MJ Rodriguez Talks Emmys and Pose: “I Want to Take the World By Storm”

MJ Rodriguez can’t help but steal the show, whether she’s appearing on-screen as Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista, the loving house mother on Pose, or strolling into a party filled with dozens of other celebs, as she did at producer Jennifer Klein’s 21st annual Day of Indulgence on Aug. 11. 

Pose is nominated for a whopping six Emmys, which has Rodriguez “feeling good.”

“Next year, we're going to get even more nominations,” she says. “I know for sure. I'm speaking that into existence. It’s time for a woman like me to be seen, in the light I need to be seen in and I’m taking advantage of that now. I used to be scared. I used to be afraid to say it, but listen, I got to speak for somebody and there's a lot of us out here, but there needs to be more. I'm glad that I can be one of those women speaking for my community of all diasporas. Pose is putting it on the right platform and I want to take the world by storm.”

For her dynamic role as Rodriguez-Evangelista, Rodriguez drew inspiration from her own mother. “She's somebody who is extremely monumental in my life,” she says. “A sturdy rock. I try my best to just yank and pull from her experiences, the experience that I had with her [as well as] the mothers that are in the ballroom scene, the trans women who took in kids whose other mothers didn't fully accept them.” 

“I look at Octavia St. Laurent and Pepper LaBeija …the list goes on,” she continues. “Hector Xtravaganza…he was the father of [the House of Xtravaganza]. I looked at those people who influence me for this character and I just put them all together.”

Speaking of her mother, Rodriguez says there is one piece of advice she’s given her that has helped her overcome adversity. “She said make sure that you don't care what anyone says,” the actress went on. “Just keep being you. You have a good spirit, you’re a sweetheart, don't let anyone walk over you, but continue to be a good person, and that's what I'm trying my best to do.”

As for what she’ll wear to the Emmys, Rodriguez is mum on specifics, but says with a smile, “I've already got it. I’m on top of it.” She adds, “We've been working on it [with the designer], getting sketches. I had three sketches sent to me, which is crazy to me because I’ve never had that, but yeah, but we're getting ready for it.”

One thing is for sure, Rodriguez is ready to show us all a transformation and slay us with the custom look. “I want to feel like a princess, moving up to becoming a queen,” she says. “Last year, it was my introduction as a person coming into this world of acting in the industry of art, and I was in my little princess stages. Now the mothers have moved on and it’s time for the princess to become a queen. The Golden Globes and Emmys have been doing that by highlighting me as lead actress in a show.”

The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will air live on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Fox

 

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Here's how much money you need to have saved if you want to get married and buy a home in the same year in 25 cities

  • A Redfin study took a look at how much money you need to have saved to afford a wedding and adown payment in the same year in 25 US metro areas.
  • Redfin’s findings assume a 20% down payment on a median-priced home for each metro area.Redfin sourced average metro-level and national wedding costs fromWeddingWire.
  • As it turns out, Cleveland, Ohio, is the most affordable major US metro for newlyweds looking to buy a home.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Tying the knot is exciting, but it can also be expensive. Adding a down payment on a home to an already tight budget can seem nearly impossible in some US metros.

But, exactly how much would you need to have saved up to accomplish both milestones in the same year?

To answer that question, Seattle-based real-estate brokerageRedfin took a look at the average cost of a wedding in 25 metro areas and the median listing price of a home in those metro areas.

Read more: Here’s the salary you’ll need if you want to afford a mortgage in 17 major US cities

Redfin’s findings assume a 20% down payment on a median-priced home as of April 2019. Redfin obtained data on average metro-level and national wedding costs fromWeddingWire and provided Business Insider with a photo of a median-priced home in each metro area. Redfin also provided Business Insider with the median household income in each metro area.

Keep reading to see how much you’d need to have saved to get married and buy a home in 25 US metros, ranked from most to least affordable.

Cleveland, Ohio: You need to have saved $55,980 in the Cleveland metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Cleveland is $22,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($169,900) in the area is $33,980. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $55,980.

The median household income in the Cleveland metro area is $52,446.

Detroit, Michigan: You need to have saved $56,980 in the Detroit metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Detroit is $29,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($139,900) in the area is $27,980. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $56,980.

The median household income in the Detroit metro area is $56,339.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: You need to have saved $64,980 in the Pittsburgh metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

The average cost of a wedding in Pittsburgh is $27,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($189,900) in the area is $37,980. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $64,980.

