Hello and welcome once again to our weekly Q&A. It's time to set your focus for the next couple of minutes as we have a big dose of #MONDAYMOTIVATION for you. Today our Inspirational Woman of the week is Holly Matthews; actress, creative, storyteller, life coach and more.
Having been in the spotlight from a young age (Byker Grove anyone!!), Holly has continued to grow and change in her ongoing quest to develop her passions. Along the way she has experienced a mixture of family trauma, revelations and insights. Holly has a canny way of passing on what's she's learned so far, coupled with an infectious positivity and thirst for life.
Hello Holly, its fabulous to have you here today, how are you?
Hi Jennifer! Right now I am bloomin’ exhausted. I have spent the day wearing leopard face paint with my daughters, clay making, drawing and eating cupcakes. Now I am mostly trying to hide from them and drink my cuppa.
Sounds like fun!
Yes we have a lot of fun together!
Can you give us a little insight into your story so far?
At the age of 11 I became an actress in Byker Grove (the children's TV programme). After 7 years at Byker Grove, I signed to Sony and toured the UK as a solo artist. I came to realise singing was never my true passion and so I went and enrolled in drama school. From there I had ongoing roles on TV and I was also doing some modelling, radio presenting and blogging.
In 2011 I became a mum (and again in 2013). I found myself with two beautiful daughters; Brooke and Texas, and it was at this time that I started my coaching business. Initially I focused on helping other mum's to build their own businesses whilst being at home. This has now grown into what is it today, a fully developed Business and Mindset coaching business! There is even an online academy and I am also vlogging professionally.....and that's not all!
Quite a journey so far. It's clear that embracing new roles is already a common event for you. We see that more often as people are looking to develop their passions (ultimately, we hope, leading towards what they really want to do).
So, how different is your business now from what you envisioned when you first started out?
I started working as an actress when I was 11. For the next fifteen years until my first daughter was born, I was solely focused on the acting world.
I have always been extremely driven and ambitious, but looking back I would often limit myself to being just one thing, because I felt that must be the only way to succeed. As I grew up and became a parent, along with many other challenges, I realised that I don’t have to be one thing forever.
I believe we can wear many hats, and, as we change throughout our lives, why should we try to always do the same thing? Right now I am an actress, vlogger, blogger, mum, life coach, advanced law of attraction practitioner, speaker, high-profile supporter of The Brain Tumour Charity and founder of The Bossing it! Academy.
And to answer your question, thing’s are very different to how I envisioned them, but in a good way. I now allow myself to have more than one love, I allow myself to rest (as well as any Mum can!) and I am less fixated on one outcome. I feel free.
Fantastic. There's some great advice right there and a fine example of being able to manage different areas of your life. I find myself naturally wondering how you're able to achieve what you're doing. Do you have any tips or techniques to keep you motivated?
Very simply Jennifer, my whole world is about motivation and creating a space where I feel good.
I would say that it’s not about being busy for the sake of feeling like you’re doing something. I see so many business owners tired, stressed and not making money because of that. Motivation, like everything else, has to come from within. We all have different reasons for doing what we do and it’s rarely just money.
For me, my biggest motivation is that I am obsessed with freedom and living my life how I want to live it. I was not put on this earth to wake up when someone else tells me, put on a uniform or an outfit that I am being forced to wear, leave my house, with my rules, and go to live by someone else's and line their pockets. I was not put here to live without choice.
And how have you translated that into what you do?
Very simply, ‘make so much money, that I never have to think about it and then I can live as free as possible’.
I didn’t come from money. My Dad was a welder and my Mum worked in a bank. Ever since I became an independent adult I have worked hard to never be ‘skint’. It's not been easy. I've worked some weird-ass jobs, sometimes 3 in a day, just to make sure it never happened.
That covers the internal stuff. Of course I also make sure I'm around other motivational people. I run The Ambitious Mum’s Club on Facebook, which is packed full of motivating women and I listen to Les Brown, Tony Robbins, Marie Forleo, Oprah, Robert Kiyosaki and Wayne Dyer to name a few. I like to get motivated by my peers success.
My husband is a huge motivation too. He has grade 4 brain cancer and is the most focussed and ‘no bullshit’ person in the world. He inspires me daily. It really made it clear to me that no one knows what the future holds so we need to just grab life and be happy.
Truly inspiring, thank you for sharing that. I think it brings up a good point that we really have no idea what is going on in other people's lives. There never will really be a complete picture of any one person. Life changes, it gets intense, and the way we progress through events and situations is something we can have a choice about.
With that said, what advice do you have for our readers? Specifically for someone who wants to develop their passions and loves as well as develop professionally too?
As a coach I work exclusively with women and more often than not, women in business. After a while you start to realise that the same things come up all the time.
Firstly, confidence is huge. Women are so affected by all the mixed messages we are sent and it often makes us feel overwhelmed and deeply un-confident in what path to take. There is also an element of women not wanting ‘blow their own trumpet’, to ‘brag’ or ‘show off’ and so they whisper the message about their business, instead of shouting from the rooftops about how awesome it is. I teach women to own who they are, whether that is a feminine, or masculine vibe and to be themselves, full-out, no apologies.
Lack of confidence keeps coming up in these articles and it doesn't look like it's going to go away by itself...
I have learnt the hard way that hiding who you really are only ever leaves you feeling rubbish and attracting the wrong people. When you are your own, weird and wonderful self, you attract your own band of odd bods and it’s great. My advice to your readers is to damn well OWN who you are. If you’re unsure of who that is then it’s about to get really fun, because now you get to go and try new things. That's what I love to do. I’m in love with helping people to see their own potential and I don’t want you to be fearful of your life, you’re worth way more than that.
OWN it! I love the directness.
My approach as a coach is pretty straight talking, but always with love. I’m good at what I do, I was pulled into it, I don’t want to say it was a calling but it just ‘was’. There was no huge decision to change direction. I will always be an actress, a creative and a storyteller. I just want to wake up every day and do my own thing. (Which is mostly pottering around drinking cups of tea!)
Sounds good to me. Can we talk a little about overwhelm please?
Of course. I think the shift of having 24 access to information and to what other people are doing has left our heads feeling a bit frazzled.
My advice is to limit the amount of people you ‘watch’ online and don’t try to do everything. You can’t be great at everything, and when we try to do everything we end up with burnout.
I see so many entrepreneurs perpetuating this ‘hustle, hustle, hustle’ mentality, without any rest in between and it’s a bad message. It makes us feel completely inferior when we DO burn out and it’s unrealistic. I teach my clients to pause and propel. To get rest, to eat well and then to go for it, then rest, then propel and so on. It can't be constant propel or you'll miss what’s going on around you and you'll miss your life.
For me, I have a habit of constantly questioning whether I am just being a busy fool, or if what I am doing is actually serving me.
I also believe that mindset is everything. In my self-development academy we focus on teaching people to learn how to bounce back and manage all the noise that is life. It's important to stay flexible with your mindset. When you do that you never know what possibilities and opportunities are around the corner. Always stay open to that, in the blink of an eye everything can change for the better!
Fantastic advice Holly, thank you so much for coming, talking and sharing with us here. We're going to have Holly back later in the week when she will reveal all her handbag secrets in our regular 'What's in your handbag' feature on Thursdays.
As for now, Holly is keen to motivate you to get yourself to where you want to be. So much so that she is offering £100 off for anyone reading and quoting this blog as a reference when contacting her. (other than the Virtual BFF coaching package) This will be valid until June 2017.
Have a great week and we'll see you on Thursday.
You can access Holly here: