Women in Business: Moll Anderson

03/25/2015 06:15 am ET | Updated May 25, 2015

An award-winning television personality, radio host, best-selling author and philanthropist, Moll Anderson has long distinguished herself as a trusted lifestyle expert.

She recently won her third consecutive Gracie Award for Outstanding On-Air Talent: Lifestyle/Health Program, as a contributor on The Doctors -Stage 29 Productions, her first Gracie for television. Her previous two were for her recent radio program, "The Moll Anderson Show," on iHeart Radio and SiriusXM. On "The Doctors" she explores diverse issues including the latest medical news, hot topics, beauty/style, self-improvement tips for viewers' home and lives, and the power of giving.

An Emmy Award-winning entertainment reporter, interior designer and life stylist, Anderson makes regular appearances on "The Doctors" and has appeared on numerous other television shows including "Good Morning America" and "The Today Show." She is also author of such popular books as Seductive Tables For Two, The Seductive Home, The Seductive Home Limited Edition and Change Your Home, Change Your Life.

With a strong commitment to philanthropy, Moll Anderson is focused on improving the lives of women and children, both in her community and around the world, through her active ongoing involvement with Habitat for Humanity and UNICEF, as well as Boys and Girls Clubs and other organizations. Among other accolades, she was named one of Donna Karan's 2011 "Women Who Inspire," joining a dozen other honorees, from Maria Shriver to Barbra Streisand to Meera Gandhi.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
If only I knew then what I know now at 55. Looking back, I still wouldn't change anything. I know that everything good, bad, and really, really tough that happened in my life only helped make me stronger and better prepared for everything I believe I do now as a life stylist. You can't give people advice unless you have lived through it. From relationships, marriage, divorce, motherhood, single parenting and friendships, both lost and found, all of these personal experiences have given me a perspective on which to give solid advice.

My experience in interior design began by necessity and I also hadn't realized at the time that I was a natural. I may not be A.S.I.D. but I have a G.G.T. that's God Given Talent. I found no matter where I lived whether I was leasing or owning, I had to emotionally own my space and make it my own, and this held true for my design clients as well. From decorating on a dime to transforming extremely large spaces, creating homes that were both comfortable and reflected one's inner self was life changing. I have so much passion to help improve people's lives and the lives of children. From this perspective, I wrote my first book Change Your Home, Change Your Life and this helped launch my media career as a life stylist.

How has your previous employment experience aided your position as a media personality?
I began modeling at a young age and from there became an entertainment reporter at ABC in Phoenix and then E Entertainment. Then, I followed my passion in design by helping others change their lives through changing their home. It was natural progression to take that message to books, radio and television.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure as an author, host and philanthropist?
Over the last time ten years, I have authored five books. While the travel was exhausting at times, I truly loved doing author events where I met with people of all ages from all over the country. I loved sharing my story and all that I have been through knowing that it could make a difference and encourage even one of them to believe in themselves and to dream big.

After all the years of hard work, my favorite quote is coming to fruition, "It is never too late to be who you're meant to be." Life is not over at 50 -I am just getting started. I have twice (2013, 2014) been honored with the Gracie Award for Outstanding Host Lifestyle program. The Gracies™ recognize outstanding programing created by women and about women as well as individuals who make exemplary contributions to the industry. It was such an honor to be recognized by my peers. I have now stepped away from the radio waves and onto The Doctors television show where I am a regular contributor.

Philanthropic work is so fulfilling. I personally have found so much joy and excitement getting involved and being hands on. But the challenge is that there is so much need in our communities, in our country and throughout the world, and there is only so much we can do. But if each and every one of us worked to change lives, our reach would be so much greater. If you can give money awesome, if you can give of your time that's tremendous and worth so much! In 2006, my husband Charlie and I formed the Charlie and Moll Anderson Family Foundation concentrating on basic human needs such as shelter, hunger, education and the protection of women and children. In addition, I founded the Moll R. Anderson Scholarship for single parents at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. This is something near and dear to my heart, as I spent so many years of my son's youth struggling to get by. Thus far several single mothers are on their way to fulfilling their dream of going to college, giving them the opportunity to have a better life for themselves and their children.

