When did you know that you wanted to shift from the digital media space to be a startup investor and advisor? After spending 15 years in media, I was ready for a different challenge. In my role at Time Inc, I spent a lot of time getting to know start-up founders and I really enjoyed working with them and helping them scale their businesses. I was also at a point in my life where my boys were toddlers and I wanted to create a more flexible work life for myself. A career in angel investing has allowed me to get involved with businesses that I am excited about, while working on my own terms. It also gave me the bandwidth to write my book, The Myth of the Nice Girl.

What made you want to write a book about career advice and how did you go about starting that process? One of the things that I love the most about my professional life is that I’ve mentored so many women. The question I’ve been asked the most is “how can you be so nice and still be successful”? There’s this perception that if you’re too nice, you’re not going to get ahead. So it's a question that I’ve given a lot of advice around and the next logical step for me was to get it all down on paper and scale that advice. I was very lucky to be connected to my literary agent Yfat Reiss Gendell through a mutual friend. Yfat was instrumental in helping me hone the idea and get the proposal written.

How do you balance family life with work? It's not easy, but I really do try to be present as much as possible. Someone told me that it's better to spend 20 minutes of undivided attention with your kids than two hours where you are frequently distracted. So I try to approach it from a quality over quantity perspective. It's more manageable for me that way and takes some of the pressure off. Also, I have breakfast every morning with my kids and it's my favorite time of day. I read to them while we eat, we create stories and talk about what's going on at school. It's the perfect way to start the day!

What motivates you to do wake up every day and do your very best? My kids. I want to be the very best role model I can be for them. This translates not only into WHAT I accomplish, but also HOW I do it. I know that they pay close attention to my actions, behaviors and attitudes and they are a constant source of inspiration for me to live my best life. :)

What empowers you to be a strong role model to other women? I've been so lucky to have incredible mentors that have dramatically changed the course of my career. It's my way of paying it forward. 

What word or message would you get on your Ryan Porter piece and why?
"Nice Girl Army" as a tribute to the 150 women who were ambassadors for my book launch. 
What was the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it over something else?
Lego Masters. My kids are obsessed with it (I kinda am too!) and it's become a fun thing that we do together as a family. 
What do you think is the most interesting thing about you that you wouldn’t be able to find by googling you?
I learned how to downhill ski in my 40's despite being afraid of heights and vowing it was something I would never do!
Describe your dream day off. 
A lazy day up in Vermont, either reading or doing a jigsaw puzzle over a glass of wine by the fire... followed by a cozy diner with my family  :)
What is the most important quality you look for in a friend?
All of my dearest friends have an ability to ground me, to remind me of what's important and to bring calmness into my life when I am feeling nervous or anxious. 
If you could go back and give your younger self advice what would it be?
You don’t have to check qualities like kindness, compassion and empathy at the door when you go to work. It’s something that took me way too long to recognize and own. And... you don’t have to choose between kindness and strength when you lead. I believe the most effective leaders lead with both qualities.
To learn more about Fran, click here.

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