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Levo Listens: How to Find Value in Every Experience

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After a bad day at work, have you ever wondered how to transform the negatives into positives? Bonnie McDaniel, television talk show host on the ION Media Networks and founder of the Women Are Talking initiative, sat down with Levo during Office Hours to talk about the experiences in her career that taught her to find value in every situation, good or bad.

In her first job out of school, McDaniel worked with another women who often showed signs that she was threatened by McDaniel as a woman. It was her first time interacting with other women professionally and the experience with her co-worker taught her a valuable lesson. “Each experience in life is of value and within it is a lesson,” she said.

After studying leaders she admired, McDaniel knew she needed to next work in sales and contribute to the bottom line of a company before she could become a successful leader. As a sales representative, she drove to various locations and restocked pantyhose for the company. Although she was only in that difficult job a year, it gave her the valuable sales experience she needed to propel her career forward. She explained that even if you are in a tough situation, whether personally or professionally, you can always learn something valuable.


McDaniel said she has learned four valuable elements to success over the course of her career:

  1. Value what you are, know what you are, and be authentic. Only you can bring your particular skills and character to the world.
  2. Make each day your classroom and don’t ever think you will know everything.
  3. Don’t be afraid to fail—the way you respond teaches you about yourself.
  4. Live with “open hands” and know that you can’t get without being willing to give.

McDaniel explained that the best way to seek a mentor is to seek a partnership. You should also never look for a relationship solely on the basis of what you could gain from it. When you aim for a collaboration, everyone in the partnership wins.

While raising her children, McDaniel stressed to them that they were brought to earth to give and not just to receive. Within partnerships, they shouldn’t assume there is only one way to learn and one way to gain, but rather “use everything you’ve got to get there,” she said.

When developing your personal brand, nothing is more important than being authentic, McDaniel said. Never try to be something you are not. In addition, McDaniel stressed the importance of being acquainted with every aspect of your business, so that in an emergency you could rely on yourself as well as others.

Lastly, she emphasized the importance of managing the fear of being alone, especially among women. In moments of failure or self-doubt, having someone to whom you can open up to and be honest with is the best way to feel safe. This person should have your best interests at heart, but be willing to speak the truth with you, even if it’s hard to hear. When you have those setbacks, blame and finger pointing is the first response, but learning to accept your own responsibility and then forgive yourself is the best way to begin to learn and move on.

Watch Office Hours with Bonnie McDaniel about finding confidence and learning from the tougher moments in life.

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Everything Bonnie said was so gracious and wise! I especially liked what she said about creating an authentic personal brand. I think the phrase "personal brand" can invite inauthenticity, because you're trying to show off the very best version of yourself, but Bonnie makes it so clear that her own strong convictions are what made her special, and successful.

I love her advice: "Make each day your classroom and don’t ever think you will know everything." It seems like Bonnie attempts to learn something from every experience, regardless if it's a negative or positive one.

I love this! I am about to start my new job (my first job out of grad school) and I am more than excited but I'm also nervous about all the upcoming changes, etc. I think the greatest takeaway for me is to not be afraid to fail and to see failure as a teaching moment & growth opportunity. I love growing as a person and so being able to see challenges through that perspective helps me to not be afraid. I love this and will share this with friends & family!


Love everything Bonnie stated! My first post-grad job that I am working in is outside B2B sales and consists of me driving all over my territory most of the day. It's challenging and rough but I know that this experience will help me when I transition into recruiting and staffing. Great article!

Carolyn Josephs
Carolyn Josephs

This was an excellent article Bonnie.

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