Interview transcript: Laura Okmin, NFL on FOX sideline reporter

Liz: Welcome to the show, Laura, how are you?

Laura: I am doing wonderful, I’m so excited to be a part of it and it’s so lovely to finally hear your voice Liz, after following you for a long time. I feel like I know you and yet I’m happy to say finally match a real voice with the Twitter voice.

Liz: Absolutely, it’s really nice. And yeah, thank you so much for joining the podcast. Now you’ve had an absolutely incredible career within the NFL for Fox Sports, starting your own production company and launching Galvanize. So, I know you’ve got some really interesting stories and insight that I know my listeners will absolutely love. Now, you’ve been covering, and I guess the biggest names in sport on the biggest stages for over 25 years, and you’ve been with Fox Sports Network since 2002. But how did this all start for you? And did you ever think you’d be in a position that you’re in now?

Laura: No. I never thought about the future when I started in this business because the present was always so hard. When I first said, I” want to be a sports broadcaster”, and that was almost 30 years ago now, the reaction was always people telling me, “You can’t “,  or “You’re crazy” or “You better have a Plan B.” So, every day felt like a challenge, every day somebody told me I should have a plan B, every day somebody said, “I don’t care about your opinion” or “What do you know about sports little girl?” kind of thing. 

So, I never ever thought about what it would be like 10 years in, or 20 years in, or 30 years in. Because I was trying so hard to just make it that day in, and I have– and it was a challenge then, it’s still is, goes for every woman getting into sports crazy enough. But it started where, you know, when I was a young girl, I knew I wanted writing and I knew I wanted journalism. I knew I was a storyteller, and I loved that aspect. When I got to college, I was still a journalism major, and didn’t know yet what I wanted to cover, if it was news, if it was politics, if it– I don’t even think I really thought about sports, to be honest. Until my senior year, I took a sports class, I was the only woman in there, and I loved it. I realized really quickly there’s no better storytelling than in sports. 

So, I started my focus on sports journalism, and my first job was a small town in Alabama. And it was doing news during the week and sports during the weekend. And I was really excited to see well, let me see where my heart takes me or my head takes me, which way I want to go. And it was when I stood over my first dead body, Liz, and I was standing there and there were a couple of police officers and first responders, and a couple news reporters and it wound up it was a suicide, which is why we were all kind of standing there, you know, waiting. And as we were standing there with the body, three feet away, everybody started talking about what they were doing that night for dinner and, going out because it was a Friday night and so I walked away to compose myself.

 It was the first time I had seen a body, and one of the police officers very kindly followed me and said, “I just want you to know we’re not being callous, we’re not being unfeeling. This is what happens. You have to be able to stand over bodies and talk about what you’re doing Friday night. Because otherwise, this business is going to eat you up.”

And so, I went home, and I did what probably most 22-year olds would do. I went home, I cried and called my mom and said, “I don’t ever want to stand over a body and think what am I going to do tonight for dinner.” And that really helped push me toward sports, which at the time, it was such a great break from dead bodies, and it was such a great break from the world. It’s just changed a lot since then. Now, there’s no line, now sports– I’m very thankful for my news background because sports have turned into news and news has turned into sports. There’s no lines anymore in so many things in our world. So, that was how it started, and crazy enough that almost was 30 years ago, and I still love it as much as I did back then today.

Liz: Wow. And is sports something, or like always been interested in, or is it just something that, was like just there?

Laura: I always loved it. I’m trying to think, you know, you tell me in the UK, but what I would say in America is, there are certain states that you’re raised in and I’m a Chicago girl. And so, in Chicago, Illinois, you are raised to be a sports fan. You’re watching the Bears on Sunday, you’re a baseball fan, you’re rooting for either the Cubs or the White Sox. It wasn’t the little boys did it, it was just, that’s what you did on Sundays. You hung with your friends and you watched the Bears and you watched American football. 

