Dubbed the Tropical Tycoon by the New York Times Magazine, Nely Galán blazes a trail of success wherever she goes. Nely and I met on the set of Celebrity Apprentice, and even though Trump fired her from the show in the end, we’ve remained great friends ever since. She’s an Emmy award-winning producer and former president of entertainment for broadcast network Telemundo who never stops learning, moving, and shaking things up.
Recently, we spoke on All Business about her successes—and failures—throughout her career. No career path is the same, and Nely’s is truly remarkable. She’s my friend, but also someone I admire. She’s relentless, passionate, and out to change the lives of women around country. Here’s some lessons I learned during out talk:
Grow from Your Roots
Nely’s family immigrated to the USA from Cuba when she was two. Proud of the new country they called home, one of the first lessons her parents taught her was to be grateful for this country and to make money. And make money she did. Nely credits her entrepreneurial drive to being an immigrant, as she always aspired to give back to the country that welcomed her family.
Ready to pay it forward, Nely began the Adelante Movement (Move Forward!) to support Latino women socially, economically, and politically. True to her roots, Nely now provides resources for Latino and African American women who want to become entrepreneurs like herself.
Rather than shirk back from fear, Nely uses it as a guiding light. When she feels fearful, she pursues the source, knowing the challenge will only make her stronger. Take for example the start of her career: at age 14, Nely, angered by a false accusation of plagiarism, wrote a scathing article criticizing her school and sent it to Seventeen magazine. Not only did the teacher apologize, but the magazine picked her up as its youngest ever guest editor. Her media career launched from there. All because she took a chance and stood her ground, Nely broke records and began a remarkable career. Talk about living boldly!
Nely’s advice: never fear failing, because sometimes when you win, you lose, and sometimes when you lose, you win. Trust your path and keep working.
Never Stop Learning
Learning never ends for Nely Galán. Despite having a stable career (she’s launched 10 television channels and produced 600 episodes of programming), Nely decided in 2008 to go back to school, earning a doctorate in clinical psychology—because she can! She hopes this decision inspires others to remember it’s never too late to begin anything.
Surround Yourself with People Smarter than Yourself
Mentors play a significant role in Nely’s life. Interestingly enough, she admits many of these mentors would never label themselves as such. When scouting out a mentor, Nely suggests not asking someone overtly, but instead spending time with that person. Surrounding yourself with people you admire will allow you to ask questions and learn from their actions.
Calling someone a mentor is not as important as the lessons they teach you. Place yourself amongst people smarter than yourself and then soak up everything they have to say.
Listen to Nely’s full interview by visiting Play.It. While there, check out my interviews with Brian Tracy, Piers Morgan, and more!