What three “gifts” would you give a 20-something if you were a “Forty-Godmother”? 40-something women share three things to help a 20-something get a head start on the confidence to make decisions that are right for themselves. No more woulda, coulda, shoulda.
This week’s “Three Gifts” are from one of our new ambassadors, Danielle Trevino. We now have a team of 40:20 Vision writers on the ground interviewing the inspirational women in their communities. Danielle interviewed Andrea McWilliams. Andrea has lived within a two-mile radius of the Texas Capitol grounds her entire life—and she’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Andrea spent her childhood living above a restaurant her parents owned on Congress Avenue. Because she had no yard, she would walk to the Capitol grounds to play outside. Now in her 40s, Andrea still resides mere minutes away from the Texas Capitol in Old Enfield with her husband and three children. As co-founder of McWilliams Governmental Affairs—a firm she established alongside her husband, Dean—Andrea helps public and private sector clients determine public affairs and fundraising strategies. She is the top-grossing female lobbyist in the state of Texas.
Three Gifts for a 20-Something from a Top Lobbyist
On difficult days, Andrea said her biggest struggle is trying to make everyone happy—something many women of all ages can relate to. She said her life “takes a village,” but she’s grateful for being able to wake up every day and do something she loves.
1. A five, ten and 15-year plan: When Andrea married her husband at 21years old, she made sure they set goals for themselves. These goals all came to fruition, but not without hard work and discipline. She noted that when they first got married, the now uber-successful couple lived paycheck to paycheck and lived off of Apple Jacks and frozen fish filets for a month in order to make ends meet.
“If you don’t state a goal, you don’t have anything to work for, and you get lost.”
2, Hard work: At the beginning of her career, Andrea said she set a personal goal to watch the sun rise and set from her office. She said she may have not been the smartest person at her job, but she was definitely the hardest working.
“Hard work can make up for almost any deficiency that you have in your career.”
3. Time with your children: Andrea refers to her three children as her most important clients, and presses that you can never get time back with your children. Too many women her age make the mistake of focusing on what’s important to them personally instead of ensuringtheir children are armed with everything they need to be successful in the future.
“The most important thing you can do is make your children a success.”
Andrea McWilliams is the co-founder of McWilliams Governmental Affairs in Austin, TX. You can read more about her here
Andrea has been recognized for her success by many local groups, including the Austin Business Journal’s “Profiles in Power,” the Texas Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and the Girls Scouts of Central Texas. In her spare time, she volunteers as a board member for many local non-profit organizations, such as the Texas Lyceum, a group that works to identify and develop the next generation of top leadership in the state of Texas. A breast cancer survivor, Andrea has also worked with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.