Businesswoman Feature: Nely Galan
Who is Nely Galán?
The story of TV executive and producer, Nely Galán, proves that ambition drives success, and that no one is too small to make it big. Her confidence and desire to uplift both herself and others has made her an icon for aspiring women in business everywhere.
Galán’s story begins when she and her family immigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1968 when she was only five years old. She and her parents did whatever they could to make ends meet in their new home, which included Galán selling Avon as a middle school student to pay for her school tuition. From living in this environment as a young girl, Galán learned the value of hard work and of making money in an “honorable, humble way."
While many girls idolize their favorite TV and movie stars, Galán obsessed over successful Hollywood executives. To work towards that dream of one day running the show behind the scenes in Hollywood, she started as the station manager of a small Spanish TV station in New Jersey when she was 22 years old. Unfortunately, that job only lasted for a short while, as the station was suddenly sold three years after she started that position. Galán remembers working very hard and being heartbroken when it came to an end. However, this setback only propelled her forward in her career.
From there, Galán began working even harder towards achieving her dream of being a Hollywood executive. She started her own production company kickstarting TV stations across the globe and consulted for other TV networks. Galán struggled with this endeavor for four years until she finally started making a profit. Her entrepreneurial efforts, while challenging, did get her some recognition and valuable experience. In fact, it landed her a job being the first Latina president of Telemundo, one of the largest Spanish TV networks in the world. After many years of hard work, her dream finally came true.
Galán thrived in her new position, and her success in Hollywood empowered her immensely, giving her the courage to continue producing TV shows and other media under her own production company after her career at Telemundo came to a close. Galán Entertainment has been responsible for launching ten Latin American TV channels, as well as producing over 700 episodes of English and Spanish TV content, since 1994. Her most noteworthy creation, The Swan-- the reality show on Fox, has been viewed all over the world .
Seeing her own success as a way to uplift other women similar to herself, Galán used her desire to teach others to publish a book containing her advice on how to be a successful female entrepreneur. SELF MADE: Becoming empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way promotes women pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and working hard to fulfill whatever professional dreams of success they may have. This book has become a New York Times bestseller since its publishing. Galán also created The Adelante Movement (this translates to “let’s get going” in Spanish) in 2012. This movement encourages Latin women to empower themselves, be ambitious, and helps to train them on key entrepreneurial skills via large-scale events. This movement has ended up attracting and including women of all different ethnic and racial backgrounds.