“I worked very hard. I came in when the store opened and I’d work Iron Mans until the store closed. And you know, I just got myself noticed and I got to keep the job. And then I got a better job, and a better job and so on and so forth," she said.
“I think that’s very much true in this country,” Ray told ABC News chief business, economics and technology correspondent Rebecca Jarvis on an episode of ABC Radio’s "No Limits With Rebecca Jarvis."
Ray credits her success to a strong work ethic that she learned from her mother and a mastery in the kitchen that she saw firsthand from her grandfather. She called her mother and grandfather “the most important pillars in her life,” saying they served as the key figures that shaped who she is today.
“You have to value a job. You have to value that you have the opportunity that it is not a granted God-given right that everybody on the planet even gets a job.”
Ray’s career has taken her beyond the TV screen as a best-selling cookbook author, furniture designer, and founder of her own magazine and the nonprofit Yum-O. In all of her projects, Ray said that she surrounds herself with people who, like her, value hard work and thrive on creating products that are never out of reach for any consumer.
“I never want to do something, or touch something, or go on an adventure that I don’t feel is plausible for our readers or our customer or our viewer to be a part of. We’re not about things that you can’t touch, jump and do,” she said.
Ray has built a multiplatform career by seeing even the toughest times as “very necessary” but also enjoying every single aspect of her work.
“Everything I do now that’s considered work is what I would do on a day off from any other profession.”
“To me, the American Dream is very much alive. If you work harder than anybody else and you don’t complain about it, opportunity will shine on you. Period.”