by Stefanie Ryan
Give us a little snapshot about yourself.
As an entrepreneur, I wear many hats. I’m the Market Director and Franchise Owner of Ladies Who Launch in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. I’m also a CRAVE Los Angeles partner and a co-owner of Back 2 Our Roots, a business development and consulting company. I’m a TV host, a professor at FIDM, an author, a budding artist, a wife and mother to two adult daughters.
How did you get involved with Ladies who Launch?
I’ve been involved in entrepreneurial pursuits all my life. I grew up with an entrepreneur and then married one. As an entrepreneur, I was always thinking of ideas. I had my own company with my husband and several other businesses. I was really involved in interior design.
At the time, I lived in Boulder, Colorado. I read about Ladies Who Launch and it sounded so great that you had the opportunity to be with other women to share ideas and resources, get inspiration and find that support. I’ve always worked on my own and even though it worked okay, I liked having my girlfriends around. But even when I had girlfriends, they didn’t necessarily always understand what I was doing. After reading about this group where you can flush out ideas, get support and resources, I signed up to take the workshop. I also signed up my oldest daughter who had a couple of ideas of her own. We took it together and it was amazing to have that kind of environment, an incubator to work through your ideas and to get clarity.
At this time as I was working on my idea, my younger daughter lived in Los Angeles, California to pursue acting and I wanted to find women in LA that are like the Ladies Who Launch group in CO. About three years ago, I found an opportunity to get involved in a much bigger way. Since I had started a business with my sister providing consulting, sales and marketing services, I thought this Ladies Who Launch opportunity in Los Angeles and Orange County would be the perfect fit. And it worked out really well.
When you go out and speak, what is the top question women ask you?
Where do I start to get my business going? How do I get the money? How do I find out what it is that I need to do?
The best place to start is with an idea. The next step is to flush out that idea to make sure it is solving a problem and/or filling a need. T his is something very important because their idea must be marketable.
Once they get clear on their vision and ideas, the most important thing is to take action. There’s a lot of talk and dreaming at this point. But the next important step is to take action. To put one foot in front of the other and do one small thing so that the y can actually accomplish this goal at some point. I also help them find resources to get them what they need. My workshops are reciprocity based where people help each other because you never know who knows someone that can help with what you’re doing.
Is it difficult to find time for home and work life?
That is the age-old question. I think recognizing that all those things are super important and if one isn’t working then it’s going to be the domino effect. It’s all going to eventually fall. So it’s important to take time and carve out that time whether it’s for yourself, your family, husband, friends and work. Whenever you put everything into just one thing, it burns out .
I have my hands in a lot of different things and I enjoy all of them. But I also make sure that I take the time to focus on me as well as the other people in my life. Even if it means that I take a walk for 30 minutes every morning, which gives me a chance to clear my head and really be by myself. I take time to be with friends and have fun. I also watch mindless TV sometimes and I go out with my husband on a date. I also spend a great deal of time with my children even though they’re all grown up.
What advice would you have for moms who are struggling to stay balanced?
Many times we just feel like our children are everything. Growing up, my mom made her children her priority and I loved having that attention but it also made me r ealize that she didn’t put herself first at all. And sometimes it’s a burden for children to have all of that attention on them. When that’s all you’re focused on, that doesn’t make you a very interesting person or as interesting of a person. In the end, when you make yourself a priority and do things for yourself, that will continue to replenish you and help you be a better mom, entrepreneur, wife and friend.
Balance to me doesn’t mean giving everything equal time because some things take more time than others. But recognizing that it’s so important to carve time out for all those things in your life and assign them the necessary time for you to get what you need. If not, essentially you’ll burn out, get resentful and feel like you want to jump off a bridge or something.
Set a time for yourself, whether it’s a date night or every night, no matter what, you’re going to have dinner with your family and every Saturday you’ll go to your son or daughter’s soccer games. When you make those priority-type things, then you’ll learn to schedule around it with your work and family.
Every woman can be what they want to be and I don’t look at it as being a “Super Mom.” We are able to have it all. It’s like someone saying she wants to have chocolate while doing all these other things. The thing is you don’t have to have the whole chocolate bar at one time. You can have a bite everyday and you’ll still doing great. Just don’t overindulge in one thing. If you don’t overindulge in any of it, then you are able to have it all and that’s the way you maintain that balance.
