Nely Galán: Media Executive & Emmy Winner – Ep. 80

Video Highlights:

About Nely Galán:

Nely Galán is one of those guests that makes me feel like the scene in Wayne’s World… I’m not worthy!

Her story is everything this show represents. She came to this country as an immigrant from Cuba when she was just five years old, and through her own grit and determination worked her way up to become the president of entertainment of Telemundo, one of the most well-known brands in all of television.

Nely Galán has produced hundreds of hours of television, and appeared on most major networks and shows like The Apprentice. Always an entrepreneur at heart, she has done very well in real estate and built multiple successful businesses. She’s now a best-selling author, a media mogul, and the creator of a non-profit called the Adelante Movement. In short, I’m in awe.

Full Unedited Audio Conversation:

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1:42 – “Today we’re listening to everything that’s going on in Ukraine, for instance, and it really triggers me because I don’t think most Americans think that you’re going to wake up one day and something horrific is going to happen in your country. And from one day to the next, you have to leave your country, speak a new language, and your parents are broke. And that’s exactly what happened to me… I’m from Cuba and my parents in the late sixties were in the middle of a revolution, could not leave the country. All of a sudden, they fought their way out. We lost everything.”

3:28 – “I know what it is to have the first big experience of your life that you remember be a horrific trauma. And everything from that point on is like, ‘I can figure out anything at this point.’”

7:30 – “A lot of immigrants or a lot of refugees always have cash in their house and everybody goes, ‘That’s a stupid move. Why would you have cash in your house?’ Well, the truth of the matter is that…people around the world know your bank is insecure. The security of money is something that a government earns. It’s kind of like a pyramid scam. They tell you the money is secure. It really isn’t… Because my parents had all their money in banks – they were told the same thing were being told. And they told me from the time I was five, the biggest mistake we had is not having cash. We lost everything in the bank.”

10:55 – “I wrote my book, Self Made, from that place that I know what could go wrong. So how do we plan ahead? How do women, and I specifically talk to women, [plan ahead]? Because I think women did have an economic revolution, this whole MeToo thing, and an economic revolution after the 2008 almost-crash in our country, where so many of their fathers and husbands lost their jobs and they were not doing well in corporate America, and they had to run and start becoming entrepreneurs…It was the beginning of an economic revolution where women here had to start thinking, maybe I just can’t count on Prince Charming helping me.”

11:47 – (Ross) “My thought is that the safe path isn’t that safe. I’ve often felt that the things that we’re told, ‘save X amount of money and get a job, put all these things aside, put it into the bank’…That model has failed so many people. It failed your family in a very direct way, but it’s failed other people in an indirect way. People who did everything ‘right’ – they went to school, they got the degree, but they’re $200,000 in debt when they graduate. And they can’t get out of that debt and then they can’t get that job.”

14:50 – “Go figure yourself out – we’re not saying don’t go to school, if you want to go to school – find yourself first. Don’t waste $120,000 before you know what the hell you want to do.”

18:56 – [On working with a neighbour to sell Avon to pay for Catholic school tuition] “I mean what 12-year-old is selling? I couldn’t sell Avon on my own. They wouldn’t have let me….And the first week I sold Avon out of my locker to the girls in my school and their moms, I made 200 bucks and I started paying down my tuition. And a month into it, I had made $800. Back then, that was half my tuition.”

22:54 – “My dear African-American friends don’t understand why Latinos are so quiet. Because we left revolutions where if you spoke up, you’d go to jail and disappear. They call it ‘desaparecidos’. We are so afraid because we’ve been destroyed by revolutions that when we come here, we sweep everything under the rug and we’re quiet. Unlike African-Americans that feel like they’re American and this is their country – we feel like we’re on borrowed time and we could be deported.”

27:49 – “I told my parents, ‘I’m leaving, I’m quitting school, I’m moving to Texas’. And they go, ‘you are not leaving this house till you get married’…And I got up in the middle of the night two weeks later, I got in my little Chevy Chevette that I had bought…And in that moment, I had to be selfish and I walked out the door, I got in my car, I drove two blocks and I cried for two hours because I felt so guilty about leaving them. But I left them. And I went to Texas, and had I not done that, I would not have [had the success that followed].”

34:41 – “A lot of life is timing and a lot of life is finding a niche. If you’re trying to do what everybody else is doing, it’s going to be harder for you.”

35:58 – “Entrepreneurship, or investing as an entrepreneur, is the only path that really buys you financial freedom.”

41:49 – “I believe in parallel tracks: mission and money…People tell you ‘only do what you love for a living’ and that is so frickin’ bullshit. You don’t always do what you love for a living, okay? You have to make money all the time, no matter what. You have to be responsible…I may have to go be a secretary while I’m figuring out how to sing for a living. That’s just really real talk. I believe that in life you have to make money, sometimes coldly, at things you’re good at, not necessarily things you love. Sometimes we’re good at things we take for granted, and that stuff can make you a lot of money, and you should always be having parallel tracks of money in different areas.”

43:25 – “If you’re young – when people say to me, ‘Oh, I have to have four jobs.’ Do I feel sorry for you? Hell, no. I tell my son ‘You’re in your twenties. You should have four jobs, and go to school, and make money because you have the most energy of your life. When you’re in your fifties, you’re not going to want to do that. So when you’re young, work like a dog, save the money so that you have enough money to then invest some of that money. And some of it has to be meat and potatoes safe and then you’re going to take a fly on a couple.’”

45:37 – “You have to be balanced and solid and grounded and then play a little bit and risk a little bit…The other thing you have to realize is those of us that do really well in life fail a lot. You only have to succeed two or three times in your life and you’ll be fine.”

49:40 – “When I went back to school, I paid for my own school with my own money…I really wanted to study the psychology of money, and particularly with women and multicultural people, because I noticed that there was a barrier to entry that minorities in this country don’t feel like they can be rich. And there is a lack of financial literacy and I really focused on that. That’s why I wrote this book, because I feel like my mission for the rest of my life is to help people that don’t believe they can wealth build. I want them to know that being rich is not a dirty word, that billionaires actually have the ability to give back more to society than corporations, than the government, than anyone. Because half the money goes to taxes.”

54:11 – “My secret sauce that I’d love to leave all of you with is my best friends and my mentors are all 20 or 25 years older than me. My best friend is an 80-year-old woman who’s taught me everything I know about real estate. And I think young people today tend to think ‘I know everything’ because we know social media…My mentors that are 80 or 75 or whatever, they don’t need anything from me. They love that I ask for help…Find those people right around you. They could be relatives, they could be teachers…invite them to lunch and do something for them and make them your friend, because that is going to be your gold moving forward. Someone that doesn’t compete with you, that doesn’t want anything from you, that only wants to give to you their wisdom – and listen to it.”

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