Gayle King On Age, Success & Her Biggest Dream

Work + Money

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Gayle King, Editor-at-Large, O, The Oprah Magazine & Host, The Gayle King Show





Gayle King, Editor-at-Large for O, The Oprah Magazine, and Oprah's best friend, has been working in media for more than three decades. King is a three-time Emmy® Award-winning newscaster, savvy businesswoman and renowned broadcast journalist. She currently has her own show on XM Radio, The Gayle King Show.

What does King have to say about reaching the mid-century mark, raising children, achieving success and planning for the future? Read on.

The slogan for The Women’s Conference this year is, It’s Time. How would you finish that sentence?

It’s Time to do exactly what you want to do.

For me, when I turned 40 -- and certainly when I reached 50 – I got comfortable in my own skin. I sort of let it all go when I was 40. And by the time I was 50 I was done and done. There will always be someone richer, smarter, cuter, thinner. Always. I’m okay with me. That hit around my 40s, and then in my 50s, I was like partyyyy time. When you turn 50, you can say life is really getting started.

You’re the mother to 2 college graduates (one went to Stanford, one to Duke). How do you do it? What’s the secret?

The foundation really starts in the home. You have to actively raise children – give them advice early and often. Even now I’m not above giving unsolicited advice when I think they need it.

And kids need to feel loved. Someone told me once a long time ago, If kids don’t think you care, they don’t care what you think.

If you’ve done your job right as a parent, your children don’t ever want to disappoint you.  And you won’t want to disappoint them.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

1.) No one can be a better you than you can be for yourself.
2.) When you’re first starting out in your career, there are very few jobs beneath you.

What do you think is most important to professional success?

To surround yourself with people smarter than you. That way, you can always learn from somebody, and being around smart people will only make you want to step up your game.

You tweeted once, “Who DO you have confidence in? Marriage? Military? Congress? President? Me, I have confidence in myself. That's always a good place to start.” For women who are not as confident as you, what advice would you give?

Confidence comes by doing and doing and doing. You can’t get confident without working hard. (And there’s a difference between confidence and cockiness.)

What’s your biggest dream?

That I will get to live to see my grandchildren. That I will get to know them, and that they will get to know me. But my children are in their early twenties, so I’m in no hurry.

What do you see the next 5 years holding for you?

I have no idea. I’m open to all possibilities.

Gayle King will be speaking at The Women's Conference 2010. Watch the webcast of her breakout session on Tuesday, October 26 at 3pm on

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  • I love it!!! We – all almost 40 women should read you ! You know every year we all come up with new "resolutions"- Mine came on my 39th Birthday only a few weeks ago. At first I thought it was the almost 40 number that bothered me, then I realized all I had to do was “just take the time to actually look back and have a blast remembering what the road has been like.”
    I started a blog in english and spanish as well. Women all over the world feel the same thing when changing chapters, but rarely write about it, we need more of you, more main stream to go through this silly process...
    It’s so simple and yet so complicated to explain... Believe me a month ago when I turned 39 I was not a happy camper at all :D But now, every since I've been writing posts, I've been truly enjoying life's footprints... A lot of women let themselves go with age because they don't laugh enough about it.
    The quality of life has a bigger meaning and weighs so much more in so many fantastic ways. Once we all get through that.... it all makes sense and adding numbers to the resume is actually kind of fun!

    Posted by FourthDecade, 26 October 2010.