Bankrate.com question: How do you feel about your career?
Vicki Gunvalson: Three weeks after I sold my first life insurance policy, one of my clients died in a motorcycle accident. And, I had to call the wife up and say, "you're the beneficiary of your husband's life insurance," and she didn't even know he did that. And I went over to her home, it was a $750,000 life insurance death benefit, and when everyone was walking in with cakes and cookies and flowers, I walked in with a check and said, "You're going to be ok, you're three kids are going to be ok. Your husband bought life insurance three weeks ago." She had no idea ... it still brings goose bumps to me. It changed my life. And that day I knew I was in the right business.
Bankrate.com question: When did you realize you were a success?
Vicki Gunvalson: When I realized I was a success in my field was when I went to work every single day, loving each day more. I believe that if you can be successful selling nails ... it doesn't mean you're passionate about those nails, it means you really believe that this world, this economy needs your nails. Whatever it may be. I believe that every single day I come to work I'm successful because I love what I do and there's a reason why I'm here doing it.
Bankrate.com question: How do you feel about the "Real Housewives" lifestyle?
Vicki Gunvalson: I do believe that a lot of these girls feel entitled to their men taking care of them or feel entitled to a privileged lifestyle. And my voice to them is, "stop it!" Take control ... know what's going on in your home. I mean prior to Tamara (Barney) getting divorced, she didn't know what Simon (Barney) made. She never had her name on an account ... she was never entitled to write a check out of their joint check book. That's wrong and she got hurt because of that. So, my voice is that you're an independent person. You were born in this world as one; you're going to leave this world one day as one. Yes, in the eye's of God we're joined and we become one ... two becomes one. I disagree with that. I believe we still have to maintain our independence within a marriage or a relationship. And know what's going on financially, because, guess what? Divorce happens.
Bankrate.com question: Any advice for people who look up to you?
Vicki Gunvalson: I believe in love, um, I'm all about love. But I believe that you have to be smart in love. If your gut tells you something, listen to your gut. And also, have a second plan, a backup plan. If something doesn't work you've got your account established. You have your own savings account, you have a checking account. You have a credit card in your own name. You're able to function without that other person.
* Tamara Barney - Real Housewives of Orange Country castmate
* Simon Barney - Ex-husband of Tamara Barney
Vicki Gunvalson is owner of Coto Insurance & Financial Services.
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