.

It was, it was. Let’s focus on the facts. Let’s focus on nothing more than. Okay. So how long were you in Spain? Was in Spain for about 10 months. Ten months. And then jenny jones. How long did you work on the jenny jones show? That two years. About two years. How long were you working there on a msnbc? We’re filling our days.

Um, I was there, um, minus 22 years now. I there. Uh, I worked for a msnbc for two years later today for a year and then been at msnbc, I mean at a today show since then.

That’s for 18 years. Yep. So the today show, you’ve been there for 18 years on the today show? Yes sir. Okay. And the reason why I’m bringing this up is because we live in a world where a lot of people want to have success right now. Have right now as an example, one concept that Robert Greene writes about in his bestselling book called mastery is he talks about how people love to say, well, you know, they like to point to examples of people who have massive success and they love to point to a headlines that aren’t grounded. In fact, as an example, they’ll say, well, mozart was a child prodIgy. You know, I’m just not a genius. Okay? That’s why I haven’t had success yet. I’m just not a genius. Well, mozart didn’t write his first original score until he didn’t compose his first music until he had been playing for over a decade.

It was on his 10th year of playing professionally where he finally wrote something unique because the first 10 years he was trying to just recreate the same sounds and do slight modifications. It was like a 10 year process. People point to einstein and say, oh man, that guy’s a genius. What was the 16 is when he first started those thought experiments and when he’s 26 is when he really honed in on the theory or the theory of relativity. You just see a lot of people, you know thomas edison, massive success, 10,000 experiments. The ge team logged that didn’t work before they had $10,000 up. Fedex took over 10 years for fred to make a profit. X. We’re on the same wavelength. Amazon. Nine years. You think about espn, it was over a decade. Name is on a big forest. A debt. Yes. The big, the big forest.

It did not grow for nine years or you see a facebook last three point six, $3,000,000 at the end of their third year, they were three point six, $3, million in the hole. There’s so many examples that my mind can just go to. It’s unbelievable the level of diligence and the tenacity it requires. So we live in a society, marianne, where people want to chase unicorns and I think why it takes longer to get rich quick is because if you would’ve hopped every six months to a different job or every two months, I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of people. The, the, the new person, you know, the new guy, they bring in the new intern and they talk the talk. Marianne, you got to be thinking to yourself, you’re not going to last three weeks. I mean, I’ve seen enough interns come and go now, could you encourage anybody out there who, if they’re being honest with themselves, are saying, I am a happy helper in a job hopper. I like to get the internship, like the score of the job and every three months it’s political. It’s not working out. I got to try something else. Could you encourage somebody out there who up until this show, up until this intervention has always been a happy helper and a job hopper, uh,

one person that’s sticking out in my brain as this guy and an intern and now as an employee and he’s like one of the best employees, nbc and the today show has ever had, his name is carolyn. And what made kiernan so unique is that a lot of people come into the today show and I think I’m answering your question in a, in a, in a way, why am I telling you this story? They coMe into the today show and everybody wants to be on camera. Every single person or 90 percent of the interns that come in want to be on camera, that everybody wants to be reported and they think that it’s, that it’s the glitz and the glamor and they think that this is the only job and it’s the most interesting. Guess what karen wanted to talk about. He wanted to talk about graphics. He loved the graphics on the today show. He had a little, a tv show and his college in Connecticut. He designed the graphics after the today show graphics. He loved to talk graphics. I ended, ended up introducing him to the senior in charge of all graphics for the today show. And guess what, karen got a job. Do you know how many interns come in and never get a job through the today? Show?

A lot. A lot. Most all of them. Sky

because he decided to focus on something that’s super crucial, crucial to this show because If you look at the graphics, graphics are the things that pop up on screen and the whole look of the show. And, and uh, anyway, he focused on that. There’s not a single person in my career that’s ever talked to me about graphic.

