Tag Archives: negotiation

foggy mountains

Tuesday Truths 2018 Edition v2

How are you enjoying 2018 so far? It’s been a blustery and unusually cold January with the bomb cyclone making its way up the east coast so we’re warmly ensconced reading, writing and making plans!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • When I was a child, I skipped a grade and did math problems over the summer after watching Captain Kangaroo – do you even know who that is ūüėČ – as much as I enjoyed the accolades of being told that I was smart, I didn’t enjoy it. So much so that when my mom would check my math, I made up numbers as answers instead of showing my work which only made me do more work because I didn’t really do the work in the 1st place. It’s very tiring meeting expectations. There needs to be a balance between reaching your potential and challenging yourself to learn/explore problem solving. This created a mindset for me that I didn’t shake until later in life. I hardly failed at academics and my source of self esteem was from knowing that I was smart due to my grades. As a result, I became more formulaic and relied on the process to get to a positive outcome. In essence, I became lazy and also dependent on not using my talent and learned skills to delve through a problem. I was afraid to fail and it stunted my growth. Acknowledging the situation helped me to better understand myself and teach me how I needed to learn. Whenever I want to learn something new, I recognize that I don’t need to be the best. I embrace the process of learning as well as failing. Its with practice and giving myself the space to learn that I can achieve my goals. That’s not to say that I give myself a gold star for every attempt. If I’m not putting in the work then it’s on me for not getting where I want to go. This growth mindset is imperative to thrive.

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  • As a follow up to the growth mindset is an advice column answer to “Why Am I So Lazy?”. Fear of failing runs deep! If you look back at previous posts, I’ve talked about how I consider myself a procrastinator. I read a lot of articles about productivity and about the efficient use of time. How do high performing people operate? I don’t see them as procrastinators since they have to manage their time to the minute. I used to have a highly organized schedule that outlined how my time was spent. Being over scheduling helped to focus my mind. It also meant that I felt over scheduled (insert 22.5 minutes of fun time here). So, I removed how I scheduled my time and I hit the pendulum in the other direction. All of these things are mechanisms to cope with procrastinating and yet it doesn’t get to the root of the problem so reading this column drives back the idea of being fearful of failing. It’s always the simplest of things that can create the biggest of problems.

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  • Remember to take care of yourself. Running on full steam can cause damage and scheduling breaks will allow you to fully re-charge. Here are 19 things that you can do for yourself. Some of them are more reflective and may cause you to wince. Acknowledging your vulnerabilities sets you up to find the solutions to move forward. One of my favorite notes in this article is taking 100 percent responsibility for your life. All the while, create your own destiny. Let me know what has been working for you!

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  • As a political fundraiser, this negotiation tip from Tanya Tarr really resonated with me. When I work with candidates, especially 1st time candidates, I not only go through the process of asking for money, I work through the frame of mind – the why behind the ask. Most campaigns don’t go through the process of asking what values you as a candidate represent because it is so reflective. Campaigns are at the heart values based so when you start attaching that to money, you are going straight to “the why” you’re running for office. It was also a terrific refresher for me to when I need to put on my big girl pants and ask for money on projects.

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  • We’re in the beginning weeks of a new year so let’s take steps so that we’re not walking down to the path towards burn-out. Hopefully you were able to use part of December re-charging and relaxing. You are hopefully also returning refreshed and ready to go. Let’s use some of that energy to create a work environment that allows for self care and that means if you’re the boss, starting with you setting the example.

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Thanks for reading/sharing. If you know someone who would benefit from Tuesday Truths, please encourage them to subscribe!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v49

Photo credit: Alton Wang with photo editing by moi.