And so, I’ve always loved sports. I didn’t know I’d make a life out of it. But it just was very natural, because I had grown up loving it, and to be honest, I remember when I was a young girl, my mom one time said to me, “I want you to make sure that you’re sports fan. Because if you talk sports, one, you’ll never have a bad date. And two’, which was more important that I tell this to my young women all the time, “You never get left out of conversations.” 

There are times where I’ll always talk to women, and they’ll say, “Well, my co-workers all start talking about whatever game and I don’t have anything to add. So, I either leave or I don’t say anything.”And so, I appreciated that my mom had that foresight at a time where women weren’t talking sports, to say to me, “This is important for you, not just because I want you to be a fan but because I want to make sure you’re not left out of conversations with men.” And that always stuck with me.

Liz: That’s so true as well, like sports so big a big thing here and you know, soccer is so huge and yeah, you see it in the office yourself, people talk about it, and you’re like, “Oh, I don’t follow soccer, so I can’t join it.”

Laura: Yeah, and you know, what’s funny is, we always talk about women not knowing sports, but I have a brother who is not a sports fan. And he lives in Texas, and that’s tough. And so, he’ll ask me sometimes like, “Hey, just give me something.” So, I’ll give him something that I’ll say, “This is a great insider note, nobody will know this. This is something about the Cowboys or this is something about the Houston Texans. Just say this. That’s all you need.”

And so, he’ll say it. And I go, “How’d it goes?”

And he’s like, “It was perfect. Like, it was such an insider thing to say.”

 And then he doesn’t have to add anything else. 

And so, I always laugh at that. But as much as we talk about women not knowing sports, it’s really hard for men who aren’t big sports fans too, you know, there’s a whole machismo thing in there also. So, it’s just to me, it’s something that if you don’t have an interest in it, it can feel like you’re left out of a lot of conversations and that really isn’t gender specific. That’s just the pull of sports.

Liz: Yeah, absolutely. It goes with so many different things in life as well, doesn’t it?

Laura: Yeah, totally.

Liz: Now, of the games you’ve covered over the years, what has been like the biggest sporting highlight for you?

Laura: You know, it’s funny, my answer changes as I get older, and more appreciative and all of that. But, you know, if you asked me 10 years ago or probably 15 years ago, I would have said, “Hosting the Olympics.” I’ve hosted three which has been incredible. I never ever get tired of being able to do that, you know, it never gets old or it always feels like it’s the first one, which is awesome. I just covered my first Super Bowl, I actually called the first one. I have always covered the game, but I’ve never called one until this year. 

So, those were some awesome ones that I love. But what I would tell you is, when I play my highlight reel in my head, what I remember are the events that I went to with friends, and what was happening in my life. And there’s an American broadcaster from ESPN named Stuart Scott, who was my best friend for over 20 years and Stewart passed away about four years ago. And we both came up together, and so, we were covering the Chicago Bulls during Michael Jordan in the championship years. 

And we were both young puppies and starting our careers, and we would sit together and watch these incredible games and say to each other, “Let’s make sure that we’re always aware of our moments, even though we’re watching everybody else’s moments.” And so, those are the things that I remember the most, was sitting next to him during a game and, watching Michael Jordan have an incredible game, but I remember my conversation with him, with Stuart what it felt like. And now I would say the same thing, any event I go to with my team and the games that I cover, with the people that I love, and the people I work with, that’s the most joy I get out of my business now.

Liz: So lovely. Now, reporting clearly mustn’t have been enough for you. So, what I’ve read about you is, you’re very much like me and that you’re a project person, you’re someone who’s creative and clearly you want more. So, you started your production company, LO Productions, and out of that was profiles, which is obviously a 30-minute series introducing NFL personalities off the field. Now, what impresses me the most about this is, not only did you host the series, you’re the executive producer, you secured the title sponsor, you booked each guest, you wrote each episode, which is absolutely incredible. Like, that is so inspirational, you’re big time living my dream. That must have felt so fulfilling.