The median household income in the Pittsburgh metro area is $56,073.

Tampa, Florida: You need to have saved $73,198 in the Tampa metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

The average cost of a wedding in Tampa is $23,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($250,900) in the area is $50,198. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $73,198.

The median household income in the Tampa metro area is $50,567.

Orlando, Florida: You need to have saved $80,068 in the Orlando metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

The average cost of a wedding in Orlando is $26,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($270,340) in the area is $54,068. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $80,068.

The median household income in the Orlando metro area is $52,261.

Hartford, Connecticut: You need to have saved $80,200 in the Hartford metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Hartford is $30,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($251,000) in the area is $50,200. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $80,200.

The median household income in the Hartford metro area is $73,209.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: You need to have saved $81,200 in the Philadelphia metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Philadelphia is $33,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($241,000) in the area is $48,200. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $81,200.

The median household income in the Philadelphia metro area is $66,285.

Phoenix, Arizona: You need to have saved $81,447 in the Phoenix metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Phoenix is $23,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($292,235) in the area is $58,447. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $81,447.

The median household income in the Phoenix metro area is $57,935.

Minneapolis, Minnesota: You need to have saved $82,000 in the Minneapolis metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Minneapolis is $23,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($295,000) in the area is $59,000. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $82,000.

The median household income in the Minneapolis metro area is $73,735.

Atlanta, Georgia: You need to have saved $82,980 in the Atlanta metro area a to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Atlanta is $27,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($279,900) in the area is $55,980. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $82,980.

The median household income in the Atlanta metro area is $61,733.

Charlotte, North Carolina: You need to have saved $84,980 in the Charlotte metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Charlotte is $27,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($289,900) in the area is $57,980. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $84,980.

The median household income in the Charlotte metro area is $57,871.

Houston, Texas: You need to have saved $88,800 in the Houston metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Houston is $33,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($279,000) in the area is $55,800. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $88,800.

The median household income in the Philadelphia metro area is $62,922.

Raleigh, North Carolina: You need to have saved $89,900 in the Raleigh metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Raleigh is $27,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($314,500) in the area is $62,900. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $89,900.

The median household income in the Raleigh metro area is $68,870.

Chicago, Illinois: You need to have saved $94,980 in the Chicago metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Chicago is $37,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($289,900) in the area is $57,980. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $94,980.

The median household income in the Chicago metro area is $65,757.

Dallas, Texas: You need to have saved $95,000 in the Dallas metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Dallas is $30,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($325,000) in the area is $65,000. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $95,000.

The median household income in the Dallas metro area is $63,870.

Baltimore, Maryland: You need to have saved $98,000 in the Baltimore metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Baltimore is $35,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($315,000) in the area is $63,000. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $98,000

The median household income in the Baltimore metro area is $75,646.

Sacramento, California: You need to have saved $113,800 in the Sacramento metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Sacramento is $26,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($439,000) in the area is $87,800. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $113,800.

The median household income in the Sacramento metro area is $64,407.

Denver, Colorado: You need to have saved $115,980 in the Denver metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Denver is $28,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($439,900) in the area is $87,980. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $115,980.

The median household income in the Denver metro area is $71,884.

Washington, D.C.: You need to have saved $127,600 in the Washington, D.C. metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Washington D.C. is $39,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($443,000) in the area is $88,600. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $127,600.

The median household income in the Washington D.C. metro area is $97,148.

Seattle, Washington: You need to have saved $144,990 in the Seattle metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Seattle is $25,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($599,950) in the area is $119,990. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $144,990.

The median household income in the Seattle metro area is $77,269.

Boston, Massachusetts: You need to have saved $149,800 in the Boston metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Boston is $38,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($559,000) in the area is $111,800. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $149,800.

The median household income in the Boston metro area is $81,838.

San Diego, California: You need to have saved $154,800 in the San Diego metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in San Diego is $27,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($639,000) in the area is $127,800. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $154,800.

The median household income in the San Diego metro area is $70,588.

New York, New York: You need to have saved $157,000 in the New York metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in the New York metro area is $50,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($535,000) in the area is $107,000. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $157,000.

The median household income in the New York metro area is $72,205.

Los Angeles, California: You need to have saved $168,800 in the Los Angeles metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in Los Angeles is $33,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($679,000) in the area is $135,800. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $168,800.