The pot of gold lies at the road. Less traveled. Exactly. So lucky charms reference maybe silly out there after me and I to say that little. They’re riding the unicorn patty a lot now. So as far as it. So as far as the job, bobby, and I think that when you’re ready

college, and this is, you know, going back to the internship thing, get as many. I wanted to intern. I ended up getting a job, but I wanted to do an internship at the fbi like I wanted to do. I was in Washington dc. I want to take advantage of vantage of everything and so everybody should do that and starting as soon as they get it an idea or just skip around, see what you like. That is the time to do it during that internship during the beginning of your career, but then once you do land on something, unless you’re really being offered something way bigger and a lot more monies, you know, stick with and figure out because the job you want to be hired for is not necessarily the job that you ended up being

good at. That’s how I ended up doing the show with you guys. How I just started doing whatever job needed to be done two and a half years ago and worked my way up to coaching and then we have a graphics department. And were you working in that department? I actually think you did. I tell you what I think about chip. I do know he at times he’s very graphic. Oh nice. Nice. thanks for being honest on the show. Now I wonder, I wonder, wondering notable quotables lee cockerel, who was once the executive vice president of walt disney world resorts, he managed 40,000

employees. What is under him on the org chart in 1 million customers per week? He saYs, when you do hard things, life gets easier. He goes on to write with self discipline. Almost anything can be achieved in every aspect of life. So I’m going to tee up a few principles and I’d like to get marianne to break them down one by one. Okay? So here’s principle number one. Promotion equals problems. SO you started off a girl from Oklahoma, had big dreams of, of producing one of the best shows on the planet, and now you are. You can’t debate it. You are an emmy award winning producer of the today show. You’re a New York times best seLling author of. Those are facts, but there’s also a fact that people don’t recognize because we’re not close to it. When you get promoted, there are problems when you, when you all, when you’re a colleague of everybody and you’re all peers and you’re at the same level, things are more copacetic, but when you get promoted, all of a sudden you got to hold people accountable to deadlines and, you know, talked to me about how you’ve been able to deal with you’re raising your high watermark and, and being able to deal with those problems.

Um, I think that I, I do think that with part of the problem and in a lot of the problems that people have today, I think in, in, in business, in any business is accountability. So one thing that I did from a very, and I learned this actually through a not so great boss that Larry King live, um, was to own up to shrink. So if you are bad or if you make a mistake or if you write the wrong question, if you write the person’s name wrong or if you write the wrong information down, instead of giving it to blaming it on someone else. So it was a researcher, it was a production assistant. Have theY told me that is to take responsibility for your death stuff. You can say, shIt, I should write my books and we just mob. That’s what we’ll get to that minute.

Anyway, so is to take responsibility for your mistakes because so many people want to say blame, do the blame game. Right? And so the person that actually takes responsibility for their mistakes, people don’t know how to handle that because they’re not used to it. And I’ve had many oh, bosses that say want to say like not me, not my fault, and you’re just looking at them like what kind of leadership is that? So one thing that I learned a long time ago, it was to give praise when praise is needed and to own up when you make a mistake.

Now this is a carlton pearson quote that I’ve heard td jakes say that I’ve heard dr. Zellner say your brother, I’ve heard every successful leader set.

Well, if you’re going to say, if you’re going to, if you’re. If we’re going there, we need this. All right, dr c dot. Here’s the new quarter on now, free to preach at my friend. Here we go. Come on now. Whatever you accept is what you should expect. Come on now. Break it down in life. Listen to me. Listen to what I’m saying. Open your ears. Okay too. What I’m saying? Okay. If you accept it, it’s going to happen and you’re going to bring it back into your life. Can I get a good night, man? One of those towns. I need to wipe my face sweaty right now. Come on now. pass out a fan. I can tell you at the table.

Oh, you stopped him. You can’t do a corner. That’s what I was leaning on the window and the wall. The window collapsed. I fell off.


oftentimes I don’t drop the ball. You played a trick on me going to be animated that you cut off the music. I think I dropped the ball. Okay. You did on purpose. I’m sorry. Thrive. Thrive nation. Blame somebody else, right? Can I get a. Can I get a um, can you kick it? Yes. You can get it. Get some forgiveness. Yeah. I’m sorry. we were building to a crescendo

and I nipped it. You don’t know what they’ll have a good sound effect that took. It can really caPture the essence of where we did. Take it.

