The Intersection of Politics and Entrepreneurship
with Jana Lynn Sanchez
Caterina and Jana Lynn Sanchez, Congressional candidate from the state of Texas, became friends in their twenties. In this intimate interview, these long-time friends discuss leadership, how sales and fundraising have a lot in common, and the challenges and rewards of running for public office. Jana also shares her highs and lows and reflects on what motivated her to run again after an unsuccessful congressional run two years ago. This candid conversation will give you a lot to reflect on for yourself, your business, and your life.
About Jana Lynn Sanchez
My grandparents, migrant farmworkers, settled in Ellis County in the 1950s. Today, many of my grandparents’ 17 children and their descendants live in and around Ellis County. This area is my community, my family, and my home.
My father dropped out of school in the 6th grade to work alongside his family as they performed backbreaking agricultural work. And my parents always stressed to me the value and the virtue of working hard. I worked hard in school, defying the low expectations teachers had of me and my family.
And I worked hard outside of school, at the Midlothian Dairy Queen in high school, and alongside my coursework at Rice University. I was the first in my family to earn a college degree. I’m lucky and I know it. I had the loving support of my family and caring public school teachers and I benefited from federal financial aid and scholarships. I want to work to make sure all children have the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential.
After a career in journalism, I built a business from scratch, creating jobs and helping companies succeed. Along the way, I’ve faced challenges many Texans face — from navigating the healthcare system for my parents and being able to afford healthcare as a self-employed person.
I ran for Congress in 2018 because I knew as a country we could do better. I’m running today because we have one shot to get things back on track. The urgency of this moment calls for leadership focused on building an equitable, resilient, healthy, and prosperous future for all North Texans. Let’s do it together.
-Jana Lynn Sanchez
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Expand Your Fempire Podcast #41 Transcript
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The Intersection of Politics and Entrepreneurship
with Jana Lynn Sanchez
Welcome to Expand your Fempire with Caterina Rando, the podcast for women in business on a mission. Sharing ideas to support you to grow and thrive. Now here’s your host, Caterina Rando.
[00:00:25] Caterina Rando: Welcome back to another episode of the Expand Your Fempire podcast. I’m your host Caterina Rando. And I am blissing to be with you right now because you know what? Today is a super treat for me that I know is going to be a super treat for you.
[00:00:46] I am interviewing my BFF Jana Lynne Sanchez, who is a dynamic, amazing woman. She’s currently running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the state of Texas. And even though it’s not business, fundraising and getting votes is a lot like business. And we’re going to talk about this and a lot more today.
[00:01:15] Jana, I’m so happy you’re here.
[00:01:18] Jana Lynne Sanchez: I’m so excited to be here, my friend. Thank you so much for inviting me to come join your fabulous podcast.
[00:01:25] Caterina Rando: Thank you. And Jana and I have been friends for about 30 years. Many years ago, we met at a party. I don’t remember where it was or what was happening. All I remember is that you and I both had mustard shirts on. A color that neither of us almost never wear. And that became a way that we connected, and we became instant friends.
[00:01:50] And from that time, Jana, our friendship has had a variety of things that we’ve done together. Do you remember that we did “have I got a friend for you?
[00:02:00] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:02:00] Yes, that was great fun.
[00:02:02] Caterina Rando: [00:02:02] Which was singles parties…
[00:02:04] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:02:04] …and I met a boyfriend through that…
[00:02:06] Caterina Rando: [00:02:06] Yes you met a boyfriend. That was really fun. And then I remember that you worked for the Baltimore Sun.
[00:02:15] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:02:15] Uh, huh.
[00:02:16] Caterina Rando: [00:02:16] And I was so impressed because you said “I want to work for the Baltimore Sun.” And you made it happen! And you have always been a woman of action, which I super value.
[00:02:30] And then do you remember that you worked in London for, I think it was a digital marketing firm and you weren’t even knowing what you were going to do, but you took the job and you did a great job. Do you remember that?
[00:02:42] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:02:42] Well, I remember it slightly differently, and although my memory’s not always the best. I remember that when I went to London, I was working as a journalist and I was a journalist for about a decade. And then I set up my own PR agency with partners. And then I did that for about a decade.
[00:03:03] And I didn’t know what I was doing in any of those jobs when I first started them.
[00:03:07] Caterina Rando: [00:03:07] And that’s what I love about you. That’s one of the things I admire is that you go for what you want.
