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#ZESTWoman: Bianca Solterbeck on Being Yourself

Bianca Solterbeck has spent the last decade working in entertainment and lifestyle television for Shaw TV Vancouver, cutting her teeth as the Olympic reporter in the lead up to the 2010 Games.  The Leo Award nominated writer is best known for producing, writing, and hosting the luxury real estate series, Dream Homes, which ran for 3 seasons across western Canada.  Currently, Bianca is thrilled to be a contributing to Metro Vancouver’s Living Magazine, writing about luxury homes!

Everywhere we turn around, there is effervescent Bianca! Her warm smile and sparkling personality light up every set she works on. A true west coast gem.

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What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made in your life?
I think a lot of perceived “epic fails” can lead to great things and that’s definitely been the case in my life and in my career.  However, some of my biggest regrets are being fixated on other peoples’ opinion of me and over thinking opportunities I wanted to pursue. While I was busy telling myself I wasn’t good enough or not “ready,” it lead to total inertia. I eventually noticed that other people’s confidence in me was greater than my own.  Once I shook off my inner critic and allowed myself to go after what I wanted, it felt like a trip to the Disneyland of personal development!

What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
My job… let me explain!  I was a shy, introverted kid and being the centre of attention made me turn bright red.  But I wanted to become a journalist, so I settled on print because you can hide behind your words.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get into the print program; I got into the TV and radio program at BCIT.  I prepped endlessly before I had to go on camera.  Before my first live hit, I couldn’t speak to anyone on the crew because I didn’t want to forget a single word of what I had memorized.  Then during my second hit, I got distracted, flailed and was certain I had ruined the entire thing.  Later, when I watched the tape, I realized it had all been in my head. From then on, I decided I had to trust myself!  I even started to appreciate the adrenaline rush that came with doing something that scared me.  It was a game changer and it’s what got me to where I am today- 10 years working in television in Vancouver.

How do you define success and what is best way to achieve long-term success?
Good news and bad news: it’s all up to you and it’s all up to you! I have watched many people succeed; they are not always “a natural,” or aggressive or even the best at what they do.  But they hustle, they work hard and they are relentless!  I admire people who don’t let anything or anyone stop them.  I think however you define success, it can happen the minute you believe in it.  My advice?  It doesn’t happen overnight; give yourself credit for any steps – big or small – that get you moving in the right direction.

How do you build successful friendships?
By being myself!  I love getting to know people and despite my best intentions, when I meet people I’m so busy asking questions and talking away, I can’t help but be in full Bianca mode- the good, the bad and the ugly!  Now obviously you want to put your best foot forward, but the more real a person is, the easier it is to connect with them. Putting up a façade makes it more difficult to build friendships. Also, if you have trouble rooting for your friends and colleagues, you need to make a b-line for the self help aisle, read a couple books and take a long hard look in the mirror.  Friends share in each other’s successes!

Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Definitely my parents! My dad always pushed me to do my best, and my mom was my cheerleader.  He was tough and not easy to impress, whether it was school, sports or music lessons, but it prepared me for life and it gave me a good work ethic.  My mom is incredibly positive and makes me feel like I can do anything.  She also taught me that no one will ever know how long something takes you or how hard you worked, they will only see the end product.  Meaning, nobody cares if you stayed up all night or that you were so busy you ate a green pepper for dinner (if you’re thinking that’s very specific, yes, that actually happened), they’re only interested in the work, so make it great!

WHO IS BIANCA SOLTERBECK?

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Bianca has a BA from Carleton University, spent a year in Germany studying Literature and History at one of Europe’s oldest universities and graduated with honors in Broadcast Journalism from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Bianca is the co-president of the Heidelberg Alumni Association of Canada, bikes to work as much as humanly possible and is passionate about giving back to local charities, Easter Seals BC and the Ronald McDonald House. Bianca has her boating license and recently completed the marine radio course.  In her spare time, this nautical nerd can be found enjoying the West Coast from the water!

Follow Bianca on Instagram @biancasolterbeck

All images provided by Bianca Solterbeck.

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