Are you gearing up for the holidays? After last week’s U.S. Senate vote for “tax reform”, I’ve turned into a bit of a grinch. I’m looking at all the things that are being eliminated and as a small business owner, it bothers me that the bill targets how I do my business expenses. Of course, we talk about not worrying about things that we can’t control so what I can control is making sure that the House members understand that this would be negligent on their part to pass the Senate version of this atrocity. Trust me when I say that when it comes time to pay my taxes, the response in my household is “Are you sure you’re not a Republican?” because I have a higher tax rate being self employed. My husband reminds me that it’s our fair share and although we don’t have children, we want future generations to have quality public education and hey, we all use that road & bridge so an infrastructure that isn’t crumbling would be nice. **le sigh** If you’re unhappy with where this legislation is headed then get your friends in the states where elected leaders are on the fence to voice their discontent. Getting off my soapbox and sharing Tuesday Truths!

  • Everyone talks about how getting enough sleep is a pillar to relieving stress. Lots of successful people talk about being early risers and maximizing their day. There are categories of people who do best according to how they get sleep. I fall into the “Lions” category where I usually get up before my alarm and when it’s still dark (although I like to exercise in the morning, which is more a “Wolf” behavior). Which animal sleep pattern do you associate with in your sleep activity? Now that you’ve identified which category you’re in, you can also design your day around how you wake up and power down to get rest.

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  • There’s a theory that my generation (45-54) is moving into what’s called Generation Grumpy. My husband is already thinking about retirement in 10 years. While I’m a little bit younger than him, I will probably “retire” soon thereafter, probably another 5-10 years. So why are we so grumpy? It looks like the generation ahead of us are staying in the jobs that we would elevate into but they’re staying in those jobs longer. They aren’t retiring and as a result, my generation won’t be progressing into a higher income bracket or more senior level positions. Something to think about as we get older and stick around longer!

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  • We could all use more positive thinking. I am pretty much a pragmatist. I have had and continue to have my share of disappointments so I always try to find the silver lining, although maintaining a level of optimism can be tiring when others aren’t as positive. I’m still working on meditating because my mind likes to wander so keeping calm is a behavior that I need to practice. Here’s a nifty chart where you can begin your journey of positive thinking.

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  • I shared Tracee Ellis Ross’ remarks in a previous post about her owning her life. Here’s another version of her creating space and giving herself permission to give zero DUCKS. People always comment about how I turn down invitations because I generally schedule my life to fit all the things that I need to get accomplished (I really am a procrastinator at heart). I’m living on the edge here because I had a pretty full weekend so I didn’t write this post during my usual allotted writing time (see! I don’t always follow my schedule!). It’s my life and I’ll live it the way I want. No one else has to face the consequences for my choices. So don’t give others your power. When it comes to your career, those Benjamins belong in your wallet so how you choose to direct your career path is a combination of your financial situation, your obligations to yourself to increase/decrease your portfolio and how you want to live your life. You work hard for your money so when I hear about a young woman choosing to get out of politics because she can’t find the right fit, I want to hug her to let her know that I’m on her side. We lose another woman rising in the ranks yet at the same time, sometimes it makes perfect sense for a person to step out of their once chosen profession to pursue other interests and dreams. We’re not one dimensional and if you want something, fight for it and find people who will champion you. Leave everyone else behind.

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  • It may be annual review time and I gotta give a shout out to negotiation extraordinaire, Tanya Tarr. She’s got techniques and a template on how you can prepare for this discussion. It’s an opportune time to pull together your greatest hits and talk about your major accomplishments. It breathes life into your narrative of why your work qualifies for more compensation, either in the form of a higher salary or more benefits. It’s a self confidence boost that will carry good will in the next year.

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  • When we talk about why someone wants to run for office, it’s such a personal message. You may hear the sound bytes of “We want to build a better place for future generations” or ‘Our children deserve to breathe clean air etc.”. Honestly, I’m not a cynic. What most candidates don’t realize is that campaigns are about values. To get to the generic tag lines, you need to actually dig deep within yourself to recognize the pivotal moment that called you to action. Most people don’t think that they will grow up to be an elected official. It is a job after all and it’s part popularity contest along with some policy awareness. It’s also hard AF to run for any kind of elected office. Those who are truly motivated also recognize that they need to connect with voters and find the moment that ignited the spark to run for office. In my opinion, finding meaningful career goals is a microcosm of what it means to run for office. The tagline may be generic, the moment when you realized that you could affect change by running is not. It’s so deeply personal and is based on what you think are the values you want to explore and share with others. When looking at your career, you should also be aligning your goals to your values. Here’s an exercise that you can do to see what you can do to create meaningful goals.