[00:03:15] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:03:15] Well, thank you. I think it’s a feature rather than a bug because it does seem to be a standard part of my life, which is, I often do things that I know nothing about, and I have no idea what I’m getting into, but somehow I make it work.
[00:03:29] Caterina Rando: [00:03:29] And right now, Jana, you’re running for the US House of Representatives. Now last time a couple of years ago, there was an election, and you did not win. And there now’s a special election and you’re going forward again. And I’m so impressed that you weren’t successful the first time and you’re getting back at it.
[00:03:48] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:03:48] Yeah, I’d really like to talk about that for a minute. So first of all, like many things in life running for office, it turns out you do learn a lot by doing it. And most candidates women especially have to run multiple times in order to win. It’s very standard that you do. Actually all candidates it’s true.
[00:04:09] Of course, some candidates get elected on their first go, but most do not. And so they run again, sometimes multiple times before they actually get elected. I have a friend here nearby who ran I think like four or five times before he got elected and he’s super good at his role. Maybe it was even more than that.
[00:04:29] And, you know, I remember when I first started to run and people said to me, “Well, if you don’t make it this time, will you please run again?” And I said, “no.” I said, ” if I don’t win, I’m never going to run again, because that means to me, the voters are not interested me” and I probably wasn’t very good at what I was doing.
[00:04:47]And in fact, there was a documentary made about my first run, or I was one of three women that these filmmakers followed around. And I was so broken after my first race. There’s a whole interview in which they say, “So are you gonna run again?” And I said, “no.” I said, “I’m not, I’m not that candidate.”
[00:05:06]And probably, I wouldn’t have run again, except I learned a lot in the last couple of years. Not being a candidate, but helping other candidates and helping in other campaigns. And I realized how much it is important that you run again, if you really want to represent your community, you keep running.
[00:05:26]But also I learned that it’s an important part of democracy that you do keep running. And I’m working on a book right now with another woman who has run quite a few times. She ran first successfully, for school board and she was on school board for a couple of years. And then she ran for agriculture commissioner, which is a big statewide race.
[00:05:48] And she’s an amazing, like heroic woman. She really is a heroic woman. She was a Colonel in the Air Force. And she’s a bigger-than-life character. So she ran for Ag Commission and she lost, and then she ran for Congress in a seat that I think most people probably now think she probably could have won in the general, but she actually lost in the primary. And it was a very hard race.
[00:06:15] And we’re now writing a book together about how to run for office and a big part of what we talk about is keep running. If you don’t win, keep running. You know, so I really think it’s important that if women want to represent their community on school board or city council or state House or Congress or whatever, they should keep running.
[00:06:38] And running for office the first time I did it, I knew nothing and I made a huge number of mistakes. And this time I actually knew a lot and I did a lot right and it’s just been a lot easier and I’ve been more successful so far in terms of the money that I’ve raised and the endorsements and in the polling and everything. I’m doing much better this time because of what I learned last time.
[00:07:03]Caterina Rando: [00:07:03] That’s wonderful. Jana you know, I always tell the ladies, like one of the things that makes us successful in business is our ability to manage our disappointment. When you run for office, it’s not only you that knows that you didn’t get what you wanted.
[00:07:18] Like sometimes we don’t get something, you know, a client or big project, and…
[00:07:24] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:07:24] nobody knows…
[00:07:25] Caterina Rando: [00:07:25] …nobody knows, right? But when you run for office, you know, the whole state or country knows that you were not successful. And you have been able to manage that and get back in there.
[00:07:38]Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:07:38] I wasn’t terribly disappointed for me about losing, because, you know, I do believe that voters choose based on who they want to represent them. And it’s not a personal indictment of me that I didn’t win. I wasn’t that candidate at the right time in that district. It was a tough district. I tried to look at it instead that I moved to district 11 points. I raised 10 times more money than any Democrat had raised in that district in a generation. I got the endorsement of national groups who had not been interested in this district in a generation. I did a lot of things that I hadn’t done and that wasn’t why I didn’t want to run again.
[00:08:18] The reason I didn’t wanna run again was not because I lost, but because it was so hard. You know, financially, physically. I gained a lot of weight because, you know, I was eating most of my meals in the car from What a Burger for like a year and a half.
[00:08:34]So physically, my physical health wasn’t as good as it should have been. I suffered a lot financially because I couldn’t work. You can’t work and run for Congress. It’s really impossible. And it was very emotionally draining because in a political system, the way that candidates get ahead usually is they attack other candidates.
