Woman Wednesday: Maria Tan

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.        


Q and A with Maria Tan, Entrepreneur Coach, Philippines

True abundance isn’t about what you have. It’s how comfortable you are being you, doing you, and staying you.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I love making the impossible possible–turning “crazy ideas” into reality. 

Born into an entrepreneurial, immigrant Chinese family, I was wired into the “work hard, stay in your place, be practical” mentality.

 

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Pictured: We had the “work hard” mentality but HUMOR was a big part of our lives! Here I am in my early twenties with my parents and siblings.

 

Anything outside the norm wasn’t accepted and everything that had to do with dreaming differently wasn’t encouraged. Hobbies, passions, interests that didn’t result in direct payout/profit were kept as such. Little effort would be put into something “frivolous” like playing the piano or theater arts. As a result, I grew up with such a scarcity mindset and lots of self-limiting beliefs. 

 

What’s curious though, I inherited my ancestors’ entrepreneurial skills and was making money from the age of 6 by buying and selling stationery and confectionary items, dried foods, and other things I could sell. Later, I was selling my services as a teacher and consultant. For someone so “young”–I had my choice of clients and was paid above the market rate.

 

 

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Pictured: Me facilitating a communications workshop in Taipei, Taiwan. 

 

But I felt something was missing. I needed to BE MORE and think beyond what to sell next and how to make more money. I talked to my mom about the meaning of life and she pretty much dismissed my question as something frivolous and overreaching. I can’t blame her though–she comes from a generation where having a white picket fence was the dream). After that talk, I went even deeper into depression. I was living my life void of any life. I would go from one task to the next and have no memory of doing so. 

 

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I was honestly contemplating to end my life, but something in me said: “I can’t give up on myself–life has got to be better than this.” I went full-on into exploring my spiritual gifts and somehow I embraced being an empath. When I talked to people, I just knew which buttons to push to help them talk about what really mattered to them. Today, I am able to combine that spiritual gift with my talent in teaching, consulting, and seeing the big picture. 

 

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Check out my homepage: https://www.maria-tan.com/

 

I now coach “Misfits”–people who feel like they can’t conform to the norm and what’s expected of them, to turn their “deepest desires” and “crazy impossible dream” into reality. I help elevate their lives by guiding them in creating an eco-system around who they are and what they offer. 

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: True abundance isn’t about what you have. It’s how comfortable you are being you, doing you, and staying you.

I’ve made money from an extremely young age. In fact, making money comes easy to me because I’m good with people and I can sell lots of things. When I was selling my products and services to anyone who wanted to buy, I was working day and night. The money came in fast. But my scarcity mindset back then simply drove me to doing more and feeling disconnected with the part of me that knew I was meant for more.

 

I couldn’t enjoy the money I made and was so concerned about how other people saw me and my means. I made monetary decisions out of the fear that people would look down on me and think I couldn’t afford something. What should be a blessing became a burden. Only after I embraced my spiritual self and embodied a more abundant state of being did I fully appreciate life and find joy in my existence.

 

This may sound like a cliche, but the moment you embrace the totality of who you are, the money will come anyway. So be you, stay you, do you. There is no one like you and the moment you appreciate that about you, the rest of the world will! 

 

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Pictured: This was a big milestone in my life. Since 2013, I sat on different boards and committees of non-profit organizations (Rotary Club and the International Women’s Club). But nothing brought me more honor than being part of an education foundation in 2018. I was a recipient of scholarship since I was 11 until about my college years. To be part of this education foundation was me paying it forward. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I was actually brought up in a matriarchal society. Even within my extended families, women are held in high regard. In fact, women can be so strong and as capable as the men in my family, but they wouldn’t be dressed down for “failure” as a male would.

 

When I left my home country (the Philippines) to pursue my tertiary education is when I saw the favorable treatment to men. I was harassed by a male professor and when I asked an administrator where I could file a complaint, I was strongly suggested not to. The reason was simply “You’re female and you’re from the Philippines. In this country, people listen to males, especially those that came from a developed country.” 

 

I never felt more violated than the moment I heard that. And I vowed since then never to let my nationality or my gender get in the way of empowerment. Feminism, for me, isn’t about equal rights. It’s about mutual respect and compassion. That country had “equal rights” but the societal beliefs then were programmed against women.

The way I was brought up, women are heard. When a woman isn’t happy, the entire family walks on eggshells. Women are loved for being caring and nurturing, for thinking of everyone’s needs, and for being non-linear in their thinking. Women are respected because they make life easier. 

