Can you believe that we’ve now hit the half way point of the year? This being the 26th post of a weekly blog?! WOWZERS!
Guess what? We’re also 2 days away from the end of the quarter and it’s got me all
So you can tell what’s on my mind: “I got my mind on my money, my money on my mind” – Youngbloodz
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
How happy am I that I get to share my good friend, Tanya Tarr‘s interview for Forbes@Women with none other than former Texas State Senator and all around ROCK STAR Wendy Davis with all of you??? Ms. Davis is dropping knowledge on the art of negotiation. What does she say that’s aligned with my own beliefs? Know your value! #getit (P.S. I can’t wait to see what other fascinating stories and interviews Tanya shares with us in the future – follow her!)
We’ve talked about the Power Pose and how your non-verbal actions can provide insight on your internal dialogue (confident, anxious, nervous etc) so here are a few suggestions of how you can engage your body and hand gestures to appear more bold and confident. I have video of myself when I’ve given speeches or lectures and I’m a full on hand gesturer. I can’t help it! I never realized that there are people who put in hand gestures as part of their presentations to create emphasis. I gesture when I speak ALL. THE. TIME. even when I’m on the phone and the only time when I stop myself is when I’m taking notes. I recognize it’s because I’m comfortable speaking on the subject matter and when I’m doing presentations, my hands are part of my speaking presence. Now that I’m doing more video, I try to keep my gestures to a minimum so that it’s not distracting to the viewers. Always a work in progress!
I’m working with a mentor on her cover letter and my advice is to find your strengths and translate that into how it can help the organization where you’re applying. Personality is essential, even in a cover letter that can be as dry as a burnt piece of toast. Do you know how many of these things get reviewed on a daily basis?? Formulas are good in the sense that it helps to articulate pieces that you should highlight. What are the key things that people expect you to say in your letter? It’s up to you to jazz hands the shiz out of it so that hiring managers will remember why they picked your resume out of all the others. We’ve talked about how you can control your narrative. At this point, you are a blank piece of paper and when you submit your resume for consideration, you are giving people the best version of yourself. Do you know the saying, “It looks good on paper?” well this is a prime example. It can be tedious and most of all, you are forced to be your most creative and most insightful. If you only spend time in going through the motions, you won’t get very far. Here’s a great list of ideas of how you can share some of your best moments.
Change, regardless if it’s chosen or forced upon you can be a transformational moment. How you take that challenge can bring great rewards if you build upon the idea of always creating community and goodwill. I always tell people that it’s more important to help others first because it’s a nice thing to do but in addition, should there ever be a time when you need assistance, people will come to your aid. It’s the same with donor relationships. Donors don’t want to feel that the only time you come to them is to ask for money. I really enjoyed reading the story of Sree Sreenivasan because he lives the principles that I like to share. You have the ability to control the narrative of your own story – whether it be good or bad. Whatever way you want to share your changes is up to you.
We all got fears. Fears of not meeting expectations; fears of public humiliation; fears that we are not worthy; many of them can be rationalized and many of them can’t – are our friends drinking the kool-aid and encouraging us even though they think we’re going to fail? Well let me tell you, we always need a reality check and those friends who can be supportive while also walking through all of the scenarios with you to make sure that you have thought of the pros and cons are who you need in your corner. Do you know who else you need in your corner?? YOU!!! You, my friend need to look in the mirror and trust in yourself. Let me go full circle back to the previous article about Sree. We are not perfect and we can’t be great at everything. Do not let fear be the barrier that keeps you stagnant. You will soon realize (like me!) that 20 years of being in the business that you always wanted to be in has happened (that’s a good thing) and it’s OK to transition into something else that you find meaningful. Don’t give anyone the ability to judge your decisions. That is a gift that you’re giving when you allow people’s opinions to matter. I give that gift to friends that I trust and to people who I admire because I know that they’re looking at for my interests. They will challenge me and will make me question my decisions not for the sake of being dickwads and I give them that opportunity because I know that they care and will support my decision. #YOLO
Women have to work twice as hard to get elected to Congress and to overcome gender bias. It’s incredibly important to have female leadership in elected office and it’s scientifically proven! With that in mind, if you’re looking for ways that you can be a part of a community that supports females running for office, here’s my list:
Identify as a progressive/Democratic woman of color, especially of Asian American or Pacific Islander descent then visit, America’s Opportunity Fund (AOF). There’s a network called The Power of She. (full disclaimer, I’m the Executive Director of AOF).
In the history of the Women’s Information Network (WIN), there have been quite a few women who were members who later became elected officials so the organization has a good track record of supporting from within. (full disclaimer, I’m the Advisory Council Chair of WIN).