[00:08:53] Now I have never attacked an opponent and I never would, but I always do get attacked. Because I’m always sort of the person that I’m either the front runner among the Democrats, both in the last cycle and this cycle. Or the Republicans starts thinking, “Ooh, you know, she’s getting a little too close.”
[00:09:11]So then they go negative. I’ve never had to go negative because I believe that voters want to know why they should support you. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t disagree with my opponents, but I would never use a personal negative attack. I know there’s a lot of disagreement about whether you should or not, but I certainly wouldn’t use it against opponents in my own party. Like that, I would never do.
[00:09:36] But it’s very draining to be the subject of those attacks as well.
[00:09:41] Caterina Rando: [00:09:41] Well, you know, in business and in politics, it sounds like you’ve been able to not take it personal. Would you say that’s true?
[00:09:48] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:09:48] I would not say that. I say I struggled a lot. I struggled a lot with, with the attacks and that was true in business as well. When things go wrong… I’m an empath, right? So I really feel things very deeply.
[00:10:02] But if you really believe in something, either you believe in the business case and your company, your employees, your mission, and the same in politics, you believe in what you’re doing. So you keep going, despite those attacks, which you feel those on a very personal level. At least I do.
[00:10:20] Caterina Rando: [00:10:20] So you do feel them, but yet you keep going and you keep putting yourself out there. I mean, you know….
[00:10:27] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:10:27] I have to, what’s the alternative?
[00:10:28] Caterina Rando: [00:10:28] I hear you, but you know, in business we talk about being visible and to the extent that some women do, but they’re not getting attacked, you know? So, so my question to you is how do you keep being visible on a daily basis, Jana, while managing your personal vitality and mental health?
[00:10:48]Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:10:48] Well, I’m not sure that I do it that well. Like I said, I take things very personally and I think I haven’t really learned the answer to that. I do feel things very personally when people attack me, but I just, I have a belief in my goal, in the end goals so I just have to going.
[00:11:08] I mean, I think, you know, well enough that I’m very determined and if I see a goal I just worked towards it until it’s not a possibility anymore- such as losing an election or until I’ve done everything I can do.
[00:11:22] And I consider it my job and my mission to represent the people of my district, just like I considered it my mission to keep my business afloat in a very difficult time in 2008, 2009. It’s not much different actually.
[00:11:37] And by the way, I will say, I’m not the first person to notice that I tend to have people who really dislike me in my life. I have people who really like me. I have people who really dislike me. So I have gotten used to being the subject of a lot of negative energy throughout my life. I have a way of pissing people off basically.
[00:11:58]Caterina Rando: [00:11:58] You speak your mind…
[00:12:00] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:12:00] Yes I do!
[00:12:00] Caterina Rando: [00:12:00] … and are very opinionated and… which is great… and Jana, the other thing is you’re super smart. And being super smart and being able to articulate your super smartness can sometimes intimidate people. Would you agree?
[00:12:16] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:12:16] I also think I probably need a little more polish in the way that I give feedback sometimes, but at least I recognize it, right?
[00:12:29]Caterina Rando: [00:12:29] Jana I guess before we get off this, I want to ask you, do you feel like it gets easier?
[00:12:34]Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:12:34] So if you mean specifically running for office or do you mean being attacked?
[00:12:38] I mean being criticized, being attacked.
[00:12:43]I never like it because I always take it personally. And I, especially don’t like it when it comes from someone I respect and I admire. That’s really, really hard for me. I don’t think that will ever get easier.
[00:12:57]Sometimes you learn coping techniques and you also can build a team around you that can help insulate you a bit.
[00:13:05] Caterina Rando: [00:13:05] Yeah.
[00:13:05]Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:13:05] I have an amazing team, which I did not have last time. I mean, I had great people who ended up working for me near the end of the campaign. But at that time I couldn’t and find people to work for me who had experienced and knew what they were doing. I ended up hiring young women who we sort of all muddled through together and figured out what we thought because nobody thought the district was winnable. There were no resources, so it was like… You know, nobody who wanted to work on my campaign cause they all thought I was going to lose.
[00:13:34]So this time I have amazing professional experienced staff, and a big staff, who have all done this before. So that’s really helpful for me when I say, “can you believe what this person just said?” And they’re like, ” You’re in first place. They’re going to attack you. It doesn’t matter. It’s not going to affect one voter. It’s not going to make enough of a difference” or whatever.
