NEW! FEATURED LADY PODCAST
Listen to Daryn Kagan’s podcast update here.
Good news! Soon there will be more good news on the ‘net, thanks to Daryn Kagan, the longtime CNN reporter and anchor who is starting her own media business with the theme, “One Woman. One Radical Idea: the World is a Good Place.” At darynkagan.com you’ll discover people who are overcoming challenges to accomplish amazing things and get news about celebrities, entrepreneurs, kids, seniors, artists, athletes and many others who inspire. Meet Daryn in person at NYC Speaker Series on January 27, 2009 and find out below how Daryn responds to hecklers who… gotta love the irony here… are negative about the notion of positive news.
“After 12 years at CNN, it became clear that I wasn’t going to have the kind of opportunities there that I wanted. I see that as the nudge I needed to move on. I had been thinking of some version of this (business) for a long time. These are the kind of stories I have been drawn to – the kind of stories that make your heart go zing. It was one of those moments in your life where you have a chance to sit back and think, ‘If I could do anything in my life, what would it be?’”
From Information to Inspiration
“The two themes of my Web site are: the world is a good place and show the world what is possible. I’m not turning my back on the news business. I think it’s really important to be informed. But it’s also important to be inspired. It’s just the next step in my journey going from information to inspiration.”
Room for Everyone on the Internet
“Beginning Nov 13th, when you come to darynkagan.com, you’ll see my daily Web cast. The other important aspect of darynkagan.com is that it’s a community. The Web cast box will be in the middle of screen, then surrounding me will be six or seven buckets. There will be stories that other people have contributed.
“I think there’s a belief that fear sells and good news doesn’t. I don’t necessarily agree with that. I tend to be a positive person rather than critique what’s out there. With the Internet, there’s room for everyone.”
Betting the Good Stuff Sells
“One thing people want to know… this is all nice and good, but how are you going to make money? This will be an ad-supported Web site. Even before I sold a single ad, I have had amazing offers for speaking engagements and book offers. My original intention was build it and they will come… they’re coming.”
Owning Her Idea Instead of Giving It Away
‘I’m going out and doing it on my own because my sister (Kallan Kagan) told me to. When I came up with the idea, I tried to get a couple of big companies to buy into it and for whatever reason, it wasn’t the time or they didn’t get it. My little sister looked at me and said, ‘Why don’t you just do it yourself and own it?’ I realized this was the best model because I didn’t have to please anyone but myself.”
Encouragement Makes a Difference
“I drew a sketch of what the Web site would look like and showed it to a technology reporter at CNN. I thought he might say, ‘There are already 50 of those on the Internet.’
But his eyes bugged out and he said, ‘There’s nothing like that on the Internet. Take this sketch down to the Apple store and show them what you want to do. You could totally do this on your own.”
So Much for the Solo Mission
“The learning curve has been realizing I can’t do it completely myself. That was another speech from my sister, who said, ‘This whole thing about doing it by yourself… that’s cute, but really not that smart.’ I’m now using three freelance producers and two photographer/editors. Also, I’m about to hire a part-time production assistant.”
“Figuring out how it’s going to work. Realizing there’s a process. Even though I have skills to put together a story, figuring out the functionality of the business and using new technology is a challenge. One of things that is so cool is this time in
media history. Two years ago, the technology didn’t exist for me to do this. Two years from now, the space will be taken on the Internet.”
“Certainly I have had my challenges in TV news and getting to this place, but this project has some angel sitting on it. It’s spooky because everything I need keeps showing up.
A good example… the day after my sister gave me that speech about how I needed some help, there was an e-mail from a guy who said, ‘Daryn, I don’t know if you remember me but I used to be photographer for CNN, and I left to start my own inspirational film company.’
Getting Her Name Back from the Guy Who Registered It
“When I went to register darynkagan.com, someone had cyber-squatted it, I found this guy’s e-mail address, sat down and wrote him an e-mail saying, ‘Thank you for thinking of me when you went and registered my name. The time has come for the name to come back to its rightful owner, which of course, would be me.’ The next day I get an e-mail saying, ‘Please call me.’ I did. He was an artist down in Florida. He wanted to tell me about his art.
“We talked for about 15 minutes and then he pauses and he says, ‘So why do I have your name?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, why do you have my name?’ He said, ‘I think I was meant to hold onto it so no one else takes advantage of you. You can have it back.’”
Dealing with Negative Feedback about Positive News
“When I first announced (the idea for www.darynkagan.com), some guy on NPR did a whole satire and parody. So many people heard his broadcast that it drove people to my site. (Some) emailed me saying, ‘There’s some guy on NPR making fun of your idea, but I think it’s great.’
“I believe I have two budgets in building this business – a financial budget and an energy budget. There are limited resources in both accounts. And frankly, I just haven’t budgeted the naysayers into my energy budget. I need to spend those resources on many other things that are more important.”
Words of Advice
“I’ll read you this quote sitting on my desk. I wrote it off a gift card that someone gave me. ‘When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe in one of two things – there will be earth upon which to stand, or you will be given wings.’”
“I like a lot of what I call ‘woo-woo’ books.‘Inspiration’ by Wayne Dyer. That book talks about leading an inspired life and it redefines what that is and how you look at it.
“One other book… ‘The Unmistakable Touch of Grace’ by Cheryl Richardson. It’s a very readable book that basically talks about… everything that happens to you is good, even if you don’t realize it at the time. It shows you that grace touches your life every day. You just have to be open and looking for it.”