Laura: Yeah, I love that you said that. It changed my life, it went from all those years being told, you don’t know what you’re talking about and we could do this job without you,  you know,  we don’t care what you have to say, being told that constantly, and then all of a sudden, realizing I was smart enough to do this. I was smart enough to figure out how to start a production company, how to get an LLC, how to book guests, how to hire producers and photographers, and find a corporate sponsor who would give me money and then negotiate air time with Fox and work with the legal teams. And if you would have told me, you know, 10 years in, let alone, you know, when I was really young, but if you would have told me at 25 I was going to do that, I would say, “I can’t do that. I’m not smart enough to do that. I don’t know how to do that.”

 And so, suddenly, I was doing it and that gave me, not a shot of confidence, because that’s minimizing it, that gave me a boatload, you know, a truckload of confidence in who I was, not just as a reporter, but who I was as a businesswoman, who I was as a woman, and it showed me that I’ve been playing small for a really long time and I was listening to everybody telling me what I can’t do, and it switched me to, “Well what can I do? What else is out there? What are the things I can be doing to make sure that I am getting bigger as a person? I want to continue to grow, not just in this business, but as a human being.” 

And that step, put me on a different path to start looking at my whole life differently going, “What else do I want to accomplish?” I want to stop checking boxes. You know, I was very fortunate to have some great boxes checked, I had Super Bowls, and I had the Olympics and I had NBA championships and World Series and all these great events, the boxes were checked, but I also find myself very alone and I found myself very lonely and not happy. But I had a lot of boxes that were checked, and that really opened my eyes to, “I’ve got to start looking at my life differently and this world differently, and how can I have a bigger role in it?”

Liz: That’s amazing. And I guess, through your profiles I’ve seen you interviewed so many different players. Is there a conversation you’ve had with someone that like really stuck with you? And who was it? Why was it?

Laura: That’s such a good question. And I mean this, there’s so many and so many that don’t make air. You know, I’m so privileged that every week, I work with two different NFL teams. And so, that means so many conversations from Friday through Sunday and the conversations that really stick out to me are the ones that I’m not allowed to talk about. Because what I value the most in this job, and in my life is building trust and building relationships. And I’m really fortunate to have done this for so long. So now, when I walk into a building, there’s certain players and coaches that will come find me because they know that I am evolved and they want to get my opinion, or they want to you know, tell me something and know that it won’t go anywhere. So, I’ve been really blessed to, you know, to know a whole lot about a lot of people and hopefully have been a good pair of ears and a good shoulder for them. But, you know, I’m trying to think like if there’s one that I would tell you know, I’ve had some incredible conversations. 

When I was a young reporter, so many players taught me lessons and I remember MBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, and I called him one time and he answered the phone and said, “Well, well, well, Laura Okmin, what do you need?”

And I was like, “Whoa, can’t a girl just call to say hello?” 

And he said, “A girl can, you just never do.” 

And he said, “I’m not trying to give you grief. I just know that when you call you need something. So, what do you need?”

 And that crushed me because, you know, who wants to be that person, that when you call someone looks down and goes, “Liz, what does she want? What does she need?”. And so, at that time as a 22-year-old or 23-year-old reporter, what I thought was, why would I call? I’m not going to call and reach out and say, how was your weekend? or how was the game? And I also didn’t want to send a wrong message. So, I just never called unless I needed something, and that changed me to all of a sudden go, “I don’t want to be that person. How do I make sure that when I call people don’t think I need something? To make sure that I’m building relationships, not contacts and sources.”

 And that changed my whole life, in terms of how I approach people, not just as a person, but as a reporter, that can very much feel like you’re harassing people, you know, like, “I need this, I need this. I need this.” So, my whole, you know, 28 years since that moment, or 27 years has been, “How do I make sure that nobody feels like that with me?” That they always know that I reach out when I don’t need anything. I’m always reaching out just to know who they are as a husband, as a father, as a wife, as a daughter as a mother, and that I just don’t reach out with an agenda. So, that’s probably one of the conversations I remember because it really helps set my compass to north. 