Okay. Thank you. So get ready to get serious. So I want to ask the next, the next principle here.

Deadlines in your world. Deadlines don’t mean soft, vague, ever moving. I did my best intention lines, but in many small businesses people say it’s a deadline, it’s going to be done tuesday at four, but then at tuesday at four it’s not done. And then the self employed self, poor, small business owner who they can say I did my best, or the pastor of the mega of the pastor of the small church can say, well, it’s a soft, vague ever moving. I did my best intention so we’ll try again next week. This there’s a whole world of. I did my best. And then there’s New York top produced today’s show. I mean there’s, there’s top rating shows, the big guys, the big timers, and then there’s the amateur hour deadlines deadlines mean in your world as a producer of the today show.

Well this is a glamorous life, a teleVision producer sometimes I’m there until four or five, six in the morning and the show starts at seven. I’ve been there where you are you doing a hot roll to get it on there. So I’d like it goes national. So a deadline means tHat you were basically around the clock. If, if need be times it’s necessary and breaking news and things that are coming in and you, you, you, you don’t give up until it’s as perfect as can be and you’re always changing. I mean even up to the last minute when Guests were coming on and rewriting the questions and rethinking the interview. So you’re constantly there. There isn’t such thing as deadline because deadlines are so because you have a show that is. This is this extreme deadline between seven and nine that has to get on the air, and so you have to get your stuff in, but you have to make it so current that you’re taking the latest information because you don’t want somebody on their iphone. Now we’re in, we’re in teLevision. We’re also in this digital age when anybody, anybody can get on their iphone and say, well, it says that 24 people were sick eating ice cream. But really I’m looking at it and it says 43 people. So which one is it? So you have to always be with the latest on facts and deadline is kind of a nebulous term because you’re always, you’re always on a deadline.

Okay? Now here’s another, again, this is a look inside of, of big, um, tv. This is, this is not the amateur hour. This is the, this is as high as it gets. The today show. You’re the producer, one of the producers of the today show. I’ve discovered that in the world of business, women who hold people accountable are always called a. I found this to be the thing like, it’s like women who are intense about deadlines, they hold people accountable and whenever somebody doesn’t like your tone, there’s a big issue about your tone. I hear this a lot with and maybe in New York, obviously much more progressive than Oklahoma, but I would do. We work with a lot of women entrepreneurs who say, gosh, I’m trying to hold my team accountable and immediately somebody I’ve heard has called Me a oop. Can you please explain why a lot of women struggle with learning to be assertive because women can be assertive and men can be assertive, but you’re a woman who’s assertive. Educate some of the ladies out there. How can you be an assertive woman and not feel bad?

Well, for all my bosses listening, I want you to know that I don’t think I’m a boss lady because I’m not a boss lady. But, uh, the people below me and, and, and I think it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s basically I’m one of the producer, so I have a lot of tiers above me, but I have, you know, people that work under me or work for the show that are in lower level positions for sure. But I think that, uh, it’s been, it’s working with integrity. I think if people see you, because I’ve had a lot of female bosses and I’ve, some of the best bosses I’ve ever had are women and some of the very worst bosses I’ve ever had are women. Um, and to that extreme, and I think that it’s, it’s, you have to hold yourself accountable. So the best bosses have been the women that are work, they expect you to work very, very hard, but they themselves work extremely hard.

So I think that once you have that respect, that this person is really working around the clock to make the show a better show than you want to rally behind that person and do because you know what’s expected of you. She wants perfection or she wants you to do your best job. And then when you say, I can’t do my best job, she knows that you gave it your best, but it’s all comes from your work ethic. And I think that what I’m seeing a lot in, in my business and probably elsewhere and a lot of businesses now is this kind of millennial mentality, which is not the hardest working people. They don’t understand the concept of, of, you know, you might have to call this person at eight or 9:00 at night as well. I realized that’s the time you’re eating cheerios and, and watching friends reruns.