[00:13:57] So they kind of can put things in perspective and I’m sure they’re insulating me from tons of things. Like they took me off of my social media, because they don’t want me sitting there in the middle of the night reading ugly comments from people.
[00:14:10] Caterina Rando: [00:14:10] Right.
[00:14:11] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:14:11] And I can’t see them cause they hide them. So I don’t see them. Like I’m no longer able to really tweet or post on my campaign page because I have professionals doing it for me and because they don’t want me getting stressed every time I see. And I also have a reputation for punching back hard. I mean, they don’t want me doing that.
[00:14:34]Caterina Rando: [00:14:34] You mentioned that you have a great team. And I saw the latest poll you’re in first place. Twenty-three candidates. You’re in first place. That is very impressive. I would like you to speak a little bit about. What you look for? I mean, I know you look for experience in this area, but what are some qualities for our listeners that they want to look for in their team members?
[00:15:00] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:15:00] Okay. So I don’t know if this is completely relevant for business, because it’s just a slightly different world. I didn’t select most of my team members. I chose first a few trusted people around me and they went and hired everyone. I don’t even know what most of my team members are making in terms of salary. And I don’t even know what their responsibilities are necessarily because I’m not the campaign manager. I’m the candidate.
[00:15:27] And so the campaign manager knows all of that and she’s got it budgeted down to the penny and she knows exactly where we are at all times. Then I’ve got a finance director who knows exactly how much we’re money we’re raising at all times.
[00:15:39]My job is to get on the phone and get the money in. So, of course, I know where we are in terms of money that we’ve raised, but I don’t know what it’s being spent for other than, you know, I have a meeting once a week. So the one thing I will say is it’s not my nature to let things go and not know all of this stuff, but I’ve discovered that if you hire really good people, you kind of have to let them do their job. And you’re paying them a lot.
[00:16:04]Actually my campaign manager said to me the other day, cause I was like, “Okay, I’ll just go down there and put those signs in my friends’ yards down there.” Cause I want my signs on all these nice houses, on these nice streets in Waxahachie my hometown. Cause I had them last cycle, but we haven’t gotten the signs out to them yet. And I said, I’m just going to go down there and do it. And my campaign manager said, “you pay a lot of people, a lot of money to do their jobs. You’re going to let them do that. And you’re going to go back and do this.” You know, you basically go kiss babies and raise money because that’s your job.
[00:16:38] I mean, my job is to sell. In other words, to raise money to sell my message. So in other words, to get voters to want to support me. And their job is to figure out all the different ways that we get that message out to voters, and that we manage the money well that comes in and that we’re doing all the different avenues of raising money besides large donor cultivation, which is what I do.
[00:17:03] So I’m responsible for getting the large donors they’re responsible for getting the small donors.
[00:17:09] Caterina Rando: [00:17:09] Jana, you know, one of the things I tell my clients is that they have five jobs: speaking, selling, serving, strategy, and self-care.
[00:17:20] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:17:20] Oh, that’s perfect. I love that. That is really it. That’s perfect. I don’t do the self-care so well…
[00:17:29] I understand, but you know, that’s your job, right? Speaking, messaging, selling fundraising, strategy, and serving for you again, that’s connecting with people and the voters and then self- care.
[00:17:43] I want to ask you this, because related to this, it’s like, if you’re trying to do the things like you said, “Hey, I’ll just go put the signs on the lawn.” You know? That’s an example of you doing what’s not the highest and best use of your time. I love that your campaign manager said, “sorry, you’re you have other jobs.”
[00:18:04] Caterina Rando: [00:18:04] And that’s what often I think doesn’t have women succeed is when they’re doing, I’ll call it the “piddly stuff.” Not that it’s not important, but it’s not the highest and best use of your time.
[00:18:15]So let me ask you this, okay? Aside from the political experience and know-how, what qualities would you, did you look for in a key hire? Which is your campaign manager, because she’s really your partner to get this job done.
[00:18:34] What qualities did you look for?
[00:18:36] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:18:36] So, first of all, I want to take one step back, say that your team is your consulting team. So you have a consultant who’s handling your direct mail. You have a consultant who does your TV commercial, consultant who does your polling, consultant who does your digital persuasion ads and digital fundraising.
[00:18:58] So you can either choose your campaign manager first and let your campaign manager help you pick those people. In my case, I actually knew all of the consultants I wanted to choose. I knew them from my other work. So in those cases, I looked for really important qualities.
