Episode 27: Getting There: A Book of Mentors with Gillian Zoe Segal

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Show notes

Gillian Zoe Segal is an author of two books, New York Characters and Getting There: A Book of Mentors.  She finished her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Michigan and Law degree at Benjamin Cardozo School of Law.  She currently lives in Manhattan, New York with her daughter and dog.  Gillian is also a passionate photographer.

In this episode, we will learn more about Gillian and her journey – from attending Law school to working in their family business and pursuing her burning passion for photography.  She will also unveil insightful experiences interviewing 30 successful people like Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg, Sara Blakely, Anderson Cooper and others in her second book, Getting There: A Book of Mentors.


Topics Covered:

01:33 – Gillian talks about the two books she wrote and shares a glimpse of her personal life

02:51 – How pursuing photography led to writing her first book, New York Characters, and paved the way for her writing career

06:48 – Sharing her experience interviewing famous people in the business world and taking photos of them at the same time

07:54 – Talking about rejection and how it relates to some of Warren Buffet’s wise words

10:34 – Warren Buffet and his fear in public speaking

14:23 – Significant pieces of advice from Gillian

19:08 – James admits he is an avid fan of Warren Buffet too and shares some of his powerful quotes

22:34 – Anderson Cooper’s three critical steps:

  1. Figure out what gets your adrenaline going 
  2. Figure out a way to make a career out of your passion.
  3. Outwork everyone around you.

24:24 – An anecdote of Sara Blakely and her impactful quotes on making things happen

26:37 – Marina Abramovic held tight to her dream of becoming an artist despite her sufferings from an abusive environment

27:36 – Jeff Cohen is a living testament that nothing is easy when it took nine years before his art sells millions of dollars

29:28 – Tom Scott on his advice in getting things done without thoughts

30:48 – Ian Schrager gives powerful tips in dealing with overwhelming tasks

32:02 – Jim Koch and his insights on passion, quality and reputation

33:57 – What’s next for Gillian?

34:42 – Watching documentaries as a form of her personal development

35:56 – Gillian and her compelling advice to her 20-year old self 

37:59 – James shares his three takeaways on careers, passion, and persistence with tenacity


Key Takeaways:

“People spout off in a moment of anger … once it’s out there, you can’t take it back. Like if you send an angry email text or tweet or whatever, it’s out there, you can’t take it back.  A lot of times, you might change your response if you let yourself cool down.” – Gillian Zoe Segal

“I think giving up is the biggest pitfall.” – Gillian Zoe Segal

“Just because something has been done one way for years doesn’t mean that it’s the right way or that another way won’t work. And that’s how innovation happens.” – Gillian Zoe Segal

“A lot of artists say something along the lines of nothing is easy.  Being an artist isn’t easy. It’s not easy to make money as an artist. So, you should only do this if it’s in your mind and you can’t picture doing anything else. You love it so much that it doesn’t feel like work.  It’s not easy. Once again, nothing is easy.” – Gillian Zoe Segal




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