How She Did It: Paula Rizzo

This month we’re featuring Paula Rizzo, Emmy-award winning television producer, best-selling author, media trainer and strategist. A media veteran for nearly 20 years, she most recently spent over a decade as a senior health producer for Fox News Channel producing segments with a range of top experts, including JJ Virgin, Jillian Michaels, and Deepak Chopra. Now she coaches experts and executives to perform better on camera and produce their own videos.


What is your personal mantra, mission or manifesto? “Rest is the New Hustle” – I believe we can slow down and still get things done. Sometimes we get so caught up in doing more and more tasks that we lose sight of what is truly important.


After writing my first book Listful Thinking, I was doing too much and ignored what my body was telling me. My appendix burst, which is a really dramatic way of your body telling you to listen to it. When I landed in the hospital, I had no choice but to embrace a new mantra, “Rest is the New Hustle.” I took everything off my plate. Every appointment, every project, everything. Sometimes just washing my hair was the one thing I did for the day. It gave me a new perspective on how much we put on our plates and what really matters most.


I introduced the concept in my new book, Listful Living. “Rest is the New Hustle” is a mantra I use when I think I need to do more. Sometimes it’s about doing less and allowing yourself some time to pause and evaluate before jumping in.


What inspired you to launch your current career/launch your business? I have loved working in television news for nearly two decades. I look at media as a public service because we’re able to tell people things they don’t know and change their lives. It’s a great privilege. While working full time as a TV producer I started a blog called listproducer.com about list-making because I wanted a creative outlet. That blog turned into two books about productivity and a speaking and coaching career.


Launching a book turns you into a business owner very quickly because there are so many moving parts. Once I published my first book and got a taste of entrepreneurship I was hooked. I knew I wanted to work for myself and design my own career path. So that’s why nearly three years ago I left my senior producer gig to run my own business. In addition to speaking about productivity, I also use my TV skills to media train and coach authors, experts, and entrepreneurs to be better on camera in the media and in their own videos.

What are you most passionate about right now? My Ember tea cup! I know it sounds silly but it’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given. It’s an amazing productivity tool. It keeps my tea warm for hours! No more running to the microwave or drinking cold tea. It’s the little things that sometimes amount to have the most impact.


What does a typical day look like for you? I’ve designed my day according to my productivity style. It’s something I teach in my book Listful Living: A List-Making Journey to a Less Stressed You (http://bit.ly/ListfulLiving). When I first started my business I would talk anytime anyone wanted to talk. But I quickly realized that led to burnout. So instead I tap into when I work best. If you’re not a morning person, I don’t want you to become one. I’ve tried and I know it will just make you cranky! You have to tap into how you work best and lean into it.


For instance, I wake up at 8am every morning and don’t take a call before 11:30am if I can help it. I like to take the morning to catch up on the news, drink a cup of tea, meditate, do yoga, and have time to myself. Then I feel like I’ve done something for me and I can move on with my day. Then I coach my media training clients, produce videos, conduct media interviews, and do speaking gigs. I do that schedule Tuesday through Thursday. On Mondays, I leave this day for planning, and on Fridays, I do whatever writing I need to do. I used Fridays to write my book and I find having that scheduled time for creativity helps me get things done more quickly.


What’s the one thing that has advanced your career in the last year? I’m a big believer in getting help where needed, so I can concentrate on what I need to in my business. Whether that’s education or support I find it’s always a win. Last year I started working with Peachtree VA (www.peachtreeva.com) and my life has become even more efficient. I knew I needed a virtual assistant to help keep me on track and scale my business. It’s been one of the best investments I’ve made in myself and my business. Just because you can do something yourself doesn’t mean you should.

What’s up next? I’m writing a novel. The main character is an elderly man named Mr. Pinkus who is obsessed with his own death and leaving behind a legacy. He’s a fun character to write and nudges me with lessons at all hours of the day. Stay tuned for more on that!

 CAREER REINVENTION ● FOR WOMEN, BY WOMEN

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