Tuesday Truths


In the past few weeks since the election, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been doing informational interviews for those interested in getting into politics or at the very least, political fundraising. We’ve got a lot of people who have come off of losing campaigns, the Hill where their members of Congress lost their re-elections, and just overall job fatigue. So it got me to thinking about how we make New Year’s resolutions to improve our job skills or to take a fresh perspective on how to wrangle the time we spend at work. I’ve taken a step back from my own fundraising firm to brew up a little something different (still under wraps but soon to be revealed) so I totally get wanting to be challenged in the work front. So it’s just not the millennials who get a little antsy about job satisfaction!

In the meantime, let’s get to a short exercise and to reading!

I am

  • When I first saw this on Pinterest, I thought about how I would finish this sentence so here’s my first draft:

I am wickedly strategic in finding ways to expend my energy.

This was never going to be about a job title but more of a mantra. What say you? Drop me your I am ______ in the comments section!

  • In the vein of doing informational interviews, here’s a Millennial’s take on how to get the job you want. I’m also going to include that a majority of the points apply to those who don’t fall into that age category.
  • I’m a HUGE believer in knowing as much as possible about my prospects and knowing the pressure points for how to create rapport. How does that apply to when you have to charge your way through the masses to get a cover letter written to accompany your resume? Start thinking about it as a pain letter vs a cover letter.
  • I’ve been a mentor for a few years and I’ve always come into the relationship with the realization that I’m a reference point for those who are asking me questions. If you’re looking for a mentor, you should be looking to create this type of environment and mentors can also learn quite a few things from you too.
  • So you’ve got the job you want and now you gotta make an impression. Here are ways you can learn on the job so that you can get the job done!

Got any comments? Let me know!

Thanks for reading/sharing. Feel free to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on a post!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths

 Little Girls with Big Dreams Become Women with Vision — Unknown

We’re rolling into the last month of 2014 and it’s really all about getting ready for the 1st QTR of 2015. The glamorous life of a fundraiser!! In all seriousness, I’m going through closing reports and reviewing what was raised, where it was raised, and who it was raised from – my life is about analyzing numbers and seeing the sources of income. Basically looking at the “sales history” and predicting how this will unfold for the 2015 finance plan.

So in the meantime, enjoy the Tuesday Truths!

  • Guilty as charged with the messy desk but it’s weird since I’m a little OCD.
  • Looking to answer the interview question of “Tell me about how you solved a work problem”? Here’s how Elon Musk evaluates your ability. (video)
  • I’ve been fortunate to mentor individuals in their career paths so if you’re not an entry level professional but want ideas to find a mentor, here are a few ways that you can start your search.

As always, hit me up on your comments and feel free to share with your networks! Thanks for reading.

– Madalene

Tuesday Truths

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.”Chris Grosser

I’m so Type A but there are moments when even some of these habits would drive me CRAY CRAY.

Goals vs Systems and how that leads to success. Good thing I’m into having a process.

I’m always meeting people in fundraising so having them “like” me enough so that they will return my calls or even answer an email is a priority enough for me to practice these techniques. Especially since in my line of work, it’s never about me but about those potential donors!

We’re always trying to find more ways to be productive – here are even more suggestions from folks who know how to squeeze every minute for what its worth.

This Fortune magazine article says for women to get a promotion, they need a boss who has a career focused spouse. What say you?

Want to meet CIA Deputy Director Avril Haines? Well, how about a little insight on how she got to where she is today…she also owns a cafe!

Are you unhappy with your job? Here are three ideas to get you motivated to “work”.

Hit me on the comments and let me know how you’re doing. Thanks for reading and if you find it helpful, feel free to share! Don’t miss a post by Subscribing!


Tuesday Truths

thing worse than being blind

Photo credit: The Only Thing Worse Than Being Blind is Having Sight and No Vision

We’re heading into a short work week so it might be a good time to brush up on your resume, start making new goals for the new year (I’m too much of a planner) or maybe just bail out of work early to get in some holiday cocktails (is that more your speed??)? In the meantime, all you politicos looking for a new gig, you can read up!

