Tagged: entrepreneur

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v17

I spent part of my weekend attending a training, partly to observe and partly to participate as a trainer. It was delightful to see the enthusiasm and the energy from across the progressive spectrum in electing a Democratic ticket in the Commonwealth of Virginia. People who were new to the area as well as long time residents were brought together with the intent to make voters aware of how they can become more involved in the electoral process as well as to train people on how campaigns work. Spectacular job for those who organized this summit and kudos to all those who participated on a Sunday. Active citizenry in action!

 

Let’s get to Tuesday Truths!

  • This story was shared with me as part of a group that supports Executive Directors of organizations. The purpose of the group is to give one another space to vent, ask questions for best practices, and share triumphs without judgement. An article about the NoVo Foundation was shared and it brought so much joy. Can you see a future where we reach organizational capacity so that organizations that support girls and women of color can make their own decisions on how to utilize funds? That day will come. Listen up everyone else and take note!

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  • In campaigns, we recognize that there is a shelf life. We tell people that politics is a young person’s business because you work for low pay and you’re constantly on the road. Who wants to spend hours and hours on a campaign when you can have more stability and sleep in your own bed? Especially when you hit your late 20s and early/mid 30s. It’s much harder in politics to find stability in the institutional organizations. People tend to cap out by their 20s/early 30s and then you have to decide if you want to stay in this industry or make it on your own or join someone else’s shop. It’s much more challenging to think of what senior leadership looks like when you start to reach the upper echelons of campaign life. Now think about throwing in your gender. In a corporate environment, women are found to be “uninterested” in senior leadership due to the office culture. It’s how the office operates that causes women to feel disenfranchised from the opportunity to grow higher in management. That’s soul crushing and leads to women leaving those types of environments.

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  • No one believes me when I tell them that I’m a procrastinator. Honestly, I really admit to it. How do I defeat it? By making my intention public and by exceeding it. People have such expectations of me which then causes me to have expectations on myself. I’m a variant of a people pleaser (hard to believe when most of the time, I more of a “Who gives a F*CK”). As a result, I end up beating my procrastination because I value my reputation. Needless to say, I just learned that procrastination is part of your genetic makeup! Thanks parentals. So it’s not really me that’s procrastinating, it’s all of that historic DNA 😉

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  • You are not a show-off when you talk about your accomplishments. Rinse. Repeat. Sharing how you bring value to an organization highlights how you can help them achieve their goals. Learn to self promote because if you ever want to be an entrepreneur or shape ideas to how you want to implement things then you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable the first 5 or 50 times it takes for you to talk about you. Want to run for office? Yes, it means talking about how your skills and experience can help others. What are you waiting for? Seriously, if you need help in this area, you can sign up for a 30 minute free consultation with me during my virtual “office hours”. Drop me a note!

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  • I learned recently that the Millennial generation is considered up to 37 years of age. I didn’t realize that it was that high up the age group. So if you fall into this category and are looking for a job, you may find this article of interest. I grew up in an era where my life wasn’t fully documented at all times. We weren’t ‘gramming, texting, Facebooking, snapping etc…I pretty much didn’t have to worry about documentation of my life. I was so against cameras for a while that when The Mister and I eloped, we brought a camera to the courthouse and didn’t use it. BTW cameras are not allowed in the DC district courthouse unless you’re getting married. So I don’t even have documentation of when I really got married! Now, you can pretty much see what I’m wearing on a near daily basis. If you have long term goals of being in public office or what your future bosses may think of your youth, lock it down. Privacy settings or not documenting a less than spectacular moment would be a wise decision. You are a brand and what you share determines that brand regardless of what you say about your brand. Actions speak louder and a picture are worth a thousand words. Be like Beyoncé and have an aura of mystery. She doles out information on her life with a strategic hand. Who wouldn’t want to follow Queen Bey’s lead?