Supporting and inspiring others to be the best they can be is what drives Doreen Matsumoto. An ultra-successful MonaVie distributor and the founder of Women In Networking, the fast-growing women’s networking group in Southern California, Doreen’s passionate energy keeps her busy by being involved with many community fundraising events, various charities and local groups
Doreen’s positive disposition, passion for life and compassion for others spans globally as she is a strong supporter and advocate for The MORE Project, a non-profit organization that fights poverty and helps feed children in Brazil.
Doreen shares with us her journey to success, what she does with it and the lifestyle she lives to balance it all.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Tell us about MonaVie and what it’s all about.
On June 29, 2006, I started with MonaVie, a nutritional product line. The year prior, a friend who was working with the company approached me and asked if I was interested in being part of MonaVie. At that time, I was in the restaurant and bar business and worked 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. I asked him how many girl scout cookies I needed to sell for this business and told him that I wasn’t really interested in selling anything or had no clue what network marketing was all about. So, my friend then asked me to just introduce people to him and he’ll talk to them for me. From there, I introduced him to quite a few people and we just kept building a business. We are now 40,000 strong. We’re international and the fastest moving network marketing company out there. It is debt free. We’ve created a millionaire every 25 days since its conception. The company has good morals and I just love it. I am continuously growing with it every day.
What do you love about the MonaVie business?
MonaVie is a 5 star opportunity. I get to share a great product with people and help with their health and nutritional needs. It’s the right time, because baby boomers are aging. MonaVie is convenient, because the products are available online and shipped directly to the consumer. I also like the binary effect in that they care about the distributors. MonaVie is led by the top leaders in this industry. So, we know we have the right people at the front of the ship.
What I’m also passionate about is MonaVie’s charity, The MORE Project, which began in 2006. They wanted to give back because that is where they harvest the Acaî berries. Initially, it was just about feeding the children in Brazil. Now we have an orphanage that house 2,500 children. My team supports the mom’s house with 60 moms and kids. The economy there is the same as the US but their welfare is $60-$80 a month. So, it’s so much different. They give their children up for drug trafficking and prostitution, because that’s how they think they can survive. Here in the US, we wouldn’t even stand for that.
MonaVie helps children in Brazil and teaches them how to use their resources, provides them education, teaches them some life-skills, shows them computers and demonstrates to them that they can have a better life. They might not reach every person but 100% of the donations go to The More Project. It’s a positive way for a company to help humanity. A lot of people look at what we’re doing and say, “Well, what about our own country?” But these are children and they don’t know what country they’re in and we need to help everybody.
I raise a lot of money for different organizations in the US and in our school district. I remember when someone asked me, “Well, what about here?” I stood up and said “I don’t have any children that go to this high school. I live in the area and I could turn my back away, but I want to help you and your school programs. If I only thought about helping my own people, I wouldn’t be here today.”
MonaVie has given me the freedom to help more people. We’ve blessed so many people’s lives. When you’re successful you have to know how to handle that success, how to give back and teach others to do that which is the most important thing for me. Giving and helping others is my passion.
I have two kids and a grandchild. It’s such a blessing to be able to spend time with them and be part of their lives.
MonaVie has given me that freedom and even my son the freedom to bring his wife home to take care of their baby and be a stay-at-home mom. In general, I think with network marketing that’s important. We need to teach people plan B so they can have a more quality life, have more time with family and pick and choose who they want to do business with. Network marketing has become something much bigger than just MonaVie to me.
In my Women In Networking (WIN) meetings, I always say MonaVie is my vehicle but I think it’s so important for us to help people along their route. It doesn’t matter the organization, or what product you’re selling or sharing, if someone needs help or ideas, we should be able to share our knowledge as leaders. If we do that, a lot more people will be great leaders in our community and change the dynamics of what’s happening in our economy.
