Monthly Archives: April 2015

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v17

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It’s the last week before a district work period is upon us so we’re barreling our way through with fundraisers and donor meetings. Does it seem like all I ever do is raise money? Well, if your answer is “YES!” then you WIN – I’m not sure what you’ve won but consider yourself a WINNER! Let’s get cracking with Tuesday Truths:

  • I think like most people, I started my professional life with an idea of where I wanted to work and in a particular industry. I aligned my beliefs with working in my industry but as I have gotten older, I’ve started thinking more of how what I do affects my purpose of life. As a believer in creating your own luck, I think it’s also a result of your ability to control your “destiny”.
  • If you’re having challenges with work, it may be because you need to remind yourself of what motivates you. I pulled back on some of my projects because I realized that I was spending too much time doing things that didn’t maintain a spark in my career. Read about the science of finding that motivation.
  • My life is always about deadlines and to an extent, it’s about dealing with procrastination. My friends/colleagues would probably say differently, but I’m a BIG procrastinator. I’ve used a lot of these techniques to mentally prepare for the onslaught of deadlines and thinking of triage. Do any of these methods help you?
  • I’ve come to learn through my interns who happen to be business school majors that they learn about thank you letters but those in other programs, aren’t necessarily taught to write them. So for those who may need to brush up or just outright learn some business etiquette, we’ve got exactly 19 ones for you.
  • As much as I advocate for doing business as usual or at the very least understanding what is considered “the norm”, it’s great to see people who are innovative in breaking through the endless white noise. Check out Nina Mufleh and her creative way to get her resume noticed by Airbnb’s CEO. Which also reminds me about Lindsay Blackwell and how she used her social media network to get noticed for a job announcement at the U. of Michigan.
  • As a woman who has professional and personal goals, I feel that my definition of “having it all” is different from anyone’s goals for themselves or even what they may think it may be for me. So when asking yourself, “Is it possible?” really think about what your definition is and not compare it to someone else’s.

Thanks for reading/sharing!

— Madalene


Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v16

We are well into the 2nd QTR of 2015 and I have coffees, meetings, lunches, breakfasts, and receptions to bring in that cash $$. It’s a wonder that people actually want to talk with me considering the number of emails and phone calls I make to tell them about upcoming opportunities. Luckily I never take anything personally and I know that it’s not about me so hearing a lot of “No’s” isn’t a morale drainer. I’m only human after all so after too many emails/calls, I need a break to re-charge and get back into action. Hope you’re having a good week so let’s get to Tuesday Truths!

  • I get asked a lot about branding and although the exercise itself is very reflective, the ability to pitch yourself is not. You can actually practice to make it more natural so that the next time you meet someone at a cocktail reception or networking event, you’ve got skillz and stories to share. We know that small talk can be mind numbing but you can turn those moments into opportunities!
  • My peers and I are often asked to meet with people from our networks and we’re usually more than happy to oblige a request because of our relationships. There are times when I wonder what people are thinking when they do ask us to meet because since we’re the ones doing the favor, wouldn’t our schedules take precedence as well as our preference to where to meet? Well you won’t fall into that etiquette conundrum when learning the art of the introduction.
  • Did you know that there’s a service that will use publicly available data sources to come up with personality profiles and provide ways that you can best communicate with specific individuals? I haven’t used the service but Crystal has piqued my attention. Talk about personalizing a pitch in an email to best suit the reader. Hitting those pressure points! If someone tries it, let me know! If we’re talking about communicating, here are ways to improve your communication skills so that you are more self aware and can best engage with others.
  • There’s going to be a time when you as a manager/supervisor will need to have some tough conversations. I know that in the years when I’ve had to manage, I’ve had to motivate and get people to realize their potential as well as to correct behavior so that bad habits aren’t created. I’m a person who tends to keep my emotions in check when I need to but on a regular basis, I’m a “F” bomb thrower and will do a quick solo tirade to express my displeasure before I gather my senses. I just like to get it out and then move on. So when it’s your turn to have those stressful conversations, use these techniques to get you through it.
  • I’m doing a campaign training in Boston and one of the challenges that Asian Americans face on the regular is the dreaded question, “Where are you from?” – “No, where are you really from?” which just means that the people who ask that question don’t really think that I’m American after all. My head starts to swivel back and forth and I get a little PG (Prince George’s) on them but I try to remember that my momma taught me right and respond in a polite fashion, instead of reverting into my high school persona of the Ice Queen. This recent HuffPo article by Mason Hsieh may teach people a more appropriate way to phrase the question as well as what does it really mean to those of us who encounter the question ALL. THE. TIME.
  • If you’re having a bad start to the week, buzzfeed is here to the rescue! Puppies, dogs, kittens, even a baby kangaroo (for the record, a joey) so if you need to take a few deep breaths while you’re stuck on a barrage of conference calls (really, not me!), you may find some happy thoughts to get you through the day!

Thanks for reading/sharing and please subscribe!