[00:19:14] I looked for people who I knew I could work with that we’re not going to get pissed off at me every time I did something to neurotic like text them at 6:00 AM or 5:00 AM and say, “Hey, I’m really worried about this” because I do that. And who I trusted, who I thought their advice would be good. Who I felt their interests were aligned with mine. They want to win, they want to win a seat like this. And a lot of it is also their experience. Like have they run races and won races that were similar right?
[00:19:45] And then when it came to campaign manager, there were different things that were important.
[00:19:50] One was have they run races like this before. Another was what were the relationships like with the key players in DC, such as the democratic congressional campaign committee, Emily’s list, organizations like that, that are absolutely crucial to being able to win a congressional race and your campaign manager has to deal with them all the time.
[00:20:12] So there’s a technical competence and then there’s their relationship with other people. And then there’s how are you going to work with them? And you know, it’s a little bit complicated, but I am the kind of person that if I have someone who’s a “yes” person or who just goes along with what I say, I will run all over them. And I will get my way, you know?
[00:20:33] So I, I pick someone who doesn’t say yes, actually. She says no all the time. And actually, that’s why she’s a good manager. And you know, I’m not an easy candidate to work with and I know that. I mean, I’ve heard that a lot of times, and I recognize that. I’m, again, very opinionated, all the things that we talked about, the reasons that I sometimes collect a lot of scorn is because I’m strong-willed, I’m opinionated. I have a lot of thoughts about strategy and they often come in the middle of the night.
[00:21:05]So I needed a strong campaign manager who could push back when I’m not doing what’s right for me and for the campaign, but who would listen to me when I said, “no, I’m really serious. We have to do it this way.” And I’m careful to not say that too often. Like I respect her and her expertise. So I think there’s a good relationship.
[00:21:26]So what I did to hire her is I had a team of a consultant I trusted and my very good friend Kim Olson, again, she’s the congressional candidate that I’m writing the book with. Kim Olson and a consultant interviewed her together first. Also, she came very highly recommended from one of the organizations in DC that we’re working side by side on.
[00:21:51]Then I interviewed her and we just had good rapport. I already knew that she was competent by the time I got to her. But I also enlisted other people on the team to help me make a good decision. Cause I am very impulsive a lot of times. And I go a lot on just feeling. Like if I like somebody, I would tend to hire them. So I didn’t want it to be like that. I wanted it to be people who know me and could maybe have a good like helicopter view of how I would work with her as well.
[00:22:21] And I also wanted diversity too. It was important to me that my team overall represented the people in the district. That they were of different ethnicities, men and women. Although my team is heavily female, between the consultants and the staff. But there’s a mix of everyone and that’s important.
[00:22:41] You get very isolated if you only hire all white men or all white women, or all Latinos or whatever. You need to have a diversity of opinion and experience and gender and everything else.
[00:22:52]Caterina Rando: [00:22:52] Let me ask you this. Cause I know that there’s an election coming up and hopefully you’re going to win. So there’s 23 candidates. You’re in the lead of those 23 candidates. You’re having an election. And then after that, the top two vote-getting candidates will be in the runoff.
[00:23:13] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:23:13] Correct.
[00:23:13] Caterina Rando: [00:23:13] Now, if you do not get elected to the House of Representatives will you run again?
[00:23:22] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:23:22] I don’t know. So first of all, I’m trying not to think about it too far ahead. I mean, I really didn’t think I was going to run this time. So who knows?
[00:23:30]Caterina Rando: [00:23:30] I remember when you said to me that you would never run again. I remember, my friend.
[00:23:34] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:23:34] I told everybody that. Actually, it was really funny. I was in a restaurant yesterday and the waitress said to me, “I was so surprised to see you were running. I remember asking you, would you ever run again? And you said absolutely not.”
[00:23:48] Caterina Rando: [00:23:49] I love that you are, you know, changing your mind, it’s your prerogative, right? Beautiful. Now, Jana, I know that you’ve been an entrepreneur, you’ve had your PR agency, you’ve had a lot of entrepreneurial activity in your career. Will you go back to entrepreneurial-ism if you don’t get elected?
[00:24:07] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:24:07] Absolutely. Yes, for sure. I’ve been employed only a short period in my life. Either at large corporations or in small agencies or whatever. I’m not a good employee. I mean, I’ve gotten high praise for my work as an employee, but it doesn’t suit me. I don’t enjoy it.
[00:24:26]I mean, there are many things I like about it. Like you get a paycheck and it’s like the same amount every time. And you don’t have to worry about making payroll and you have benefits and all those things. But I think if you are able to get your own clients, you probably should never go to work for someone else.
