Brought Down to Earth

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The year was 2011. I'm in the Time Warner Center in midtown Manhattan in the studios at CNN. I've just finished a live appearance on headline news. It was debating a topical political issue. And I thought I had done extremely well. I thought I was funny, incisive, great.

Soundbites won the debate. And frankly, my chest was a little bit popped out. I thought, wow, I nailed it. I did everything exactly the way I wanted to. I thought it was fun. I thought I was funny, insightful.

I thought I was frankly the perfect pundit guest. It's a beautiful spring day. I leave the Time Warner building, and I sign a nice walk down Broadway back to my TV studio on 40th Street. I looked down my phone. There's a couple of messages. One is from Talk Radio producer about wanting me to host a job host a show and I'm thinking wow, I was so good people are calling me with job offers now.

Another is from my publicist Mark Goldman at Goldman McCormick, who do I call first. I call the talk radio producer to hear about my job offers. Turns out it's some scam operation that just wants to sell basically infomercials and they prey upon insecure people with shallow egos who want to pay money to be on the air. It was just a worthless sales pitch. Unless I wanted to waste a bunch of money. So much for that.

Okay, well, I know I've still got good news. I'll call mark. Markets, TJ, what's the good word? I'm expecting him to say. The producers said you're fantastic. They'd like you back tomorrow and twice a week and I'll never forget what he said.

TJ, you've been banned for life from headline news. Well, as a part of the political commentary, I happen to be very, very critical of an extraordinarily well known businessman slash reality star, slash real estate developer. I'm not going to mention his name. He later went on to attain high political office in the United States, but apparently, some of his supporters or either inside the network or inside his organization did not like my commentary criticizing him and ridiculing again, this is 2011 and a decree came down that I was banned for life from ever appearing on headline news again. For those of you don't know that's a second division, second tier. division of CNN at now called HLN, I believe, here in band for life.

So I went from thinking, Wow, my greatest talk show appearance ever. I'm in demand to people trying to come me out of it, or full time being banned for life. So what's the point here? My point is, don't get too high on yourself. You never really know how you're doing something could play well in your own brain and your own mind your own plan, and completely fall flat in other areas, and you might make enemies you just don't know. So there's several different messages here.

That's a part of it. Don't get too high on yourself and think you're great. But also don't get too discouraged either. It's true. I've never actually been on HLN again, big deal hadn't been hurt my business any I've been on. gazillions of TV networks and TV stations and radio networks and podcasts all over the world ever since.

My business model isn't dependent on being a guest on any one show or any one channel, so it doesn't really matter. And that's the lesson.

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