The grand dame of pro-choice Democratic women is Emily’s List. Their investment in pro-choice female candidates is off the charts. They have trainings and their endorsement is quite a feather in your cap.
There’s also Ignite, Emerge, Running Start, WeLead, Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, and I know that I must be missing many others. If you have gone through a training or know of other resources, please share so that we can have a more comprehensive list. We never want any female to not know of places where she can go to get the training she needs to run for office.
That’s it for this Tuesday – we hope you enjoy the rest of the week! Thanks for reading/sharing & if you haven’t subscribed, then I hope you will do so today!
Hope you’re having a great start to the week! I’m getting ready for WIN’s annual Women Opening Doors for Women (WODW) and gearing up for MAY-JAAAHHH collection agent mode for the end of the quarter. We’ll soon be headed into 30 days before the Philadelphia Democratic convention and less than 130 days before the general election. If you’re a planner, then you know that we’re in overdrive!
Putting all of that aside, I want to express my gratitude for all of your support of the blog! I really enjoy hearing from you and getting your feedback on how articles have been helpful or have impacted your professional/personal lives. Thank you for reading and I hope that I can continue to be a resource! Feel free to let me know what types of articles you’re looking for and how I can be helpful.
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
There are a lot of young people who work in politics and oftentimes, you start where there’s the most demand and likely that was in field. As you start to become more involved with the industry, you will become more acquainted with the finer details of each particular specialty. I do fundraising because it was due to my organizational skills that my manager/supervisor saw that I might be good in that specific kind of role. If you’re in field and you want to move into communications, you need to know the scope of work involved for that position. It’s not just being a spokesperson. You need relationships with media outlets and reporters, as well as the skill to write a communications plan. The higher the role, the more responsibility. How does this translate into changing industries/fields? You need to know the trends that are happening and you need to get into the sphere of influence of those who can make hires. Although this article was written with the perspective of an entrepreneur, it gives you the guidelines to which you can make a transition into a different field. I try to live my life by “creating my own luck”. It can be more challenging but there are steps you can take to give yourself credentials into another type of work.
I have a lot of friends who are getting ready to transition from working in the Obama administration to the unknown world of life changes. People have started thinking about their futures and preparing for new challenges. Does that mean something in a future administration, returning from where they came, getting out of politics/public policy for greener pastures (yes, I’m also alluding to making more $$), or is it all a mystery? It’s a time for new chapters – whether they be written for you or by you. How do you start thinking about all of these questions? It doesn’t matter what age you’re at (for those who may remember, I had a quarter life crisis and left politics) because you can always start a new chapter at any age you choose. This is your life – you get to do with it how you choose!
Last week I shared a great deal about self doubt and I’ve realized that optimism plays a critical role in getting unstuck, releasing self doubt and a number of other positive habits. If there isn’t hope that the work you’re doing, the person that you’re becoming, and the world is going to be better then we’re seriously screwed! Of course you and I will have our down days and that’s why you have built a community that will allow you to bathe in the negative for just that moment and help you rise again. Being able to enjoy the small triumphs is worth every second of victory because that will carry you forward to the next threshold. You’ve got this and YOU are a role model to not only OTHERS but to YOURSELF. HELL YEAH – you wake up in the morning knowing that the day can bring its challenges and you’ve got the skills and the know how to make it through. #winning
I’m a mentor to a couple of undergraduates who are enthusiastic and eager to jump start their professional careers (I tell them that they need to savor this moment of their lives because I didn’t think that 20+ years of post graduate professional life would get me to now – that’s for another time!). We’re in the midst of discussing their life goals and the basics such as how to write a cover letter and how to get through interviews. I’ve talked with first time job applicants as well as to more seasoned professionals about how to approach a job interview. Foremost, know your strengths – know them in and out and how to articulate them in examples. Know your weaknesses and how you can improve them. Most importantly, know your VALUE. Your ability to express your value to a company/organization also translates to how having you as a team member helps them to reach their goals.
When you take a step back to see where you are in the world, you can sometimes feel small. If you’re an intern, if you’re an assistant, if you’re a director, if you’re a VP, there’s always going to be someone higher up the ladder and you need to have the skills to be able to engage those people into your orbit. Knowing how you can be helpful to them is always the beginning to the conversation. This goes back to your value and assessing your ability to help others with your skills.
As a fundraiser, I’m constantly thinking about how much money needs to be raised by the quarter, the month, the week and daily – intervals of time that set up benchmarks. How about if we did that with our time?? The saying goes, “Time is money” and how true is that when we also realize that we can never get more time.
