Maria Bartiromo: ‘People Learn about Success not at the Peaks of their Lives but in the Valleys’


By Chris Ariens on Apr 01, 2010 02:33 PM

As Kevin and I were at the TVNewser party last night, guest blogger Nancy Lazarus headed up to Time Warner Center for a book event for Maria Bartiromo. Here’s Nancy’s report.

Bartiromo_4.1.jpgCNBC’s Maria Bartiromo discussed her new book “The 10 Laws of Enduring Success” as well as the highs and lows of her own career at an event hosted by Sobel Media in New York last night. Bartiromo was interviewed by Frank Radice, a former NBC executive now Expert in Residence at Definition6 agency.

“The reason I wrote the book was that I saw the tough times people were going through, losing their jobs,” says Bartiromo. “It was amazing watching people with boxes of belongings coming out of high rise buildings. So I thought to myself, how do you get to a place where you can get and keep success?” So Bartiromo interviewed everyone from Frances Ford Coppola to Joe Torre to Hank Greenberg. The pattern she found was that they learned more from the tough times they experienced.

Bartiromo attributes her own success to a number of factors, including her family and upbringing, hard work and taking risks, most notably her decision to leave CNN for a job at CNBC. She said, “I grew up at CNN, and they offered me a promotion, but it was not the job I wanted. I questioned why would I go to an unknown network, CNBC? I took a risk, knowing I’d miss CNN dearly. But I didn’t want to be a producer, I wanted to be on camera.”

Bartiromo also acknowledged memorable low points along the way. One such experience was the resistance she initially encountered as the first woman on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange when she was told “Run along and don’t come back here” by one of the executives.

A more recent misstep occurred when she was asked to fill in for Charlie Rose to host his show. She said, “The topic was the markets and the economy, but I did not prepare well. I thought I could wing it. But I was terrible and it was humbling when I watched the show later. Since then, every day I do a report card on myself. It won’t make me perfect but it will help. When I learn from something it won’t happen to me again.”

Bartiromo also offered her views of the financial situation, describing the last ten years as a ‘lost decade’ for the stock market. One of the lessons she learned from the latest financial crisis is “Be a contrarian, don’t believe the herds but ask questions. I’ve been doing that a lot more lately to make me a better reporter.”