Have you ever lived a Cinderella moment? I know I have back in 1996. I was poor. I mean really poor. I made about $5,000 the entire year and that was as a commentator for Voice of America radio network. I was actually living in a commune and just ramshackle furniture kind of place where there's 10 feet of stack newspapers, cats are running around, but I live there rent free.
Well, I got booked to appear on the Montel Williams show, which was a big thing in the United States. Back then it was a syndicated talk show, kind of like an Oprah Winfrey Show. At its peak around this time, it had 10 million viewers a day. So I got my one and only suit and tie on, got dressed up, went outside and there was the biggest, longest show. Stretch limousine. I don't mean a regular limousine.
I mean a stretch limousine that I had ever seen. It seemed like it covered the entire block. I got in there was a full bar, and they whisked me off to the Montel Williams show. And boy did I feel like I was king of the world at that moment. Did the show I thought it went well. We were discussing and debating Mattel's new book and he had a variety of pundits and commentators on the program.
The show went well it seemed like practically a party. Fantastic studio audience. And then there's the giant stretch limousine waiting for me, takes me back home. I get back and there I am. And essentially my slum, take my suit off, and I go out to dinner. It was the $1 slice of pizza.
That's all I could afford. Here's my point to you, when you see people on TV, in the media in your local newspapers, national newspapers, it doesn't mean they're that much more successful than you are richer than you. It just means they position themselves to have a say on a particular issue, and they want to speak out. So, my challenge to you is don't wait till everything else is perfect in your career. Don't wait till you're 100% financially secure, or all is perfect with your career or your life. If you've got something you want to speak out on, go ahead, be Cinderella at the ball for an evening she won't forget it.
You will enjoy and it may lead to other things. That particular show more than probably any other show. I've done. I've done more than 2000 National international local TV and radio shows. Over the last 30 years, I got more feedback from that my doorman side, people in bars saw people commented on it. At least in my own mind, I was like a mini celebrity for about four or five days after the show ran.
So I wouldn't say turn it down, but also realize you can be the toast at one minute driving around the big limousine. But then you're back and you turn back into a pumpkin. Okay, so why do I tell that story? I do want people to realize that regardless of where they are in their career, they can sometimes go right to the top national media. There's the sense that somehow you have to pay your dues, local media for years and years and years and then regional media, then national media after your really big and successful now it doesn't have to be that way. I know people who they're very First talk show appearance ever was live primetime CNN, Larry King, back when that was a really big deal.
So that's the point there. look for opportunities no matter where you are in your career, no matter what age