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  • I’m going to the Politico Women Summit and there will be a plethora of fierce women in attendance. Instead of the “where do you work?” line of questioning, I’m going to use my standard, “Any plans for the upcoming holidays?” which can also lead to “Do you have any fun holiday party/festivities planned?” aka “What are your hobbies?” which can also lead to “Are you planning to see the new star wars movie?”. I’m such a big believer in learning about people’s lives outside of their work titles. Since I’m the rare bird that grew up in this town, I usually ask, “What brought you to DC?” and if I do find another DMV native, we usually end up talking about all our favorite places for (“______” fill in the blank). So the next time you’re in networking land, here are 55 questions you can use to break the ice and get to know someone.

That’s it for this week, folks – thanks for reading/sharing and I’ll see you in 7 days ūüôā

— Madalene

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v39

We’re in the final stretch of the QTR so get your money in for all of the political causes you believe in so that we can have the highest tally on September 30th. As much as I appreciate support on October 1st, it’s a little painful that it can’t count for the 3rd QTR. The flip side is that that contribution starts off the 4th QTR count. Fundraising never ends!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Much thanks to Tanya Tarr for featuring me in her negotiation article about resilience. If you’re getting started in fundraising, you can read more about Tanya’s experience about staying in the saddle even after getting several no’s and how as she continued forward, her asks got bigger and the results got better! I’ve always felt that creating your own luck is essential to getting to your goals and as a result, you learn how to be resilient.

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  • Building teams to execute a project can be challenging and when you’re working in a small organization, there aren’t that many opportunities to mix up the staff to spur creativity. You do have the ability to change up the environment and to motivate your team through incentives to reward them for a job well done. Here are ways that can help you build a better team or at the very least, encourage your team members to feel that the work really is a team effort. I’ve talked about how I’ve taken my team to a weekly staff lunch of their choice. It’s also important to acknowledge each team member for their accomplishments in a public way and I also show my gratitude by purchasing gift cards or something from the road when I’m traveling to thank them. As much as I like being in the office to get work done, it’s important to not always have a static setting when you’re trying to innovate. So step away from a familiar setting to get new ideas flowing.

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  • I mentor quite a few women who are in the beginning stages of their careers and provide career advice for women who maybe¬†hitting their stride in their chosen profession and are likely maybe a decade younger then me. Having these conversations are fulfilling because I hope that by sharing my experiences, I’m helping them navigate their own career path. The benefit for me is that their questions also highlights for me the current trends affecting professionals of their experience and age. When you think about establishing a relationship with a mentor, there will be expectations from both sides so setting boundaries is important and recognizing what you want out of the relationship.

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  • I’m all about sharing a platform for women and women of color. My sisters in the tech industry (where I have some experience being that I have fundraised in that industry since the mid 1990s from venture capitalists for political campaigns and organizations) are fighting against the stereotypes of AAPI women who work in this field. Big props to Tina Lee, a dear friend who heads up a nonprofit to train moms how to code and to re-engage in the work force. AAPI women continue to make strides to be valued for our intelligence and technical ability and I’m looking forward to hearing more success stories of their progress.

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  • When I started in politics, I moved from field to fundraising and at the time, I didn’t know that many people of color who did fundraising. I also was working in a very specific area within the Democratic Party: moderate Democrats so an area that leaned more heavily into the business community and more Southern. Which meant that I spent a lot of time with Caucasian people, both elected officials and donors. I didn’t spend a lot of time with the AAPI community and it wasn’t until I started working with AAPI candidates and elected officials did I start to learn about the AAPI narrative. By then I was an established fundraiser and had already spent time training people with the philosophy that regardless of your ethnic background, your abilities transcends your race. You’re a good communications director, fundraiser, campaign manager and you also happen to be “fill in the blank”. Provide the training so that people from all backgrounds can have the technical skills to advance in their careers. Marry that with opportunity and hopefully you will have a pipeline that creates a diverse work force within the progressive movement. In that context, it irks me to no end when organizations talk about having people of color working in their organizations and they aren’t in leadership positions or they are relegated to only engaging with their constituency. I’m a good fundraiser and I have the cultural competency to talk with my natural constituency and that shouldn’t limit me to only talking to my constituency. I ain’t got time for tokenism and neither should you. Take a good hard look within and around you. We’re not perfect and making changes so that we don’t fall into that trap for show will make for a better relationship for all of us.

