Name that Woman Trailblazer: Hollywood actress turned European princess, married Prince Rainier III in 1956 to become Princess of Monaco after two decades of pursuing the glamour of the silver screen. Due to her uniquely eclectic career and rich fabric of worldly experience, she is awarded her trailblazing status as one of the first women to ‘do it all’. Her life spanned the realms of modelling, acting, advertising, royalty, motherhood and married life.
WOMEN OF THE WEEK
Meet Sammy Kanter & Maddie Medved 👋
I’m Sammy, and I’m Maddie – and we’re the minds behind Girl and the Gov®, our company that’s rebranding politics and making it accessible for Millennial and Gen-Z women. We’re two people who were once strangers – no, like we literally met via Instagram – who know that getting our peers civically engaged is the key to protecting and progressing our democracy.
🔗 Want to connect with Sammy and Maddie? Say “hi” on Sammy’s LinkedIn, Maddie’s LinkedIn and Instagram.
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Sammy & Maddie’s Secrets
Q: How did you get into your current role/industry?
A: Sammy: If we time travel back to college, I majored in Government & Law and Anthropology & Sociology, which in and of itself should’ve been a hint as to where my career would eventually take me.
However, my ‘I’m too burnt out for law school’ self chose a different path post-grad and went right into public relations in the design industry. Au contraire to say the least, but it is a move that is responsible for where I am today.
It taught me the A, B and C’s of communication, media, PR, marketing, and so on. In this phase, there were two wheels turning – one that pointed to an underlying itch that I wanted to start my own business, and the other that was pushing me back toward politics.
Eventually these two wheels and worlds collided in 2018, when I discovered both that many of my peers had not participated in the midterm elections and that there was a huge hole in the civic engagement market.
This turned into a solution, which was meeting this demographic exactly where they were – at pilates classes, drinks with friends – and attaching civic learning to these spaces in the form of bespoke events.
The equation worked and has been brought to the next level through connecting with my now business partner, Maddie, as we’ve taken this company from just events to a digital media company that includes a podcast, social media platforms, a brand ambassador program, and so much more.
Maddie: Similarly to Sammy, I also majored in political science, and this was really the first set of courses I really enjoyed. It just fit and I knew that this was the field I wanted to go into. Post grad, I didn’t take any u-turns and went right into the political space – I worked in digital organizing on CA Governor Newsom’s campaign, followed by Tom Steyer’s presidential campaign.
When that campaign came to a close, COVID came to a roaring start, forcing me to hit reset and figure out where I was going to take my career at that moment. A chance Instagram encounter where Girl and the Gov® (aka Sam) followed me, and I went out on a limb and pitched her a podcast in her DMs, led us here.
Q: What’s something you do to help boost your productivity?
A: Sammy: Working out and a mega iced coffee.
The first part is healthy, the second part is debatable. But truly working out is a huge productivity boost for me since it brings me extra energy.
In terms of systems, it’s templates. We create templates for everything under the sun – from pitches to DMs, and more.
Each of these will get customized for their recipient, but having a consistent starting point helps to keep things flowing.
Maddie: Taking breaks!!
Usually that means getting outside and going for a walk, or grabbing some coffee but it also means a 15 minute snooze on the morning alarm sometimes (thank you remote work).
As far as how I organize my work, I love a checklist and crossing off a task makes me feel ultra productive, which ultimately boosts me to take on whatever is next on the list.
Q: How do you find work-life balance?
A: Sammy: It’s incredibly hard to do so because we live in a world where you’re connected/plugged in/available 100% of the time.
Trying to create a boundary really is almost impossible today.
I try to be flexible with myself on these, and quite honestly it looks different every day. I can’t say I’ve quite mastered this yet, but check in with me in a year and maybe I’ll have made some progress.
Maddie: I know the consequence of not finding a balance.
Taking breaks is key and always energizes me to get into and excited about work. I try to make sure I take these throughout the day as needed.
Q: What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve received so far?
A: Sammy: Hands down, ‘don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal.’
Just because an opportunity pops into your inbox, doesn’t mean you should take it.
Evaluate to the fullest extent and understand that if it doesn’t hit your benchmarks for a successful venture, you don’t need to take it on.
Maddie: Don’t be afraid to fail or make mistakes.
All the most successful people have dealt with failure, mistakes, people saying no, etc., but their belief in themselves and persistence is what got them to their success.
Fear can severely affect your ability to reach personal or professional goals, failure and mistakes are inevitable, so let it go!
Q: What’s your favorite software or app that helps with your workflow?
A: Sammy: This is the least adventurous answer, but Google Calendar.
I use it beyond scheduled events, but to put reminders and tasks on my radar. Also, not an app (obviously), but writing out a checklist like it’s 2005 is actually the #1 thing that keeps me on track.
Maddie: We love the GSuite here at Girl and the Gov® for all things workflow, but some software specific to us and especially my workflow is Descript.
It is a video and audio editing software that has completely changed my life. I used to be up all night editing our podcast, but Descript has cut my editing work time by more than 50%. This allows me to now edit two podcast episodes a week, and create video content.
If you’re a podcaster or work with any type of bigger audio and video content check out Descript (great customer service too).
Q: What’s a book or podcast you’d recommend to a colleague?
A: Sammy: Well I’m super biased on the podcast front so – Girl and the Gov.
On the book front, Phoebe Robinson’s Please Don’t Sit on My Bed In Your Outside Clothes.
Incredibly on point and hilarious all at once. She gives a ton of valuable advice on how to productively and effectively run a business.
Maddie: Girl and the Gov, The Podcast! Get your easy relatable political learning in, guys.
I loved Em Rata’s My Body and on the business front, Ali Kriegsman How to Build a Goddamn Empire was amazing and relatable with everything we’ve been going through while building our brand.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time outside of work?
A: Sammy: I like to do a little bit of everything.
I thrive on social activities, so that is always in the mix. I also love to be outside 1000% of the time, so if it’s an outdoor activity, whether it’s playing tennis or going on a hike, I’m in.
Oh, and shopping. Going into a chaotic clothing store and finding the hidden gem is my zen.
Maddie: Biiiig nature girl, so I love to get out and explore, and ideally do some hiking!
I also love to spend time with my girlfriends either hitting the town, weekend trips, or exploring.
I can’t forget my family and the pups too – I’m lucky to live relatively close to my family and three dogs Biggie, Smalls, and Howie! Anytime I need an escape, I head home to my family and get a bit of serotonin.
☀️ Read how should not let fear stop you from living the life you most desire.
🗓 How to get the most out of Google Calendar.
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BLESSINGS IN LESSONS
Enjoy The Journey
Sammy: This is going to be a tip on the productivity front.
Know what works for you and lean into that.
If you see a tip, trick, method out there and it doesn’t work for you – know that, accept that, and try something else.
Productivity is different for everyone. It’s not a one-size fits all scenario, so remember not to treat it that way.
Maddie: Your anxiety and imposter syndrome are lying to you!
Whether it’s an entrepreneurial goal or a promotion, it’s scary to take those leaps and often can feel like you might not be good enough to pull it off.
You are more than worthy and able and qualified to go after what you want in your career.
Another closing lesson…Rome wasn’t built in a day so enjoy that journey of working towards your goals.
Patience and persistence is everything.
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