5 Lessons Shared by Betty Liu, Founder of Radiate

Oct 23rd, 2017

5 Lessons Shared by Betty Liu, Founder of Radiate


Betty Liu, Bloomberg News anchor and the founder of Radiate, recently joined students, faculty and staff at High Point University for “A Conversation with HPU President Nido R. Qubein,” filmed by UNC-TV in front of a live audience. During the interview, Liu described her company, Radiate, as “The Netflix for careers.” Radiate is an app that seeks to reimagine professional development by teaching users about soft skills in a way that fits seamlessly into their lifestyle. With a video library comprised of interviews with CEOs, thought leaders and management experts, Liu and the Radiate team provide a convenient mentoring service to national subscribers.

High Point University is currently the only university in the nation providing the Radiate platform as a professional development tool to students. The dialogue between Dr. Qubein and Liu, and the partnership between HPU and Radiate are reflective of HPU’s commitment to instilling students with life skills. This commitment prepares graduates for life after college.

Below are five lessons on entrepreneurship, risk taking and personal values that Liu shared with the HPU family.

1. Luck = Preparation + Opportunity

“When I wanted to go into television a lot of people told me it was going to be very hard, that nobody was going to hire me. And, they were pretty much right. In the first years of me trying to do this, a friend of mine suggested I go train with this television agent because she can teach me how to read. I went to the office and she handed me the New York Times and told me to read this article. She would stand right next to me and say, ‘More Energy!’ And I kept interpreting that to mean speak louder. So, I kept getting louder and louder until I was shouting. Finally, she took out a whiteboard and wrote ‘Preparation + Opportunity = Luck.’ She told me that if you don’t prepare for the next job opportunity, you will fail. You think you are just going to get lucky and fall into the perfect job, but if you don’t prepare for that opportunity you will not get the job. After that I knew that I had to prepare, and it was two more years before the opportunity at CNBC came. Afterward, everybody said, ‘You are so lucky,’ but I knew that living by that formula got me that lucky break.”

2. The Right Words Change Everything

“When I was in high school I considered becoming a doctor like my dad. It wasn’t until I was starting to apply to colleges that I went to my guidance counselor’s office to show her my college essay. She looked up at me and she said, ‘You know Betty, I think you are a pretty good writer.’ Later in life, I realized that when someone says something to you at the right place, at the right time, at the right moment and in the right way, it can change your life forever. My guidance counselor didn’t know her words would have such a profound impact at the time, but it changed my life. Her words gave me the courage to pursue my dreams in college, which sent me on the path to become who I am today.”

3. Find a way to Provide Value

“Interviewing Warren Buffett taught me a lesson about creating relationships with people. One of my first tasks for the network was landing an interview with Warren Buffett. At this time, I had zero connections with him. I thought, ‘How am I going to get an interview with this man?’ I requested interviews, and I must have gotten 20 ‘No’s’ when I decided I was going to try to find things that would be of interest to him. I started to read more about his company and his interests, and I sent him articles of things that might be of importance to him. One day I sent him a DVD of a segment I did on his company, and a couple weeks later I got a handwritten letter from him after receiving no correspondence for years. Then I requested an interview, and he invited me to his home. This experience taught me that when you are trying to build a relationship with someone, it’s not about you; it’s about them. What you can give them is what makes the connection. Ask yourself what you can provide them of value. There’s always something of significance you can provide in order to build a meaningful relationship with someone.”

4. Find Your Brand

“I get asked the question a lot “What is my brand?” The thing I always share is that you’re not going to figure it out just by thinking about it by yourself. What you need to do is talk to the 10 people around you –  friends, family or people who are important to you – and ask them who they think you are. You will find how consistent those words are over those 10 people. Boil it down to no more than three words or two short sentences and that’s when you know who you are.”

5. Value Yourself

“Treat yourself with respect and importance. Love yourself and be confident, because this refuels your passion. Also, treat yourself when it’s been a really busy day. Go to the spa or just find a way to unplug. This creates a work-life integration, where your passion for your work and your personal life can flow seamlessly together. Often, these moments of rest can generate your best ideas.”