Last week I had the privilege of attending the 8th annual Blogalicious conference in Atlanta, Georgia. One of the keynote speakers for the weekend was media mogul Nely Galen. Galen was the first Latina President of Entertainment for a U.S. television network (Telemundo). She is an Emmy Award-winning producer of over 600 episodes of television in Spanish and English, and is the founder of the nonprofit The Adelante Movement, which seeks to train and empower Latinas to become entrepreneurs.
I could write 10 blog posts about her inspiring life story and keynote address, but during her talk, which was about how to be a self-made woman, there was one point in particular that really stuck with me: There is no Prince Charming.
No woman should sit around waiting for a boyfriend or a husband (or a girlfriend or wife) to make her dreams come true. Galen is in a romantic relationship that she’s very happy with but she said, “He’s the icing, not the cake. I’m the cake.”
Galen didn’t apply her Prince Charming analogy only to romantic relationships. She urged us to not look to government leaders or our bosses to be our Prince Charming either.
I’m certainly guilty of the later. When I was in my 20s I always thought that if I just quietly did my very best and worked harder than everyone else, my boss would award my gumption with a raise, a promotion or both. That never happened.
So what’s a girl to do?
“You have everything inside of you that it takes to be your own Prince Charming,” Galen said.
And that’s what being a self-made woman is all about. Go after what you want with reckless abandon. “Make fear and failure your best friends,” Galen said.
Also, never diminish yourself. Don’t downplay your accomplishments or skills. Declare who you are boldly. “To be chosen, you have to choose yourself first,” Galen said.
Don’t sit back and wait for what you want. Galen said we must become “hunters” of our own success. “Power is taken, not given,” she reminded us.
And don’t be afraid to share your story — the good, the bad and the ugly. Your pain can be turned into profit if you use the lessons you’ve learned to help others.
“Your pain,” Galen said, “is the gateway to your most authentic brand.”
Now go be your own Prince Charming!