[00:24:41] I mean for me the lifestyle and the intellectual freedom and the fact that I can control my own hours. The fact that I can control which kind of clients I want to work for. What kind of subject matter I want to work in. The fact that I don’t have to put up with people if they’re not being nice to me, for instance, or if I don’t get along with them. That makes entrepreneurship perfect for me. And again, there are many great things about being an employee, but it’s not really for me.
[00:25:14] So whatever I do, no matter what happens after June 15th, the likely day of the runoff, or May 1st if I don’t make it into the runoff, I will go back to doing what I have been doing, which is I’m a publicist for authors. And I really love that work because I represent a couple of amazing authors and I have a few other authors who want me to work with them.
[00:25:38] So I will go back to doing that and probably build on the number of authors that I’m working for.
[00:25:45]Caterina Rando: [00:25:45] Jana, what advice would you give to a woman who’s thinking, toying, flirting with the idea of getting involved in politics.
[00:25:56] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:25:56] Well, I’m actually writing a whole book about it. So much I would say. But two words: do it. Okay? So we have to take responsibility for how we are governed. You know that’s everything from school board, to city council, to our legislators, to our executive branch.
[00:26:16] We, as women, need to be making the decisions that affect our lives. There’s a famous quote. I want to say Ann Richards said this but I might be making that up. That if you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re on the menu. And I think women too long have been on the menu. So I think it’s very important that we run for office regardless of what your beliefs are.
[00:26:38]Whether you are liberal or conservative or whatever. we need women’s voice and vision in our elected sphere. I think that you also see again, regardless of ideology, and there are some massively controversial exceptions to this, but generally, women are much better at negotiating and finding consensus and representing the interest of the people that they represent.
[00:27:05] I think that it will be a much healthier society when we have parity between men and women in our elected offices. So yes, do it. That’s the advice.
[00:27:16] Caterina Rando: [00:27:16] Awesome. Jana, let’s tell everybody how they can connect with you on social media or if they want to contribute to your campaign. Because, you know, that’s one thing that we haven’t really talked about today. Let’s pause here for a second. Because my work is all about supporting women to thrive in business so that they thrive economically.
[00:27:43] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:27:43] Yes.
[00:27:43] Caterina Rando: [00:27:43] I believe that when women make money, that they can then support causes they care about. Philanthropy and candidates they support.
[00:27:57] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:27:57] And it’s circular as well because having more women elected will increase the economic security of women. Because that’s a key principle of most women who are representatives, is they’re working to increase the economic security of all people. But especially women, in many cases, who have been overlooked.
[00:28:16] Caterina Rando: [00:28:16] I think that a lot of women don’t contribute to candidates. I don’t know, you know, the stats on this better, but I would like to encourage more women to support women candidates with dollars, not just with volunteerism. And what are your thoughts about that?
[00:28:36] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:28:36] So I’m not sure what the statistics are. I know that at one time that was true, but I feel like a lot of activism that certainly on the progressive side of things has been fueled by women. It has been paid for by women. I have never sat down to look and see. You know, whether my donors are mainly women or men. But I suspect that they’re probably pretty equally matched, although maybe more of the small donors are women.
[00:29:03]But also you have to keep in mind that women make a lot less on the dollar than men do. And so women, especially women of color… I often look at the contributions as they come through quite often. And I see things like a woman who’s a janitor gave me $5 and that means so much to me. I know it’s very emotional. It’s like, you know, I want to fight for you and thank you for contributing to me.
[00:29:28] And so I wouldn’t say that women don’t contribute. I think women just have maybe less economic ability to contribute. And they maybe have less awareness of where their money is best spent. So, I think women are starting. If not already, I think they’re starting to be very active, at least in progressive politics.
[00:29:48] Caterina Rando: [00:29:48] Great. Okay. So then if somebody knows that they don’t want to be a candidate, but they want to support people that have the ideology that they do, especially women candidates, what should they do?
[00:30:04] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:30:04] So I think you can do a little research. Like look around and see who’s supporting your interest. You get on one mailing list and quite frankly, you’re going to get hundreds and hundreds of emails every day. We all do. And you might even start getting calls. If you’re making donations of, you know, $500 or $250 or $1,000, you’re going to start getting calls from candidates.