It’s a running joke that I like to exercise at the crack of dawn (running joke, get it?!). Anyway, I’m in a time out with exercise. My body has decided that I needed a break and I’m absolutely OK with it and I will be OK with it until I start to feel sluggish and really really cranky. I know all about the positive benefits and I like the adrenaline after my workouts. I’m just not feeling it these days and I’m giving myself the space to be OK because I know that I will get back to it when I’m ready. For those who are looking for the motivation to exercise more, here’s a trick that you can use to get you to your favorite physical activity. I actually use the same thinking when it comes to exercise because I prioritize it over other things, however at this point in time, my quality of sleep is beating out exercise.
What are you doing to bring value to those around you? Share your stories!
As I look to my schedule, I can see that my summer is well planned with lots of work projects. Fall has always been my favorite season because of the change of temperature and we’re in the heady days of campaigning. I’ve always worked in places where we’re bundling up and finishing the night’s work with whatever baseball game is on for the World Series. My colleagues who work in the warmer states, I have no idea what it feels like to campaign in shorts and it always makes me feel a bit out of place in the same way when I’m celebrating Christmas and there are palm trees around me. This is my 11th campaign season as a political operative and although technology has changed tremendously (I remember when it was 1996 and I was using a thermal fax machine to transfer phone banking information!), I know that what really matters is that you understand how your district wants to be communicated and how to message them so that they want to listen to your message. This will always be about connecting with people and talking with them in the mediums that they want to communicate, whether that’s one on one in a face to face (door to door) or by text message. Understand that people want to be heard and will engage when they see that you want to understand them.
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
Did you get a chance to catch my FB hangout with Tammy Gordon when we talked about the Joys and Challenges of Being Your Own Boss? If not, you can hop over to the Arum Group FB and take a look see! If you thought it was helpful, please feel free to share it! Much thanks to Tammy and her team member, Christina Giordana for taking the time to hang with me and to Arum Group Team members, Hyunju Bin and Samantha Ng for designing the graphic and for setting up all the tech pieces! #BOSS
One of the topics that Tammy and I didn’t cover was the juggle of having a life partner in the equation. Occasionally I will get asked this question about balancing my work and the life that I’m creating with my spouse. One variable I don’t have is children, which in itself is a totally different dynamic. I, along with my spouse made a very conscious decision early in our lives that we would not have children and I strongly believe that this decision is unique to everyone. Only you know what is best for your life and I’ve had conversations with people who have vehemently disagreed with my choice. My response to them is “You don’t live my life, I do and your choices are yours so I will also choose to not judge your decisions because I will never really know the challenges and happiness that you enjoy but I will be supportive of whatever you choose.” End of conversation. There are going to be times when you won’t have the attention span to give to your partner and as in the case of the author of this article, she didn’t have an infrastructure for her business when she fell in love. Each relationship can be intoxicating – you’re in love with your work life and in love with your partner. What kind of infrastructure/support system can you create to make it work?
We live in a world of busy (which I personally hate) because everyone likes to think that it’s perfectly normal to be out of control with their schedules. Don’t get sucked into the world of busy! I completely understand that the to do list can be crazy! The ability to focus on a large project can be daunting when your to do list is 10 feet long. Here are ways to be more productive. Don’t multi-task and find when you’re likely to do your best work. I know the type of conditions I need to get big thinking, which leads to big doing done. I can’t have music playing, unless it’s classical; if the tv is on then it can be the news and sometimes I can put on a cooking show on mute; no emails and no other social media apps to distract me. Most importantly, I set a timer. I estimate how long it’s going to take me to get that project done and I take that time to focus. I reward myself by checking my social media apps to see what’s going on in the world while I was working. One of the things that I need to work on is meditation. Every article that I read talks about its effects and I need to get on that train! What tips are helpful to you in being more productive?
I work with non-profits to help them with their fundraising and we often talk about how donors are “investors” to these organizations. What’s frustrating is that even when we speak in “for-profit” terms, we’re still working with unrealistic expectations for non-profits. If you work directly in non-profits, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND reading Nonprofit with Balls. Every time I read this blog, I find myself nodding my head and laughing while simultaneously wanting a glass of wine because I think it will make it all better. In all seriousness, it provides a serious lens to the environment that many non-profits face. Changing how we view ourselves and what we want others to know about the work that we do will hopefully educate those who think that non-profits are less serious than for-profit entities.
I live in the bubble of the Beltway. It’s a very privileged life and I realize that if I want to know what’s going on in the world, I need to listen to those who are not in this enclave. When I started campaigning, I would work elsewhere to see what topics were important to people who don’t live and breathe politics everyday (you know, normal people). Everyone’s financial situation is unique and learning how others live makes me reflect on what money can buy. Here are the stories of 4 women with 4 different incomes and how they afford to live their lives.