The median household income in the Los Angeles metro area is $65,331.

San Francisco, California: You need to have saved $325,000 in the San Francisco metro area to buy a house and have a wedding in the same year.

Theaverage cost of a wedding in San Francisco is $40,000. A 20% down payment on a median-priced home ($1,425,000) in the area is $285,000. In order to afford both in the same year, you will need to have saved a total of $325,000.

The median household income in the San Francisco metro area is $92,714.

SEE ALSO:Here's how many years it takes to save for a 20% down payment on a home in 12 major US cities

DON'T MISS:NYC rents just hit a 3-year high, and the city's prices are pushing everyone from millennials to wealthy Wall Street bankers away

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An entrepreneur who spent 5 years interviewing 21 self-made billionaires asked every single one how they made their first million dollars — here's what they said

  • Self-made billionaires don’t get to the three-comma club without first becomingmillionaires.
  • Rafael Badziag interviewed 21billionaires for his book, ” The Billion Dollar Secret,” and they all told him how they made their first $1 million.
  • Many earned it through founding their own business or through investments.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Many of the world’s richest billionairesbuilt their wealth from scratch.

Rafael Badziag, an entrepreneur and expert in the psychology of entrepreneurship, spent five years conducting face-to-face interviews with 21 self-made billionaire entrepreneurs around the world (defined as those with a net worth of at least $1 billion) and researching their lives and companies.

In his book ” The Billion Dollar Secret: 20 Principles of Billionaire Wealth and Success,” he shared how each of those billionaires made their first $1 million. Some earned it through the businesses they founded, while others earned it through investments or by working for someone else’s company.

For the purposes of this slideshow, unless otherwise specified, we assumed that any of Badziag’s subjects whose net worth we were not able to verify with Forbes’ net worth listings is worth at least $1 billion. All information on the billionaires comes from Badziag’s book.

Mohed Altrad made his first million in the scaffolding business.

Net worth: $2.6 billion

Altrad is the founder and chairman of Altrad Group, which offers services and equipment for the construction industry in more than 100 companies and is a world leader in scaffolding. Altrad owns the Montpellier Hérault Rugby Club and has written three novels.

Tony Tan Caktiong made his first million in the food service business.

Net worth: $3.6 billion

Caktiong is the founder and chairman of Jollibee Foods, Asia’s largest food service company. It operates 13 restaurant chains and has more than 4,300 restaurant outlets in 18 countries worldwide.

Jack Cowin made his first million with fried chicken.

Net worth: $1.6 billion

Cowin is the owner, chairman, and managing director of Competitive Foods Australia, one of the country’s largest food processors. It’s also the country’s largest franchisers of restaurants, introducing fast food to Australia with KFC, Burger King, and Domino’s Pizza.

Cai Dongqing made his first million by selling little toy trumpets.

Net worth: $1.6 billion

Dongqing is the founder and chairman of Alpha Group, an animation corporation in China. It also has operations in movies, operas, theme parks, and other interactive activities ranging from entertainment to consumer projects. Dongqing has been called the “Walt Disney of China.”

Tim Draper made his first million with a venture capital investment in Parametric.

Net worth: Unknown

Draper is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. He’s considered to be one of the most connected investors in Silicon Valley and is credited as the inventor of viral marketing, according to Badziag. Draper founded VC firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Draper Associates.

Sergey Galitsky made his first million through the distribution business.

Net worth: $3.4 billion

Galitsky is the founder and CEO of Magnit, Russia’s largest food retailer and non-state employer. It has more than 17,000 convenience stores, cosmetic stores, hypermarkets, and supermarkets.

Peter Hargreaves made his first million with financial services.

Net worth: $3.9 billion

Hargreaves is an industry leader in the UK’s financial services sector. His business, Hargreaves Lansdown, manages assets up to $120 billion.

Frank Hasenfratz made his first million through defense work.

Net worth:$1 billion

Hasenfratz is the founder and chairman of Linamar, which specializes in the production of automotive powertrain systems and wind turbines. It’s considered “one of the most innovative, tech-savvy, and profitable enterprises in the industry,” Badziag wrote.

Naveen Jain made his first million working for Bill Gates.