Liz: Yeah, because that’s huge, isn’t it? Like, especially in that kind of role? Like, I guess as a player, you probably are constantly thinking like, “Well, is that person my friend? Or are they just after the story?”.

Laura: Right, exactly. And that’s, so would Galvanize, with the company I have for women. We literally spend hours on that and now I also do a lot of public speaking, for companies and for people outside of sports. And I would tell you, that’s the biggest thing that I get hired to talk about is building relationships. Because what I’ll always say is it’s the most important part of my job. But let me just say this, it is a job. You know, I have one day a week on during the NFL season, on Tuesdays, and I call it relationship Tuesday. That’s all I do, is I’m reaching out, I’m texting them, emailing and calling, just checking in on everybody and making sure that I, you know that I reach out after losses, I reach out after injuries, I don’t just reach out, you know when I need something or to congratulate people, I make sure that I’m constantly around. 

So again, so when they see me it’s not that like, oh, what does she need. And when I started doing a lot of the speaking and training these young women, how to be better building relationships, and I also was training a lot of NFL players, how to vet reporters and how to build relationships. And one player that I covered for many years who was really tough to earn his trust. It took me about two years, and I said to him, Shamon start training players, you know about how to build trust with reporters. Can you tell me the one thing I did that finally allowed me into your world? You know, that took me a long time. Is there something that you look for? And he said, that’s easy, you know, what he said with you, you reach out 10 times, but you only ask for something once. And so, I immediately hung up and called Charles Barkley and said, I just want to thank you for the greatest lesson I ever learned. 

And so, that’s everything, you know, I don’t just do that with my job. I do that with my bosses. I do that with, you know, with just with people in my world, that I make sure to always pay attention to what, how, when’s the last time I showed up in your life, and did it meaningfully and perp and without agenda, and that’s something that takes training.

Liz: With girls and so, I first heard about it about a year ago. And I guess, for the benefit of my listeners, if they don’t know about Galvanize, basically Laura trains and mentors, young women entering the sports world. So, I guess, where did the idea come from to starting? And how do you see it growing?

Laura: It’s so funny because even when you said young women and I always say, oh, he’s younger than me. But, originally how it came up was, I just started seeing all these young girls getting thrown into these positions that I was so thankful I wasn’t thrown into. I just saw them getting these opportunities really, really early. And I just saw them not be prepared for. And I always say if that would have been me at 25 or 30, I would have been really judgmental of the women. But luckily for me, it happened at an age where I was old enough to really feel horrible. And instead of being judgmental, I was very protective and said, what can I do to help? So, when they do get these opportunities, they’re ready. And I didn’t have any mentors, any women mentors, and I didn’t have any women, friends who were my peers, and not because of cattiness or anything like that. 

But just again, it’s a really tough business and it was really hard, you know, three decades ago, and so you weren’t looking to see who was around you. You were just looking Straight ahead, to just hope that you got your stuff done, the hope that you were doing everything right, you know, how can I build a career I wasn’t looking to the left or to the right to see who was doing it with me or behind to see if anybody needed me, you know, back there, and I wasn’t looking ahead to see who had done it before me, I just was stuck in my world. And that was hard, there were so many things that I had to go through that I really struggled with, that I would have killed to have another woman who had gone through it or who was going through it to say, how are you handling this? And so, I wanted to create that and so the first time I did a boot camp, you know, there wasn’t a name of a company and I didn’t know what it looked like, I just knew I want to get a group of young women together and see how I can help. And I found out very quickly, well, one It took about three or four months to get 20 women, it’s even wanting to do it. But I found out very quickly, it wasn’t about in front of the camera that I that I really wanted to help, it was everything behind the scenes, so it was all the confidence and it was all the building relationship. And really how to make sure that you’re, you know that you’re growing and that you have confidence in yourself in a business that’s going to do everything it can to take it away from you, and that you have a great network of women around you. 