A woman who was part of the MonaVie business got a bunch of us gals together one day and it was more of a Christian-based group. Everyone who attended thought it was a MonaVie leadership meeting, but it was really about faith. I sat back and thought it was a great idea to get women together. I started on Facebook, talking to women and sharing ideas. I had my first meeting at The Courtyard by Marriott and there were probably about 15 people there. Now, WIN has 450 people as part of our group. We have an Irvine, CA chapter, led by Jennifer Griner, a Long Beach, CA chapter and a men’s chapter, called Men that Win. We are an association. The money we collect is used for various charities, fundraisers and scholarships. It’s just been a blessing and people come to me about mentoring and ask opinions about generating a lead or approaching someone or how to deal with the “no’s”. That’s what’s great is we can come together to educate and inspire people. That’s how WIN got started. It was really about educating and inspiring. We have all different kinds of women, from various races and backgrounds, older, younger, moms, retirees, grandmas running different businesses. We’re sponsored by organizations, such as Chase, State Farm, and SoCal Curves. So, we’re backed by some really great businesses because they see what we’re doing. We’re about helping everyone around us – communities, children and the whole nine yards.
What challenges did you face while creating the WIN group?
It’s not about challenges. I don’t put that in my mind. It’s really power in numbers. When you get together with great people and great women, we can continuously do great things. It’s important as a networking/marketing woman, to go out and constantly network. In the WIN group, we’ve had people attend who can barely say their own name to introduce themselves in front of everyone. And now they have the confidence to say and talk about their business and feel comfortable in their own shoes. It’s just amazing to watch people grow.
What’s the top advice you would give women to help them effectively promote and network during your WIN meetings?
I always tell them to think of positive things and everything they’re grateful for. If someone comes to me and shares the trials in her life, I’ll ask her the one thing she’s grateful for. Even with these trials, what are you grateful for? You have a roof over your head. You have children. Always try to put things into perspective so you think positive all the time. Keep that good energy going. You can’t move forward if you’re carrying baggage.
I like to keep busy. Someone told me, give a busy person something to do and they’ll always get it done. The most wonderful things in life are my children. My daughter-in-law is very eco-friendly and she keeps me balanced by making sure I’m eating right and using the right [non-toxic] stuff around the house. She gave me a beautiful granddaughter named London. I just adore her. I didn’t have any clue that being a grandmother would fulfill me so much. My son and daughter-in-law will be married for 5 years in July 2012. As a mom, it’s really an amazing thing to watch your children grow. You always see them as these little kids with personalities and you remember when they played baseball or football or cheerleading. Then they become grownups that you’ve inspired all these years. Then they give you this sense of security that they’re okay and building a great life. I think that really balances me to think about that. I go to church and I’m very active in the evangelism team. I believe in buying in the USA and supporting our troops. I think we’re very blessed to be free in the US. We could be in another country where things are so much different. We’re so lucky to be able to do the things we do and the resources that are here in the US.
For me, to be balanced, you’ve got to have God, family and MonaVie. That’s how I live my lifestyle. God first, then family, and then business. Those are the most important things. You start mixing those things up and it could be a problem.
Do you have any advice for moms who are struggling to find balance in their lives?
God, family and business. It’s important because you need to be grounded. Everyone has his or her own needs and personalities. To find your center of what is important to you, you really need to think about how lucky you are. There’s a mom who has a son with Down Syndrome and he never ever cries. He’s so adorable and has a little smile on his face. I think that she’s so blessed to have this little one and the love they have together. A lot of people have beautiful children and they need to think about how lucky they are to have those children. They need to remind themselves. We’re in such a fastpaced world and we tend forget to stop and look around to appreciate what’s around us.
Could you share one thing about you that would surprise people who know you?
I’m pretty much an open book! Well, everyone knows I’m not a big eater. Most people know that I’m kind of a relaxed person. If I showed up in a fancy dress, people wouldn’t be used to that! It’s not my style. Most people know I took care of my in-laws until they passed away. I love dogs and I love cats. I think what surprises people is that they can call me and ask me something. And I never say that I don’t want to talk to them right now. The reason is that people are put in front of me for a reason. So, I need to stop and recognize people even if it’s asking how they are you doing, get to know them and shake their hand. They might be looking for something, not necessarily MonaVie, but a friendship, advice, or their heart hurts and they want someone to talk to. And I think everyone knows I’m a creature of habit – same church, same time, same bat channel.
Angela Chee is an award winning television host, journalist, motivational speaker and voiceover artist. Her career has taken her across the country and her work has been seen around the world.
As a mother of 2, she is also the founder of TheZenMom.com, a resource to help moms find peace and balance in their journey because motherhood isn’t always so zen. Angela shares with us her experience in the television industry and how she handles those not-so-zen days as a mother.
