Fran Hauser the author of The Myth of the Nice Girl is here today to talk about how being nice can be your superpower. Today’s episode is about speaking up and being assertive and finding your voice while still being kind. Fran is an author, speaker, and a media executive. She is an entrepreneur investor and the founder of Hauser Ventures.  

She has held many senior positions at some of the world’s largest digital media businesses including People, In Style, Entertainment Weekly, and AOL. She is now a startup investor who largely invests in female entrepreneurs. She was named one of Business Insiders 30 Women in Venture Capital to Watch.

Show Notes

  • [03:14] About five years ago friend was working at Time Inc as an executive running digital for women’s brands at the company.
  • [03:41] She realized the part of her job that she liked the most was meeting with technology-based startups.
  • [04:16] She realized that even if they didn’t partner, she spent a lot of time advising the founders on their business models. She started advising them for equity.
  • [04:53] Doing this full-time would give her flexibility to be with her family.
  • [05:26] This is why she made the shift from media executive to investor/advisor.
  • [06:19] It took her about a year to make the transition.
  • [08:48] Fran mentor’s a lot of women, and they kept asking how can you be nice and still get ahead. Fran decided to write her book on that topic.
  • [10:28] You don’t have to choose between being nice and being strong.
  • [11:32] Bringing her niceness to work has enabled Fran to build relationships and teams.
  • [12:54] Fran prepared to speak up at a meeting and it allowed her to become more comfortable.
  • [15:30] Women aren’t raising hands at open Q & A, but are coming up after the lecture. It’s more important that your voice is heard.
  • [16:43] If someone isn’t speaking up find a way to draw them out.
  • [17:36] Fran shares a story where she went over the head of one of her coworkers and felt terrible about it. She realized that this was an example of doing something that didn’t sit right with her.
  • [19:26] It’s exhausting being someone who you aren’t.
  • [19:54] Be yourself and have your actions align with your values.
  • [23:40] A section that resonated with readers was where she talks about how women apologize too much.
  • [26:24] You can always ask someone to be your accountability buddy. Being vulnerable and asking for help goes a long way.
  • [30:27] Fran had to share stories to be vulnerable and relatable.
  • [31:29] Fran was inspired by Ann Moore and Paul Caine from Time Inc. They are perfect examples of people who lead with kindness and strength.
  • [31:58] Ann would bring people to breakfast and have them share something that they were grateful for. Paul had meetings and told stories.
  • [35:22] Fran loves owning her own business. She gets to choose the people and the projects that she works with. It also gives her flexibility.
  • [36:57] She loves how a thought leadership platform is emerging from her book. Fran is also doing more speaking.
  • [37:37] People who come to her are women looking for career advice, founders looking for business and fundraising advice, and people who want to write a book.
  • [39:17] Fran keeps up-to-date by reading and meeting with people and being curious.
  • [40:35] Bring your whole self to work. Don’t feel like you have to check kindness and compassion at the door.

Links and Resources:

Fran Hauser

Fran Hauser

@fran_hauser on Twitter

Fran Hauser on LinkedIn

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Fran Hauser on Facebook

The Myth of the Nice Girl