How much does self doubt rear its nasty head in your life? There are days when it’s screaming in mine, but I take a deep breath and listen to MY voice, the only sound that matters. I think of myself as pragmatic. There are times when I’ve tried a few things that didn’t work out and I chalk that up to finding the right rhythm to get into a groove. Did that work? No, well then let’s try something different. I grew up getting straight A’s – all the time. It’s a horrible feeling! Yes, the joy of having excelled at subjects transitions to Oh shiz, I gotta do it again next quarter, next semester, next year. The 1st time I got a B, I freaked out that my parents would be disappointed in me (they were fine). The kinds of expectations that I put on myself were making me tough and giving me habits to apply to other things outside of school, but it also made me question whether I should do something if I thought it wouldn’t be PERFECT. GAWD – I love perfect – when nothing goes wrong and everything comes out just like you envisioned. Fear of not getting something done perfectly or even done as well as your peers can lead to paralysis. Throw in self doubt and you have created a lethal dose of destruction. Self doubt got nothing on you.
Every day that I work in politics, I come to the realization that my job is to be part of the story telling mechanism that promotes my clients. It’s the best productive thing you can do to create a brand and solidify a reputation. When I meet a candidate, one of the 1st things I ask is, “What’s your story?”. Why? It gives me a sense of how they’re pitching themselves to prospects, donors, influencers, the media, you name it! We talk about the elevator pitch and this is essentially it. What makes you unique and what makes you memorable and above else, what makes you relatable to people who you’re convincing to vote for you, give you money, and what other asks you have of them. This also applies to your own individual narrative. You need to learn these skills to be an effective leader. Leading a team involves so much more than commanding directives and project management. It means sharing your vulnerabilities and being authentic. You value people (and brands) when they’re honest and when they’re welcoming. That can lead to admiration and respect – qualities that any brand would want.
That’s it folks – let me know your comments and like/share the post! Thanks for reading!
It’s so super crazy! I went away for the weekend and today is Super Tuesday 5 (I remember the days when there was ONLY ONE Super Tuesday and in this election we have had FIVE of them!!). I think most people know that I’m supporting Hillary so here’s to breaking the glass ceiling!
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
We all know that there are different leadership styles, but did you know that there are differences in leadership according to culture? The Harvard Business Review breaks it down for you!
Life is going to throw you curveballs and they way in you which you handle yourself during these trying times is a testament to your strength of character. It’s an exercise in patience, self esteem, confidence and resilience (and so many other attributes!). It certainly is a Defining Moment and how you capitalize on it makes a difference on your outlook of yourself and how others perceive you. Here’s a great story on Jenna Wolfe and her defining moment. Was there a time in your life that you would call your defining moment?
Priorities are about choices. I’ve talked in the past about how I triage my life, constantly moving things around to meet deadlines and knowing how much I can push something so that I can move forward with other projects. In my opinion, being busy isn’t a great feeling. I like the sensation of being busy in that I’m not bored and time seems to fly by. Doing work in a transformational way takes real energy. It takes focus and sometimes time goes by much slower because you’re not forced to do “real work”. No one is ever too busy when you place a premium on priorities.
I’ve been fortunate to have a professional career where sexism has been rare. It definitely exists with my colleagues and you might say that there is a certain level of it in fundraising when you think about the donor/staff/candidate dynamic. That is changing with more female donors and more female candidates/elected officials. Here are ways that you can shut it down and be supportive of those who have experienced sexism as well as how we can help one another to not make this kind of atmosphere the norm.
I’m thrilled to announce that Tammy Gordon from Verified Strategy will be joining me on Thursday, June 9th at 3:15pm Eastern to discuss the Joys and Challenges of Being Your Own Boss on the Arum Group Facebook page! Tammy and I have known one another since we were young sprites doing political work. She’s been a pioneer in social media strategy for national organizations and she recently decided to take the plunge and be her own boss. Send in your questions and join us as we talk about life as an entrepreneur, all the crazy administrative stuff you need to do when you rather be working on your client projects, and how you can live a life that’s designed by you!
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I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend. Memorial Day is special to me because my father was in the military. Although when I was born, he had already retired from military service, he kept in close contact with the people who he served with throughout his career. It also reminds me of how much I love the United States. It doesn’t matter if I’m at a sporting event or a gala, if the national anthem is playing, I will always tear up. I think about my dad and his colleagues and how much they sacrificed to serve the US. There was a time in my life when I thought that I would apply to West Point – my life would be completely different – I think that idea really came from watching the camaraderie through my dad’s relationships. I hope that our military and our veterans know that there are citizens in this country that truly respect their work.
