“Don’t Let Your Emotions Get The Best of You!” 5 Insider Tips with Jené Luciani
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jené Luciani. She wrote a bestselling book that’s now in its second edition on all things — bras! She went from being a local news producer to a regular guest on NBC’s Today, Dr. Oz, Wendy and many others, and an internationally known bra and style expert. She built her brand around helping millions of women and have had the endorsements and accolades from women such as Oprah, Joan Lunden and Kathie Lee Gifford and Hota Kotb. Truly blessed!
What is your “backstory”?
I always joke it takes twenty years to become an overnight success. I spent 8 years as a TV producer in local news and branded content, before moving in front of the camera and writing for magazines. I am self-taught. I got a good start in broadcast journalism at an NBC station right out of college, learning to go with the flow of breaking news, and dealing with many personalities! I was sent to field produce at Ground Zero on 9/11 at just 22 years old — truly thrown into the fire! I went from news in the market I grew up in in Albany, NY, to NYC, where I learned to write and produce branded content for major brands and designer. This is when I started to explore more aspects of journalism. I love to write and I’d always loved fashion (my parents owned a clothing boutique when I was a kid) so I pitched a regional magazine a fashion column. They gave me a chance, and it took off! That lead to appearances as a style expert on local news programs. I got the idea for my first book, The Bra Book (now in its second edition!) when I was assigned an article on bras and foundation garments. Once The Bra Book was released, I pounded the pavement doing signings, events, appearances and promoting it anywhere and everywhere. That lead to The Today Show, where I appeared regularly for 8 years and many other shows including Bethenny, Meredith Viera, Dr. Oz, Wendy Williams, E!, Access Hollywood, Inside Edition — the list goes on! I still appear on many shows today. I work as a brand ambassador for national brands and still love hosting events where I get to help women.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
I’d have to say it’s the day I met Oprah! She was a big champion for women getting the proper fitting bra, and a big inspiration when I was writing my book. So I learned of an event she was appearing at. EVERYONE there wanted to get to her, but no one could! She was about to be announced on stage so I hid behind a pillar, clutching my book, until I got the chance and she was alone! I ran up to her and gave her my quickest elevator pitch. She said “I’m so glad you wrote this book because this topic is so important to women!” Then she was whisked away. Her producers actually called my publicist the next day and said I made a very positive impression on her. Very cool!!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m still making the rounds on the TV circuit giving lifestyle advice and I’m promoting my books with signings and events. I’m also working as a brand ambassador for several well-known national brands, so that’s keeping me busy as well!
Who are some of the most famous people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Being backstage at the Today Show for 8 years, you meet anyone and everyone! I also used to be a front-row fixture at fashion shows (back in their heyday!) so I used to hobnob with every big celeb you could think of, from Dr. Ruth to Salt N’ Peppa and Carmen Electra! I’ve met Madonna, that was a biggie for me. I was sipping coffee in the green room with Kate Hudson. I got to watch New Kids on the Block get dressed for their spot — LOL — they stripped down right in front of me! That was a hoot!
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
The people who inspire me most are people who’s careers I admire — Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Joan Lunden. I also like to see women “doing it all.” I’m a busy mom in a blended family with 4 kids — but I have a career too! So you wear many hats.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career in journalism?
Journalism has changed so much from when I started out. It seems, anyone can be a “journalist” nowadays and sadly print media is dying. People aren’t buying newspapers, magazines and books like they used to. It’s a digital world nowadays. I start my interns out with writing — because if you hone your talent and you truly have talent — you’ll always have and find work. Figure out a way to stand out from the masses!
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I would say absolutely, yes! I go on shows giving advice to women and I also respond to everyone who emails me wanting my help! I also “lend my voice” to several charities each year serving as mistress of ceremonies for their events.
I know this is not an easy job. What drives you?
Wow, great question. It’s hard to say, because I’ve always been driven! Sometimes I think it’s a curse LOL. I think my family motivates me because I want the best for my kids. Everyone is financially motivated to some extent. But I have also been a caretaker type personality, where I truly like to help people. I can’t stand the sight of blood so being a nurse or doctor was out, so I figured out a way to help people doing something that I love.
Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?
YES! I am a writer so obviously I love lots of books, mainly self-help/non-fiction (go figure, LOL) but my favorite is Ask and it is Given. I’m a huge believer in the power of the law of attraction and the teachings of Abraham. Esther and Jerry Hicks are amazing to read.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you! I was very young starting out in this career and I had not yet learned the art of self-restraint. I look back on my interpersonal relations within the newsroom environment and I wish I’d reacted less and just killed them with kindness!
2. It’s going to be a LONG bumpy road. I’m grateful I’ve had A LOT of successes. But everything came with a price, be it sacrificing time with my family, personal relationship etc.
3. Not everyone is nice. This field is also extremely competitive and can be cutthroat — learned that lesson the hard way, too. I tend to be a little naïve when it comes to that stuff, so the lesson was even tougher for me.
4. There are no guarantees. Some people have job security, like pensions, tenure etc. This job, most likely, will come with ZERO job security. Especially in today’s landscape, where TV stations are being sold left and right and magazines are folding. Just hang on for your life, enjoy the ride, and read number 5.
5. Do this for the RIGHT reasons. If you want it for the money, chances are, it will be a LONG time before you actually make any. If you do it for the fame, you’ll likely be disappointed. Fame is fleeting and one minute you’re hot, the next you’re not. Do it BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT AND YOU CAN’T IMAGINE YOURSELF DOING ANYTHING ELSE. If the mere sight of your name on a byline gives you chills, then you love it.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)
Well if you couldn’t figure it out before, OPRAH! I think she’d give me great advice and keep me positive and optimistic as I enter this “next phase” of my career.
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If you would like to see the entire “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” Series In Huffpost, ThriveGlobal, and Buzzfeed, click HERE.