And so, it started there with a small group of women and then it has really grown now, our ages are from about 18 to 20. I have women in their 40s and it’s for the women who are on camera behind the scenes and PR and marketing. It’s really turned into just this incredible group of women who really just want to be around another incredible group of women and feel supported and loved on and pushed. And so, it’s been wonderful and now it went from three or four months to be able to find 20 women, now every boot camp has a waiting list of about 30 women. So, it has grown in incredible ways, and I’m really proud of it. I’m really proud of just the incredible young women and just women period that have gone through it, who are still friends, who are still supporting each other, who still love on each other and that’s been pretty awesome to be a part of that.

Liz: Absolutely. And what I love about Galvanized, obviously your brand positioning is girls compete women in power. Now that hugely resonated with me, because I’ve seen it, where girls will make slight, you know, side takes about each other. And I’ve had it happen to me, probably without even knowing, it didn’t sit with people. When instead if you think about it, it is a huge opportunity for people to work together and support one another. Why is it that we think that this happens and like how do we get girls to see that, you know what it could be, if we just all focused on the bigger picture?

Laura: Yeah, it’s hard, isn’t it? And most of us, it’s always interesting to me, usually if I see a woman of any age, it can be my age older, younger. I can usually guess what kind of girls you were with in high school by how you look at other women. And, you know, like, it’s just that’s kind of where we really learn how girls are to each other. And so, I was one, I was a guy’s girl, I didn’t trust women. You know, I had a group of mean girls, and so I stayed away from it. And so, boys were much kinder to me, I thought, and it’s a lot less judgmental. So, I stayed away from the girls. And so, it’s been the biggest surprise of my life that, you know, my life has turned into women. And it’s been one of the, you know, the greatest gifts I’ve ever had. But it’s hard, because we all come in with all these preconceived notions about how women are and this, any male dominated industry doesn’t help also because we get pitted against each other too. 

So, there’s so much to me, that kind of like leads us into the negativity and the Galvanize is wonderful because it’s two days, and I don’t let the women walk in. Like they literally walk in the door, you know, 7:30 in the morning and they have an assignment. I don’t let them small talk when they get to know each other, I don’t let them walk into a room and go, what do you do? What do you know? From the second day walk in, there’s stuff they’re doing to make sure that the judging doesn’t happen. And I learned that the first boot camp I did, you know, probably 11 years ago, 12 years ago now, that I was signing up the girls outside of the room and they were walking in.

 And so, I’m you know, meeting them, none of them knew each other. And I have them, signing them up I have one ear to the door or in the door, so, I hear them while I’m signing them up. And I hear the judging, I hear the what do you do? Who do you know? What’s your title? You know, what sorority are you in? Like I hear all that and I just kept shaking my head going, this is going to take me all day to undo this. And it did because, I thought it got clicky immediately. So, I had to think about what am I going to do to make sure that every time I’m in charge of a room with women, that there’s no judging and you know what judging is? It’s judging yourself; it’s comparing yourself, you know, amongst women. 

So, by the end of day one, these girls will come into a boot camp, and they’re scared to death because most of them are guys, girls, because they are in sport. They don’t have a lot of girlfriends; they don’t really think they want any. They don’t trust them, and they don’t know anybody. And what I’ll always tell them when we start is, by the end of today, you’re not going to want to do anything without each other. When we get into tomorrow, when we combined with NFL teams and bring the boys in. And they all look at me like I’m crazy. Like there’s no way in 12 hours, we’re going to fall in love, and they do every single time. And so, at the end of the boot camp, when it’s over, I always, you know, say like what are we, we kind of go around and talk about what we’re getting out of it. What we’re bringing home from the camp. And every time they always say the same thing, every boot camp, you know, this is now 2000 girls, they all say I’m so scared, I’m never going to be in a room of women like this again. And what I always say to them, the only thing I ask of you guys, when we do these boot camps is, you have to try to go create this. So, if you go to, you know, there might only be 25 of us in this room. But if you go to the place that you work, or if you go to your school, you know, you go to wherever it is that you are, and you go get every woman in that building. And trust me, if you’re in sports, there’s three, there’s not many women. But if you go and you start creating a sisterhood, and you tell them I just came off this magical weekend, and I saw what it’s like when women support each other. I want to create that here, I promise you, we’ll change a culture and now there’s 25 of you, and we just change 25 cultures. 