  • Post election funk? It’s a good time as any to be reminded about an older post I wrote around this time last year (here). The day after Election Day, I put away about 8 weeks of dry cleaning that was sitting in my closet so laundry gets a lot of play post election! If you’re looking for the next opportunity and haven’t joined Democratic GAIN, then you should do so immediately. Looking to set yourself up for 2016? Then take the time to read this article from Democratic GAIN COO @lucyMWhall for Campaigns & Elections.
  • For those who are still nomadic political hacks, it’s the start of the Off Year election cycle and prepping for the crazy that is 2016. Have you ever wondered if our industry has gotten better in pay during the off years? If so, this article is just for you!
  • My friends over at the Campaign Workshop shared with me a fantastic info graphic on call time. As a person who lives and breathes call time all the time, this is really great to help those who need additional help to stay on track or just to get on track. Committing to call time is half the battle (right, fellow fundraisers?). Thanks so much to @joefuld for sharing & bringing it to my attention!
  • I remember the days when people would look at me and wonder if I was old enough to manage staff (the benefits of having good genes that make me look youthful!) and having to combat those questions by my actions. If you’re ever in want of respect and building good will then use these techniques because if you do it consistently then you would have earned it.
  • Everyone talks about will power or habits that successful people utilize or don’t participate in but how about some exercises to help improve your mental strength? @AmyMorinLCSW has a few tips to exercise the most important muscle you can ever have in life.

Alright folks, hit me up in the comments section or tweet at me @madalenemielke. If you found the articles interesting, please feel free to subscribe so that you don’t miss a post and share the post with your network! Thanks for reading!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths

every successful woman

Sincerest apologies in my lack of communication. The last few months have been challenging with work obligations and the like but I’m back in the saddle and ready to roll!

Of course, everyone is talking about the elections. Who am I kidding??? Not everyone as evident with the lack of voter turnout but for those in the business or at the very least, the business of civic engagement, all I got is “We’ve got a problem, Houston” metaphors.

Since I have such a commitment to communities of color and especially, women of color this article has got me thinking, exercise that vote!

Recently, I did a presentation on personal branding and found a couple of videos (here & here) that may be helpful in your personal journey to make your own Beyoncé moment.

Ladies: real talk on how to progress in your career from a woman who knows how to forge ahead in a male dominated industry (basically, don’t give a f*ck)

My world revolves around always asking for things, specifically money (probably one of the most difficult things to do) but once you become comfortable with this skill, you an ask for just about anything. (For those who want to ask me for something, read the article before you ask me!!)

Life wouldn’t be fun without some truth to the fun and let me tell you, this article about the difference between celebrities and members of Congress is SPOT ON!

Photo cred: Behind Every Successful Woman is Herself

Alright, readers let me know how you’re doing, what you’re doing and how you’re getting ahead. Hit me up in the comments section or tweet at me @madalenemielke. Thanks for reading and sharing!!

Tuesday Truths

there is only now

  • Getting wisdom from Hillary Clinton – “Women standing up for each other is critically important” – read excerpts from her recent interview with Glamour magazine.
  • People never believe me when I say that I’m a procrastinator – the fact is I’m a work in progress so trying to get something done without a deadline for me is bad news bears. Here are more tips to stop putting it off.

Tuesday Truths

Expect the BS

  • With the situation in Ferguson, it reminds me that People of Color (POC) are in this together so although I have never lived the life of an African American fe(male), I do understand how the color of your skin can sway people’s perceptions/prejudices. As a member of the Asian American community, I am a fierce advocate of creating opportunities for all of us to have a seat at the table but it’s also necessary that those who have privilege, use their advantages. Do I think that my own upbringing with a white German American father and a Vietnamese mother shaped my attitudes? Absolutely! NPR’s Michel Martin captured this concept beautifully in her piece about white women using their privilege to help with women of color.
  • So I’ve been enthralled with Makers. They’ve been providing great content via twitter & this video was terrific in talking about the next generation of women using our differences as females to become leaders. Check them out and give them a follow @MAKERSwomen!
  • Learning a new word in productivity: triage.

Thanks for reading and drop me your comments!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths

life is full of enemies


With congressional recess, DC is a little less hectic but that doesn’t mean that we’re not kicking butt in fundraising for our clients. Thus far, we have 13 events scheduled on 8 different days so we’re ready for September 30th to hurry up and get here. OK, not really but I’m going for momentum! #GOFIGHTWIN

