When Niya Brown-Matthews grew frustrated with watching the negative images of women fighting on television; particularly reality shows, she sprung into action within three months, writing The Boss in You, a motivational guide to becoming the CEO of yourself.
Brown-Matthews, a two-time breast cancer survivor, is married to former NFL star Eric Matthews, and she makes it very clear that she’s more than a ball players wife. As a writer, motivational speaker, and founder of Capital Property Management, she helps investors (buying or selling) make decisions on their portfolios; whether it’s buying or selling properties.
She’s also the founder of Too Fabulous for Cancer, an organization that hosts events throughout the year to raise money for cancer patients to receive makeovers, new wardrobes, and photo shoots. And she’s a mother to a 16-year old-daughter. “I tell my daughter all the time, having babies with a celebrity is not a life goal. Young women should strive for greatness, by using their brain, skills, and passion to get ahead. I just want women and girls to bring that boss out of you—to bring out that self-confidence.”
BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Brown-Matthews to learn how parents, caretakers, and young women can channel the ‘boss’ in them for success.
BlackEnterprise.com: What tips can you share with parents to instill self-confidence and fearlessness in young women to follow their purpose?
Brown-Matthews: It starts at home. My 16-year-old daughter clearly makes mistakes. But I have to make sure she understands that what goes into your eye gate, goes into your ear gate. I have to help steer her in the right direction. The circle of friends you keep all plays into who you turn into. So many girls have low self-esteem and self-doubt because they don’t come from the best homes or neighborhoods, but I always say, ‘Don’t’ let your current circumstances deter you from being great.’
My purpose is to spread the power of confidence for young women, because they are destined for greatness, and [to] inspire people to find the boss in them and get out of their own way.
Please share some empowering words for young women.
- It’s harder to heal from past hurt when you are surrounded by people who put you down. Change your circle to change your life.
- Getting defensive when people judge you is a waste of your time and energy. Shift your focus on your mission.
- Don’t do better because of who you think is watching. Do better because excellence is in you.
- Stop worrying about someone taking your spot. God already has it reserved. Do the work to get there and fill it.
What has been your biggest challenge, and how has your life’s journey prepared you for your role as a motivational speaker?
I beat breast cancer twice and I m a black woman in business—which comes with its own unique challenges. Men don’t always look at me as being equal, but through dedication, education, and my qualifications, those challenges eventually fade away.
In looking at where you were about 10 years ago and where you are now, what are you most surprised to learn about yourself?
I realize now that I had the tools to succeed within me from the very beginning. We all battle with things, but sometimes we get in our own way.