But thIs really Needs to be made at that point. It can’t be made in an earlier time. So I think it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s finding that kind of kind of work ethic when You see that work eThic and someone else, whether it be a female boss, her mailbox. But as you said, we’re talking about women bosses now. I think that once you see a woman that is really a boss, it’s really working, working, working hard, and expects the same from the people below her. uh, but is, is not, you know, kind of phoning it in and, and, and, and berating you. Then you have a lot of respect for that person.

I want to ask you about this idea. I see a lot of people that have very good skills and thEn as they get promoted, their personal disorganization causes them to have a reputation for being a, you know, I’m not prEdictable. You know what I mean? The higher you go up, the more you havE to be organized and fastidious about details. I mean, details really are a difference maker, especially in your career on the today show. You can’t just misspell a major graphic on the screen and nobody’s perfect, but you’ve got to have that mindset of aiming for perfection. I mean, you really do a, you have to be detailed. I’d like to get your take on this. why is being disorganized going to be a career killer for even the most talented person listening today if they just choose to be disorganized or not detailed?

Well, I would disagree with you on that. I feel that that if you are a disorganized person, but you have, you’re the ideas person and you have so many, you have to know your strengths and weaknesses, right? So if you know that you are disorganized, make sure surround yourself with people that are really organized. I can execute what you come up with in your in your brain because I feel like every single person that you should look for, and I was thinking about it the summer, oddly enough, on vacation like everybody that went to this on this vacation brought their own super power in and if you think about that with your job and the thing about it with the people that you surround yourself with, your super power may not be your greatest asset at a cooking right or you’re super may or may not be that you’re great at doing this, but your superpower might be that you are the cheerleader and you get everybody pumped up, but you’re not the most organized person, but you know below you, you have chip over here who is the most organized person.

I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you my name is chip and the today show. I guess I guess let me reframe it. If you guys had the today show, that organization you have to be organized in some capacity or stuff’s going to get missed like b roll and details.

Right? I meAn there’s definitely a system in place and the people that have a system in place, you have to be, you know, because everything is down to 10 seconds that commercials have to roll. You hAve national commercials that role and local commercials that have to roll. If you don’t do all that organization. I tell you what, I got my cit below me. That iS making sure it all happens.

Chip off the old block. No dad. And in your career, I Mean with your industry. I mean when you go to commercial you don’t have time to look for the

clip. I mean it’s either there or it’s not. And then it’s like, oh, you know, uh, I want to ask you about the importance of yeah, we would be remiss. We would be remissed my sister. Yes. Is a New York times best selling author? Let me. Let me see.

Did you say the system is a New York times? She what? What she has done is she has snatched book with book historical, so we will be remiss if we didn’t. She’s hearing

tulsa. We got her on the show. yeah, unicorn event, unicorn event, and, and she has written a series of books. It’s a fun story and in the back half of our show today, I think that thrive nation needs to know this because I’m very proud of my sister. I’m very proud of her accomplishment. Was he two things? I think when the thrive nation thinks about you, they think about the back half. That’s one that’s maybe on tobacco. The furniture. When you show back, I’m always on. I’m always in the back half of the show. You’re the, you’re the front clark, zellner, z dot. I’m always in the back. Okay. Alright. Right. So marianne, tell us about your New York times best selling book. What’s the title of the book? What got you there? You start off with today’s mom, you know, good to start with. The whole story, you know.

All right. So uh, because I was a producer on the today show, I was a and I’m a mom of two. When I first became a mom I was realizing I was getting all my advice from these women around me, so from the anchors to the people I worked with them was asking them all about their child care advice and, and being a, a, a, a mom, a working mom, trying to figure it out in all in New York, having a young baby. And I mean there was a lot of stuff to, to balance and so it was finding the answers through my coworkers. So one day I’m going through the airport and I was on maternity leave and I see I had this special stroller that was like a super duper star tracking a folder that had been a stroller that it went from my chair to a, a, a stroller to a um, a, whatever you call it, what you put in the car, car seat, everything.