It’s been a hoot! I’ll see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2016 edition v13

Photo credit via

As you read this little ditty, I’ll be flying to the west coast for a few days on work travel. People are out and about on Spring Break so although I’m a bit joyous that I get a time-out from fundraising events, the work still continues. When Congress returns, I’ll be going full steam ahead with a barrage of fundraisers, #tistheseason #politicscanbefun

So whether you’re mushing it up in Iceland or drinking a beverage that has an umbrella in it, here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • We know that diversity is a key issue for all aspects of life. Having a seat at the table is important to bringing a different perspective and to highlight challenges and triumphs. What’s also critical is that women and minorities tend to be penalized when they try to help in that process through their hiring practices. The Harvard Business Review explores the implications of having those kinds of attitudes.
  • One of the many reasons I enjoy being a part of the Women’s Information Network (WIN) is that it gives like-minded women a safe space to be women and to share their knowledge and expertise with other women. We’re one another’s cheerleaders. It’s long been known that the “old school” method of networking in the boys’ club was via poker, golf, and men’s dinner clubs. As more women join the ranks of senior leadership, they’re creating spaces that allow us to embrace all of the attributes of female empowerment. Yes, we’ll mix with the boys, but let’s remember that it’s OK to spend your work life also socializing with other women. With that in mind, Shelley Zalis conceived the idea of a Girls’ Lounge, the equivalent of the Boys’ Club so that women could “pair and share”. Read more of her efforts here.
  • One of the things that I’ve learned through the years is that courage manifests itself in a variety of ways. I know my fears and although not fully conquered, I know what I have to do to overcome them: to face them and not allow them to own me. Believe me, I still weigh the risks (such as when others tell me that I’m going to get eaten by a shark every time I go surfing), but I know that I do myself a disservice by not doing the things that scare me. It makes the rest of my life that much less fearful.
  • Normally on an election year, I tend to focus solely on work. It’s work, work, work, work, work (thanks Rihanna!) and everything else goes to the wayside. I realized that every other year is a fiercely intensive time in my life and even more so when accentuated if it’s a Presidential year. I create my own stress because I’ve left everything else to wither. My health doesn’t necessarily wane because I recognized that I needed to exercise and get enough sleep so that I could continue to function in an optimal condition. So I decided that I needed to give myself goals that would test my commitment to myself and to my future self. I added private French lessons and although there were moments when I really questioned my sanity in taking on this additional task, it forces me to take action in another area of my life. It’s a lot easier to focus solely on work when you decide that nothing else should matter and that’s not how life works. If you really want to be a whole leader, you need to recognize the other aspects of your life because those aspects also matter to your team.

Thanks for reading/sharing and leave your comments below!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2016 edition v12

