Tips From The Top: One On One With Lauren Thompson

I spoke to Lauren Thompson, co-host of the Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” and host of NBC’s “The Champion Within,” about her journey and her best advice

Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your story and what you have learned from your journey to date. First things first, though, what is something about you that your fans don’t know?

Lauren: You know, I’m a pretty open book. My life has taken its share of surprising twists and turns as far as a career path goes, but back in the day- high school or so- I was extremely studious and dead-set on being a Nurse. Early college days were spent in the library, sometimes 4 to 5 hours a night… then things changed a bit, my major included. I started socializing more (important in college!), joined a sorority (one that still placed heavy incentive on academics) and began modeling: the money was an easy motivator for a college kid. Then, I caught the “TV bug” with infomercials, car commercials, hosting roles and that was it: The adrenaline combined with the challenge had me hooked.

Adam: What failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your development and success?

Lauren: Everyone faces setbacks... some more public than others. A few people have assumed that my career now vs. “the bikini days” are polar opposites, but I always found it quite empowering. It’s unfortunate that people try and use it as ammo against you, but I own it. True, after two kids it isn’t exactly my cup of tea anymore… but maybe it will give me some inspiration a few years down the road when gravity takes it’s toll. ;)

Adam: In your experience, what are the common qualities among those who have been able to enjoy success in media and broadcasting?

Lauren: Bob and weave, baby! You have to be able to roll with the punches. To take on new tasks. To be able to say “yes” and then put in some real work to hone your craft. That’s the definition of live TV in my mind. The show must go on, and to be confident in your abilities- and confident in your team- will save you over and over again. A positive attitude is what I believe has helped me the most… but that’s any job.

Adam: Who have been the biggest influences in your life and why?

Lauren: Hands-down, my mom. We lost my Dad to a brain tumor just 2 weeks before my 1st birthday. Although I don’t remember this time in my life for obvious reasons, I can’t forget the crazy strength she showed at every turn. She was a teacher. Tired. Over-worked and like most in her field, underpaid. She knew the proving grounds for women- then and now- and was never scared to show her teeth of need be. She demonstrated to me how much you have to work for things you want, and how nothing worthwhile will simply be handed to you. I pray my kids learn from me, as well.

Adam: What are the best lessons you have learned through your career that are applicable to those who will never earn a living in front of or behind the camera?

Lauren: Wow… I would say to never back down from a challenge. Life is far too short to play it safe. That’s boring. If your dreams are completely out of line with your daily life, you’re doing something wrong. And the best part is, you have the power to turn it around. So do it! And if you mess up.. guess what, no one’s perfect so take another stab at it. You’ll only find out what you’re capable of, and likely will surprise yourself.

Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received?

Lauren: Don’t burn bridges. This happens left and right in the entertainment industry. People leaving other companies and opportunities for the bigger/ better piece of the pie, without realizing just how interconnected things are. Word gets around fast, both good and bad, and if you treat people with respect and are honest… you’ll rule the world.

Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?

Lauren: Honestly, I’ve become a world class napper because of Morning Drive! (laughs) .. No really, I can fall asleep on a dime. It’s a real skill. I think all parents have this in their tool kit… but as far as real “hobbies”… golf is an easy one. Not just because it’s what we live and breathe on Golf Channel, but because of what it offers to my family. Time outside, in the fresh air, where cell phone use is frowned upon, and real conversations can happen organically. That is my happy place.

Adam: What is one thing everyone should be doing to pay it forward?

Lauren: It’s pretty simple I think. It’s the easiest thing in the world really. Just treat others how you yourself would like to be treated. That’s it. No gray area. And smile at people. I used to be almost entertained by how random people respond when you smile at them. Now, I just see it as the best form of contagion. 

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