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Leadership Edge with Emmy Award-winning TV Producer, Paula Rizzo

Bio: Paula Rizzo is an Emmy-award winning television producer, best-selling author, and a media trainer and strategist. As a former senior health producer for Fox News Channel for more than a decade, she produced segments with a range of top experts, including JJ Virgin, Jillian Michaels, and Deepak Chopra. A media veteran for nearly 20 years, she also worked in local news in New York City as a producer for WCBS, WPIX, and WLNY. She coaches experts and executives to perform better on camera and produce their own videos.

She’s the founder of and author of Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed and Listful Living: A List-Making Journey to a Less Stressed You. She’s also co-creator of Lights Camera Expert – an online course geared towards helping entrepreneurs, authors, and experts get media attention. She also teachesBecome A Video Star – a virtual workshop that empowers experts to create their own compelling videos.

Paula has been featured in major media outlets like, Business Insider and The Daily News. She’s a contributor to, and Thrive Global . A veteran speaker she’s presented at MA Conference for Women, HOW Design Live, New York Women in Communications, National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), and many others. Go to for more.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you on this specific path? I’ve spent my career as an Emmy Award-winning television producer in New York City. I’ve worked in both local and national news and most recently was a senior health producer for Fox News Channel. I produced all their health and wellness content.

While working full time I also started a blog in 2011 called, which is all about productivity and list making. I’m obsessed with lists! I credit them for all my successes. My first book, Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed is all about how list making will change your life and how to use them better.

My second book, Listful Living: A LIst-Making Journey to a Less Stressed You picks up where Listful Thinking leaves off. Listful Living is a journal that will help you design a less-stressed life. It allows you to take a close look at your productivity and stress levels as they are without judging them. And then dream about what they could look and the last part is putting a plan into action.

Can you tell us about your “Big Idea”? It’s not enough to just make a list – you have to make that list work for you. In Listful Living I talk a lot about productivity styles. If you’re not a morning person, I don’t want you to become one. I’ve tried and I know it will just make you cranky! You have to tap into how you work best and lean into it. For instance, I wake up at 8am every morning and don’t take a call before 11:30am if I can help it. I like to take the morning to catch up on the news, drink a cup of tea, meditate and have time to myself. Then I feel like I’ve done something for me and I can move on with my day.

In the book I walk you through activities to figure this out and set up your life so you can be more productive at times that work for you.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this idea? Can you tell us that story? My appendix burst in 2016, which is a very dramatic way for your body to tell you to slow down and reprioritize.

I needed to get back on track. This was a year after Listful Thinking was published and I was doing too much. I was saying yes to everything. When I landed in the hospital, I had no choice but to embrace a new mantra, “Rest is the New Hustle.” I took everything off my plate. Every appointment, every project, everything. Sometimes just washing my hair was the one thing I did for the day. It gave me a new perspective into how much we put on our plates and what really matters most. That’s what informed what I’ve written in Listful Living. The reality is sometimes we need to slow down to speed up and get more done.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why.

  1. There’s more to life than a full calendar.

  2. Connections are everything – I wish I had kept notes earlier in my career of people I had met..

  3. Making yearly goals is so helpful in getting you to the next level in your life and your career.

  4. Be of service. This is what I tell all my media-training clients. It’s not about what you can get out of your media appearances or out of your book sales but what you’re giving back. Think big picture and think about how you can change someone’s life.

Which principles or philosophies have guided your life? Your career? You become what you believe. I believe that wholeheartedly. It’s a quote from Oprah Winfrey and it’s been a guiding light for me. If you believe you can achieve something, you will be able to do it. Let’s not be unrealistic though. That doesn’t mean you sit back and do nothing to reach that goal and it magically happens. No, you have to do the work. I believed I could win an Emmy Award, I believed I could write a bestselling book, I believed I could start my own business as a media trainer and author – and I did.

How can our readers follow you on social media?




Originally published on Thrive Global

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