[00:30:25] You can interview them. I mean, that’s what we do. We’re calling to say, “can I talk to you about my campaign?” And then donors are asking questions like, “is a seat winnable, and what do you care about and what are you going to fight for?” And then you can make a decision based on that.
[00:30:40] Most donors do research. They read about the candidate, but they also just have a gut feel about the candidate. About whether this person is legitimate and good and likely to win. And sometimes you know a candidate isn’t going to win, but you want to support them anyway because you want to encourage that kind of political activity. Because you know, you might run three times, went on the fourth time, who knows, you know?
[00:31:06] So I think you just decide what suits you in terms of your political beliefs and your political agenda. So do research and then go with your gut too, I think, is what I would say. And there’s no shortage of campaigns to give money to, and you can find them pretty easily. Like go onto Twitter.
[00:31:23] Caterina Rando: [00:31:23] Because I contributed to your last campaign…
[00:31:26] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:31:26] You are getting millions of emails?
[00:31:28] Caterina Rando: [00:31:28] Lots of calls, lots of texts. Lots of emails. One candidate called me herself and I gave her some money just because I was like, “Wow, you’re calling me yourself. That’s pretty impressive.”
[00:31:39]Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:31:39] You’re a big donor. They should all be calling you.
[00:31:42] Caterina Rando: [00:31:42] Well my friend, I’m only a big donor for you.
[00:31:47] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:31:47] Thank you.
[00:31:48] Caterina Rando: [00:31:48] Jana, let’s tell everyone how they can connect with you.
[00:31:52] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:31:52] Ok, So my website is JanaSanchez.com. And on there, you can find everything like volunteer links and donation links and everything on JanaSanchez.com. That’s J A N A S A N C H E Z. On Twitter on “The Janice Sanchez.” I don’t know why. Cause it used to be Jana Sanchez and I had a blue check. And now I no longer have a blue check. And then on Facebook, I’m also “The Jana Sanchez” so those are the official social media channels.
[00:32:19]Caterina Rando: [00:32:19] But you are on Clubhouse.
[00:32:21] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:32:21] Yes, I’m on Clubhouse and I’m not sure what my name is on CLubhouse. I want to say Jana TX or something. I’m not really sure. I think it’s Jana TX. And then I’m on LinkedIn. Just find me by my name and yeah, I’m on everything, but half of them, I’m not really doing much on.
[00:32:36] Caterina Rando: [00:32:36] Well, my friend, any final words of inspiration, of encouragement, of guiding principles for our entrepreneurial listeners?
[00:32:44] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:32:44] Okay. So first of all, I want to thank you for hosting this. This was so much fun to catch up. This is great. So thank you.
[00:32:52]And I think it’s probably true in politics as in business, you know, you have to make people understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. Like why you’re offering this product, why you’re running for this office, why you believe what you believe, and bring them along with you on the journey. You know, make sure they understand What you’re going to do for them and for society or for the environment or whatever.
[00:33:17] You’ve got to make them understand that. And that comes from really knowing it yourself and being really true to yourself and being authentic. and then it sells. So it’s just like in any kind of sales environment. It’s a number of people you call times what you have to offer and how well you sell it, right?
[00:33:36] So I spend every day calling a large number of people who I think might make a large donation to the campaign. Usually they don’t take my call. I usually leave a voicemail message. So I’ve thought through my voicemail message and we do it every day to make sure it’s the right voicemail message for that day and for the state of the campaign and for the list that we’re calling. And then I deliver the voicemail message onto the voicemail.
[00:34:02] Sometimes I get a live person. I had a really lovely chat today with a really large, large donor of who asked me lots of hard questions and it was a great conversation. I love that.
[00:34:13]So I know what I’m going to say. I get them on the phone. I make my pitch, and then I close the deal and I say, “I’m asking you to donate $2,900 today to my campaign.”
[00:34:25] And then I shut up. I let them think. And then they either say, “okay” or they say, “let me think about it.” And I call them back at another time to follow up. Or sometimes I leave voicemails and they send me a donation from having heard my voicemail.
[00:34:44] I didn’t know to do that. Like my last campaign, I didn’t leave like long voicemails. Cause I was told just leave a short message cause you’re going to annoy people. But what I discovered this time is I leave long voicemails with my background.
[00:34:56] I tell my whole story. So it’s kind of a long voicemail, so more than a minute. But I’ve had a lot of maxed outs from that. People just send me $2,900.
[00:35:05] Caterina Rando: [00:35:05] Wow. That’s beautiful.