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  • I’ve been watching MSNBC for a while and although it’s not Wednesday, I’ve got #WCW vibes for Joy Reid. Most of the time when I’m perusing my twitter feed, I’m screaming “YAASSS!” when reading her comments. She was recently profiled in Vogue.com and it was cool to see that the article pointed out that with tv as her medium, she uses the opportunity to create a full package of herself.

Thanks for reading/sharing and hope to see you next week! Drop me a line if you want to have a particular subject matter shared.

— Madalene

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v31

Congress has recessed and once again, ObamaCare continues on even though the Republican controlled Senate continues to insist that it needs to be repealed. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted! I’m ready for a time-out from DC and looking forward to a change of scenery. I hope you’ve got plans for the August exodus!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • This year has been extremely demoralizing on the professional front. Yet, I know that there are bright spots to my life that I’m fortunate to experience. I get teary eyed thinking about my friendships and how they have individually grown as people. They have experienced professional triumphs and are easing into personal transitions (motherhood, finding partners etc..). Life is about having the ability to build resilience and as I hit my stride into mid life, I know that I have the skills to face the challenges that come with change. Here’s how you can prepare for what life is certainly going to bring your way.

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  • Do you want to be more productive? Have you tried time batching? I have Follow up Fridays in my office to do follow up calls for those donors who have yet to contribute their commitments. This particular technique keeps me and my team grounded in knowing that we can take care of these follow ups and we won’t lose track of these outstanding items.

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  • In political communication, we warn candidates/campaigns that they have to define themselves otherwise their opponents will create their narrative for them and you spend more time trying to refute someone else’s misconceptions vs setting the story straight from the get go. So when you think about self promotion, you need to think about how you talk about yourself and how your narrative can highlight your accomplishments. Share the credit and bring others with you.

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  • I try to create a work environment that shows my team that we’re in this together and that I value their work. Some of the things that I do include doing a weekly staff lunch (whether ordering in for the office or taking them out to a restaurant of their choice), awarding my team with gifts from when I have work travel and they’re holding down the fort, as well as creating projects where they have forced family fun. In the end, I’ve found that the camaraderie that is created goes across the generations of staff that I’ve had the good fortunate to mentor in the 15 years I’ve had my firm and I hope that these small gestures lets them know that they’re appreciated. As a result, I’ve been invited to weddings, baby showers and celebrations of personal milestones years after our professional relationship has ended. My biggest hope is that they treat their teams as they were treated so that the circle expands and people treat one another with respect and personally invest in their success.

Thanks for reading/sharing & look forward to visiting with you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v28

Big day today! We’re getting a new U.S. Representative for CA34 sworn into Congress. Exciting times! This past weekend, I was in Los Angeles for another client, America’s Opportunity Fund (AOF) doing a training for AAPI campaign operatives and candidates. It was terrific to meet local activists and help them move ahead with their political careers. I’ll be in the Bay area in 2 weeks and can’t wait to see everyone!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I tremendously loved reading this post because I’m a horrible small talker (yes, believe me especially since I work in an industry where communication is key) and really alerted me to a basic reminder: everyone just wants to connect with the people they meet. Strangers may or may not become friends but they become less strangers to one another. The secret to small talk is being unafraid to be awkward. Easier said than done. So when I remind myself to give zero f*cks, I became a more open person to opportunity and connection. Be your awkward self and people will see that you’re authentic.