I had a terrific time at the NLC training over the weekend. The participants had extremely good questions asking about how fundraising in underserved communities affects your finance plan. Campaigns are constantly trying to break through all the white noise by finding appropriate messengers to serve the message in mediums that are comfortable to the intended audience. Building connections and establishing relationships are the heart of campaigns. I wish the participants much success in their endeavors and the progressive movement is fortunate to have so much diverse talent ready to serve.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Growing your network while being authentic in your actions can be a daunting task. It helps when you have an interest outside of your field of expertise and proactively tell people about it! I always say that I’m a “Jill” of all trades and the master of nothing because I keep such varied interests in rotation. The ones that stand out for me are eating (who doesn’t like to do that!) so I often get asked where to go for dining options, and my choices in wardrobe attire. When I worked as a manager of a James Beard winning chef’s restaurant, the wait staff would tell me that they could envision me as a cooking instructor (maybe this goes back to my love of teaching!) and people who ask me to help them as a stylist. Obviously all of these interests are outside of my professional expertise, but people identify these as activities where I can excel. This all leads to how you can better network as you progress in your careers. It makes life more multi dimensional and brings another flavor to your character.
  • People often call me to ask me what they need to do in preparation for a run for elected office. I always tell them that they need to massage their network. It’s also important to be  a part of different organizations and to be active as a community leader. It doesn’t necessarily mean be a social butterfly and collect a ton of business cards that never really mean anything to anyone, most importantly you if you’re trying to make meaningful connections. If you need to reset your networking goals, here are 3 tips to make your networking more successful.
  • I’m a little late to this game because I’m already a workaholic but there may still be hope for me yet. I’ve always said that people shouldn’t stay in the office for the sake of looking like they’re putting in more hours. If your work is done, then Buh Bye! This doesn’t apply if you’re an assistant and your boss is still burning the midnight oil but however way you can help in making your boss’ life easier will score brownie points. In every industry it’s a little different how people manage their work life but here’s how you can still advance in your career without being a workaholic.
  • I’m not even in this age range anymore (!!!) but I can tell you that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve also give less F*CKs about what people think (maybe a wee bit and mainly that goes to my long time friends who have always supported me in my goals). I recently visited with a few of my high school classmates (some of them who have become closer friends as we’ve gotten older and some who have been life long friends who have been with me during some turbulent years) and we were reminiscing about how much we’ve changed or stayed the same. What people thought of me then is the same as what people think of me now. I’m quiet until you get to know me and then you realize that I’m a very animated person. The saying about me is that I’m cool but not **cool** as in not very warm. My closest friends have commented that upon meeting me, I don’t necessarily come off as standoffish but I have a guard up that is seemingly hard to crack. Maturity plays a factor of how much you can change as you age, but core personality traits will always be at the heart of who you are as a person. It’s with experience, you learn to become more warm and more extroverted as deemed by circumstances (in my case).
  • Ever wonder what your salary would be if you worked as part of the senior leadership team of a presidential campaign? Look no further – here you go! Does it surprise you that the Kasich campaign is the only campaign that has a female as the campaign manager? How about in the Sanders campaign that no one in the top 10 highest paid employees are women? In the Trump campaign, no one breaks 6 figures and in the Cruz campaign, the Political Director makes $192,000 – the highest paid person of any of the presidential campaigns. #politicscanbefun
  • I know several people who work from home and for some it was their 1st time in that type of situation. They wondered if they could survive the lack of structure that goes with working from home. The physical location of my office is my home but I have staff who come to my office as if it’s an actual office building to work. So I don’t necessarily follow the norms of “Working from Home” and when I don’t have staff, I still maintain some pretty crazy hours. Campaign life doesn’t have a work from home aspect. The camaraderie that’s built working on a campaign builds a stronger rapport of trust and dependence on your team members. Here are some hard truths about that work lifestyle – what do you do if you work from home to maintain structure?
  • When you think you need to re-assess your goals to get to the next level, use these lessons to get you motivated. I’m always re-tooling productivity and trying to find ways to be more efficient. Whenever I get overwhelmed and think I can’t do anymore, I take a step back to find the small triumphs and that gets me excited to take the next step. I work in teams with my clients and we normally discuss strategy as a team but I have to execute it mainly solo so going back to the team to think of ideas helps to create a collaborative space. Knowing that I have colleagues who are supportive in the goal is important in creating a safe place to explore new ideas.

Alright folks – tell me your stories! Thanks for sharing/reading and if you thought this was helpful, tell a friend to subscribe!

— Madalene

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v4

Photo credit via

Winter is barreling ahead full steam so we’re bracing for some crazy snowfall up and down the mid-Atlantic so I hope everyone on the east coast is staying safe and keeping warm. It might be a good time to get in some Tuesday Truths!

