COEUR d'ALENE — Nely Galán says the boldest move of her life came when she was 12 and accepted an elderly woman's offer to sell Avon products to help pay for her tuition to a Catholic school.
Galán, a Latina media dynamo and women's empowerment advocate, hesitated to take on the work out of concern it would hurt her father's feelings. But she also faced being expelled from the school if her family could not pay for it.
"Entrepreneurs strategically figure out how to solve problems and we execute," she told The Press. "But we're also empathetic about how your actions will affect other people."
Galán, an Emmy Award-winning producer of more than 600 episodes of TV in Spanish and English including the FOX hit reality series "The Swan," will speak on April 7 at 7 p.m. during the Innovation Collective's spring summit. The event will take place at The White House, 805 Sherman Ave., in Coeur d'Alene.
Tickets, which are $99.95 for the general public, are available at http://bit.ly/2nw8EHU. Admission includes a copy of her book "Self Made: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant and Rich in Every Way."
"Nely understands how to use her life to create great positive impact and build a business empire at the same time," said Nick Smoot, CEO of Innovation Collective, a Coeur d'Alene organization formed around the idea that conversation can spark innovation to help communities grow and prosper.
"Having her share the tips and tricks to our local community is really exciting. Who knows what person will be inspired and do something great? Maybe it is you."
Galán, dubbed the "Tropical Tycoon" by The New York Times Magazine, is an immigrant from Cuba who moved to the United States at age 5. She was the first Latina president of entertainment for the Telemundo TV network.
Galán has owned and operated her own media company, Galán Entertainment, since 1994. The firm helped launch 10 TV channels in Latin America.
Galán's mission is to teach women — regardless of age or background — how they too can become entrepreneurs. She was fired on the first season of "The Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump" in 2008.
"I never thought that he'd be president of the United States," she said. "He is impulsive and does whatever he wants. We had a very combative business relationship on the show. He liked it when I argued with him. He is a guy who likes combativeness and to debate."
Galán called entrepreneurship "a lifetime journey."
"It should be done in a measured way step by step," she said. "It shouldn't be a grandiose obsession. It may start out by selling something out of your closet on eBay."
Galán recommended having two years of your salary saved before hitting the entrepreneur road hard.
"One year for a rainy day and another to invest in a business," she said.
Galán said we’re living in an age of entrepreneurship.
"I think that all of us have to engage it in some way," she said. "There is no Prince Charming, no boss and no government to save us. It's all up to us."