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
Income equality is no joking matter but when you think about all the reasons that women aren’t paid equally, you start to wonder if it all was a joke in the first place. Here’s a satirical video of all the reasons why women can’t break the glass ceiling.
Sometimes your work life takes over everything and then a health issue makes the idea of just being alive a priority. Whenever work starts to overcome my life, I have to re-assess what’s really important to me. As I’m closing into my mid 40s, I know that I’m at the peak of my life – I know that life will continue to be fantastic as I get older, only if I take the necessary steps now to prepare for those later years. My body will tell me that I can’t/shouldn’t surf anymore, my health will tell me that I need to watch my diet and my brain will tell me to keep challenging myself. All of these things matter but the one thing that I need to do most is nurture my relationships – the friendships that create strong bonds and a support system for me and to the people I care about – my usual tendency is to spend time alone (which gives me the quiet that I enjoy) but that my making an effort to be with people who care for me as I care for them will also bring benefits in the long term.
As I’ve gotten older, I wonder why I didn’t do certain things when I was younger? Mainly, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about certain aspects of my professional life with a particular lens. Since I see myself more as an entrepreneur and a political operative, I notice things differently because my perspective has changed. I see more younger professionals taking the time to brand themselves more (something I never did as a young person) and now I encourage others to do it too! I’ve even taught a workshop on branding. Here’s a great article on tips to create a brand that works for you.
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are in life, you’re going to feel down in the dumps and need a wake up move to jumpstart your confidence. “Power posing” scientifically gives you that jumpstart. Here’s me doing my best power pose. It doesn’t need to be this particular pose. It can be whatever makes you feel the most confident. Send me your pics of your favorite power pose!
I spend a lot of time sharing with you articles that matter to working women and I noticed that I didn’t really share a lot when it comes to motherhood and how it affects your professional/personal life. Partly due to the fact that I’m not a mother and also because so many women that I know in my professional life aren’t moms either. The ones who are moms tend to have help, in the form of nannies or relatives/grandparents in the area. It was good for me to also see how people juggle through a schedule of being mom, wife/partner, professional all in a 24 hour span – I think I would have an identity crisis seeing how this one woman manages life in one day. So many props to the women out there who live this kind of day/week/year. We all have our challenges and being supportive of one another by recognizing our different challenges makes us more empathetic to how we can make one another’s lives better.
I recently met with a young woman asking for career advice. She commented that working as a consultant you spend a lot of time hustling and that’s very true. Sometimes thinking about going on your own makes for a glamorous story and it’s a great goal to have if you think you will thrive in those types of conditions. What types of conditions am I referring? The kind where you need to follow up on potential clients, looking for people you can target who will be in need of your services in the future, marketing your services so that your work is based on referrals and recommendations, and actually maintaining a level of work product worthy of those referrals and recommendations! There are a ton of great things about being on your own. It’s your marquee and it’s also all the things that go into having it your marquee. Don’t let your fears of what it may be like keep you from jumping into the deep end, but also be realistic about what you need to do to be your own boss. Join me on the Arum Group Facebook page on June 9th at 3pm Eastern for a session on the joys and challenges of being your own boss.
If you haven’t already, please like the Arum Group Facebook page, join me on Twitter @madalenemielke, and snap chat at madalene.mielke. Much thanks for all of your support and I hope to see you on any of these social media platforms!
What do I love about the month of May? It’s APIA Heritage Month and celebrating all the wonderful accomplishments and reflecting on the challenges that my community faces along with the solutions that we create. It’s a time to honor those who have blazed the trail for us and to recognize those who continue to do the work. It’s such a great way to see the past and look to the future.
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Here’s Tuesday Truths!
Speaking of the future, how much do I love that Asian Fortune highlighted 50 Young Asian American Stars in Politics? I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of the Democrats/progressives featured in this article and I consider them my brothers and sisters. They’ve got knowledge to drop and you should get to know them!
There are going to be times when you have doubts and wonder if you’re headed in the wrong direction. Here are a few warning signs that you can self-assess on what you’re doing and where you’re going. So if you find yourself in a situation where you need to re-invent or turn yourself around, here are ways you can course correct – no matter what age!
We’re headed into intern season, the time to shape a young person’s mind and professional work experience (said *tongue in cheek* but not really.) Even if you don’t spend a lot of time with the interns or the younger members of the staff, it’s imperative to learn the myriad of ways you can be a leader. Learn about these habits and how they can bring out the best in others.
