Boss Mom Of The Week: Vanessa Matthews
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Vanessa Matthews is a Mindset, Business & Life Coach and founder of The Housewife Revolution. She works with aspirational housewives who are ready to step out from behind the kitchen sink and build businesses they love that create more wealth and fulfillment for themselves and their families. She met her husband Jim when they were both teenagers and after 22 years together they now have two sons and two daughters aged 6 – 16 years.
Tell us a little bit about your family and your Boss Mom journey.
As a wife and mom of four I know the struggles of raising a family whilst growing a business. My lot are quite active and sporty and my husband coaches our eldest son’s rugby team so I spend a lot of my time on the side-lines cheering everyone else on. I gave up my career to become a full time housewife in 2009 and honestly, as the years passed I realized that it just wasn’t the right life choice for me. I loved being able to be present for the kids, but I did not love the domestic drudgery that came with the role of full time homemaker. I’m a creator, I like to achieve and stimulate my brain. When our youngest child went to school I became increasingly isolated without any purpose of my own. My house was empty but my head was full of ideas and aspirations and I knew I needed to channel my energy or I’d go crazy.
Before I became a housewife, I enjoyed a successful 20-year career in public relations. During that time, I rubbed shoulders with celebrities, lobbied government ministers, helped reinvent big brands and launch new products. I’d been employed as a boss at corporate firms and high level agencies and for 7 years I ran my own PR company. In my spare time I trained as a counselor and was working to support couples and individuals through change and development. I’d even published a novel!
So, how the hell did I end up picking up dirty socks, struggling to make ends meet and hiding indoors feeling like a shadow of the woman I used to be?
Being on the sidelines and cheering on my family is a gift which I truly appreciate, but I didn’t want to spend my life watching everyone else live their dreams while mine withered away. I decided to start The Housewife Revolution to utilize my business and personal experience. I knew there had to be other women like me who needed help to find their purpose again and rediscover their identity. Women who had once been high achievers and still have aspirations to achieve more for themselves, their families and their businesses. The more I am able to achieve for myself, the more I am able to give of myself. My husband has a happier wife and my kids have a happier mom, everyone is better off. Working online and in person with coaching clients gives me the flexibility to accommodate the needs of my children and husband, whilst also allowing me to run a business that makes a financial contribution to my family. I’ve also started to do more public speaking engagements and am rapidly building a platform that is enabling me to connect with and support women all over the world. I love my work so much and feel privileged that I am finally able to combine all of my skills and experience with my passion and true purpose.
What are some of your favorite go to meals when time is tight and dinner MUST get on the table?
Time is always tight in our house and there are lots of different schedules that often impact on meal choices but we aim to gather around the kitchen table and eat together most days. Both my husband I love to cook. If he’s in the kitchen he might do homemade burgers (his secret recipe) or put something on low and slow before the kids get home, such as a stew. If it’s me then I like to cook lighter dishes such as chicken and cashew stir fry.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere! I get it from the women I meet and work with, but also I actively seek out inspirational content whether it’s in the form of books, online or on TV. I was obsessed with Pinterest for a little while and still find it valuable though I rely on it less these days. I am a naturally curious person so I find it really stimulating and inspiring to dig out new information and learn from other people’s stories.
We live near the coast so when I’m not working or running around after the kids I try to get out with our two dogs for a walk by the sea and always find that inspirational.
What are you currently reading or listening to (podcasts, books, blogs etc)?
I find podcasts so useful, especially as I can listen to them while I cook or do the laundry. I am working my way through the Boss Moms Series and I’ve just discovered some EFT videos by Brad Yates on You Tube which I am enjoying. I am addicted to TED talks. I am hoping to give a TEDx Talk myself later this year but for now I have to settle for watching everybody else’s. And I’ve recently finished reading Big Magic by Liz Gilbert and loved it!
What is one piece of business advice that you’d give to a mom just starting out?
Do I have to pick just one?! I guess the first thing I would say to housewives with businesses in particular is to work on your self-confidence. A lot of moms/wives lose their confidence as they put the needs of their families ahead of their own. Whether you sell a product or service, YOU are your business, so it is crucial that you believe in yourself if you want others to believe in you enough to buy from you. But if I could add more, I would say to get clear on the problem your business is solving for your customer and be sure that your business is aligned with your passion.
What are some of your favorite quotes or words to live by?
‘The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.’ Randy Pausch
‘Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.’ Also Randy Pausch.
‘You can’t be everybody’s cup of tea!’ Kacey Musgraves (not a quote more of a lyric, but it’s so true)
‘Don’t compare your chapter one, with someone else’s chapter 20’ Unknown.
In one word, sum up your life as a Boss Mom.
Emotional! I’m an empath so in my work I find I truly connect with people’s feelings and experience of where they are. I care deeply about doing a great job so I also get very emotional when I receive beautiful testimonials from clients telling me how my work has impacted their lives and businesses.
As a mom I am constantly moved emotionally by my children and their individual quirks, courage and personal power. Sometimes it makes me crazy, but mostly it lifts my heart right out of my chest.
What are three core values of your business and how do those values relate to your motherhood?
Well if I treat integrity as a non-negotiable rather than a value then that leaves…
RESPONSIBILITY – Take responsibility for yourself and how you show up in the world. Nobody is going to rescue you or make it okay for you, nor should you want them to. You are responsible for the actions you take, the choices you make and how you present yourself to the world. You can’t control what anybody else does or says but you have complete control over the way you choose to respond and the actions you take so say or do what you feel is right but know that you are responsible for the outcome. I talk to my kids about this a lot and encourage them to take responsibility for themselves. As their mother, I also have to take responsibility for the mistakes I make, the example I set for them and the role I have in our family.
POWER – this isn’t about having power and control over others (which is ego led and destructive), this is about recognizing how much personal power and potential you have and then protecting it. It’s about educating yourself, collecting the tools you need, caring for and respecting yourself so that you can step into your power for the benefit of yourself and others. When you fully understand your power is when you can truly share your gifts for the benefit of others including your husband and children. We have sons and daughters and I am so keen for them to understand that their life is in their hands, they have everything they need to live wonderful lives if they harness their personal power and live to their potential.
PASSION – It’s a much used word but I think living a passionate life is so vital to happiness and well-being. Whilst you have to be careful that passion doesn’t bubble over into impulsiveness or recklessness, there’s a rush of energy and creativity that comes with living and working through your passion. It can mean something different for everybody, but once you find it hold it tight and try and find space for it in your life every day if you can. Likewise, be honest about the things you aren’t passionate about. It’s okay to admit that your wife-life doesn’t fill you with passion. It’s okay to admit that maybe you’ve forgotten what you are passionate about, but you don’t have to continue to live that way. As I’ve already said, most of our children get involved in all kinds of sports and creative activities. But that is not because we push them to do so. From a young age they’ve been encouraged to experiment with things until they find what they’re passionate about. That is what keeps them motivated when it’s cold and rainy out, when they get an injury or when they get frustrated and find it hard to pick themselves up and try again.
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Connect with Vanessa & The Housewife Revolution on her social media accounts.
And connect with Vanessa’s personal Twitter account
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To find out more about Vanessa and get a copy of her free 9-page motivational guide as well as a free 16-page Accountability in April challenge workbook log on to www.thehousewiferevolution.com to sign up and join the revolution.
Also, Vanessa is one of 15 speakers delivering a video seminar at the Ambitious Entrepreneurs virtual summit which runs from 25th – 29th April. You can join her for free here http://ambitiousentrepreneurvirtualsummit.com/
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