Leadership Lessons from Latina Leader Nely Galan The Adelante Movement

In the Best of 2013 series, I’m highlighting some of the amazing people I got to meet in 2013. These posts have not been published on Que Means What before, so it’s a treat for you, too! #Bestof2013

“Latina media dynamo and women’s empowerment advocate Nely Galan, dubbed the “Tropical Tycoon” by The New York Times Magazine, is one of the entertainment industry’s savviest firebrand talents.” theadelantemovement.com/

I’ve had the privilege of meeting this Latina power house twice before but never had I had the honor to sit down with her for some real girl talk! Thanks to my dear amiga Michelle at Family Love in My City and Coca Cola, this dream came true! In September at People en Español’s FESTIVAL, we got to go backstage with Nely Galan for a tad bit of mentorship.

Nely Galan People en Espanol Festival

Revisiting my notes and these photos could not be more timely. Lessons she taught me ring louder today than when she actually spoke them directly to us. Michelle from Family Love in My City, Michelle from A Thrifty Diva and San Antonio business owner, Rebeca Barrera from Tres Rebecas and I all gathererd around her and listened to her every piece of advice. She made us laugh and made us think! Our conversation focused on building relationships with others for success.

Personally, I was curious as to how strong leaders really find others to trust and build community with. Here are they key points she made:

  • Ask for Mentorship. We can’t do this alone. Allow yourself to learn from others.
  • Use your jealousy as a guide. Seek out those you find yourself being jealous of and become friends with them. Learn from them if they really have what you want. (This is the second time I’ve received this advice from a strong female leader. The first was Ali Brown.)
  • Feed yourself first. When helping others so much, you may become resentful when you see them begin to succeed. If you feed yourself first, you won’t.

Nely Galan People en Espanol Festival - Adelante Movement

Nely also encouraged us to sell something and be wise with our money and businesses. She told us that the shoes she was wearing that day were from Payless and I was giddy because so were mine! I told her I used to sell Mary Kay and she said she used to sell Avon. Kindred spirits But en serio, my most favorite quote from her is ‘Don’t buy shoes, by a building.’

Nely means business when she’s talking to women about business. She tours the country with The Adelante Movement, go learn more about it and if it’s coming to you soon!  I look forward to her next visit to San Antonio. Until then, I’m taking her advice, seeking mentorship, making new friends and feeding myself first. THANK YOU Coca-Cola for bringing her to us. Thank you to mis amigas for getting experience this with you two. Michelle and Michelle! Nely Galan Quotes  - Don't Buy Shoes. Buy Buildings.

Melanie Mendez-Gonzales

Original content creator for ¿Qué Means What? Texas Latina mom blogger celebrating culture in education, entertainment and family life.

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6 Responses

  1. Michelle says:

    You got the pinky swear pic, I love it!!  Thanks for this Nely is actually a big part of my bucket list todo's for 2014.

    • Melanie Mendez-Gonzales says:

      Yay, Michelle! Yes. I'm hoping she comes back here if not, we'll have to make a road trip 🙂 <3 ya chica! 

  2. Eva Smith says:

    Love your recap! The quote that stuck out the most to me is to get your own chips.  Love her story behind it.  Hoping it tours back to California in 2014.

    • Melanie Mendez-Gonzales says:

      Thanks, Eva! I don't remember the story behind that quote. I think it was something about her having to buy her own way in? 

  3. I saw her at Hispanicize last year and it was the most inspiring session of the conference.  Such wonderful positive energy and advice. 

    • Melanie Mendez-Gonzales says:

      I totally agree, Letty! I loved that session. I’ll be keeping an eye on Nely and where her Adelante movement heads this year. Thanks!

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