Yeah. The best thing ever. So I’m going through the miami airport and I’ve been stopped by everyone I meet and saying like, where did you get that? That is so super. And I realized it was because of a coworker had it the sit and stroll and so I had this thought and I call my coworker at the time and I said, we have to write a book, a book, it’s going to be called today’s moms and we’re going to take all the women on the today, show all the anchors, all the, all the men to give advice on baby’s first year because we have, we have at our fingertips, all of these amazing experts in finance, in nutrition, in doctors, etc. And plus we have everybody’s stories and everybody wants to know stories about, you know, kids and, you know, to get advice. Anyway, so the first book was called today’s moms.

Um, it did not become a New York times bestseller. I think we sold about 10 copies. We had a goal. We had a great, great party though. Jerry seinfeld’s wife. Justice. Yeah. Tiki bar. You have a party. I’m a pamper. Sponsored it, we, we, we, we ended up phasing because that was like leaning forward. So I just ended up calling a proctor and gamble at it and said what we were doing and instead we were looking to uh, you know, have a party and wanted to give pampers to this nonprofit and when they do and they ended up sponsoring it and soreness is unbelievably great party if we would have only used that money for them.

Barney and barney and barney.

So one of the lessons maybe if you think both parties are great, just tell all of your friends just to buy.

Okay. So you’re the first. The first book was today’s moms. Today’s mom sold 10 copies. Copies if you opened right now you’ve got some pretty special look. Let’s be, let’s be clear. Jerry seinfeld’s wife was, it couldn’t have a bigger, bigger name. People. You got pampers helping you out there. And barbara was barbara. Why didn’t you buy at least 12 books we still getting after about the whole bill murray thing. He’s like, I’m looking to buy nine books. Caddy shit. Okay. So now the next book you wrote book number two,

and then we were thinking about what can we do that is going to sell a few more books than, than, than nine, so at the er 10, and uh, maybe it was 11. And so we were all kind of me, my coauthor and, and our age and we were all sitting around. My lovely agent. He fought american great american at a foundry media. And uh, so he fought, we were all sitting around talking and she said, I’m going to bring in this person I think can really help you, but what I think you all need to do instead of going from, you know, today’s mom and going the normal route which will be going into like toddler dumb. She goes, let’s, that’s what are you guys dealing with? We all started talking about it. We’re just like, oh my god, how we’re dropping the ball at all times. Like, here we are, we’re trying to juggle and he can’t juggle. You can’t do everything right all the time is absolutely impossible. So it’s like you’re juggling work, you’re juggling baby, you’re juggling husband, you’re juggling every don’t juggle babies, don’t

he has a little baby.

That’s where, because it looks like, and it appears that you are not supposed to juggle. We all do. Who came up with the title? I think it was over a lot of

agreed as and uh, and so and chips and salsa, which all the best ideas always come from our greatest chips and salsa chips and salsa. So I think community because we all started calling ourselves and we’d just moms for me to show moments. And then it turned into a hilarious book. We ended up getting this amazing comic, lori kilmartin onboard and uh, she really, uh, took our idea and spun it and turned it into the most hilarious book, which is still doing so well. Please buy the book. We’re still getting residuals.

Can have a laugh.

I have gotten, bought the book. It’s a classic.

Wasn’t funny things that marianne told me in her journey. You may not, you probably remember this, is that as they’re interviewing everybody, for today’s moms, today’s moms, they would tell them that say, well, here’s what really happened. And then they were telling these outlandish stories about child raising and they’d say, you can’t print that. Don’t put that in the book. That’s. No, that’s, that’s, that’s not the bar side. That’s a side bar. So all of those, all those, all those things, you know, like how to drop off your kid at daycare when they’re sick, you know, all the, all the stuff that nobody, everybody does, but they don’t really want to admit it. Scared

was a teaser of just a couple of the kinds of stories we could find in said book.