Tell us about your blog – The Zen Mom
I basically started it when I was a reporter. When I had my son, I started using the Internet to access all the information I needed. I’m a reporter; so I’m all about information. Even though there was so much support and resources on the Internet, it was also so overwhelming. So, I started the blog as my journey to find the best information for me out there at each stage and it was a way to share what I learned. It really started as a resource for moms. And then it evolved into everything I believe in. The Zen Mom blog is now about who you are as a woman, how to stay balanced, how to stay inspired and empowered so that you can be good to yourself and then be good to your family. I also do Zen Mom TV on my blog, which I’d like to evolve into a show. Wisdom, Inspiration and Laughter is my overall theme and I write about interesting things that I’ve learned and what I feel people need to know. I love sharing quotes in the Monday Motivator. I write about women entrepreneurs, inspirational women and also whatever makes me laugh.
I grew up in Los Angeles, but I was never a showbiz or a Hollywoodtype person. I grew up as a normal teenager in Cerritos, California. I never really wanted to be a celebrity or in movies or anything, but I always wanted to go into news. I really enjoyed television just for the medium. As a young child, it was something I always wanted to do. It has been a long journey. After college, I started off in the corporate world in the entertainment industry. I helped launch Entertainment Tonight China. But I always wanted to be on air and create content and share stories as a news reporter. However, to do that, you initially have to go to a really small market and make little money. And so for me, I went about it a different way. I didn’t go right off from college to a small market. I worked for about 3 years in Hollywood at Paramount Pictures. I helped launch a show to see how things worked in movies, in television and production. In addition, I worked part-time on the weekends in Palm Springs to get the skills that I needed to feel comfortable on TV. I worked 7 days a week for about a year and a half. And then I worked my way up to the small news markets in different cities and eventually back to my hometown in Los Angeles, which was my dream.
What do you love about your roll as a news anchor?
In general, what I love about it the most is just the medium of television. It is the opportunity to take a story that someone doesn’t know about and bring light to it. And you hope that in your career you can shine light on stories that are positive. That’s why my blog is interesting to me. Now, I get to choose what I put out there, which are wisdom, inspiration and laughter. And not to say news is bad. It’s necessary. But it’s not the everyday, because news is whatever is newsworthy. I love my job in general as a storyteller and as someone that has an impact through a blog post or a video or through hosting a television show. When I see something either inspirational or interesting whether it comes from my brain or telling someone else’s story and think, “WOW other people need to know about it,” that is what drives me. It’s about sharing information to impact people’s lives. It’s something beyond just me.
First decide what you really want and why. Find the true meaning of why you want to do it. Don’t get into the industry just because you want to be on television or to be famous. Get to the true core of what drives you, because if you go into this with the wrong reason, you may end up falling flat. Also, know that there will be setbacks. But take those setbacks, never give up and just go for it. Know your limitations. Set your goals.
When you experienced setbacks, what kept you going for your goals?
I’ve always been a very driven person. I set a goal for myself and I just go for it. I always felt like I was meant to do something more and do something that was beyond myself. So, when I hit a setback I kept my focus on my intention and my goals, which was to be able to influence and impact people. However, I was also realistic. I didn’t believe in sacrificing everything. Working hard and giving your all is important, but I think sacrificing everything is not always necessary. You need to make your own decision of what works for you in your life at the time. I gave as much as I could as a single woman and it worked for me back then. When I became a mom, I reshifted my priorities. Although I may still have the same goals, my priorities have shifted and I made sure that it all fit. The overall picture is to reach your goals, be happy, be fulfilled, but if you just feel like you’re resenting whatever you’re doing just to make it to the top, whatever the top is, then it’s really not worth the journey.
Being able to see so much joy and love in my kids’ eyes. I love just being there for them, impacting them, shaping their minds and watching them grow into wonderful people. Right now, I’m not a full-time working mom. And the interesting part is the juggle. Being able to be there for them (and that’s why I left the news full-time at this point) and see the moments and do the everyday things. I do the drop-offs at school, I’ve had food covered all over me, I breastfed, I did all that. However, there’s a part of me that I don’t want to shut down. I still want to be able to have something that I can do with my own brain and thoughts and be able to share it with others aside from being a mom. I think that makes you a better mom.