Liz: Yeah. 

Laura: And so, I depend on them to do that. And what I would say also, is as I’ve gotten older, more confident and become such a supporter of women. I also don’t wait for energy anymore, I used to walk into any room of women and kind of be like, what kind of girl are you? You know, are you judging? Or are you, you know, are you a champion? What are you and I kind of watched that to decide what energy I was going to give back? And now what I do is, I bring my energy. I don’t wait to see how anyone else is I know that I walk in and walk on a football field for three hours before my game. I will have eye contact with every woman on that field. I will make sure of it that if it’s every other reporter, if it’s every cheerleader, if it’s somebody in PR marketing as I walk around the field, I eye contact everybody and say good morning, you know looking good, like lovely sweater, you know, like love your hair sister. I make sure that every woman knows I come in peace. And that to me is why when people ask me about women now, I’m like, I just can tell you, I don’t have bad interactions, because I don’t spend my time on those anymore. I don’t look for those, like I said, I spread my intention and my energy and hopefully that’s enough to change somebody else’s.

Liz: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I guess as women, we spend enough time beating ourselves up. So, why would we want to energy from somewhere else?

Laura: Right, exactly. And again, it’s tough, and again we get, I mean, we get pitted against each other all the time. If you look at TV stations, there’ll be one or there’ll be two women, and what we’ll talk about is, how you compare to other women. And I remember this as the best lesson, you know, my boss gave to me years ago, when I was working at CNN sports. And he asked me, he said something, we were talking about, I can’t remember what, but we were talking about something with my role, and I said something comparing myself to the other women and he said, you are making the biggest mistake right now, I don’t compare you to the other women. I compare you to the other journalists in here, and here’s who I can tell you with. And it was two other men and we were probably about the same experience, and you know, we did the same kind of thing. And he said to me, do not ever compare yourself to other women, compare yourself to other journalists and be your best journalist, but you’re not a woman, sports broadcaster, you’re a sports broadcaster. And I was really appreciative of a man telling me that, because I think most men do put us together and do lump us in, as if there’s two of you, and how do I compete? I have one blonde and one group that I have one woman of colour. So, you know, I have one white woman now, a woman of colour instead of, you know, it’s just that we should be treated as every other journalist or whatever, the professional, but we’re kind of pitted against each other that way.

Liz: Yeah. Now, if someone who’s listening to this, I would love to get in touch, I guess like a media type role, be it writing video content more? What advice would you give to them for getting started, like, I said, getting started out at all?

Laura: The first thing is really, if you want to be a TV sports broadcaster, or if you want to be a sports broadcaster, period, the biggest thing you need is reps. And if you’re just starting, you need a reel, and that first job is the toughest job because you’re being hired on your potential and you need someone to see your potential. So, you have to have a reel. And the first thing that somebody will say is, you know, I want to you know, can you hire me? I want to be sports broadcaster and they’ll say, yep, I’ll be your reel, so, I can see how you are. 

Liz: Yeah. 

Laura: And that first job, that’s everything, is what are you doing for your reel, and making sure that it’s, you know, I look at dozens and dozens of reels now, you know, all these women that send them in, and what I would tell you is they go together, because it’s all these women trying to be sports broadcasters, instead of being themselves. And so, it’s really putting together a reel that makes you stand out, and the way you stand out is by being authentic. It’s not by trying to be any sports broadcaster you have seen, or you admire, it’s about being yourself. And right now, in this crazy time we’re living in you know, and all over the world, this is where you learn how to be a reporter. You take the sports out of the title and you become a reporter, every day even in quarantine. You know, we have phone and are you working on it every day? Are you putting your phone up? And are you telling a story? And are you looking around you, on your life and going, what story can I tell today? How do I make sure that during this time of quarantine or lockdown or what you know, whatever we’re all in, how do I keep growing? And so, that’s the assignments I keep giving my women, is every day I want you to tell a story. Make sure that you’re using this time purposefully and you’re pushing yourself and really owning your chops of being a good reporter and a storyteller. And, again, there’s no better time than right now that we’re literally living in, you know, unprecedented times. And if you really want to be a storyteller, this is where that comes from.