Net worth: Unknown

Jain has a hefty resume: He’s the founder of Infospace (now Blucora), which provides Internet-related services; Intelius, a public records business; TalentWise, which helps employers complete background checks; Moon Express, which develops commercial lunar landers; Bluedot, a tech company that provides location data; and Viome, a biotech company. He is vice chairman of Singularity University and trustee of the XPrize Foundation.

Kim Beom-Su made his first million through computer games.

Net worth: $2.6 billion

Beom-Su is the founder and chairman of South Korean internet company Kakao. Kakao operates mobile messenger KakaoTalk, which is used by 95% of Korean smartphone owners; search engine Daum; and music streaming service Melon.

N.R. Narayana Murthy made his first million with software.

Net worth:$2.4 billion

Murthy is the cofounder and CEO of software giant Infosys, the first Indian company to be listed on NASDAQ. Infosys has minted six other billionaires and more than 4,000 millionaires. Murthy has been hailed as one of the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our timeby Fortune magazine.

Hüsnü Özyegin made his first million working as a bank president for 13 years.

Net worth: $1.9 billion

Özyegin has created 75 companies in 12 countries. He’s also the founder of Özyegin University in Istanbul. He founded Finansbank and then branched out his business activities to finance, retail, real estate, energy, health, and hotels.

Lirio Albino Parisotto made his first million with electronic retail.

Net worth: $1.4 billion

Parisotto is the largest investor in the Brazilian stock market. He founded Videolar, an early manufacturer of audio and videotapes, floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays. Now, it’s a petrochemical company and major manufacturer of plastic materials in Brazil.

Dilip Shanghvi made his first million with psychiatric medicines.

Net worth: $7 billion

Shanghvi is the founder and managing director of Sun Pharmaceuticals, India’s largest drug maker. He’s the world’s wealthiest person in the pharmaceutical industry.

Ron Sim made his first million by selling household products.

Net worth: $1.4 billion

Sim is the founder, chairman, and CEO of OSIM International, which makes high-end massage chairs. He’s also a stakeholder in Singapore and China malls and owner of TWG Tee, Brookstone, Richlife, and GNC.

Michal Solowow made his first million in construction.

Net worth: $3.2 billion

Solowow has started and sold several companies in the construction, real-estate development, retail, and production sectors. His main assets are in the floorboards, ceramics and tiles, and chemical industries. He also invests in tech and startups.

Petter Stordalen made his first million with a “project in Trondheim to connect three shopping centers into one, where nobody believed, and I believed, and the bonus was one million.”

Net worth: $1.4 billion

Stordalen has been dubbed the “King of Hotels.” He’s behind the Nordic Choice Hotels chain, which has nearly 200 hotels. His corporate group, Strawberry, operates in real estate, finance, hotels, and the arts.

Frank Stronach made his first million by selling automobile companies.

Net worth: $1.5 billion

Stronach is the founder of Magna International, one of the world’s biggest auto parts suppliers. He founded Stronach Group, America’s leading racetrack owner and operator. He’s also one of the world’s most successful horse breeders and owners.

Manny Stul made his first million wholesaling innovative giftware.

Net worth: $1.3 billion

Stul is the chairman of global toy manufacturer of Moose Toys, one of the fastest growing companies in the industry. It’s received more than 40 awards worldwide.

Chip Wilson made his first million with sports apparel.

Net worth: $4.1 billion

Chip Wilson is the founder and former CEO of Lululemon Athletica. He’s also the founder of Westbeach, which specializes in surf, skate, and snowboarding clothes, and is involved with Kit and Ace, which specializes in technical casual wear.

Cho Tak Wong (Cao Dewang) made his first million through the production of water meter glass.

Net worth: $2.1 billion

Dewang is the founder and chairman of Fuyao Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive glass. He’s a heavy philanthropist and the most respected entrepreneur in China, according to Badziag.

SEE ALSO:An entrepreneur who interviewed 21 billionaires says the same 6 habits helped make all of them successful

DON'T MISS:An entrepreneur who interviewed 21 billionaires says the key difference between them and millionaires is how they answer a simple question about money

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Elaine Welteroth Hopes Her New Book Inspires Women to “Be Brave Enough to Be Honest”

At just 32 years old, Elaine Welteroth has already established herself as a trailblazer. The California native launched her career as an intern at Ebony magazine, which ultimately turned into a full-time position. She took her talents to Glamour for a brief stint before landing at Teen Vogue. It was there that Welteroth was named Beauty & Health Director in 2011. She was the first African-American individual to hold the position, and within a few years, at 29, she earned the title of editor in chief. Not only was she the youngest editor in chief in Conde Nast’s 100+ year history, but she was also the second African-American person to ever hold the title in the company.

