PA to Grammy Award Winning A-Listers – Q&A with Lindsey Holder

We are continuing our incredible PA interviews with the one and only Lindsey Holder. A former celebrity assistant to 3 high profile Grammy Award Winners. Now a blogger, author, and entrepreneur, Lindsey talks about moving to LA, persistence, and Justin Timberlake.

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DC: Hi Lindsey! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with us. We are thrilled to have you! Let’s start off by telling us about yourself:

I am from Greenville, SC and grew up in a traditional southern upbringing, amazing parents & friends. Proud to be southern grown. 🙂

When I was little, I wanted to be an attorney. I always had a fiery spirit and my sister always said I could put up a good argument, lol. 

I studied at the College of Charleston, SC and my major was Urban Studies with a City Planning degree.

DC: Tell us the story of how you became the PA to Grammy Award Winners.  

Sure thing, I have been the PA of three Grammy Award Winners and EA of a top Fortune 500 Executive. My sister’s friend who worked at an Entertainment firm informed me about the first PA job I scored. The Second PA position I obtained through an agency and the third gig I wrote over 100+ letters to industry leaders and finally one of those fabulous letters panned out. 

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DC: When you first started as an PA, how did find high quality services/contacts to fill up your black book fast?

Actually I didn’t. Lots of trial & error at the beginning, but you learn at rocket speed!  I did not know a soul in that industry when I first started and used good old Google for a lot of things. After a bit, I turned to my networking skills and immediate staff around me and starting asking “Hey, do you know a great person that knows how to such and such?” and asked to be introduced to other assistants. Once I started to meet other PA’s in the biz it really expanded my rolodex.

 DC: What has been your most memorable experience as an PA?

Actually, believe it or not it isn’t the red carpet events or traveling that has made the biggest impression on me. It is the relationships built with other PA’s that have been the most rewarding. My most memorable experience was when I finally got to meet Tiffany Rinehart {Kathy Griffin’s PA} after a couple of years of communicating. It was so much fun to finally meet Tiff in person and just have fun. She introduced me to another assistant during my trip also {Iris Renoux}, which ended up going to the same college as me in SC! Small world, even in LA.  I look forward to the day I get to meet you as well! How fabulous that will be!

DC: Do you have any cringe-worthy moments as an PA? How did you recover?

Oh of course, many! Those moments are the best ones! Why? It is those cringe-worthy moments which make you stronger and help mold you into the person you are today. You recover by understanding the situation and reviewing what preventive steps to take for a future occurrence.

DC: What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a PA or HNI EA and has absolutely no experience?

Be courageous, be bold, never give up, but above all keep your sincerity, integrity and moral character always at the highest level. Be your best self, an original.

DC: What makes an email get a response from a busy person? Or how can you connect with people who can give you advice, introductions, even job offers?

Social media has allowed PA’s to get in touch with others a lot more easily and quickly. You can now connect via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, etc. My best advice is to not take it personally if your e-mail does not get a response right off the bat. What’s the best solution? Persistence. A busy PA probably read your e-mail, but then she took a phone call right after or went to the next e-mail. Get back in her/his inbox! They will eventually hopefully respond and start knowing who you are if you make yourself get NOTICED. I’ve e-mailed PA’s I have wanted to interview 15-20 times before I ever heard back…..and that’s coming from another top PA! Did I take offense? Nope, I wanted it so I went after it. Did I get the interview? You betcha. Plain and simple. Take the emotions out of it. 

DC: When/why did you decide to branch off and start your own blog? How is life different/same as a blogger?

After being a top PA, even after your reign is over, you still are inundated with a bazillion e-mails, questions, phone calls, etc. It never stops, forever a PA 🙂. I wanted a place where PA’s could go for a variety of topics. Blogging allowed me to be able to have creative expression and also connect with my readers on a more intimate level. Savvy Assistant readers are able to read interviews from other PA’s, enjoy the latest style & beauty tips or find out a yummy recipe. Life is amazing as a blogger, you are able to have flexible hours and creative control, and it is up to you to make it happen!