I did a training a few weeks ago where I was recently asked about, “If the updates in technology have changed the way we do voter contact” and my opinion is that engagement is really about how others want to engage, especially when you’re thinking about targeting voters who have a high propensity to vote. It’s important to not rely on just technology to get your message out. The more traditional routes can be less sexy, however you still need to talk with people who continue to use the more traditional tools to get their information. Use Twitter and the other social media tools to your advantage but don’t let it ruin your perspective to talk with those who prefer other ways to communicate. I’ve fallen down the Snap Chat rabbit hole, so if you want to get an idea of what it’s really like to be a political consultant, follow me at madalene.mielke!
To really live the life you want, there is a sh*t ton of hard work you need to do to get be successful. There are so many obstacles and there are times when you’re just so exhausted that you think that you can’t possibly do anymore. Are you truly moving forward or are you achieving the steps that you need to get you to where you want to be? The doubts abound and when you need to assess your current situation, take a moment to see if you’re headed in the direction towards success.
Gotta give BIG props to the Honorable Geraldine Roman, the 1st openly transgender elected official in the federal government for the Philippines. #breakingbarriers
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We have been in non stop fundraising mode and it’s fantastic! We’re right in the middle of the frenzy so we’ve got a few more weeks before we get to Memorial Day weekend but there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
In the past, we’ve talked about breaking bad habits and the variety of ways you can remind yourself to stop going down the same road. Here’s another “shocking” way to get you to stop! Would you do it?
Having the right attitude about yourself is essential to having self confidence. We’re always a work in progress so when setbacks occur, you need to have the mental will power to keep pushing through. It’s not always easy and reminders can help you get through days when you need more than a mental pat on the back.
This article spoke to me because as a woman of color, it reminded me of what it was like to join a profession where I didn’t start working with a strong ethnic identity. Visually, you see an Asian American woman and all the Caucasian women who helped me along the way took a chance on an unexperienced, yet somewhat talented and hardworking individual. It felt welcoming and safe to know that these women thought I could continue in politics as an operative. As a result, they helped me gain entree to the table and it was up to me to keep getting myself invited back to the table. What did that require? It meant that I had to deliver. I had to do what I said I would do and meet/exceed expectations. It also meant that I had to allow myself to feel that I deserved to be not only in the room, but that I was a vital part of the conversation. I could not have self doubt. If there was a time to NOT have imposter syndrome, it was every time I was part of a team discussion. For each early experience of being part of those discussions, I took as an opportunity to listen and learn. It’s now my responsibility to also cultivate the same kind of environment for others and to create the space for those to listen to their unique super-powers. Where are you in this process and what are you doing to create space?
Since this article is so timely, I really enjoyed reading it! Remember last week’s edition, I shared the article about the differences between male and female donors in philanthropy. This article talks more about female donors becoming more politically active and getting more comfortable about sharing their political views.
Here’s a great article about how to approach female donors for philanthropic endeavors. Each point also transfers for political asks as well. If you reverse the situation and have a female candidate making a political ask, it works just as well to explain each of the points to get that connection. Fundraising isn’t about the mad dash/slash & burn method but one where you can build relationships.
It’s a leap of faith to live the life you want. Everyday distractions and yeah, life itself can get in the way. So how to do you course correct and redesign the life you want? Here are the 3 very remarkable questions that will get you onto the road. Where will it take you?
Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know what you think in the comments!
I’m still reflecting on last week because it was fun filled and also so jam packed with the start of AAPI Heritage Month! By the time I got to Saturday afternoon, I was exhausted but it was the kind of exhaustion that comes with knowing that I got a ton of shiz done! I hope that you’re finding life to be fulfilling! The House is BACK so what does that mean? We’re diving into the deep end for the next 3 weeks before they go back to district work period. Let’s go!
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
Last Saturday I had so much fun doing a fundraising training for the Women’s Information Network (WIN). A great crew came out on a Saturday morning (just when the sun started to make an appearance!) and spent the next 90+ minutes with me getting knowledge bombed 🙂 PLUS! I captured it on Facebook LIVE so if you want to get a very basic understanding on political fundraising then stop by my personal Facebook page and catch the video in the news feed. If you have questions, leave me a comment in the comments section of the video and I can respond!
One of the things that I talked about in the fundraising 101 is that you have to get very comfortable talking with people who are complete strangers. You do it on the phone and you do it in person. A good way to practice is at networking events! Here are 6 ways that you can talk with absolutely anybody and not have them think that you’re a complete wack-a-doodle 🙂
The number one question that I get when I do candidate trainings on fundraising is “How do I start when I don’t know when I’m going to run” and my answer is massage, nurture and grow your list. That list is uniquely yours and the more you stay connected with people by bringing them value, the more you’ll be able to turn key a fundraising operation when you decide to run for elected office. It works in politics in the same way that it works in corporate networking. You don’t want a massive amount of business cards laying around with no value – it doesn’t help you and it certainly doesn’t help the person who is on the card! I keep a database of people who are my rolling network. I meet people ALL. THE. TIME. What’s important is how we connect, keeping that connection, AND most importantly – HOW I CAN HELP THEM! Here’s a great article on networking that makes it so simple!