— Madalene


Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v15

We’re back to regular programming with Congress back in session and fundraising events galore. Did you catch the #HillaryforAmerica video announcement on Sunday? Honestly, I got teary eyed watching it! It’s good to know that however cynical I’ve become through the years that I still believe in the magic of an inspirational candidate. It’s such a personal connection. The 2016 campaign will be 20 years since I worked on my 1st campaign as a paid operative.  Having seen a lot of candidates through the years, it can be challenging to find individuals who possess the ability to inspire. Everyone has a different pressure point in why they believe in someone so I hope that you never become so jaded to never let your emotions be your compass.

Let’s get to Tuesday Truths!

  • When I first started my consulting business, I was at a crossroads. I wanted more flexibility to take on projects and I wanted to be my own boss. The question was, “Am I ready?” (is there a theme here?). A lot of us go through life taking a ladder approach to our careers when we could use a different mentality to get to our dream job. At the time, I was 29 years old and I knew that I marched to a different beat. I had already taken a break from politics to pursue a different career and realized that my passion was really where I had first started. If you think you need to make a major change in your life, here are a few thoughts on how you can get comfortable with it. If you’re looking for ways to get to your dream job, take note of how you can build a path to your future success.
  • Are you feeling less motivated than usual? I have the one foot in front of the other approach. Here are a few other ways to find motivation when you may just not be feeling it!
  • When do you know it’s time to find another job? Here are some tell tale signs that can help you make the leap into a different position. I felt some or all of these behaviors when I  knew it was time to for a new gig. Most importantly was that I didn’t value my own work –  I had stopped caring about the consequences of my actions as a reflection of me and that is definitely no good if you want to keep a positive reputation.
  • Negotiating anything takes practice and you’ll want to learn that you can do it nicely without being a pushover. It’s always a good idea to be nice especially when you might be walking into a tense situation. Understanding one another makes for an easier conversation.
  • Something to think about if you’re starting your career journey or even if you’re comfortable with your career goals, is how you reconcile your ambitions with your desire to be a better person or as David Brooks calls it, a “moral bucket list”. As I continue to develop this blog, I want to continue sharing how to create “success” (from an external perspective: breaking into an industry, networking, leadership, getting a promotion/salary increase) as well as how you and I can be better individuals to our communities. With all of the machinations of politics, it can be easy to get caught up in the ambition of this industry and there are times when you feel like it’s a chess match trying to strategize how to get ahead. At the same time, we all need to recognize that once ambition and ego are stripped that we are in this business to make other people’s lives better. Accolades are wonderful but knowing your true motivations will better guide your choices.
  • Who started watching Game of Thrones again? The Washington Post did a great opening sequence and called it, District of Thrones – all of the geeks, nerds, DC-philes will love it – I did!

Thanks for reading/sharing – if you found it worthwhile, don’t forget to subscribe!

— Madalene

PS – We’ve got a Democratic campaign training in Boston scheduled for Saturday, May 9th – $50 for a one day training – applications can be found here. We highly encourage AAPIs and diversity. Space is limited. Questions? Email

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v14

If you’re a staffer on the Hill, I hope you’re enjoying recess. I’m taking this time to get ready for another set of events come next week. That calendar is sure filling up! Not only am I booking fundraisers, I’m also booking campaign trainings! I’ve got one coming up in May in Boston and another one in June in Seattle, so if you’re in those cities or would like more information to pass along, let me know! I’m also planning on more skills specific campaign training as well (think fundraising, communications etc). The organization is geared towards AAPIs but we’re good Democrats and as a result, if you want to work in the progressive space, we’re happy to train you! We also encourage diversity so that our talent pool is reflective of the country so if you’re interested in getting more information, subscribe to the blog and you’ll be the first to know!

Let’s get to Tuesday Truths!

  • I am a one woman shop right now. I decided to “ease back” on my work load but yet, I feel like I’ve started down a path where I’m going to need to be hyper organized so that I don’t let things slip through the cracks. Productivity is the name of the game and these tips are making me more aware of how I’m hijacking my own success. #gamechanger
  • I had my 20 year college reunion this past November and maybe some of these life lessons are generational but as I reflect on my professional career, I wonder if life would have been more boring if I had just cut to the chase. Lessons are learned because you make mistakes and take the road with the twists and turns.
  • OH-EM-GEEE a political life lesson learned the HARD way. Fundraising and consultants can get shady but the saga that has surrounded this story is a cautionary tale for those who are candidates and those who are consultants. A solid reputation and ethics are the only way to go.
  • Are you an in state or in district staffer who is looking to get on the Hill? Got questions on how you make that transition? One tip from the Hill Navigator – use LinkedIn – good luck!
  • Does your work define you? Some people think that this is a negative concept while others think that it’s really about integration. This also comes into play when you think about your personal branding. If you allow work to define who you are as a person, how do you want others to define you? I know that my work is based in Democratic politics, no matter what you want to say about my other skills/interests/talents, that is always going to be the core. How I choose to engage in that arena is up to me. Here are ways that you can engage your brand with your work.
  • Fellow Females! Brush up on those persuasion skills – it’s going to help you as you progress into your careers.
  • We’ve all encountered the difficult co-worker: the one who seems to grate on your last nerve. How do you contend with them and keep your professionalism intact? We’ve got a few ideas here.

Got comments? Drop them below and let me know! Thanks for reading/sharing and don’t forget to subscribe!

— Madalene