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  • Being a woman is HARSH. There are so many challenges and outside variables that nag at your self confidence. Are you married? Do you have children? Where are you in your career? Is there a growing competition between older and younger women? I am fortunate to have good genes that disguise my mid 40s age. I also have a mindset that allows me to stop thinking about age (whether it’s me or my friends/colleagues). For the longest time, I couldn’t track my friends’ ages. I knew that we were relatively in the same age group due to job experience etc but it wasn’t until they publicly celebrated milestone birthdays did I really see an age attached to them. IMO, there are women who are truly ageless, not because they look a certain way, more because they have a variety of friends of different ages, generally are current on technology and are compassionate/passionate advocates for their work & lives. I see the women who mentor me who are in their 70s & 80s and think, when I started in this business they were well into their 50s and they continue with such grace and veracity. The ageless generation (women who are in their 40s-50s) are my inspiration to keep myself curious and creative.

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  • I obviously love what I do because I spend a lot of my weekends doing it as well! I remember when I worked in the hospitality industry and realized that my schedule no longer aligned with my friends (they had weekends and my definition of a weekend may have been a Monday-Thursday and be non-consecutive). I recognized that the industry wasn’t right for me and also that I’m the type of person who would easily give up a traditional weekend if it meant doing what I loved. So if you’re in a job situation that doesn’t meet your passion, then you should consider a few things before you decide to throw in the towel. You maybe feeling a little stuck and you’ll have to assess the situation but if you’re living only towards the weekend, it’s a red flag that’s also blinking DANGER DANGER.

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Thanks for reading/sharing – we’ll be back next Tuesday!

— Madalene

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Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v20

May is Asian American Heritage Month and there are a lot of cultural and political festivities to celebrate the AAPI story. Tuesday night will be Asian Prom, where a lot of my colleagues and luminaries will be all gussied up. There’s a lot of going out and networking – just perfect for the introvert in me ūüôā Needless to say, I know how to harness my energy to make it most useful to me. There’s a whole political fundraising schedule for these kinds of events. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation has their legislative conference in September while the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute does a series of events during Hispanic Heritage month (September 15-October 15) as well. I was asked by a male colleague if I bought a new dress every time I had to attend these galas and my answer is that I have a closest dedicated to formal attire and my dresses go into rotation. It’s a good thing that Facebook has the memories feature because I can see what years I wore what dress. The dress that I’m wearing for the Tuesday night gala is a dress that I pulled from the archives. I think the last time I wore it, I attended a¬†CHCI gala and there aren’t any photos of me in it so it’s new to you! It also helps that I have generally stayed the same size throughout the years so I can continue what’s in my closet without having to do too much damage on my wallet.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

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  • I have always said during the many trainings I’ve done that working on campaigns is like working in a start up many many times over during each election cycle. Generally, there’s not a lot of institutional knowledge and the “adult(s)” in the room are in the late 30s-60ish age group. There’s a lot of young people who are looking to move ahead. The big difference is that election cycles are short and when you work in an organization such as a start up, the payoff can be much later. The similarities, however are tremendous. So when you’re looking for a raise, take heed of some of these points and you’ll see that you have a lot ahead of you.

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  • I’m all for women empowerment and showing solidarity for my sister friends who are battling against misogyny. So when people decide that women who are not supportive of other women who are advocating policies that adversely affect women and discriminate against groups due to¬†their bigotry, are anti-woman or not a feminist, I get extremely annoyed. Remove the gender factor and you are left with a person whose values I whole heartedly disagree with on a very base level. It’s almost the equivalent to when I work with AAPI candidates. First and foremost, my values don’t change when it comes to the ethnicity of a candidate. If you share the same values as me and you’re “fill in the blank“, then we’re going to get a long just fine. I may want more AAPIs and communities of color represented in elected office but I will not actively work with someone who advocating for anything remotely related to discriminatory views – selective sexism.

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  • From time to time, I do #ootd posts on my instagram. In all honesty, I am decidedly less creative in the winter months with my wardrobe selection than when the temperatures get warmer. Getting the chance to layer up and to wear more summer attire is more appealing than throwing on a sweater and pants on the regular. However the warmer months also means dealing with humid DC afternoons and office buildings that over compensate with cranking up the air conditioning. I’m fortunate that I don’t necessarily follow the skirt suit uniform so if you’re looking for creative inspiration for what professional attire you can wear in the summer then look no further. Elle magazine is sharing 11 women and their go-to outfits for the summer. #8 and #10 are my favorites!

