Our American Dream: Nely Galan, a self-made dynamo

Nely Galan is truly a self-made woman. Besides being the first Latina president of a U.S. television network (she was president of entertainment on Telemundo) and named “Tropical Tycoon” by the New York Times magazine, the Cuban-American is a media mogul, a real estate magnate, a mother, and a mentor and advocate for women entrepreneurs.

Born Arnely Alvarez in Santa Clara, Cuba, Galan’s parents moved to Teaneck, New Jersey when she was 2 years old. Only 20 years later she became the youngest radio station manager in the U.S., and then moved on to manage the Spanish-language WNJU Channel 47.

Galan grew to become a producer launching 10 channels in Latin America, and producing over 700 episodes of programing, creating and executive producing FOX’s reality TV series “The Swan.” She also appeared as a contestant on “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

Now Galan is adding "author" to her long list of skills. Her new book “SELF MADE: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way” began selling in bookstores recently. She says she wrote it as a philosophy for women to use and unite pursuing their economic futures.

Spend five minutes with Galan, and you’ll hear her motto, “Don’t buy shoes, buy buildings,” a quote she uses to advise women when they feel down — going on a shopping spree is short-term thinking.

Instead, she says, women need to be investing in themselves. “There’s no prince charming coming in to sweep you off your feet. Women need to be their own business owners. No one is going to help you – the government, not a company, and not a man, no one.”

“SELF MADE” is filled with gems to help guide women into roles where they’re their own bosses. Chapters in the book include suggestions for women not to fall in love with their companies, and to think like an immigrant: Someone who no one is going to help and is forced to be 100 percent self-reliant.

On her website BecomingSelfMade.com, Galan helps women get started finding the resources they need, the inspiration of success stories, and advice overcoming the myth that depending on anyone to come in a rescue you can be crippling to women.

One of Galan’s many achievements is her ability to help women believe they’re capable of doing great things — completely independently, taking ownership of their lives, and being proud of the immense possibilities for their economic futures.