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 DC: What are your current goals? When do you know when you have ‘made it’?

My current goals are to follow up with a second e-book to How to Become a Celebrity Assistant: Your inside source ”, looking forward to speaking at the Behind Every Leader  Conference NYC in November and to keep writing. I create new dreams & goals daily so the sky’s the limit! Everyone should have their own version of if they’ve ‘made it’. Mine personally was when Big Brands, Executives and companies found me, not me hunting them down. Getting paid for your work & being offered amazing opportunities were a sign that I must be doing something right! It is hard work no doubt and long hours, but I love every minute of it. 

DC: A PA usually has to make many personal sacrifices, what do you believe has been your biggest sacrifice? 

Every PA has a different situation. Personally, my biggest sacrifice during that time was my life consisted solely on work. I missed out on a lot of social gathering with my friends, family and even in the dating world during that timeframe. I cannot recall a movie I was able to watch from start to finish without interruption of some kind. However, I was also going to the Grammy’s, MTV awards, fabulous parties & events so don’t feel too sorry for me. 🙂

DC: As a Celebrity PA, you have traveled all over the world and met many wonderful and interesting people, who has been the most intriguing character or story you have come across you can’t quite seem to shake off or forget?

Justin Timberlake is to this day one of my favorite entertainers I have met. He was extremely genuine, had manners and man was he funny. Just a natural and overall good person.

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DC: Who is your closest confidante or counsel, what is the best advice she/he has given you that you believe can help other PAs and EAs?

Well, that is top secret of course. 🙂 She gave me the best advice I carry to this day …“You’ve got to be a friend to have a friend”. I never forgot it & always apply it.

DC: Now it’s time for the fun questions, Lindsey!

DC: What’s your personal style like? 

All over the place! I literally change my style everyday depending on my mood. I vary between preppy, bohemian, sporty, dressy but generally overall eclectic. In the winter I’m usually in leggings, boots and a tunic. In the summertime it is generally maxi dresses with wedges or sandals. As I “mature”, comfort is everything. 

DC: What are your interests/hobbies outside of work?

I’m a huge movie lover. Escaping into a story is the best way to allow your mind to turn off. 

DC: ‘The gutsiest thing I’ve ever done is: _____.’

Move across the country to California with my sister after college. We did not know one person, I did not have a job when I arrived & shared a one bedroom apartment for six months with my sister. My sis & I look back at that time and laugh about it now. 

DC: What is your favorite quote?

“Be the change you want to see in the world” ~Ghandi

DC: What is the last book you read?

I’m obsessed with skin care books. I’m reading “The Green Beauty Guide” by Julie Gabriel and the Bible is always there on my nightstand, ready for some good ol’ inspiration.

DC: What House would the Sorting Hat choose for you?

Gryffindor

DC: What is your favourite movie?

I have a few, but love Thomas Crown Affair

DC: ‘If I could NOT be an blogger (or PA), I would be:

A writer for a style or skincare magazine.’

DC: ‘The best gift I ever received was __’

A Gardenia tree my parents gave me recently after my beloved pet of 13 years passed away. It’s starting to grow & I will think of him every season when it blooms.

DC: ‘My best stress reliever is __’

Holding & playing with my baby nephew.

DC: ‘I am most happy when __’

I am spending time with loved ones.

DC: What would be your super secret super power? And why?

I would be invisible. Boy you could learn a lot that way, huh?! 

DC: And last but most absolutely NOT least: cupcake or muffin? What kind?

CUPCAKE! Vanilla cake with chocolate or strawberry icing. Yumm-O

To contact Lindsey Holder, check our her blog, or follow her on Twitter and Like her FB page.

What was your favourite part about the interview? The most surprising? Leave your comments below!

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