In her debut book, How to Win: My Life in Television, Kim Gagné , two-time Emmy award-winning producer of NBC and ENDEMOL’S “Steve Harvey” daytime talk show, reveals that she didn’t always think winning was in her DNA and shares how her lack of confidence almost derailed her rise to the top of the TV game. Her journey to a successful, award-winning career in the television industry affirms Gagné’s belief that “You don’t have to finish how you started.”
The Houston native and new author shared insights from her journey with Empower Magazine contributor Lisa Pradia, who attended the recent How to Win Book Launch Celebration on Oct. 10 at Winston Contemporary Art.
Share the inspiration behind writing your new book.
Actually, the book was my husband’s idea. He always said I had a story to tell that would benefit. young women in the business. So before I knew it, he met with a self-publishing company and I am writing a book.
Describe the target audience you are seeking to empower through your book.
I think young women in college on up. The book is a journey that basically says how you start or where you start doesn’t determine your destiny. I think we are all born with a purpose and some discover it sooner than others. I was blessed enough to discover mine at 7 years old.
Did a book like this exist to help you in the rough times on your journey?
There have been books by other journalists, women journalists, but I never really read about other women’s stories. I had mentors around me who shared theirs.
Was there a pivotal moment that changed the trajectory of your career? Yes, when I left Houston and moved to LA. I had worked at Channel 26 and then Channel 11 and started several shows. I really had done all I could do in a newsroom and in local television. It was time for me to “Grow and Go” which is what I tell my interns. I believe had I not left Houston and taken a job in LA, which led to a six-year run with Steve Harvey, my career would not have gone the way it did. I would still be in local news probably and not very happy because I wanted to do TV on a national platform.
What is the one characteristic that you developed along the way that helped you the most in navigating the television industry?
I learned how to have thick skin. In TV, we are a different breed of people. We are passionate and we can get pretty explicit in how we talk when things don’t go right. I learned that most of the time it’s never personal. When working in the newsroom we could argue over a story and its merit to be in a newscast and say some rough stuff to each other but after the newscast, we were all at happy hour together. Don’t take everything personally on your job. Sometimes it’s just about the job and has nothing to do with you as a person.
What are the top 3 takeaways you hope readers walk away with?
- That you have to look fear in the eye. Being afraid keeps folks from moving and exploring life and I think sometimes it keeps you from discovering your passion or taking risks.
- That we all face insecurities in life. We all feel we are not good enough or possibly don’t belong in certain positions. Again, it’s knowing that those feelings can be put on you by other people. Don’t let people tell you who you are.
- The word NO is a complete sentence.
I have to add a big one.
4. Stay grateful. And for me, that means grateful to God.
Where can the public purchase your book?
You can purchase How to Win at www.howtowinbook.org.
Kim Gagné’s, ‘How To WIN’ is a revealing and often hilarious memoir of her journey in life and television. The Houston native uses the same unfiltered and candid storytelling that she’s known for to weave her memories of a tumultuous childhood, accepting God’s favor, shaking off the haters and learning what it means to WIN.
In addition to producing the Steve Harvey Talk Show for four seasons, Gagné Executive Produced Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards for six years. The Neighborhood Awards was a 30,000-plus four day weekend in Las Vegas filled with comedy shows, exhibits, celebrities, and musical concerts, hosted by Harvey. Before working with Harvey, Gagné worked in television news for 13 years and produced on two nationally-syndicated court-tv shows, Texas Justice and Judge Alex.