Got any questions for me? Drop me a note in the comment section or send me an email!

Thanks for reading/sharing! See you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v16

Thanks so much to all of you who took the time to vote for the “Diversifying the Progressive Movement” panel for Netroots Nation. Appreciate your support!

Is anyone else feeling the affects of Spring in DC? I’m feel like a bit of a zombie with a foggy brain and my head is either going to explode from congestion or I can’t stop sneezing or rubbing my eyes -__- BLECH! It’s so hard to function when I can’t breathe which always makes for fun call time for me because it sounds like I’m crying while asking for money @_@ –> neither a good look or sound!

It’s another Election Day so I’m crossing my fingers and toes for GA-06! Let’s get going with Tuesday Truths!

  • I’ve talked before about my dislike of being asked “to have my brain picked” – the term just annoys me to no end. I don’t see myself on the zombie menu. Needless to say, the term needs to die a quick death. Along with it, the notion that all of my advice is free. As a fundraiser, I know the significance in the “time is money” mantra. As a consultant, my work is based off of getting clients and utilizing my time to bring in more clients or getting work done. It’s hard to say, “no” and protecting your time is essential so take a cue from my colleagues, Tanya Tarr & Tammy Gordon and learn this tactic so that you switch from free advice to getting paid.
  • There are times when people get promoted in an industry and you wonder how is it possible that they have reached this level of seniority and yet, have no idea how to work with people? Motivating and keeping staff on the same page towards a common goal is tricky business. To compound the situation is if you work in an industry where there isn’t room in the budget for leadership development or people don’t make the time to learn skills that will help them manage. Some say that there is a difference between being a leader and being a manager. Regardless if you’re managing or leading, everyone’s concerned with results and results are dependent on how you work with others.
  • I get asked a lot about career advice and how to succeed in a tough market such as politics. The fact of the matter is politics is seasonal work and staying in business as long as I have (15 years and counting) is considered an eternity. Evolving my skills as well as the types of projects I want to work on are essential to staying relevant. It’s also important that the people I work with in this industry can rely on my ability to deliver. Regardless of what industry you’re involved with there are common themes that thread throughout in determining how you can guide your own career destiny.
  • Are you pitching yourself for client work or just trying to pitch yourself into new responsibilities at work? The key to success is to show how you can solve a problem to that potential client or supervisor. I’m a big believer in “Why” – Why a business exists, why an entrepreneur is motivated and they why is equally important to the potential client in why they have a problem because you’re going to find the solution for them. Pitching yourself is never really about pitching yourself — it is more about how you bring unique ideas to solving their problems.
  • I am a Type A true and true. Although I lean on the procrastinating side which is a little wacky since Type As are always on the go with their time. Maybe I’m mellowing ūüėČ Are you and if not, what does it mean to work with a Type A?

Thanks for checking it out – see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v14

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to speak at the GW Women In Business Spring Conference about Entrepreneurship.

Here are some of my thoughts about the questions that they asked:

Introduce yourself:
I am a political campaign strategist and I help people get elected to office. (Going back to the templates of ways that you can introduce yourself in under 20 words).

What is a risk you have taken in your career path?:
I got into politics and then I left politics to pursue a job in another industry which I thought was interesting (I started a catering business & worked in a James Beard winning restaurant) and then I left the hospitality industry because I wanted to get back into politics. My career hasn’t been linear. I’ve left¬†my 1st career choice because I felt burnout and I thought I needed to try something different that I thought was my passion. It taught me to maintain relationships and to listen to my instincts. It’s OK to not have all the answers and even when you think you know what you want to do, you may find that it’s not cracked up to be in reality. Everything in life is a learning experience and you can do whatever you set your mind to do, but you also need to recognize what makes you passionate about your work. Since my return to politics, I haven’t had the sense of burnout like when I was in my 20s because I better understand myself and my limits. That’s not to say that my goals won’t evolve into something totally different from where I once started. That’s life – people change and how they want to approach life. “If you get tired, learn to rest not quit.” – Banksy

