In light of Valentine’s Day this week, I spoke to Patti Stanger, who is the star of Bravo TV’s “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” now in its sixth season. Her new website, Pattiknows.com, doles out advice on relationships, beauty and life. She also co-founded TY KU Sake with Cee Lo Green.
What do you recommend to people trying to set goals this year?
I believe that goals should be obtainable. You’re not going to be a millionaire overnight and a lot of people want to start their own websites to get their brand out there — that’s a great goal to achieve, but you have to take one step at a time. For someone who’s stopping smoking, try different methods. Keep a journal to help find the thing that makes you feel good.
What common career mistakes do you see people making?
I think this generation is lazy. They think they can get famous overnight. Look at Jessica Chastain — she’s been around for a very long time, working her ass off acting since her teens, and everyone thinks she’s an overnight sensation. You’ve got to go the extra mile to be noticed. Work harder, work smarter and really fine-tune your skill set.
What are your top pieces of career advice?
I look back at my four years at the University of Miami and even though I love that college to death, and I had the best time, it didn’t teach me to balance a checkbook. Life experience is what you should be focusing on. Find a mentor who you worship and say: “Can I work with you for free? Can I intern?” People come to me and they’re like, “Well, you don’t pay for interns?” and I’m like, “If I was paying for an intern, I’d get a real person who knew the job.”
— Dan Schawbel is the author of the upcoming book, Promote Yourself: The New Art of Getting Ahead (St. Martin’s Press, Sept 3). Listen to his Promote Yourself Podcast on iTunes for more interviews and career advice.