Boss Mom of the Week: Julie Neale
Mother’s Quest Founder, Julie Neale honors both the magic and the mess of parenthood and believes our children challenge us to grow into our best selves. She is on a mission to live a truly E.P.I.C. life and, through her example, inspire her children to do the same. Her “for-purpose” venture, Mother’s Quest, provides inspiration, coaching and community so other mothers can live their E.P.I.C. lives. After a 20-year career as a leader in youth-serving non-profit organizations, Julie turned her focus to coaching, training at the Coaches Training Institute, and facilitating a process known as “reflection” for youth development professionals. Through this and her parenting experience, she realized that mothers need an opportunity to reflect on their own growth, dreams, and plans and created Mother’s Quest to champion them. She writes about the transformative experience of parenting in her own life at mothersquest.com and hosts the Mother’s Quest Podcast, which launched in December. Julie received her Masters in City Planning, Community Development from UC Berkeley and a BA in Communication Studies from UCLA, where she met her husband. She currently lives with her husband and two boys in the San Francisco Bay Area. When she’s not wrestling with her preschooler or driving her pre-teen to basketball practice, you can find her squeezing in ten minutes of yoga and meditation (believing something is better than nothing!) and staying up way too late to watch a double-hitter of Game of Thrones and Super Soul Sunday. affiliate links present in this post.
Tell us a little bit about your family and your Boss Mom journey.
I am so blessed to have an amazing partner and two incredible boys, age four and thirteen. My motherhood journey was challenging as I navigated being the champion to my older son who had developmental delays and years of infertility. Along the way, my career in youth development and education brought me to coaching and the coaching mindset was instrumental in moving through these challenges and choosing positivity.
After years of secretly desiring to create my own venture, I launched Mother’s Quest in 2016 to build a community of mothers who are on a quest to live our E.P.I.C. lives. This connotes being the hero of your journey and also EPIC is an acronym for the guideposts I believe will bring you an EPIC life in the years when you are raising your children. You can learn more about the guideposts at www.mothersquest.com.
Mother’s Quest aims to provide inspiration, coaching and community and the first component, a podcast, I launched as a birthday present to myself on December 1st. I just completed my first 18 season and will start season 2 in May 2017.
What are some of your favorite go to meals when time is tight and dinner MUST get on the table?
We also love breakfast for dinner and have fun making pancakes or french toast together, also adding some nutritional punch by mixing in flax seed meal and some pureed pumpkin.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I have a hike within five minutes of my home that allows me to reach a summit and view of the bay area within 20 minutes. I have gone there many mornings this year as I’ve wanted to work through a question in my venture and also bring coaching clients along to do a “milestone hike.”
Most recently, my son Ryan and I did a milestone hike there on his 13 th birthday and recorded our reflections from that experience in Episode #18 of the podcast. On the ascent, we reflect on what chapter in their life is ending, at the top , we explore what we want to let go of, and on the descent we identify our vision for the future.
What are you currently reading or listening to (podcasts, books, blogs etc)?
Boss Mom Podcast of course! I also love the Good Life Project, which inspired the Mother’s Quest Podcast. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic and Stephen Pressfield’s War of Art have been instrumental in moving through resistance. By my bed as I type are a stack of books that I love, the Alchemist, Amanda Steinberg’s Worth It, (she was my guest on episode #14 of the podcast), The Four Agreements, and the Anatomy of a Calling. I adore Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday (not a book or podcast, but an inspirational favorite).
What is one piece of business advice that you’d give to a mom just starting out?
Pay attention to the signs around you, listen to your internal whispers, and make a choice to seize the day. I have a dear friend who passed away from pancreatic cancer this year, and I know all too well that we shouldn’t postpone our dreams. \
In one word, sum up your life as a Boss Mom.
What are three core values of your business and how do those values relate to your motherhood?
I created a Theory of Change for Mother’s Quest (avail on the website which amazing Boss Mom Meghan Turner created for me!) and the Theory of Change has the EPIC Guideposts and also four over-arching principles.
1) We each have the wisdom and power within to become the hero of our journey
2) Our children inspire and challenge us to grow into our best selves and we inspire and challenge our children to grow into their best selves
3) Our personal development and journeys are dynamic and ongoing and don’t happen in a straight line
4) It is the journey and not the destination that matters most
These Mother’s Quest principles are the same principles I use to parent and that I use to guide my life.
Connect with Julie!
And here’s something special for you from Julie!
I created “E.P.I.C. Life Planning and Reflection Sheets” as an opt-in to help plan weekly intentions and daily action steps for each guidepost and to reflect at the end of the day on something positive you are grateful for and also where you found some magic in something hard. Grab the opt-in here.