What advice do you have for students who have a passion for starting their own business but fear that it won’t achieve long term success?:
Have a clear vision and definition of your success. Success is a personal goal. Do not become consumed in comparison to someone else’s instagrammable life. Long term success can be 6 months, it can be 2 years, 4 years, 15 years – a lifetime – it’s all up to you. If you know that you have a quality product or service that resolves a challenge or is innovative then you can go to the market place ready to compete. Try to be socially responsible. Always be a student and learn from others. I still take other people’s classes on subject matters where I’m considered the subject matter expert. I don’t have the answers to everything and neither should you.

How did your experiences in college and your early career impact your drive to create the Arum Group?:
When I was a child, I skipped a grade and later tested into a math and science high school program. I was an athlete and was student body president. So, I was basically every single Type A person with the grades and extracurricular activities to go with it. My father passed away when I was 15 and from that moment, I became an adult. Fast forward to turning 17 then starting college 4 months later so I have always been quite independent. I was a bit naive which only helped me to dive into the deep end without much fear. I was fortunate that I was raised with enough praise and expectation that whatever vision I had for myself was always positive and that my own ambition wasn’t questioned. My parents instilled in me that I have value and that whatever project/job/career I chose, I would make an impact. So that’s a lot of self worth. Temper that with a bit of curiosity, willingness to learn things that I knew were my weaknesses and a lot of go get it attitude. All of these ingredients mixed together with a dash of I don’t want to have one boss created Arum Group. I couldn’t find a job that allowed me to be the things that I knew that I could be so I created my own luck (with everything that I try to do) so that it could lead me to the opportunities that started my own consulting firm. There are times when I think I want to close up shop but I know that I wouldn’t be happy so I have to continue to create opportunities that I find fulfilling so that Arum Group can be a company that fulfills my definition of success.

If you’re beginning your professional journey and in your 20s, you have a lot of life ahead of you to experience a lot of different things and even as you get older, you need to keep learning. Like I mentioned earlier, you need to be willing to be a student at every opportunity. A former colleague of mine was featured in the NYT about her journey as a seasoned professional at 52 and how she used her network to find the right opportunity for her.

Do you have any questions you want answered about being an entrepreneur or working in politics? Drop me a line and I’ll give them a go!

More Tuesday Truths!

It’s #EqualPayDay and we “celebrate” it so that people can be made aware of the causes and¬†impact that are created by the gender wage gap¬†between women and men. I’ll be training¬†about Salary Negotiation in DC and if you can’t make that training, my colleague and friend, Tanya Tarr will be doing a free webinar on Negotiating as well. There are ample opportunities to get trained in these skills so take advantage of learning how to value your worth. If you can’t join either activity, you can read how science teaches us when to make the first offer.

Since I was talking about Entrepreneurship to a Women’s Conference, I wanted to highlight the challenges that women face in this space and guess what, the challenges are somewhat similar to what women face when running for elected office: ability to raise capital for their venture (campaign fundraising), starting earlier in life, as well as how women spend more time as a caretaker.

There are days when I can’t get my sh*z together and need to reflect on how I can better optimize my day. If I ever get to this point, can someone send me a life preserver filled with a trunk load of vodka or gin? I’d rather drown drinking a cocktail, thank you very much!