Uh, well, robert just mentioned one outta drop off your child and child care. We’ve done how to run into a seven slash ad to run into a seven slash 11 without getting arrested. I’m mother of babies on another plane, which is everyone’s favorite chapter. Why organized sports are great for your kids, but they suck for you. Oh yes. Oh yes. And then a breakdown of, of, of the, of everyone’s favorite children’s books and, and why they got it all so wrong.

Okay, so thrive days listener, if you’re out there and you’re, you’re a mom and you feel, or little or dad maybe, or maybe you’re a guy out there who knows I’m all your water beat your wife, or you want to be a mom. If you’re a person that dad, maybe your daddy wants to be a mom. Maybe you had a mom, you had a dad. Maybe your transition over to bruce. I mean, pat, caitlin, you need to get this. So what you’re going to want to do is I encourage you to get to, to check it out. I was. The one thing that’s nice about your book that I think it’s interesting is that it never heard called nice before about your book is I think comedy. What? What makes great comedy? And I study a lot of comedy. What makes great comedy when the audience can say that’s so true, when they can kind of whisper it to themselves.

Right? Right. So true. What do you like an elephant in the room? Right? That’s where that good humor is, right? Yeah. That’s a good place. And I think that um, a lot of us business owners, you’re busy, you’ve got a lot of stuff going on and, and, and you know, a lot of times laughter is what gets us through those bad times. And it’s. So if you’re out there and you’re going [inaudible], you know what, I just need a good laugh. This is one of these great readers. You get the book, I think it’s going to make you laugh. You’re going gonna have a lot of fun with it. And also you can be supporting dr zellner sister. They’re really supporting drZ. is. Yeah, because that means less money in New York. Now I want to, I want to ask you my final questions about your rise to the emmy award winning status as the producer of the today show, one of the producers there.

What’s it like? Give us a little two to three minute overview what it’s like to live in manhattan. The hustle, the bustle, the cost of living. Just get into the life and man, and we have the majority of our listeners don’t live in manhattan, although we do have thousands of downloads per week from the manhattan area area or they’re going to go, she’s so right. So tell us About what it’s like contrast growing up in Oklahoma, living here or even visiting here today versus life in manhattan. Let’s go with the car. Do you have a car?

No car. How’s that possible? I have a bicycle.

Okay. Big house. Let’s go with big house. Uh, we’re in the man cave here. This is about 1200 square foot studio area. What am I going to pay per month for a 1200 square foot? Anything in manhattan that approaches, you know, it’s, it’s safe. It’s a safe place to live. How much does that cost for 1200 square feet in manhattan?

Well, first of all, I wouldn’t say that 1200 square feet is larger than my apartment, so let’s go there. Um, and then for a, it depends on the area. If You want to be in the nicest area, if you want to rent it, it would probably be between six and 10, $12,000 a month.

It’s a big. That’s big for 1200 square foot. Yep. Okay. So buying it, what would it, what, what, what 1200 square foot and you’re building because you live upper northwest, I mean you live upper west side, upper west side it of twinkie or you’re caught between the park and lincoln center and you’re doing the math on a mortgage. You’ve just got to reverse it out. what people typically cost a people. If somebody typically gets a mortgage and they rent it out, they’ll usually, you know, float and make some profit on it. So that’s probably one point $5,000,000 apartment for 1200 square feet. Is that right? you’re nodding out incorrectly. Well I a lot of houses, yeah.

But also, um, in, in, in my neighborhood, it can go the same square feet, but if it’s in a, you know, bigger like 15 central park west, which is the kind of most tony has to building now can go up to um, you know, $10,000,000 for that same.

So now, now that you have blown the minds of all of our, all of our listeners in terms of life just the other way, few thousand or manhattan, she didn’t. Well the press sidebar there also is now, now the, the bd practical. So I just wanted to do the practical side. But what is the upside of living in manhattan? Why do you choose to do it? What somebody out there saying to themselves, why do you choose what? What do you like about manhattan? What’s the draw? Why is it the epicenter of media? What’s going on? Why do you like it there so much?