Welteroth built a loyal following along the way, and since leaving the magazine in 2018 has continued to use her platform to inspire women of all ages. In the first half of 2019 alone, she’s taken on two major new adventures. She stars as a judge on the current season of Project Runway, which airs its finale on June 13, and has penned a book, More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say). The book, which she describes as her “memoir so far,” is brimming with career and life lessons that she’s learned firsthand. Welteroth hopes that her words will offer valuable insight for young women. “We live in a culture that makes us feel like we’re not enough, and I want this to serve as a reminder that we are,” she tells InStyle. “This book isn’t just about me or my story. Its purpose is to start conversations with women about success — and that includes the messier parts.”

Here, Welteroth opens up about her own journey, messy parts included.

Why was now the right time for you to write a book?

Honestly, I feel like the book wrote itself. I don't make any move in life unless I feel called to do it, and not to be all ‘woo-woo’ about it, but it felt like a calling. It was something that I felt like I had to do now. It's funny because my brother said, “Elaine, you're only 32, why would you write a book about your life?” I was like, “I have a lot to say. Now.” I think we do a disservice to ourselves when we question the value in our story, and I think that's what's kept women small and quiet for so long. This is for a huge community of young women who need this, and it is inclusive of the kind of young woman I was. I would have loved a book like this when I was coming of age — coming into my own, finding my voice, and carving out my career path for myself.

What are some of the stories and life lessons you wanted to include? 

I talk about racial identity a lot in the book. It also dives into how to find your voice in this crazy, divisive political climate and how to stop looking externally for validation. I talk about how I found my purpose, cultivated my voice, stopped dating assholes, and learned to be an ally to other women. We're living through really critical times right now and we need each other. We need more women to tell their stories and be brave enough to be honest. 

What do you want readers to take away from this book?

I hope that women and people of color see themselves in this come-up story and are inspired to dream bigger. I hope it validates the dreams of young women who are still finding themselves and trying to figure out their purpose in the world. I also hope that it breaks down some of the myths that we tell ourselves and each other about success. We live in a culture that makes us feel like we're not enough; we're not smart enough, successful enough, young enough, old enough, beautiful enough, woke enough. Ultimately, the intention of the book is to provide this reminder that you can experience the feeling of being enough at every stage of your evolution. It's not a destination. 

When was the first time in your career that you truly felt successful?

Oh my gosh. I don't know that I ever slowed down and stopped to reflect on success or felt like I've “made it.” I don't know if you ever feel like you've made it. But I will say there’s definitely an inflection point in my life and my career, and that’s when I got my first big job as beauty director at Teen Vogue. Seeing my name in a headline for the first time and learning that I had made history as the first black director in Conde Nast's history reframed my role in a sense. In that moment, it changed how I saw myself from being a hardworking girl who landed a job she worked hard for, to being a black girl making history. It was no longer about doing whatever it takes to climb the ladder or assimilating and following the rules. I realized I was there to make a difference, and that my being there inherently would make a difference.

How did you go about making that change a reality?

I had to figure out how to use my platform to represent the communities that had never been represented: How do I tell the stories that have never been told? What are the stories that only I can tell? What are the stories that I can help bring to the forefront? It really changed my whole MO and forced me to bring more of my authentic self to work. I was able to find an audience out there that felt underrepresented and reinforce that the work we were doing at Teen Vogue could change the narrative and mattered to them. It created this momentum, and it was really validating for me at an early enough time in my career. I was able to start honing in on what my voice was and what my purpose was in this industry. 

In the past few years, you’ve left the magazine world and pivoted to TV and now books. What has it been like for you to follow a new career dream and start over in a completely different industry? 

Thrilling. Liberating. I came into my career in magazines knowing that this was only the first step; there was always a longer-term vision of wanting to tell stories that matter across multiple platforms. I learned so much in magazines, because as an editor in chief, you wear so many different hats. When you come out of a career like that, you're well-positioned to take your career wherever you want to go. I didn’t realize it was going to happen as fast as it did! I woke up at 30 and I was like, whoa, I have literally checked off everything from my bucket list, and I still have more to do. But one of the main things I’ve learned since leaving my day job, so to speak, is that I want to move through my career saying “hell yes” to whatever I choose to spend my time on. If I can't get to a “hell yes,” it's a no.  

