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Running for Office as a New Mom? – Emily Cook

Running for Office as a New Mom?

Emily Cook has been fighting for conservative causes her entire career and just a few months after giving birth to her first son, she found herself being called to run for public office. She ran a phenomenal campaign but was subjected to awful attacks by fellow Republicans because of her gender and young son. She’s got some unique wisdom to share with us on this week’s episode!

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I love getting to coach awesome conservatives. It’s an incredible part of what I get to do and Emily Cook is high on my list of favorites.

She is a born and bred Texan, has worked in conservative politics for her entire career and is a great attorney. More importantly, Emily and her husband Justus are new parents like me and my bride. Their son Andrew is just a couple months older than my son, Stoney, and the work hard to make his life better and our state stronger every day.

Late last year, it was to a large degree their dedication to Andrew’s future that led Emily and Justus to make the decision that Emily would take on a run for State House. Over the next four and a half months, Emily ran hard and did a phenomenal job as a first-time candidate. While the election results didn’t come back like we’d hoped, she did a great job and learned a lot.

Nobody is a better fundraiser than the candidate.

Nobody is a better fundraiser than the candidate.

Do you like begging for money? Probably not. I sure don’t. And at the beginning of my work fundraising, that’s exactly how it felt. It wasn’t until I had a change in the way I perceived the work that I started feeling differently about raising money.

What happened was that I stopped viewing fundraising as a zero sum game. This isn’t just about me taking money from one person and putting it in my campaign account. If my candidate or cause is actually serious about the difference we’re saying we’ll make, then it’s an investment. It’s a positive sum game.

With that outlook, it became much easier for me to pitch donors on supporting my cause or candidate. Because of a shared set of beliefs, I’m asking them to join me in a cause. To invest in a mission that we both believe in. From there, I need to make a clear ask for a discrete cause and give a specific deadline. That’s the ask!

Even with the right mindset though, nobody is more effective at asking for money than the candidate. Their presence and the fact that the candidate is the one making the ask makes it more likely that they’ll say yes. Plus, nobody is as good at sharing the candidate’s passion or beliefs than themselves.

Put these two lessons together and you should be off to a great start as a fundraising candidate. Practice is all that remains!

How a Navy SEAL Runs for Congress – Dan Crenshaw

How a Navy SEAL Runs for Congress

Combat Veterans make up a small percentage of the American population but a disproportionate number possess a unique mix of leadership qualities and discipline that I find critical in politics. Our guest this week has served and sacrificed for his country on the battlefield as a Navy SEAL and is now on his next mission: Serving in Congress.

Many thanks to Campaign Sidekick for helping make this podcast possible. You know I love a good campaign ground game and Sidekick is the best tool out there for the job. Voter databasing, canvassing app and phone bank all in one for unbeatable prices. Check it out at!

Our guest this week is on a mission. And he doesn’t ever take a mission lightly.

Lt. Commander (Retired) Dan Crenshaw is running for Congress in Texas’ 2nd congressional district’s open seat, left by retiring Congressman Ted Poe. Dan grew up in the district, a native of Katy, Texas and lived across the globe as his father’s career led.

From an early age, Dan Crenshaw knew he wanted to be a warrior. Specifically, he wanted to be a Navy SEAL. In 2006 that mission met with success and another took its place: do battle with our nation’s enemies. Through multiple deployments, Dan did just that. As a SEAL officer, Dan honed his leadership and warcraft constantly. Serving our nation’s interests and bringing home his brothers were his mission goals.

Never snap at your staff. If you do, apologize quickly.

Never snap at your staff. If you do, apologize quickly.

When was the last time you said something you shouldn’t have in frustration or anger? You may not be able to remember a specific instance but I’m betting it wasn’t that long ago. Even if you aren’t particularly prone to outbursts of anger, if you’re anything like me, you slip up every now and then.

This tip is true of any aspect of life, not just campaigns, but in the pressure cooker created by a campaign office, I’ve seen these lapses of control cause major problems.

As a leader, equanimity is one of your greatest assets. In the chaos of the campaign, you should stand out as calm. Think about the paintings of old battles with George Washington or Stonewall Jackson standing tall on their horse in the heat of the fighting. Maintaining your cool amidst confusion is one of the greatest tests a leader faces.

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