I love to learn and consider it part of the evolution path, so I wear many different hats. The author hat is one that I have wanted to wear for a long time. Many years ago, I wrote a bucket list. Writing a book was on it, as well as some other seemingly unattainable goals. Actually, the most impossible one, in my mind, was to meet my favorite artist Gloria Estefan, so imagine my shock when it happened not even two weeks after I wrote it! I was then hit with the realization that everything in life is possible, you just have to intentionally manifest it and start working on it right away.
The result of this work is Women in Business Leading the Way. A book I co-authored with 13 other Brilliant CEO’s. Each of us has a chapter where we shared our challenges and successes with the hope to inspire those that come after us. I feel honored that the book became a #1 Amazon Best Seller and that because of it I have gotten a huge platform to talk about many, many subjects that I am passionate about.
I am usually asked to share one of the stories that I share in the book, so here it goes:
"It wasn’t until I embarked on the journey of writing this book that I realized that for a long time in my career I might have been suffering from what was initially dubbed 'Imposter Syndrome' back in 1978. In the book 'The Imposter Phenomenon,' the author says Imposter Syndrome is essentially perfectionism. This combined with an inordinate fear of failure, the refusal to take credit for one’s accomplishments, and feelings of guilt about success. These feelings can be particularly burdensome to women whose success is atypical among family members or friends. A 2019 study showed that 66% of women had experienced it, compared to just over half of men. This syndrome has never been taken particularly seriously. Surprise, surprise!
It now makes sense to me why, back then, I allowed other people’s opinions and my own value set to convince me that I didn’t deserve my career. On the other hand, I understand that at the time, a young female executive had a hard time being taken seriously, especially in our very male-dominated industry.
What many people didn’t know is that I was practically born into the telecommunications business. My father, an Italian immigrant who arrived in Venezuela in the 1960s in search of a better future, understood incredibly early the imminent boom that the communications industry was going to have. Without any type of engineering or college degree, he risked it all, and NEPTUNO eventually became one of the Leading Companies in the Wireless Towers manufacturing sectors in South America. With over 10,000 sites built and about 250 employees overall, that legacy is not one that is easy to carry on one’s shoulders.
Luckily, my father at 85, is still a force to be reckoned with, and my brother, sister, and sister-in-law are heavily involved in our business as well. Together we are a great team. I still cherish the memories of our Sunday outings, where we would accompany our father on site visits, and we would make our own fun by playing with the earth that had been removed from the tower foundation excavation. In contrast, our father, ever the perfectionist, was hard at work making sure that everything was going according to plan.
The rebel in me resisted it (as all young people do at some point). Still, eventually, I realized that our business is in my DNA and that nothing brings me more joy, and I can’t find a stronger WHY, than to help expand my father’s legacy and vision to the next level. Our family and our mission have intertwined to a point where we don’t know which is which." Excerpt from Women in Business Leading the Way by T&S Publishing
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Books that I am in the process of writing (but that will come to life in their own time):
The Sicilian Brainwash
"My dad is Sicilian, you know? Giovanna had said jokingly to Hans a long time earlier. ‘And you know what happens to guys that mess up with the Godfather’s daughter, don’t you?' That was the 'joke' that Caterina and Giovanna had used all throughout their lives to hint to guys that they were not going to get any 'action' with them, at least not before marrying" Excerpt from: The Sicilian Brainwash
Is it Friday Yet?
"The problem I see with most people is that they take their 5 days a week on the job as the necessary 'purgatory' to be able to have access to 'heaven' two days a week. When did we stop enjoying what we do? Or is it that humankind has never learned how to find spiritual happiness. I once read somewhere that 'Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness' and I honestly believe this is true. However, the biggest problem with this quote is that most of us do not know what we like to do, I mean what we REALLY like to do. It is understood that most people are willing to take on jobs that they do not like just because of the money, but why is it that we never seem to define what kind of life we want to live. How much money does one needs to live comfortably and yet have enough time to fulfill other areas of its human interests? I can’t avoid but to deal, almost daily, with the idea that we are selling our soul and happiness out for money, namely a paycheck."Excerpt from: Is It Friday Yet?
Doing it the Italian Way – 10 Lessons and Recipes, Co-authored with Enrica Frulla
"When people think of Italy they think of art, culture, food, and beauty. Italians are known all over the world for being fashion designers, artists, car makers, and artisans. If you’ve ever been to Italy, you may see a Mamma Italiana taking her kids to school in stilettos. A stylish gentleman at a café’ sipping an espresso. An Italian grandma with a beautiful colorful scarf, lipstick, and a freshly coiffed head of hair. Italians have innate style. Even on playgrounds you will find stylish little Italian fashionistas running around and their ‘mamme’ yelling after them to be careful or they’ll get dirty.
It all comes down to the 'figura:' making a good impression. But it is not just about being 'beautiful' all the time, rather it’s about keeping up appearances. So whether it’s in the way they speak (one should avoid putting one’s foot in one’s mouth at all costs!) or the sharp way they dress ('l’abito fa il Monaco' – Clothes make the man), making a good impression is top priority for all Italians so that they don’t have to say 'Che figuraccia' . . . What a fool I’ve made of myself!" Excerpt from: Doing it the Italian Way- 10 Lessons and Recipes.
Networking with Heart
“So now people use tools like Linked-In to network. And don’t take me wrong, I think Linked-In is a great tool to stay connected, but, when you ask for a connection and don’t even care to explain WHY you think that the connection is interesting or valuable, or you pretend to know the person to try to fool them into accepting the request? That is just transactional and, in my opinion, worthless. Networking has become the most impersonal and aggravating activity in the world. Where have the times to getting to know each other, gaining trust, exploring synergies, and simply building a relationship before you even start asking for something have gone? And more importantly why are we allowing this impersonal way of networking to happen at all?” Excerpt from: Networking with Heart.