#ModernLatinaBookClub Features Self Made by Nely Galán

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by Linda Castillo

We are kicking off the Modern Latina Book Club with a book that will inspire you to take charge and action to live a life you want. This month we feature Self Made by Nely Galán. So what exactly is self made? It’s a new way of defining success for women. It means being rich in every way: rich in money, rich in family, rich in love, rich in time—abundant!

Nely declares herself as self made and rightfully so. Arriving to the United States from Cuba at only five years old she worked her way to become a media mogul, Emmy Award winning producer, entrepreneur and women’s empowerment advocate as the founder of the nonprofit The Adelante Movement (“Move it forward!” in Spanish) to train and empower Latinas to become entrepreneurs. Culminating years of meeting and training women coupled with her own personal experience Nely wrote Self Made to spark a personal revolution in other women.

When reading the book, you almost feel like you are having a conversation with Nely as she shares her past life experience both wins and failures. The names of the chapters, “There is no Prince Charming”; “Think like an immigrant”; “In your pain is your brand”; “Don’t buy shoes, buy buildings!”; and “Choose Yourself First” to name a few are indicative of the candor and straightforward advice you will expect to hear from Nely.

Disbursed throughout the book are inspiring stores of self made women. At the end of the chapters are excercises to help you move forward and develop a trajectory to reach your goals. So be sure to have a pad of paper and pen handy as you move chapter to chapter.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

Another touch point of pain for me has been my struggle to forge a path as a female entrepreneur. I’ve had to learn to do things my own way, I’ve had to fight at times to be taken seriously in an industry dominated by men, and I’ve had to learn to accept and deal with obstacles and setbacks and the realities of fear and failure as inevitable parts of my journey. It has never been easy, but what has grown from my pain is my mission: to empower women through entrepreneurship. Imagine if I hadn’t had the courage to confront this pain! This is why I say that you can’t run from your pain. You have to face it head-on.

We all struggle with our fears; we wrestle with our demons. It’s human nature to try to avoid pain or deny that I even exists. But no one can really avoid pain. It connects us all. It’s a shared dimension of the human condition. Women tend to respond to painful experiences differently than men, and I think this gives us a great advantage because we’re not as afraid to talk about our experiences. We’re not as afraid to move toward places of pain, and we’re not as afraid to share our stories with other. I find that men, because of the way they’re raised and the way we’re all socialized, have a much harder time confronting pain. In my experience, when a man comes face-to-face with a painful, life-changing event, like a health scare or the loss of a loved one or a struggle with addiction, the tendency is to try to be stoic, to bottle it up, to push it down, There is a cultural resistance to man being vulnerable.

This is a huge advantage for women in the entrepreneurial space. I tell women at my event, “In your pain is your brand.” I can take a woman’s story of pain and turn it into a business idea.

Intrigued? Join the #ModernLatinaBookClub as we read Self Made!


Spanish Version:

Linda Castillo is the Founder and Executive Editor of www.ModernLatina.com. She writes on topics that empower and inspire Latinas including art, motherhood, green living, culture, travel, and issues transforming the Latino community. Linda has earned a B.S. in Business and a M.S. in Mass Communications from San Jose State University.