Because I don’t have a car. you don’t like having a car? I’d like to. I like to walk, ride my bike. Really talks. No, not much. I walk to work. It’s 15 minutes. I ride my bike. It’s five minutes, maybe six if I’m slow that day. Got to get the park. DoeSn’t get that cold. You have cold days. But um, it’s more, I would describe it to a lot of people and, and robert’s been up there numerous times and he knows that you, It’s, it’s like a neighborhood, like, you know, you go to the same bar everyday, maybe multiple times a day. I wait, no, wait, did I say

grocery stores? You go to the same. I know a guy. Next question, if you hypothetically, ah, you know, live in manhattan every year, go to the same box, go to the st paul today. Uh, what advice would you have?

Yeah, buy a bar.

So the great advice. So the next, next question, every about life in manhattan is, would you advise if someone was going there to visit you or visit the manhattan area? What are like the things in New York city that are the must sees in your mind? Maybe, maybe maryann zoellner’s, top five, your top three things you’d say you’ve got a ceo, you’ve got to do this.

Um, well actually I have a new one on my list now, so I think that the, uh, um, you know, the little zipper around manhattan on by boat is fantastic. You can get on at 42nd street, you can take a little tour. The circle line. It is, absolutely. You get a chance to see everything, get some history in there. It’s short enough so you’re not like going crazy, but as long enough that you really learning something that it’s an island. No, it’s like a little bit.

Cool. That sounds like a great trip for me. I love, I just got off one a minute ago.

A rent bikes go to central park. You have to to uh, see central park by bike. They just closed off cars and central park now. So just right here.


They just closed, they just closed it. So at the end of june. Um, so definitely do that. Come over to rockefeller center, see the today show. it’s super fun to be in the audience. Get wave, you can get free concerts. Um, it’s a joyful experience and it’s an iconic building and they have great tours at 30 rock where you can come up and see the snl set sometimes and jimmy fallon, a tapes, his show there. You can get a tour of the today, show the meghan kelly’s show. So it’s a really amazing place and in the winter it’s an ice skating rink below. And then in the summertime, attention to a cafe bar cafe that’s lovely in the same area. So I’ll die our outside bar. So what do we have to a cyber threat and then I would definitely, you have to go see the nine slash 11 Memorial.

That is just, it’s such a part of, of, of the world. it was designed that the people that actually came up with the plans for the, uh, to the nine slash 11 memorial actually came to Oklahoma and studied the Oklahoma city memorial. And uh, they did a beautiful job. It is so fabulous. It’s so breathtaking and it just, you go there and you’re just reminded how, how grateful and how blessed we all are. so if you need a reminder of that, it’s a good thing. And then I’m going to add a fifth to my list, which I do.

Bonus round, round. Went out with jenna bush hager and went whale watching off the coast of manhattan, which was crazy. Crazy. This skyline in the background. And you see a whale, we saw giant. I’ll do that. I go down to walmart and get the same thing. So it’s, it’s a good process. Humor. I feel like it’s awkward right now. Her name is tiffany. I feel like it’s an awkward, awkward mOment right now because people forget how close I’ll save you. Don’t worry if people forget about that

close. You know that manhattan is an island and that it’s on the, off the atlantic and that there’s whales there. So that was really interesting.

So the idea that it’s an island, you’re saying there’s water by it. Um, and the definition that last time I checked it a while, brother, sister thing here going on. So you’re saying if by watching, that’s just amazing.

Now, thrive nation, now that you know marianne zoners path to becoming a producer and a woman award winning an emmy award winning producer of the today show in a New York times bestselling author, the best thing you could do is help a sister out. So go purchase her incredible book. You can find it on amazon shop. We’re going to do a lot of editing on today’s show, but we had a mom. Okay.

Take technically s, h with the little asterix t, t y chuck. You can fill. It could be sheedy shot a. We do a lot of shoddy, shoddy mom had it. It’s like a t pain shatty. You could feel that in a number of ways. All right, here we go. Three, two, one. Boom.


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