In 2011, I was chosen as one of Donna Karan's Women Who Inspire. What this award has done has inspired me to work even harder to live up to this recognition. The most impactful philanthropic event I founded is the "Evening Under the Stars." For the last 7 years, Charlie and I teamed up with some of the most talented musical artists to build a 'Music Row' in Knoxville through Habitat for Humanity. I am so proud that many families have been provided simple, decent, and affordable housing as a result of this effort.

A whole new philanthropic world has been open to me in the last few years and because of this, UNICEF has impacted me in a life changing way. I am so inspired by the amazing work they do throughout the world. In addition to co-chairing the U.S. Fund for UNICEF's New York City Snowflake Ball in 2013, 2014 and the upcoming 2015 event, this past spring I took part in the first of hopefully many field visits for UNICEF. This particular trip was in Jamaica. I traveled all over the island to check out the innovative and life-changing projects that are already underway, thanks to UNICEF. It was such a gift that I was able to visit several programs on each day and see firsthand how UNICEF is changing the lives of those in need. I'm very proud of my UNICEF tee shirt when I wear it. I am a warrior now and forever.

What advice can you offer women who are seeking a career in the media?
Dream big! Work hard. Build a great team around you. Immerse yourself in your passions and never let go of your dreams. What I do is my passion, so it's not really work for me!

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
This is a work in progress. I really try to leave the work behind after hours and begin and end each day focusing on just my husband and family. No matter what city we happen to be in, it is important for me to spend time in the evening with my husband winding down, having dinner together and staying connected. I also keep my Sundays free for just us. This is not to say that I don't stay in touch with what is happening, I do, but unless things are urgent, I try and wait until the morning to address them.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
I believe women struggle trying to do it all, and finding the right work life balance is difficult. There is a constant battle within us to have a successful career, be a great spouse and parent, and manage a home. But there are only so many hours in the day and when women are working that second shift at home, something gets neglected and most of the time it is time for them. In addition to stress, women feel guilty trying to be their best at all these things, knowing this is impossible to achieve.

We're kidding ourselves if we don't feel the need to prove ourselves in the workplace. That's part of the job. A little healthy competition is a good thing. I think one of the biggest issues women face is the belief that they have to settle, that they aren't suppose to want to dream really big. As much as I feel women have made great strides in the workplace, the fact that we still aren't making the same salaries definitely affects this thinking.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
If you look back and see all the wonderful people who did their part, each person was all a part of the puzzle to create your divine destiny. There is never just one person. I have been blessed to have many mentors in my life: Kitty Moon Emery who had faith in me and told me I could write, Stacy Standifer who gave me my first magazine column, Cindy Games who gave me my first book deal, and Lisa Clark and Jay McGraw at The Doctors television show who believed in me. I look to my son Michael who is an incredible person and inspires me all the time with his social business savvy and most importantly my husband Charlie who is an amazing, brilliant mentor daily and who like me has the guts to follow his heart.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
Robin Roberts - I admire Robin's incredible strength and resilience. By sharing so much of her life on national television, from her struggles to her triumphs, she has inspired others with her positive spirit and determination.

Oprah Winfrey- As the host of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah gave voice to so many others in a way that positively changed lives. Her wisdom, guidance, education and life changing messages inspired women and men alike to live their best lives. Watching Oprah was like getting therapy for free.

Angelina Jolie- I am touched by Angelina's philanthropic heart. She has truly transformed her life, and she inspires us with her style, grace, beauty and compassion.

Through your profession, what do you want to accomplish in the next year?
Life is a journey and each day I look forward to the opportunities ahead. I believe, and hope to scientifically prove, that our homes, and the life we live in it affects everything. From our relationship to our partner or spouse, our children, our work, our mental and our physical wellbeing, it's all encompassing. We need to teach our children by our example and include how to live, be joyful and to dream big from day one!