Be­com­ing a big fish

Once told by a boss she’d never make it in TV, Sarah Har­ris is prov­ing the naysay­ers wrong, writes SHAN­NON MOL­LOY

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

SHE’S one of TV’s ris­ing stars, but not long ago Sarah Har­ris was told she didn’t have what it took to be a pre­sen­ter.

That crush­ing as­sess­ment threw the now- 33- year- old new­shound into a spi­ral of self- doubt.

Fast- for­ward a few years and Har­ris is the popular co- host of

Stu­dio 10 and is about to step up as the face of new re­al­ity se­ries Shark Tank, which puts in­ven­tors in front of po­ten­tial in­vestors.

“A few years back, I was told I didn’t have a fu­ture in pre­sent­ing and that I should fo­cus on some­thing else,” she said.

“My confi dence re­ally took a knock. In TV, you have to back your­self. Af­ter that, I didn’t. That caused more peo­ple to lose faith in me and so the cy­cle went on and on.”

Har­ris moved from Bris­bane to Syd­ney in 2008 as the To­day show’s na­tional re­porter, later an­chor­ing Nine’s mid­morn­ing news bul­letin.

That crip­pling doubt came as she strug­gled with the death of her fa­ther.

“Mov­ing cities is tough enough. I left my home. It was a big new job and a mas­sive chal­lenge. Then I lost my fa­ther, which re­ally threw me,” she said. “I was in this mas­sive funk that lasted a cou­ple of years. I no longer be­lieved in my­self.”

For years, Har­ris held on to her dream of be­ing a for­eign cor­re­spon­dent for Nine.

“I had my heart ab­so­lutely set on it. I was al­ways in the mix but got turned down again and again,” she said. “Some­times it takes not get­ting what you want to get what you need.

“All of a sud­den, I re­alised there were all th­ese other op­por­tu­ni­ties in front of me.”

Har­ris jumped ship to Ten to help launch Stu­dio 10 along­side Jes­sica Rowe, Ita But­trose and Joe Hilde­brand. “When the time is right, you leap,” she said.

As the wife of a small- busi­ness owner, Har­ris was drawn to Shark

Tank’s self- starter phi­los­o­phy – giv­ing

or­di­nary, hard­work­ing peo­ple the chance to live their dreams. “Sim­i­larly, the Sharks have each come from noth­ing, chased their dreams. I’m not rich and I’m cer­tainly not an in­ven­tor, but I can sort of re­late,” she said.

Har­ris was raised by a sin­gle mum who worked sev­eral jobs to make ends meet. She wanted a vastly diff er­ent life for her­self, so she went and got it.

“I was in grade 12 and wanted to do work ex­pe­ri­ence at Chan­nel Seven, but we lived an hour from the stu­dio,” she said. “I worked af­ter school at McDon­ald’s to give Mum petrol money to drive me. That’s what you do. You jug­gle, make sac­rifi ces and put your head down. When you start to have a few wins, they’re all the sweeter.”

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