What advice would you give to moms who are struggling to find the balance in their lives?
My top three things to stay zen and balanced is first, don’t judge and don’t compare. Judging is easy. We all do it. And on the flip side is that you also compare yourself with others, because everyone has a different way of doing things. Don’t always try to keep up with everyone else and don’t be the critic. That’s hard on other people because we’re all just trying to get through it. Second, appreciate the everyday. It is said that motherhood is when the days are long and the years are short. So, when you’re in that moment where you’re going crazy and trying to do it all, you really have to take a step back and know that this day is going to be different five years from now or a year from now. And third is to stay inspired. Don’t forget about yourself. Do whatever you need to stay inspired and do what you’re passionate about. It could be as simple as going for 5-minute walks or going on vacation or going back to work.
I struggle with the guilt. I mean, I’m Chinese… C’mon! But I think guilt is natural. I deal with it by remembering the time when it worked out. I let go of the guilt, did what I did and I was happy, the kids were happy and everything worked out fine. And I wondered why I didn’t do it before… why did I feel guilty? We spend time with the guilt, but it really doesn’t help anybody or make the situation any better. Again, the guilt is natural. If you feel it, know that it’s okay and try to do what’s best for you and your family.
Many moms say that balance in motherhood doesn’t exist.
Balance does exist for moments. You have to find those moments. It’s not going to be 100% of your life. That’s not realistic. It’s not about being so happy all the time and that everything is so wonderful every single minute. It’s about when everything is falling apart, when you don’t have time to work out or don’t have time to do the laundry and everything is just so crazy. And, well, you say this week sucks and then maybe next week I’ll get through some of it. And it’s a reminder that you’re a little behind this week and let’s even it out and get back to the other side. So, it’s always remembering how to get back to zen, how to get back to balance… not that it’s always zen and always balanced. I think that’s what’s important. It’s not real to have everything perfect. That’s the whole point. Some days my skin is shiny and I’m happy, life is great. And the next minute, I’ve got food on me and I’m so tired and then I just screamed at my child and then I feel bad. But then it’s taking breathes and remembering that you need to get back to that place of zen and not always getting stuck in a bad place of constantly feeling so overwhelmed, lonely and tired. It’s really easy to get stuck in the bad place.
I do yoga. I try to do yoga once or twice a week, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. I also started meditating, which is a new venture for me. I am naturally a go-go, Type A person. I’m always doing stuff for my kids and also always thinking about the next thing in my head. I think that comes from my entrepreneurial spirit. I can never shut down my brain. So, I turned to a formal meditation just this past year and it has really helped. However, I have fallen off the bandwagon. I started off with half hour meditations in the morning and at night. Now, I’m down to half an hour in the morning. It’s all about having a quiet space whether it’s through yoga or meditation to really quiet down my brain and just focus for a little bit, because I’m going all day. I think it’s important to start off the beginning of your day with some sort of quiet time and/or the end of the day where you can just unwind. And if it sometimes doesn’t happen then it doesn’t happen because the kids wake up early. So, give yourself that space but know that sometimes you’re going to have some setbacks and not be able to get it done. Just try again tomorrow. That’s just reality.
Tell us more about your background.
My parents immigrated from China to the East Coast in the 70’s and then had me. Shortly thereafter, we moved straight to California. So, I’m very much a Southern California girl, but also very Chinese. I speak Mandarin and I teach my kids Mandarin at home. I really appreciate the traditional values and everything that my parents did for me. It was always about working hard and they were just very grounded people. And I think that’s what kept me going; remembering how hard they worked to make everything happen. For me, it’s so important to have that grounded family and those traditional values. And I’m trying to pass those on to my children. I met my husband in high school at a leadership camp. We weren’t high school sweethearts or anything, but we dated for the summer and then kept our friendship going long distance. We stayed in touch throughout the years as friends. We always had our separate lives. And about 8 years ago, we started dating as adults and the rest is history. And now we have 2 children, a 4-year- old son and a 2-year-old daughter.
Share one thing that would surprise someone that knows you.
I am actually kind of shy. Even though I’ve been on TV and I’m a speaker and I do all these things in the limelight, I necessarily don’t need to be the center of attention in my personal life. I grew up in a traditional Asian household and I think I still have that little girl inside of me that’s a little shy, which has helped me stay grounded.