The Adelante Tour is in Houston and the women driving the movement are on a mission.
Adelante Movement founder Nely Galan, author Sandra Cisneros and Nell Merlino, founder of the “Count Me In” nonprofit, are wrapping up the three day LATISM Conference with a free forum Saturday afternoon at the Hyatt Regency.
The Adelante Movement is about personal, economic and cultural empowerment. It may sound lofty, but this about more than words. It’s about action and inspiring Latinas with practical advice and tangible information.
”Don’t stay in that victim place. We all have bad stuff that happens but you have the ability to clean it up. Be the architect of your own life.”
“I got the idea for Adelante when I got on the advisory board of Coca-Cola,” Galan says. “The research said that Latina women in America are the number one economic emerging market in the world.” It also showed the opportunities for Latinas that were not being taken advantage of.
Galan talks about earmarked government contracts, available start up money, franchising opportunities and more. She decided to become part of the solution by showing women these opportunities and explaining how to take advantage of them.
Houston is the fifth city on a tour that started in July. Since then, Galan says hundreds of people have talked about their light bulbs going off. Galan, a media mogul and former president of entertainment at Telemundo, is thrilled about the women partnering with her on the tour.
“Sandra (Cisneros), the first speaker, is magical,” Galan says with excitement. Galan speaks next. Her message: It’s never too late to right the wrongs of your life.
”Don’t stay in that victim place,” she says. “We all have bad stuff that happens but you have the ability to clean it up. Be the architect of your own life.”
The last speaker Nell Merlino is one of Galan's role models. “She is amazing,” Galan says. “She is the most loving devoted person to helping women not just start businesses, but hit the million dollar mark and beyond. I’m a good speaker the other two women are really special!”
Business Life Lessons
Galan is also pretty special. Her impressive resume includes producing more than 600 shows, launching 10 television channels in Latin America and creating and executive producing the smash hit reality show The Swan.
“My failure resume is 10 times longer than my success resume,” she says. “When someone explains to you blow by blow how they did it, not the glamorized sales version, you feel like it’s OK. Next to a failure is always a success.“
“When I made money, instead of buying a brand new car and bling, I bought buildings and foreclosures."
Galan shares her life experiences through the Adelante Movement to help others see they too can be game changers. She’s worked for five billionaires and says they were her role models. The list includes media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Hollywood producer Norman Lear and Univision owner Haim Saban.
The media entrepreneur says the countless lessons she learned from her former bosses have truly shaped her career. Her goal is to empower women to start thinking differently, to realize that maybe there is a better way.
“When I made money, instead of buying a brand new car and bling, I bought buildings and foreclosures,” Galan says proudly. It was that mindset that made it possible for her to take a four-year sabbatical and go back to school for her masters and doctorate degrees in psychology. Perhaps that is where she gets some of her poignant insights or explanations for life’s lessons.
“Become best friends with fear and failure," Galan says. "Fear is not a fact, it’s a feeling. You have to reframe failure. All great people fail more than they succeed. If I didn’t fail 30 times I wouldn’t succeed three times. And all it takes is two or three successes.”
All it takes is a few moments with Galan to be captivated by her energy, passion and compassion. She says it’s about showing up everyday and giving it your all. I get the impression she’s enjoying the journey. When I asked about the most rewarding moments of the tour she got choked up.
With tears in her eyes she says, “being in a room of women where everybody understands each other and you go I get it! I know what you’ve gone through. And just feeling the power of a group. It is very powerful! Know who your tribe is.
“Be who you are and do what feels right to you.”
Kim Davis is a journalist with more than two decades of experience covering sports, news and politics in television, radio and print. Kim does weekly "Chalk Talk" segments on Fox 26 Morning News. Follow her on Twitter @kimydavis.