What’s your advice for someone who’s thinking of making a big career move?

At 30, it was difficult to give my myself permission to start dreaming up my next big dream — and it was even harder to give myself permission to go after it. Something I like to tell other women is that your life is a series of dreams realized. We need to give ourselves permission to accomplish a goal and go after the next. We don't need to be defined by one title or one career path for the rest of our lives. We're living in a new world now where there's no shame in having three or four careers, sometimes at the same time. It can be scary to carve a new path or blaze a new trail, but it's also incredibly exciting. I was so proud of what we were able to achieve at Teen Vogue, but at the same time I could see the next dream that I wanted, the next mountain I wanted to climb. Now I'm out here climbing the next mountain.  

Why was Project Runway the right next move?

Well, we live in this very chaotic, depressing world where the news headlines can just make you not want to get out of bed, let alone pursue a passion that might be hard to get off the ground. But this show gives America a reason to come together and dream again. I think we need that desperately right now. The  contestants are just incredibly inspiring. I feel so invested in their careers and the stories that they want to put out into the world through fashion. 

When a young girl learns about your work for the first time, what do you hope she thinks?

I would want her to feel a sense of limitlessness and a pride in owning exactly who she is. I hope she can look at me and see herself and that no matter where she comes from, no matter what college she went to, no matter what family she came from or what her dreams or aspirations are, owning all of it is what is going to propel her into her greatest successes. I’ve learned that just being yourself — which is a cliche that we say a lot — is a lot harder to do in practice when you’re the only one who looks like you in the room. It's scary to own your ideas and to own what makes you different, but you have to practice it every single day. The more that you do it, the more you realize that those things that make you different are actually your superpowers.

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4 Tips for Negotiating a Raise That Every Woman Should Know

Money is power, and women aren’t getting their share of it. In America, men earn 20 percent more than women, and that disparity is even greater for women of color. Now is the time to close that gap—and these are the women doing it.

For nearly two decades as an agent, I negotiated deals in the high-stakes, big-ego world of professional sports. You know the famous scene in Jerry Maguire, right? A wide receiver (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) tells his agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) that he’s unhappy with his contract. “Show me the money!” he implores, insisting that Maguire scream it back at him with the same unrelenting passion, and they chant until everyone is staring.

VIDEO: The Major Mistake Women Make In Salary Negotiations

 

That wasn’t exactly how the day-to-day played out in my office, but the environment gave me a unique perspective on how to get deals done and—given that I was one of the only female agents—how to tackle the biases that women in all fields face when it comes to negotiation.

Negotiation inherently requires a level of discomfort. Gender adds another layer of complexity. And negotiating big deals in a traditionally male-dominated industry gave me a front-row view of that intersection.

Here’s how it showed up. Some of the baseball GMs I negotiated deals with were firm members of the good ol’ boys’ club. When I arrived with my male colleague, one assumed I was merely the assistant there to capture the proceedings. A manager of a Major League Baseball team once yelled at his player, “Hey, quit talking to that chick,” as the player quietly corrected him, “That’s my agent.” There was the PGA Tour rep early on who put my player’s contract in his locker at a tournament, attempting to go around me. And the bosses who told me I should just be “grateful to be in this role” as a female.

My point is that gender is powerful. Whether overtly or subtly, it can limit what we think we are allowed to ask for—and whether we ask at all. Studies show that, on average, women expect lower salaries than men do. That’s a cultural problem, one that’s reinforced by the realities women face at work. But as we slowly try to fix it on the policy level, I’ve learned to use what I observe as data, turning moments of defensiveness into curiosity and connection. My approach was to over-deliver in order to ensure that clients respected me and, preferably, liked me. I might pick a moment, usually within the first few minutes of a meeting, to show off my deep knowledge of their sport. That established my credibility quickly and firmly before I moved on to forming a personal connection. And that’s when the conversation changes.

It’s been proven that as women, we tend to be better at negotiating on behalf of others. Did your kid get assigned to the wrong class at school? We’ll light a fire until that gets fixed. Did someone on your team get overlooked for a promotion? We’ll advocate for them. Yet during my years negotiating on behalf of athletes, coaches, and talent, I also learned how important it is to go to bat for yourself.