[00:35:07] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:35:07] Yeah, it’s been great. Bu t I think I have a good story. I have a compelling story and people understand that it’s a competitive race and that I have what it takes to win. And that I’ve overcome large obstacles before. So they believe in me based on my voicemail. I’m sure they look me up. I’m sure they go online and see that I am who I say I am and that I’m doing what I say I’m doing.
[00:35:28] Caterina Rando: [00:35:28] Jana, I’m curious, because I tell my ladies, if you want five clients, that’s 20 conversations. Which means 80 reach-outs or 80 dials, right? I’m curious, how many dials do you do in a day?
[00:35:42] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:35:42] So it depends on how many hours I have, but normally I do six to eight hours of call time. And let’s say if I’m leaving voicemails, I’m probably doing 20 calls an hour. Because the voicemails take a while. The dialing takes a while. There’s sometimes wrong numbers. I do use a dialing system so that that’s faster. So probably in a day, a hundred dials probably, in 6 or 8 hours.
[00:36:08]But sometimes I have calls. So sometimes I have a conversation and those conversations can range from two minutes to 20 minutes. And usually, the goal is to have it short and get the yes and get off. But sometimes you have calls with people who you want to invest more time in. They have a lot of questions. And even though, you know, you’re never going to get a donation from this person. You just feel like it’s rude to get off. I need to get better at going, “okay. I have to go now because you this isn’t going to go anywhere.” But I always like to talk to people so that’s hard for me.
[00:36:44] Caterina Rando: [00:36:44] It’s good because it’s good for word of mouth too, Jana.
[00:36:47] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:36:47] Well, sometimes people tell you they’re not going to donate and they do. And I feel like I can kind of tell the difference. But like one woman was really negative about an issue. And so I said, “that’s not how I feel. Let me tell you how I feel.” And then I should have just gotten off the phone.
[00:37:02] And she kept me on the phone. She kept arguing with me and I was like, “we’re not going to agree on this. And I actually, I don’t even want your money cause I don’t agree with what you’re saying.” And I couldn’t get off the phone. I couldn’t get off the phone.
[00:37:14] And you have to be good at getting off the phone when you know it’s not going to go well. And being patient and persisting when you think it might, or when you think those people will influence other people. I err on the side of being patient, I think, on the phone and spending too long on the phone.
[00:37:29]Caterina Rando: [00:37:29] That’s okay, Jana because the more you do it, the better you get.
[00:37:32] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:37:32] Yeah. I think I’m good on the phone. I hear from my staff that I’m good on the phone and we have raised a record amount of money in a very short period of time. And I think the difference is also, I don’t hate it. Like a lot of candidates hate call time and their team has to force them to do it.
[00:37:50] I don’t hate it. I do it whenever I can do it. And I make it a priority. Because I want to win.
[00:37:56] Caterina Rando: [00:37:56] I’m so glad you said that because it’s the same thing in business.
[00:37:59] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:37:59] Of course
[00:38:00] Caterina Rando: [00:38:00] You have to make it a priority. If you want clients and sales.
[00:38:04] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:38:04] And you can’t hate it. You’ve got to believe that you’re offering something of value to people and you’ve got to feel good about making those calls.
[00:38:13] Caterina Rando: [00:38:13] Jana, I’m sure you’re going to win. You are the best candidate and because you are a determined woman. I’ll say to you publicly, I will support any campaign you’re in for the next 60 years. As long as I’m on the planet. I think you will represent any organization or district or state that you choose to represent very well.
[00:38:41] And I love you and I can’t wait to be with you live and in person again.
[00:38:47] Jana Lynne Sanchez: [00:38:47] Thank you, my friend. Love you!
[00:38:49]My friends, this is Caterina Rando. You are listening to the Expand Your Fempire Podcast. Make sure you’ve connected with us on Facebook in our Thriving Women in Business group. That you’ve connected with us on Clubhouse in our Thriving Women in Biz group. That you’re following me on Instagram. That you’re on our list so you know about all our events.
[00:39:13] And, oh, by the way, if you haven’t downloaded your Expand Your Fempire app for your phone, run don’t walk. Well, you don’t got to go anywhere. Just pick up your phone and do that.
[00:39:24] All right, my friends be with you next time. Remember you’ve got massive value to bring. There’s a lifetime supply of people to serve. Be loud, be proud, take action so you can sell more, you can serve more, and most importantly, you can uplift more lives.
[00:39:41] Talk to you next time. Bing bing.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Expand Your Fempire with Caterina Rando.