Liz: That’s such good advice. I honestly listen to you, it makes me feel like, I feel good, I’m ready to go.

Laura: Yeah, that’s all I want to hear. That’s fantastic. And especially these days, because every morning it just gives me a reason to shower, it gives me a reason to feel ready to go. So, I’m happy to provide some of that.

Liz: Oh, now you’ve got such a full plate of all the different areas that you’re involved in. So, like how do you keep a good work life balance and what do you love to do when you’re not working?

Laura: What I would say is probably the most important thing in my life right now is my work life balance, because I didn’t have it for so long. And again, it goes back to, it was also, I did a great job, but I had a very sad life. And I had to realize that, and I had to come to terms with that. And when I hit 40, everything changed for me, I really wanted to create a life that I loved and not just a job that I hid into. I was so busy telling everybody else’s story I didn’t, I hid behind their story. So, I didn’t have to tell mine. And so, my life since then has been making sure that I do lead a full life and that doesn’t mean that it’s balanced in terms of you know, during football, I’m much more work and actually during the offseason with boot camps, I do so much more and now I have clients and do coaching. And so, there’s a whole bunch but what I would say is that the projects that I take on now are projects that I love. Before I would just, you know, kind of wait and see what came to me. And now, I’m very purposeful and everything, of how do I make sure that I’m doing, I’m creating a life that I love, and I love to work.

But I want to make sure that I’m doing things that I love also, and also my husband and I create projects together so we can work together. So, what I would tell you is, if I’m not working, there’s a good chance I’m sitting around thinking about what I should be working on and what I can be working on. But I take advantage of the days that I’m not where my husband and my dog are, going to be out on a hike or out in the water out just really enjoying our time together. And for someone who never did that, I appreciate that so much. And I’m very blessed to love a job that I don’t feel like I switch people or personalities, that if work or I’m the same at work that I am at life. And I was not like that, you know, 10 years ago. So, what I would also say is, I’ve just created a life that I am now so happy with, and I feel so blessed about. So, I don’t change, I’m not a reporter, and then I’m a person. And when I’m not working, I’m the same person all the time, 365. And I think that led me to such a full happy life.

Liz: Yeah, absolutely. The end of the day, you know, you can only be yourself. So yeah, I think it’s so important to be able to switch off as well, from you know, day to day to be able to have your own life, enjoy it, with your husband, your dog all that kind of stuff. Yeah, absolutely simple. And–

Laura: And, it’s tough. And I think if you talk to people, you know, if you talk to people who maybe are over the age of 40, or maybe 50 up, I’m not even sure. But if you say to everyone, what’s once a moment that you realize that?

Liz: Yeah.

Laura: And, I think everybody has a story, because it’s hard and I think if you’ve gotten it young, you probably went through something tough. And if you haven’t gotten it yet, you maybe haven’t gone through anything tough. And those are always my favourite stories of when people really that epiphany of had, it’s not about what you do, it’s who you are. And I know when my husband and I look around at the people in our life and our friends and our circle, it’s people who focus on who they are, and not what they do. And they might have some really cool jobs, but that’s not what they talk about, that’s not how they identify themselves as, it’s about who they are. And again, it’s just to me, it takes a long way, for most people at least or I should just say for myself, it took a long time to get here. So, I’m so appreciative when I see other people who’ve done the work too.

Liz: That’s amazing, Laura. Well, listen, thank you so much for speaking today. And yeah, best of luck of all the amazing work that you do.

Laura: I so appreciate that Liz, thank you for having me. And thank you for especially doing it right now. It’s so nice to just have conversations about life and what makes us happy and we all need that right now. So, thank you for providing that for me today.

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