I have three daughters—a 15-year-old and 14-year-old twins. I try to envision my girls graduating college and entering the “real world.” I want them to understand the power of their voices. And I want them to use their voices to ask for what they want. I may have taught them too well. My oldest recently renegotiated a deal about how we would split the cost of an expensive dress she wanted for a school dance. The terms were solid. Then, she proposed a new option, remembering a gift card I’d given her a few weeks earlier. “Thanks for the gift card, Mom,” she said. “But I’m thinking I don’t need it. So why don’t I give that back to you and you can apply that amount to the cost of my dress?”

In a professional landscape that’s less than equitable, I want her to know that when no one offers you a seat, you pull up your own chair. One thing I know: Wait for an invitation to negotiate, and you’ll be waiting a long time. Here are a few tips to up your negotiating game:

1. Know your why

Tap into the motivation behind your ask. When I negotiated on behalf of athletes, I recognized that I wasn’t just negotiating for more money. I was negotiating a deal that had the potential to change their and their families’ lives. This is important because we often fear that asking for money makes us greedy, when actually money can help us achieve our goals. The next time you negotiate a raise, consider the impact those additional resources could have. Maybe that extra money allows you to enroll your child in a better school, buy your first home, or go back to school yourself. Asking “Why do I want this?” will help you find the courage to ask with confidence. You’ll be negotiating not just for cold, hard cash but for the life improvements they’ll bring you.

2. Practice 360° awareness

This means putting yourself in the other person’s shoes so that you understand their goals, needs, values, and fears. People tend to filter the world through four different perspectives: financial, strategic, logistical, and relational. Knowing who you are negotiating with and what they value most will help you adapt your communication style and understand what to research. If you’re negotiating a raise with a boss who mostly views the world through a financial mindset, they’ll be focused on results. Approach that person with data and logic—and be concise. How have you contributed to the bottom line? If your boss is more strategic, lay out your vision for how you’ll grow your position. If they’re relational, they may value how you’ve stepped up as a leader.

3. Build favor columns

You won’t get far in a negotiation if you can’t find common ground. People want to know: Do I like you? Can you help me? Do I trust you? Favor columns allowed me to build relationships with people who are tough to connect with. A favor column is anything that adds value, delights, or helps solve a problem for another person. That can be a gift, like a bottle of wine on their birthday or a book you think they’d enjoy. But it doesn’t need to be. Making an introduction to a potential client, helping their child with an internship search, or simply sending a link to a podcast they may enjoy is very effective in building favor. It may seem counterintuitive to invest in the relationship with the person you are negotiating with, but you are showing them what the relationship can be.

4. Ask with confidence

In our negotiation workshops, I share a tool called the EWOC analysis:

Identify EVERYTHING that can be negotiated. Most people wrongly assume that only financials can be negotiated. The first mistake I see people make is not recognizing that the opportunity to negotiate exists and then, when they do negotiate, not identifying everything that can be negotiated. What about vacation time, work-from-home privileges, additional training, and changing projects?

Ask for exactly what you WANT. Ask for what you want, not what you think the other side will give you. Remember, if you’ve practiced 360 awareness and built favor, then the negotiation is just the start of the conversation.

Offer multiple OPTIONS. Multiple options create room during the negotiation for the other side to decide what’s best for them. For example, you might ask for a higher base salary or specific bonuses and incentives. This allows the other side to determine what risk they want to assume.

Know what you are willing to CONCEDE. Know what you are willing to give up and what you aren’t. Leaving should always be on the menu. A successful negotiation will end with a result that is better than your best alternative. If you are willing to settle for less than that, that’s what you will most likely get.

Now go do it for yourself. And when I say for yourself, I mean just that—study up on your strategy but don’t try to mimic a negotiating style that’s not authentically you. You don’t need to play by the “boys’ club” rules to be effective. I embraced my femininity, even my outsider status, as a sports agent and reframed it as an opportunity.

Most importantly, practice. Most men feel more welcomed at the negotiating table for a variety of social and institutional reasons. They do it more often and, as a result, get better at the skill. But take a page out of my daughter’s book—effective negotiating is just a conversation. You can do it anywhere.

Molly Fletcher is the author of A Winner’s Guide to Negotiating. As founder of The Molly Fletcher Company, she draws on decades of experiences working with elite athletes and coaches as a sports agent and applies them to the business world.

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