  • There are times when I stop and think about why I continue to work in politics. A moment of clarity in the storm of what can be endless hours calling and emailing people to ask them for money. This constant and unrelenting pace can be daunting in figuring out how I fit into the bigger scheme of political life. I try to take a “work to live instead of live to work” mentality and these steps help with mindfulness, not only in your professional live but also in personal maturity as well.
  • I’m a procrastinator although I disguise it very well with my organizational skills (most people think I’m kidding when I describe myself that way but I’m being brutally honest!). I tend to focus on deadlines and know my limits when it comes to just how much I can procrastinate to get things done. As a result, I end up working in full on “get it done” mode and then chill out. Being more productive while also being efficient is the sweet spot of work productivity – here’s how you can do it.
  • I meet so many people in my line of work and oftentimes, it requires me to be my version of Andy Sachs from the “Devil Wears Prada” (the scene specifically where she recalls names of spouses and the last time Miranda Priestly last saw a person) to my clients. I, on the other hand, can’t recall people in my personal endeavors to save my life. The stakes are a little higher in my professional career and it’s funny when people tell me that I have such a keen memory, but yet I can’t remember the person I just met in my pilates class (sorry, whoever you are who said hi to me, but I can’t remember when I met you!). People tend to forget names and here’s why but honestly, I wish they included a few tricks in this article!
  • As a serial entrepreneur (did you know that I used to own a small catering company?), I’m always looking for knowledge from more experienced entrepreneurs. Here are 7 suggestions of people you can follow who drop knowledge on the daily.
  • I hear a lot about female competition, which is tough already when as women we’re faced with so many external challenges. It can be difficult to stop comparing your narrative to someone else’s, but I think being an only child, I already have a different mentality about doing my own thang. I truly believe that a fellow female’s accomplishments shows everyone that females have the ability and the wherewithal to get things done. So I rejoice in my friends’ successes and love to see how they’ve grown. I like reveling in their light because it encourages me to focus. Reading this article only reinforced my own personal beliefs – we can all get it girl!

Thanks for reading and hit me up with your comments!

— Madalene




Tuesday Truths

maya angelou quote

  • So last week I shared some ways you could network or at the very least, make your networking more strategic. Like any muscle, this is a skill that gets better with practice. Of course, you will have moments that will be embarrassing, laughable and moments to remember. So here’s how you can recover from the network fails (cuz it’s going to happen!).
  • One of my SHEros is the incomparable Julia Childs and her tenacity along with her entrepreneurial spirit are definitely awe inspiring. Not only did she bring French cuisine to American households, she also taught us to keep trying.
  • I often get asked about my attire (probably because I instagram my work outfits – @madalenemielke) and I often wonder where young professionals get their wardrobe advice. Here’s a primer for all levels of professional dress (men & women).
  • As a woman and person of color, I’ve faced challenges in my professional career as a political fundraiser. Inappropriate behavior can run rampant when people are removed from the confines of an office setting and sometimes, the professional space that you think you’re physically in doesn’t help the women working there either. If you think it only happens in politics (Real life isn’t exactly House of Cards) then this article about women raising money in tech will certainly make you more aware.
  • I used to think I was a runner since I ran in high school competitively and more casually in college but although I still run about 2xs a week, I’ve incorporated other exercise to alleviate stress and clear my mind to prepare for the day (I’m a morning person!). These female candidates talk about their fitness regiment (some of them already elected) and it tells me that I might need to step up my game!
  • Back in the day, I had a quarter life crisis due to burn out in my fundraising job – fast forward 16 years (!!) later and I have been working as a fundraising consultant at my own firm for 12 of those years. No matter what age or where you are in your career, you need to recognize burnout and address how you can manage it.

Thanks for reading! Hit me up with your comments! — Madalene


Tuesday Truths


I often get asked for career advice and I always say that I’m not a career counselor but I can usually help with getting you from Point A to Point B. Here are great tips for people who are starting out in their preferred industry.

The dreaded word: networking. How you can overcome the forced feeling of making a connection.

What if you’re already established in your career and want to move to the next level? Check out these resume tips for the mid-level employee.

No matter what stage you are in your career, a mentor can certainly help you up your game as well as provide an objective view of your future. Don’t know what a relationship with a mentor entails? Well we got that covered.

I had a young woman of color ask my opinion on this piece and while I’ve not worked in a highly corporate arena, I’ve been fortunate to work in an industry that values diversity. I hope that others see that having a variety of perspectives provides a deeper understanding of your community and helps to educate your opinions.

With so much talk about who is going to be the nominees for the Ds & Rs, it’s funny (or not) to know that Darth Vader is pretty popular!

Photo: By Mary Ann Reitano (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Thanks for reading! Enjoy getting your comments below!

— Madalene