One of the best parts of political fundraising is that the skills you learn doing it are actually transferable to other industries! I have a good number of colleagues who are former politicos who have moved into non-profit fundraising, donor management, development at educational and arts institutions. When you think about the skills necessary for any kind of political organizing, you can see where it can be quite useful in a corporate setting.
It’s graduation season so there’s a new crop of recent college graduates on the look out for new jobs and in a few months time, people will be leaving their jobs to start graduate studies and return to the full time student life. It’s the ebb and flow of the hiring process. Here’s wonderful advice on the steps you need to take to find a job, no matter what!
Here’s a fascinating article discussing the differences between Men and Women on their charitable giving. The studies shows that single women are more likely to give to charity than single men. Now if that could translate into politics…
I need to give a shout out to my very first finance associate, Jian Zapata Kim. She was recently featured by the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association in honor of AAPI Heritage Month and from the time she started at my office as an intern, she continues to make the world a better place. She has always carried herself with grace and with such a demanding job, continues to find ways to be an ever ready team player, friend and colleague. I look forward to witnessing her many other accomplishments in the years ahead!
That’s a wrap! Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know your comments! Don’t forget, you can view my video on political fundraising 101 on the Arum Group Facebook page and you can leave me questions!
WOW – We’re in the month of May!!! Can you believe it?? It also means that we’re celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (#APAHM2016). This week is particularly busy because although the House is out of session, we’ve got Asian Prom and so so so many events throughout the week and the month. I love my people!
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
This week is also Week of WIN! What does that mean? It means YOU have a whole week to get to know more about WIN and to get involved in all of the great activities! Learn more here. On May 7th at 11am Eastern, I’ll be conducting a fundraising training as part of Week of WIN so RSVP here. There may also be some Facebook live action on my Facebook work page. TUNE IN!
As a professional woman, I like to think that I get treated in the same manner as my male colleagues. When you’re in a senior leadership role, it can be daunting to be one of the boys and the question always remains of whether or not you’re ever really accepted as part of the cool crowd. When it’s in doubt, don’t be afraid to assert yourself. I don’t watch morning television, however I couldn’t help but notice the brouhaha over the announcement of Michael Strahan’s departure from Live With Kelly and Michael. Office politics playing out on national news is never good and of course, I’m not privy to the internal workings of network programming, however it was a clear example of how women are treated in senior leadership and the repercussions of asserting your authority. It’s a high cost of being a woman in charge.
I think I have a theme here about women being in charge! Another issue that women in charge face is a higher scrutiny of their mistakes. We’re not perfect people – no gender is – and yet, women are more criticized when mistakes happen. When men dominate across a majority of industries, it’s a challenge for women to go beyond the negative descriptions when we’re in leadership positions. Gender stereotypes only deepen criticism.
Since we’re in #APAHM2016 mode, learn more about the AAPI community and bust the model minority myth! Although I’m an active member of this community, I learned a great deal about how to combat the stereotypes and not fall into generalizations about my community. The more you know!
I first met Frank Wu when he was in DC and he would support the campaigns of my clients. He continues to give sage advice to AAPI young professionals in one of his recent Huffington Post articles. I think it should be required reading for any AAPI who is starting their professional career regardless of their choice of industry. Read up!
I have a lot of colleagues in the political fundraising space that are women and often times, we maybe the sole female in senior leadership on a campaign. It could be perceived that women are better at it (I like to think that women are great at everything!) and KQED even did a story on Why do Women Dominate Political Fundraising. I have a lot of ideas about it that I can share at a later time.
Thanks for sharing/reading – tell what you’re up to this week!
Can you believe it’s the last week of April?? In a month’s time, we’ll be in the unofficial throes of Summer and campaign season will be crazy busy. We’ve got lots going on and we’re optimistic for what the rest of the year brings. I’ve also been having fun with Snap Chat so if you’re inclined to snap – add me: madalene.mielke!
Here’s Tuesday Truths:
Are you considered the note taker during your meetings? On big meetings, there are sometimes multiple note takers to make sure that everything gets covered because topics can go fast and furious. Junior staff in my office are usually given that task when I take them to meetings and the more meticulous those notes, chances are that you would have captured the essence of the meeting (discussion, action items & deadlines etc.). Some may think that this is a mundane task when in fact, it’s a critical piece of having a successful meeting. It’s a great example of how well you’re listening, and how quickly you can process information. Here’s an outline that you can follow to help you gain structure in your note taking. If you’re taking notes for yourself during meetings, knowing how you best recall notes can help you reach goals quicker when you recognize how all the parties involved are reaching their goals.
