Most of the important things I learned in life, I learned from watching my big sister. From her, I learned how to apply lipstick, how to clean bathroom tile, and all the ways not to curl my hair. Now that I’m grown up, I must admit that I continue to learn valuable lessons from all the women who, although not related by blood, still carry the weight of an older sister. Have you ever thought of finding your own financial big sister?
When I was offered the opportunity to speak with femtrepreneurs Nely Galán and Nicole Enearu, I was thrilled by the prospect of learning from their entrepreneurial expertise (and hopefully a little bit of their glamour as well). The Adelante Movement, presented by Coca-Cola, aims to unite and empower Latinas economically and entrepreneurially. Adelante is part of The Coca-Cola Company’s global 5by20 initiative to enable 5 million women entrepreneurs by the year 2020.
Nicole being a McDonald’s Franchise owner and Nely the author of a New York Times Best Seller, I knew I had to take advantage of an exclusive interview. So, I asked Nicole and Nely all the questions I still struggle with in my early thirties; everything from experiencing self-doubt to making life-changing career choices. Here is what they had to say:
A Girl In Her Thirties: Nely, what inspired you to advocate for Women’s Empowerment through the Adelante Movement? Was there a moment of epiphany?
Nely Galán: Yes, it was twofold: first, when I went back to school I learned that Latinas were the #1 emerging market in the world. Around that time, I also joined a Coca-Cola council, and they told me that Latinas were the fastest growing entrepreneurs. Since entrepreneurship is a subject I know a lot about, I realized that there was a tremendous opportunity to give back and help Latinas in my own community. When I relayed my vision to Coca-Cola, they came along right from the start.
A Girl In Her Thirties: What is one goal you each have for the outcome of this webinar series?
Nely Galán: My goal is for Latinas to learn about all the opportunities that exist for them, and that they take action to go out and get them! What I love about webinars is their immediate accessibility: you can literally watch them from bed in your pajamas, to learn and grow. I want Latinas to realize that becoming self-made is not a grandiose feat. I want them to tap into the idea of committing at least one hour per week, whether it’s listening to a webinar about franchising, selling things from their closets like old quinceañera dresses on eBay, or even driving a Lyft car. I want them to walk away from the webinars feeling like they’re more armed to start flexing their own entrepreneurial muscles.
Nicole Enearu: My goal, as a guest, is to show women everywhere that if I can do it, you can too. Mine is a story of hard work, having a dream, and that by sticking to it and putting in the hard work – you can reach your dreams.
A Girl In Her Thirties: How important has it been for you to surround yourself with powerful women like each other?
Nely Galán: I believe it’s crucial for women to meet, mingle and learn from other successful self-made women so that they can become inspired to think bigger, to set high goals, to see first-hand that becoming self-made is truly within their reach. I personally have always wanted to own a franchise, and now, after meeting Nicole, I know how.
Nicole Enearu: It’s been amazing. I work with my mom, and she is a trail blazer in business, she’s been my role model. I have always sought out those powerful women who demonstrate how to get things done.
A Girl In Her Thirties: Tell me a little about the adversity or obstacles you’ve overcome?
Nely Galán: I think my greatest obstacle—and the obstacle I see for most women—is ourselves, our own mindsets, our negative limiting beliefs, and sometimes our co-dependent relationships with our families and lovers. Becoming self-made begins in your head. It is a mindset shift that says, “I am going to take full responsibility for my financial wellbeing, total responsibility for my happiness, and I will take action to do it.” You have to know that there is no Prince Charming, that no one—no job, no corporation, no partner and no employer—is necessarily going to come to rescue. Think about it: partners come and go, and jobs are never really secure. Your financial destiny is totally up to you, and hinges on you. You are your own Prince Charming.
Nicole Enearu: In my case, I had the opportunity to witness my mom go through adversity and watch her become an African-American business woman. From watching her, I was able to learn a story of making choices, leave what I was doing, and investing in myself.
A Girl In Her Thirties: How much of that history do you bring into your role as a business woman?
Nely Galán: I believe that life is a puzzle that reveals itself slowly and gradually. I always say that we have to connect the dots of our lives to really zero in on our goals and strengths. I certainly use my fears and failures from the past and present to inform how I move into my future. As I see it, we have to see ourselves as a whole—the good, the bad and the ugly. That means we have to bring our entire selves—our successes and our failures—into everything that we do.
A Girl In Her Thirties: Tell me something no one tells you about starting a business or transitioning from a career to a passion project or side-hustle.
Nely Galán: A lot of people talk about doing things—but they never complete. You have to be patient and, in a way, think like a turtle. Think of getting to your goals as a long-distance run. I did not achieve all of these things over night—I did it step by step, day by day, slowly. I believe that completion is the key to life.
Nicole Enearu: My mom definitely told me it was going to be hard work. But I’ve found that, for me, it’s a different kind of hard work. There’s physical work involved, yes, especially in the restaurant business, but I wasn’t expecting the mental work. It takes constant planning. You have to think of everything that could happen and the things that didn’t happen, you’re constantly thinking of the business and that 9-5 schedule is over.
A Girl In Her Thirties: My blog is about inspiring women to achieve self-actualization, but I have noticed that pursuing a passion doesn’t come without feelings of self-doubt. Do you ever experience it?
Nely Galán: I always tell women that you have to make fear and failure your best friends. Fear and failure are always present in our lives. And they go together, hand in hand. First, we have to accept that they are inevitable. Then we have to learn to confront them. At first you will be afraid of everything. Then you’ll take a chance and you’ll be afraid of failing—and you will fail, trust me! When you do, you’ll think the world is coming to an end, but here you have to trust me again: It isn’t.
Nicole Enearu: Absolutely, I struggle with it at times. Women have so many long filled expectations for what life should be by the age of thirty. Then, if you find yourself in a position where you haven’t met those expectations, you may start to question your choices and that can influence your decisions. I went through that. It was in my thirties that I decided to make a career change. My thought was that I had to take a chance – it seemed scary but I always felt if it didn’t work out, I could always go back. Everyone has doubts and securities, but you have to take a chance.
A Girl In Her Thirties:I’ve also found many women experience (different to men in the workforce) guilt because of their other responsibilities as mothers, caretakers, etc. Do you find this to be true?
Nely Galán: Yes, of course, but you always have to remember the example that you are setting for your kids. You are passing the torch. You are showing them what it takes to achieve success. You are making things happen. That’s a good thing!
Nicole Enearu: I don’t have children myself. My parents started their business together, but after they got divorced, I was a witness to her sacrifices. I watched as my mother woke up early to go work, then rush to take us to school, then she’d go back to work. I was a first-hand witness of her wanting to do more with us and not having time. But by making those sacrifices, she knew she was making a career. I learned from that that when you think in longer terms you’re able to build something for yourself to be able to give other people. For example, I remember she sacrificed weekend picnics with us, but in the long term she built something for my sister and me.
A Girl In Her Thirties:Describe yourself in three hashtags.
#funny, #smart, #open
#IAmSelfMade. I think that says it all.
If there’s anything I learned in my thirties, it has been that taking cues from the women who have trudged past them successfully can be inspiring. Nely and Nicole made me think of all the sacrifices I’ve made, and those my mother made before me. And something tells me I’m on the right track, hacia adelante.
Through free webinars you too can gain insight into the world of franchise ownership and learn step by step how to become a franchise owner – from financial investment to training and operations. Click here to register.