Janet Street-Porter lets loose on Motivational Monday
The formidable broadcaster, journalist and Loose Women panellist Janet Street-Porter shares the lessons from her career on Motivational Monday (and drops in a few mantras along the way).
“You don’t need 100% support to succeed” … “You only get on in life if you’re prepared to listen” … “The key to success is believing in yourself” … Keep communication “simple and direct” – these are among the mottos that have helped Janet Street-Porter rise from humble origins to become a towering figure in broadcasting and journalism, most recently as panellist on the multi-award winning ITV show Loose Women.
Janet shared her story and lessons for success at our latest Motivational Monday. She spent the first few minutes of her talk merely covering the fields she’s worked in. Her prolific career has seen her in front of the camera in groundbreaking TV programmes and behind the editor’s desk at the Independent on Sunday. She has won the Columnist of the Year, a Bafta and was “very excited last December when I won the Christmas MasterChef”.
Janet explained the importance of determination, planning and positive collaboration if you want to climb the ladder.
She spoke about how she started near the bottom.
“I grew up in a half of a terraced house in inner London, with an outside toilet and a bathroom we were only allowed to use once a week”, she said. “I was the first person in my family who was educated over the age of 14.”
After school, Janet went to study architecture. She recalled how “on my first day I realised there were 95 boys to 5 girls, so that feeling of being a woman in a man’s world was instilled in me very young”.
However, she chose that course in order to be the first person from her school to do so. “Even at the age of 17, I was determined to push the boundaries.” She ultimately jumped into the world of work before she could finish her studies.
“Now, I’ve been a top executive at the BBC, I’ve been in charge of 20 to 30 television shows at the same time, I built a new television studio from scratch. The key to success is believing in yourself. I’ve done all that without a degree.”
Janet also stressed the importance of planning, whether that be for a project, or to “outmanoeuvre your rivals”, but particularly in communicating ideas effectively. “You have to be able to set them out simply, know the social and commercial benefits and talk up the feel-good factor.”
Positivity also played a role in great collaboration. “You don’t want to hear negativity”, said Janet, “you want positivity. ‘I’ll see what I can do’ is one of my favourite expressions because it means you can build on it.”
“I need to have what I call ‘input’,” said Janet. “I don’t think you can get anywhere by just feeding off what’s in your head. You only really get on in life if you’re prepared to listen to other people and acknowledge that, sometimes, their ideas might be better than yours.”
Motivational Monday also welcomed Sammi Shapero, a trustee at Homeless Street Angels, this month’s charity partner. The organisation works to clothe, rehouse and support the Leeds homeless community. Sammi discussed the renewed importance of its outreach work after it was put on pause by lockdown.
As BigChange’s charity partner of the month, Homeless Street Angels will receive the £1,100 raised so far to support its excellent work.
Next month, we’re thrilled to be joined by Clarke and Carrie Carlisle to discuss ex-footballer Clarke’s overcoming of mental-health issues and his work with charities Mind and the Premier League Kick It Out campaign. Our charity partner is ‘Andy’s Man Club’, which runs groups where men can talk openly about going through storms in their lives.
You can register for Motivational Monday here.
We hope to see you then.