Career Lessons from the Writer/Executive Producer of Scandal (TV Series)

By , The Growth * Success * Acceleration Expert

Solo-E Certified Solo Entrepreneur Expert

Laureen Wishom - The Growth * Success * Acceleration Expert

In a previous post, I shared one career lesson each from Sheryl Sandberg and Shonda Rhimes. In this post, I will share four more of Rhimes’ career lessons.

Early in her career, she worked multiple jobs ranging from office administration to career counselor. Her early employment helped cover the monthly bills and allowed her the time to work on small research-based films on the side.

At that time, she was what I call an Employedpreneur – but today she is the first African-American woman to create and executive-produce a Top 10 network series – Grey’s Anatomy.

Oh by the way, she is now considered a household name in the industry with Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal bringing in a combined $300 million in ad revenue per season.

I recently read an article where she discussed four career lessons that she learned along her journey to success. Below are the excerpts from that article:

1. Don’t give up. While she has had many successes in Hollywood, Rhimes has also had her share of rejections including failed TV series and scripts that weren’t picked up. In fact in 2011, medical drama she wrote, Off The Map, was cancelled the same year.

2. Know when it’s time to part ways. Katherine Heigl, who portrayed Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy, won an Emmy for that role in 2007. After her name was submitted again for Emmy consideration, she withdrew her name. She stated: “I don’t believe I have been given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination”.

Rhimes replied, “When people show you who they are, believe them. I carry that with me a lot. It has served me well.” Heigl was released from her contract in 2010.

3. Using social media to garner a fan base. Every week during the brand new episodes of her hit series, Rhimes and the stars hold live Twitter chats with their viewers and fans.

Engaging your fans (or “gladiators”) keeps them involved, thus keeping them watching the show.

4. You can have a booming career and a family. Not only is Rhimes a working mom, she is a single working mom. She adopted two girls and had a third daughter via gestational surrogacy.

The night she announced the arrival of her third daughter, she tweeted, “Life is good #2shows3kids”. Rhimes continued achievements prove that although being a working mom may be difficult, it can be done.

If you are an Employedpreneur, Seasoned or Start-up Business Owner, or Career Professional – isn’t it time to (1) stop giving up; (2) let go of those people or situations that no longer work; (3) use some form of social media to advance your career or business and (4) know that you can have a successful career, business and life.

As a game-changing, high-achieving business woman myself and the author of the Amazon best seller: Fit, Fine & Fabulous in Career, Business & Life, I share the process for achieving success in these three areas in this best seller.

Dr. Laureen Wishom is dedicated to teaching high-achieving women entrepreneurs, executives, non-profit leaders and career professionals how to master Growth, achieve Success and live in strategic Acceleration.  Through her workshops, VIPs, coaching programs and products, Dr. Laureen shows high-achieving women (and enlightened men) how to bring about radical success in:  1) Visibility and Positioning 2) Business Growth/Career Success, and 3) Revenue Acceleration.  She is known for creating “WOW”, providing an unique customized experience and educating women on “doing different things and then doing things differently”™.  To receive Dr. Laureen 5-day e-course entitled: How to "Show Off" Your Credibility for Revenue Acceleration or the audio: Are You Making a Cardboard Connection or a Brand Connection, visit

© Copyright 2014 Laureen Wishom
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