Thanks for reading/sharing & let me know what’s going on in in your world!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v9

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It’s a new era at the Democratic National Committee with the recently elected Chair (the 1st Latino to helm the organization) as well as a diverse group of leaders providing support to the communities that will organize across the country. We have no time to waste so let’s get to work!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Over the weekend, I spoke at American University’s Women in Politics Institute and I was part of a panel that spoke about fundraising. One of the things we discussed was call time. Two very familiar words that candidates and elected officials must learn to endure when they want to run for office. Oftentimes during call time, you’ll be calling people who don’t know you asking them for money. One of the things that must happen is the candidate/elected official needs to establish a rapport with the other person. That can be challenging if you’re an introvert or borderline introvert. Connecting with people draws them in to your ideas and your candidacy. Here are 5 tips to establish that rapport.
  • Wonderful graphs and diagrams to better understand how to get smart. I try to work on each aspect a bit although the book reading is more challenging. I like reading smaller amounts of a lot of different topics and reading a book can sometimes be too much of a commitment. It’s obviously more than just reading because life demands you to be present on different levels. Noticing others while understanding people’s “whys” leads to better understanding how to layer that information.
  • I’m always up for friendly competition. There are a great deal of women who are in my field and most of us have worked with one another or have referred business to one another. ¬†That kind of competition is healthy because it makes us each work at our highest level. Regardless of the kind of¬†industry you work, business trends are hardly¬†stagnant and being on top of the most innovative concepts brings new ideas to the table. Be sure to use¬†healthy competition as a way to turn it to your advantage.
  • Would you mind sharing your opinions with me? Please take this annual survey (4 questions) so that I can bring you the types of topics that you find most important. Thank you for taking the time!

Thanks for reading/sharing! Look forward to hanging out with you here next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2016 Edition v44

One more week! I’m looking forward to closing this chapter of the 2016 election and optimistic for what’s to come. In the meantime, here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Most of you know that I volunteer with the Women’s Information Network (WIN)¬†— check out their newly designed webpage! —¬†and one of the objectives is to create an environment where women can find mentors organically and maintain a deep relationship so that it’s beneficial to all those involved. What’s important to remember is that regardless of where you are in life, you can always help those who are in the beginning stages of their career. If you’re a staff assistant, you would know the trials and tribulations of working as a junior member of a team. You can help those who are looking for their first jobs after school and it would be meaningful to them to know how you navigated to your 1st professional gig. We all have the ability to pay it forward. It’s a matter of us taking the time and if you’re not sure how to go about it, you can take a look at these mentoring tips.
  • In my 20s, I spent a short amount of time out of my current field to entertain the idea of trying something new. I switched career paths and found that although my new position was interesting, it wasn’t particularly fulfilling. I decided to go back into politics and I think there’s going to be more career changes in my future! If you decide to make a change, here are stories from 8 women who learned what it meant to make a career change.
  • Life is never perfect. Your professional life isn’t always going to be perfect, no matter how many times you think that you’ve achieved your goal of obtaining the “perfect” job. Learning to cope with the obstacles will allow you to maneuver the bumps as you move forward in life. There will be times when you need to exercise your brain to re-focus when you’re facing a challenging time.¬†All it takes is 3 seconds to find your joy!
  • Making friends can be a daunting task, especially when you get older. Social media these days has allowed us to get better with making connections that are real, although not necessarily IRL. I’ve had some delightful conversations with people who I frequently talk with on twitter or instagram and even though we haven’t met IRL, I know that I would find them to be as interesting. When you’re in the flesh, making friends is really a ritualistic form of courting someone. How do you know? By making an impression through interaction. My closest friends aren’t in the area anymore so I’ve had to adjust to finding new relationships that would make life a bit happier.
  • I’m all for more women running for office. If you’re progressive and also from a community of color then I’m all even more for it! One of the things that we’ve learned about engaging women to run as a candidate is that it takes multiple overtures for us to get women to run. We face self doubt and a huge case of imposter syndrome. So how can you help in closing the confidence gap? Encourage a woman to run!
  • Is this another Year of the Woman, where Congress gets an influx of women elected officials? Will it help to fix Congress in having more women legislators? According to this study, Democrats will not have a problem in encouraging women to run, however the GOP will face a massive crisis if they continue to lose women in their recruitment.
  • So I gotta close out this week’s edition with an article written by Tanya Tarr on defining trust in negotiation. I was recently a part of a speed mentoring event and we touched on negotiation as part of what you’ll have to face as you progress into your careers. Ask these 4 questions each time to test the waters of trust.

One more week! Thanks for reading/sharing!

— Madalene