  • Regardless of what level of seniority you’ve obtained, you’ll always looking to improve. That might mean taking on more responsibility so that you can get to the next level, or wanting a promotion because you’re feeling professionally stagnant from mastering your current position. As a result, there will be skills that you will need to learn. Undoubtedly, you’ll encounter moments where you will have no clue how to do something. No one wants to feel like an “impostor” but you want to appear like a competent person as you maneuver through this experience. Here are some tips on how to best fake it til you make it so that you can continue to show confidence while learning along the way.
  • My colleagues and I are always on the lookout for talent and for individuals who exhibit qualities of future leaders. How can you show that you’re a leader if you’re a staff assistant or have no management skills? One quality that I look for is when someone helps others, not just to those who are their managers but also to those who have less experience. If you don’t manage the interns, but interact with them, how do you help them succeed? Your actions, as well as attitude determines whether people can see your leadership abilities and potential so take advantage of doing more than what is your scope of work.
  • Which leads me to when you have to manage someone who you may not particularly like. There are going to be times when a you have a member of your team who you may not have hired, but you have to manage. I tend to get along with everyone as I try to respect everyone’s roles. As long as you respect my role, I can respect yours. That includes understanding my position within the hierarchy of the management infrastructure as well as my history with the principal(s). I may look like I’m in my early 30’s but I have experience that exhibits itself by my actions. Whenever there’s a team member who rubs me the wrong way, I try to remember that as a manager, I’m above the drama and it’s my goal to have the team work as efficiently as possible by tapping into the strengths of the individuals and helping them with their weaknesses. If you’re the person rubbing people the wrong way, you don’t have to please everyone and personality doesn’t necessary fit into a neat box but you should recognize that some traits can be improved upon with a bit of polish and a boost of confidence. It’s really a relationship of all three articles.
  • I am a total believer about making your own luck. Does that make me a hippie dippy/glass half full/unicorn chasing rainbows kind of gal? Perhaps but I also try to pair that attitude with a high dose of pragmatic reality. I’ve had my share of disappointment but I don’t think I was ever really disillusioned. It’s about setting a mentality that allows for failure (yes, failure because we’re not perfect) while looking towards achieving attainable measures of success.
  • Since a lot of my clients happen to be men (OK all of them are men), I recognize that as a woman, I’m giving counsel to people who trust me for my political acumen. Fortunately, I’m not the only female to provide expertise on these teams so it helps to have a welcome environment to express opinions. I’m an only child so growing up I always had my family’s attention and with an AAPI mother, I was taught to have a more AAPI attitude towards deference to my elders (if there’s ever a hierarchy, it certainly dwells in an AAPI family) so talking back was certainly a no-no. I didn’t find my voice with my family until much later in life but I always had my voice for those people outside. I’ve enjoyed reading how we can nurture our younger females so that they don’t ever lose their voice. Which also leads me to how adult women can get their male colleagues to stop “mansplaining”. I have an Irish American husband who is the oldest of 5 and when I’m at his family’s house, I have to take a break because I’m not accustomed to having such a boisterous family lovingly talk over one another – a managed chaos that comes with family habits but not one suitable to business meetings when someone (gender neural at times) hijacks an idea or interrupts you when you’re speaking. This is assuming that you’re expressing yourself with authority and doing it in a manner that demands attention. I speak at meetings only when I feel like I’m adding to the conversation. This may or may not work for you. If I feel that my assessment or summary is worthy of discussion, I don’t hesitate to initiate it when appropriate. People have noted my style as to be calm and deliberative so that when I speak, people listen. When I’m talking and someone decides to talk over me, I speak louder because I don’t allow the person to be a distraction. I work with people who have been in politics for a long time and as such, we have worked on multiple campaigns together and provide mutual respect. So don’t hesitate to demand that respect by how you present yourselves and SHUT IT DOWN when someone thinks that they can.
  • Have you ever thought about taking a life audit? I’ve done it informally throughout my career so I could assess if I was creating a life that I wanted to live and love. I have felt, at times that I wasn’t living up to my potential and made choices accordingly. One of the reasons why I started my consulting business was because I wanted to be my own boss. It’s times like these when I have had my best periods of self discovery. Although challenging, this personal journey can make a difference in how you view your life. I’ll share my results if you share yours!

Hope everyone is staying safe on the east coast! Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know your comments!

— 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