topSkip to main content

Nely Galán offers strategies to become ‘self made’

Nely Galán

Women’s advocate and media mogul Nely Galán shared ways to cultivate a “self-made mindset” during the second day of the NEW Leadership Summit, Sept. 27 in Chicago.

Galán shared her personal story of immigrating to America as a child and overcoming cultural and societal barriers to become the first Latina president of entertainment for a U.S. television network, Telemundo, and the Emmy Award-winning producer of more than 700 television shows.

“The No. 1 thing I learned is there is no true empowerment until you have your own money,” she told more than 1,200 NEW members attending the NEW Summit. “Invest. Make your money work for you while you are sleeping. When you are not worried about money, you can say, ‘No I don’t want to work with you. No, I don’t want to be in a relationship with you. No. No. No.’”

Galán shared these other lessons she learned during her life and career journey:

  • There is no Prince Charming. “I don’t even mean a mate,” Galán said. “Your boss is not your Prince Charming. Your company is not your Prince Charming. No boss, woman or man is there to say, ’You’re so great. Let me do that for you.’ You have to worry about you. Realize you have everything inside of you to get where you need to go.”
  • Make fear and failure your best friends. “Everyone says, ‘Your fearless, Nely.’ But I’m afraid every frickin’ day,” Galán said. “Fear is B.S. It is just something that shows up, it’s normal, but it’s not real. When fear shows up, instead of running, go toward it. Say, ‘Do it anyway, you’re not going to die.’ If you are not failing, you are living a mediocre life.”
  • Your pain is the gateway to your most authentic brand. “Find a pain in your life and solve it,” she advised. “Use it in your corporation, in your life. I am an immigrant with a messed-up childhood and I made a lot of money working through that with 700 TV shows. How can you be the expert in your company on that pain?”
  • Your language and culture are your greatest assets. “For all of you who are multicultural and feel, ‘I’m being too loud. I can’t wear this or that,’ if you’re not speaking up, using what you do, your company is not taking advantage of what you know,” Galán said.
  • To be chosen, you have to choose yourself first. “You better stand up and say, ‘I deserve this. I want this,’” she said. “If not, you are not going to get it. Why do we diminish everything we do?”
  • Power is taken, not given. “When you feel afraid, act 'as if.'" A voice is cultivated,” she advised. “I picked people I thought were powerful and put them inside myself — and now I can be a beast.”
  • To grow in your career and business, you need to grow first. “Be brutally honest with yourself before your boss or mate tells you,” she said. “Work on those.”
  • Change your goals from instant gratification. “Start at the end of your life and work your way backwards,” Galán said. “Whose life do I like and whose life do I not want? It takes strategy, goal orientation, putting things in writing and inside yourself and working toward that goal. If you aren't clear where you are going or what you want, you’re not going to get there.”
  • Lead by example and pass the torch. “Support other women,” she said. “We’re all we have.”

Be among the first to view the new Self-Made Mastery webinar, "Brilliant Customer Service," featuring Nely Galán and Simon T. Bailey.  Sign up to watch the webinar, which premiered at the NEW Summit.