The BLOG: Culture

Settle for More

Settle for More is an autobiography by 46-year-old Megyn Kelly. Ms. Kelly is familiar to many as the host of her own show on Fox TV but more widely known as a one-time nemesis of Presidential candidate, now President-elect Donald Trump. The well articulated book envelops Kelly’s psychological trajectory from tom-boying to television personality in 324 easy-reader pages.

Megyn Kelly’s tenacious spirit echoes throughout Settle for More‘s reiteration of challenge. As a student, in personal relationships and in business the chronicle’s wider message is testimony that for Kelly achieving more as a lawyer, broadcaster wife and mom have been the result of courage, determination, and will. Ambition, beauty and education are not the only assets that make the journalist a triple threat. In detail she explains she’s also benefited from the love of a closely knit family, a therapist, and supportive colleagues in her best and worst days.

The book includes anecdotal recollections of being the victim of bullying in childhood, young adult hood and as a professional woman. Each story helps to explain the steel beam infra-structure supporting the facade Kelly now tries to soften in a life-long struggle to be more likeable. She describes how past hurts, frustrations and social isolation hid under hard work and a practical marriage but ultimately strengthened her ability to move forward.

Raised as the third of three children in the suburbs of Syracuse and Albany Megyn’s history also includes the sudden passing of her beloved father Ed when she was only seventeen, just ten days before Christmas in 1985. The college Professor’s family was left with profound grief, a tight budget, and a moral compass directing them to seize each day.

Settle for More begins with ‘Tough Questions’ as prologue, detailing how an un-named driver dispatched to Ms. Kelly’s Cleveland hotel may have been an accomplice in a crisis that nearly de-railed her ability to participate in last year’s first presidential debate. The driver,described as an ardent fan, offered gopher services and an unwanted cup of Starbucks to the would-be debate moderator. She wrote after a few sips she became violently ill and in need of medical care, “it was unlike anything I’d ever experienced”. Without making an accusation the Albany Law School grad builds a circumstantial case obliquely linking a series of rebuffed Trump business overtures to that August 6th cup of joe. She goes on to describe how she willed herself to rally in time to present presidential candidate Donald Trump with the question she had spent months crafting.

“You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs’, ‘dogs’, ‘slobs’, and ‘disgusting animals’… Does that sound like the temperment of a man we should elect as President?” According to the author, Settle for More was written to explain how she found herself on the debate stage asking the question that she said “led to the toughest year of my life.”

Before that maelstrom spun across television screens, Megyn Kelly’s legal career had been a lucrative refuge for the recluse married to a super busy, nice-guy, resident in anesthesiology. Broadcast journalism hadn’t been a plan until she heard Dr. Phil articulate a phrase that became a progenitor to her latent career goals. “The only difference between you and someone you envy is, you settled for less.” Those words were an epiphany leading her to discover she was settling for–‘less than she had to offer, less than she deserved.’ Over her lonely micro-waved Lean Cuisine Kelly decided she could “settle for more”.

With tradesman like focus she early morning’ed, mid-day’ed and late-night’ed herself into creating opportunities that supported her new occupational goals. Her work ethos had been the foundation of journal inclusions describing her life-long desire for sky-scraping success. Without scholarship or experience Kelly’s instincts became the work-in-progress blue print for her career in broadcast journalism. Determined to settle for more, Ms. Kelly resigned from her highly remunerative practice and divorced her husband.

Quoting the comedian Steve Martin her goal was to “be so good they can’t ignore you.” Built on results her reputation grew. In many ways her story of non-liner accomplishments resembles those of a man she has spared and reconciled with in private and public, President-elect Donald Trump.

Trump: the Art of the Deal credited in 1987 to Donald J. Trump with Tony Schwartz is a biography that begins ” I don’t do it for the money… I do it to do it. Deals are my art form… I like making deals, preferably big deals. That’s how I get my kicks. ”

Towering examples of accomplishment stack up in Trump’s seven-day-a-week epistle of work-ethic. Raised as the forth child of five in Jamaica /Queens New York, Donald was taught how to work by his father Fred. With an energetic ‘roll-up your sleeves and do it’ mentality the successful low-to-middle income real estate developer was a role model for his son. Fascinated by entrepreneurship the Wharton School grad realized he wanted more than his father was building.

In his book Trump describes his deal making abilities as instinctive. “Harvard Business School may produce a lot of CEO’s –guys who manage public companies–but the real entrepreneurs all seemed to go to Wharton.” You can take the smartest kid at Wharton…and if he doesn’t have the instincts, he’ll never be a successful entrepreneur. Moreover, most people who do have instincts will never recognize that they do because they don’t have the courage or good fortune to discover their potential.”

Fourteen hyper-charged chapters draft how the tradesman developed or seized business and social opportunities thereby recalculating the model for success. Like Megyn Kelly his creative approach to achievement seems to be built upon Euclidian theoretic’s, intuitively deducing business and social skills to be transferable to a larger axiom.

Television personality Megyn Kelly and President-elect Donald Trump continue to add chapters to their biographies. The tradesmen-in-truce concluded their books with similar intentions. Kelly wrote ” Today I look at the future and see unlimited opportunity –for more meaningful time with my family, more work I find fulfilling.” Art of the Deal ends with Donald Trump writing “I’ve spent the first twenty years of my life building, accumulating, and accomplishing things many said could not be done. The biggest challenge I see over the next twenty years is to figure out some creative ways to give back some of what I’ve gotten…. I’ve found I’m very good at overcoming obstacles and motivating people to do their best work.”

The temperaments of these similarly ambitious New Yorkers will be commanding our attentions on the political stage presently under construction. Love them or loath them, living in the same borough the two will be burrowing into future news cycles together mutually seeking public approval to advance the latest permutation of their career goals through our prism.

As the 45th President-elect Donald Trump waits to make his next big deal on behalf of the citizens of the United States Megyn Kelly’s book can be interpreted as prologue to future literary efforts outlining how the country’s challenges were hopefully met with courage, determination and will. Settle for More is more than a progenitor of Megyn Kelly’s goals, it’s a political moral compass for our Nation’s work-in-progress.