There are days when I like that I’m a boutique consulting firm and days when I wonder if I would like to have a flurry of people in my office working for me like in days past. As I celebrate 20+ years of working in politics, I recognize the things that I will subject myself to for clients. I still have a bit of idealism that keeps me passionate about working in this space and here’s the thing, I also know what I don’t want to do in my line of work and that comes from having done it for so long. I enjoy working with my colleagues and helping those who are new to the consulting business in their search for clients. Do I foresee my career continuing in this field? Yes, however in a different composition of my own choosing. When you’ve reached a career that spans decades, you’ve earned the right to make those kind of choices and reinvention has never looked so good.
I thank my momma everyday for giving me genes to maintain a youthful appearance. Fortunately, I work in DC where the saying goes, “We’re Hollywood for ugly people” so my looks don’t necessarily take center stage when it comes to my work. That’s not to say that my youthful appearance hasn’t been a source of contention. DC has a lot of young people – A LOT – so when you’re mistaken for a staff assistant or someone with a lesser title because you look young, it can be a blessing or a curse. Campaigns are made for young people with distinguished titles (“titles are free” but are your responsibilities and compensation = senior leadership). You can have a campaign manager overseeing a multi million dollar budget and still be in your 30s. I remember when I was in my early 30s and at that point, already a veteran of several campaigns and I had already started my consulting business that a slightly older, but not that much older male statewide elected official commented that they couldn’t envision me having managed staff (!!). OOOHHHH – KKKAAAAYYYY Was that a commentary on his lack of knowledge of my skills or his astonishment that I was older than what I appeared? My friends and I are relatively in the same age range and in fact, I don’t even know their specific ages unless they decide that they want to celebrate their birthdays with a number. I don’t base my opinions of people on that really inconsequential number because it’s about the level of experience that gets my motor running. It’s exciting to me to see a young person who has accomplished their goals and doing things that people double their age have never done and it’s equally important when I talk with an older woman who has done so much and is still creating their own set of rules. Comparisons come into play and life experiences only mean something when you’ve actually had a chance to experience life. Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you’re wise. No matter the age, it means that you’ve done or you’re doing something with your life and I’ll respect anyone who can share their stories. In a professional setting, older women are pushed aside because they’re no longer seen as assets when their life experiences certainly amount to wisdom. It’s not the age that matters but what you’ve done with your life that does.
When I talked about titles being free, I really meant it. Of course, that’s a totally different post on negotiation but what it also means is that your title doesn’t earn you respect either. Leaders are made through their actions and how well you treat your peers and the people on your team have direct and indirect consequences. My former staff will readily admit that I’m a tough boss. I demand excellence but also understand when mistakes are made (we’re not perfect) and they know that I will have their backs. If we screw up something for a client, it ultimately falls on me because the buck really does stop at my desk. My office culture is that I want you to succeed, whether it’s in my office or after you leave. I may or may not be able to help you do your next job but I can certainly impart the sentiment that we’re always there to help one another. There’s an unofficial mantra that once you’ve worked for me (and performed well) that you will always be a part of my network and that each former staffer is responsible for the next generation or the many, many generations after.
Last week I went to a reception where I saw my old boss, Chef Bob Kinkead receive the Duke Zeibert award from the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. This award is given to a person who has contributed to the success of DC’s restaurant industry. He has countless former staff all over the area enhancing the dining experience of those visiting or living in our nation’s capital. I have so much respect for those who work in the hospitality industry because no matter how well your day may be going, someone walking into the restaurant may be having a craptastic day and your job is to make them happy. Sometimes it doesn’t always work out but when you have great service, a welcoming atmosphere and delicious food, you’ll have a winning combination to turn that person’s day around. Did you know that I used to be a restaurant manager at a James Beard winning chef’s restaurant where the owner was also a winner of Restauranteur of the Year? Yeah, there’s a lot of expectation with that kind of reputation! Which leads me to sharing the profile of Maria Trabocchi. She’s the co-owner of Fiola, Fiola Mare, Casa Luca and many many more soon to open restaurants. Fiona recently celebrated their 5th anniversary and it’s one of my favorite restaurants in town. I’ve talked about her restaurants on my personal blogbecause the food is delicious and the way they treat their customers is equally fantastic. I rang in 2016 at Fiola Mare, spent many anniversaries and other celebratory events at Fiola and have had fundraising dinners at Casa Luca. Treat your customers well and they will reward you in so many different ways. It’s a lesson that Maria teaches everyday.
Thanks for reading/sharing and tell me your thoughts by emailing me or in the comments!