“Trust Your Partner…and If You Don’t…They Shouldn’t Be Your Partner” Words of Wisdom with Denise Albert, Co-founder of The Moms
I had the pleasure to interview Denise Albert, co-founder of The Moms, The Moms Podcast, former GMA senior producer and president of David Blaine productions. Award winning journalist. #happilydivorced and now #happyilycoupled with a bonus family that is 7 including her 2 boys. #FullTimeWorkingStayAtHomeMom and now a #survivor from her #futurecancersurvivor journey. Recipient of the Susan G Komen Impact Award 2017 and cancer advocate.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I’ve worked in media since I was 14. I’m a people person and talk to people everywhere. I met Joel Gallen when I was on a plane. He at the time was the VP of Prodcution for MTV. By the time we landed, I had an internship and figured out how to work out my high school schedule to travel to NYC 3 afternoons a week. I was always focused on media and interned through college and landed my first job at Inside Edition right after I graduated. I quickly worked my way up to producer and became Deborah Norville’s producer and lived in jail wtih her for 5 nights on 2 occassions to report abotu incarcerated women. From there I wanted to be on — camera and got a job at a small show in NYC. That was cancelled after a year and I went to GMA. I was there for 5 years and had my son while there and realized I wanted to find a job that I was as passionate about but without the craziness. My old boss, Shelley Ross called immediately and hired me to work on a David Blaine TV show with her. David and I cliqued, I thought I had the coolest job…if I had an idea…I could just find a way to make it happen. I could work as hard as I wanted (and I wanted to), and I loved what I was doing…and was able to feel great about my life change as a mom. I learned how to build a brand from David and contined to build The MOMS on the side until I was finally able to do it full time.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
Well the most interesting — I think is that because Melissa and I built The MOMS, so many other things have come from it. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2016 and I have been able to use our platform to share my journey, hopefully inspire others, form an incredible community for myself and actually make change in the world. I publicly shared a horrific incident with the TSA and from there volunteered with them to help them teach their employees and the public about ways to travel with an illness.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
There’s no one doing what we do. We are a community. We support all moms acorss the country. We work with celebrities and include them in our grassroots, organic Mamarazzi events. We work with brands who want to reach our community of moms. We give moms and families a community, free and fun events, content for their own platforms, share their stories on our media platforms and hopefully empower families one mom at a time.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Make sure they are passionate about what they are doing. If they aren’t….it’s just a job. If they are passionate and love what they do…everyone wins.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
My #WORKWIFE, Melissa Gerstein. We didn’t like each other at first. We were 2 type A hard working women who didn’t know how to partner. We just kept trying and eventually grew on each other. I always knew I could do what I set my mind out to…but could NEVER have done The MOMS without Melissa.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I’m told by sharing my cancer journey so honestly, it was made an impact on so many others. I have raised money, I have taken part in so many events. But more than that, I take time every single day to speak to someone who reaches out. Someone who is scared. Someone who is newly diagnosed. Someone who has questions. Someone who just needs support. There’s nothing better. I can’t even believe I’m in this position to help others in such a meaningful way.
I also recently helped my son write a rap song to raise money to send foster kids to a summer camp. It was a charity that was meaningful to him and we surpassed his goal.
I have so much more I want to do. I want to help with Gun Control. I want to do more to make law changes. I have a list.
I want The MOMS to succeed so that I will have time and resources to do more good.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
1 Trust Your Partner…and if you don’t…they shouldn’t be your partner
2 If someone doesn’t work hard…it doesn’t matter if they are nice, or are a friend and you like them….
3 I wish someone told me how to raise money. How to build a business. Or sometimes…you just do it. I’m not sure what the right answer is….maybe it’s a good thing because we have built The MOMS with just the two of us…scrappy! Perhaps if we did it differently at the start, we would be ahead of where we are now, but perhaps not.
4 Focus focus focus. Don’t try to do too much. A few people told us this after. We have ideas and we go for it. We were trying to build our company by doing too many things. So we did a few things well…but not great because we were doing too much.
5 Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day. Can I include this? It’s what I always told Melissa because she wanted things to just happen immediately. :)
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?
I have 2.
Anything Is Possible.
And I don’t believe in luck.
I believe in hard work. (I did get lucky with my cancer diagnosis…so I should say I don’t believe in luck in business)
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this :-)
Michelle Obama and Susan Lyne
Michelle Obama — She seemed to raise really increidble kids while being a #FullTimeWorkingStayAtHomeMom. She is the ultimate successful, smart, woman and mom who continues to live life with such poise and grace.
Susan Lyne is one of the most fascinating women in business and entertainment and it has been so inspiring to follow her career and all the different paths she has taken. She builds companies, has a vision like no other and supports women. We need more like her!