That, for me, is feminism.

 

Connect with me! I’d love to chat with you! 

Maria Tan is an Entrepreneur Coach for Misfits (people who don’t like to conform to the norm), Multipassionates (people who are extremely multifaceted and multitalented), and Millennials (people born between 1981-1996). She helps her clients create an eco-system around who they are and what they offer. She’s taught more than 1000 people from all over the world! Connect with her on IG (@maria_k_tan) and check out her website (www.maria-tan.com). 

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

Comment below! 🙂

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Woman Wednesday: Chanel

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.  


 

Q and A with Chanel, Annapolis, Maryland 

 

“Staying true to yourself is important in any industry. It’s easy for others to laugh or joke or not take you seriously, so try and tune out those voices. No one else is responsible for your happiness or life successes.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about empowering women in the form of positive thinking, learning independent lifestyle habits to allow us to not have to fully rely on anyone else, and body positivity. I am currently a lifestyle, boudoir, and wedding photographer. This career allows me to meet so many different people. We have a self-love project going on right now. I also have spent two years working as a distributor for a makeup company, Senegence International. This has opened many doors from opening a team of over 120 ladies all over the USA and helping others learn makeup skills with a cruelty-free brand.

 

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Pictured: Chanel ready to take some amazing photos! 

 

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Pictured: Some shots of Chanel promoting self-love. 

 

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Pictured: Photos Chanel took while collaborating with My Lilianas.

 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were focused around finding myself. I studied early childhood education in college, but I never fully dove in. My passion became photography.

 

My parents have a huge influence on my life. They’ve encouraged me to make my own path, money, and success since high school. I immediately worked multiple jobs from 15 and up. Savings was my main focus versus spending money on some of the things that friends were. It helped fund the start of multiple businesses. My mom is very much into makeup and helping women find confidence within themselves. She’s constantly showering others with praise. My dad is a businessman who has paved a way of multiple streams of income, hard work, and goal setting.

 

 

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Pictured: Chanel, her husband, and their three children. 

 

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: Staying true to yourself is important in any industry. It’s easy for others to laugh or joke or not take you seriously, so try and tune out those voices. No one else is responsible for your happiness or life successes. Making goals and understanding that plans will change is crucial in finding growth. I also feel it’s important for women to make their own money, save some for life-changing events, and invest in themselves and their family. I would love for ladies to learn that you can honestly become anyone you want to be. Whether it’s a teacher, photographer, life coach, makeup artist, or something else entirely.

 

 

 

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Pictured: Chanel and her friends, Brittani and Kristin.

 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I feel it means not letting others have a hold on you. Feminism means knowing you’re the one in charge of your life’s outcome. One of the hardest things for me to see in relationships and marriages is a male figure seeking dominance over someone based on income or working status. Or when couples separate seeing a female say she has nothing to her own name or has nothing for herself. I hope to one day design a course for ladies in high school and college to help encourage women to protect themselves.

 

 

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Pictured: Chanel and her daughter.

 

You can check out the variety of services Chanel provides by clicking here. 

Chanel Photography services, click here. 

Chanel’s SeneSite, click here.

 

 

Chanel & My Lilianas would love to hear from you! Comment below! 

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Woman Wednesday: Angela

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

Q and A with Angela, Hunterdon County, New Jersey

Magnus Salon, Pittstown, NJ

“Before I was an esthetician, I had a different job that I thought was my “forever” job.  However, I was let go from this job with no warning and on Valentine’s Day!  And to make matters worse, we were right in the middle of buying a house and getting qualified for a mortgage.  At the time, I was so upset and couldn’t see past what was happening. Just a short time later, I landed the receptionist job at the wax studio, and now I am a licensed esthetician doing work I absolutely love! If I had not been let go from that other job, I never would have found my true profession, nor have the enjoyment in a job that I have now. Looking back, I can see how all the pieces fit together and it makes sense, but at that time, I had no idea. So, no matter what is happening at the moment, continue to push forward and do your very best.  What seems like the worst thing in the world can be a blessing in disguise.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I am passionate about my family, my husband, my friends, my horse Ty, and my work. I guess that’s a lot to be passionate about, which may explain why I am so busy.  My mother introduced me to horses even before I could walk, and it has been a lifelong passion for me. Riding keeps me connected to the Earth and the outdoors (and basically keeps me sane).  For my career as an esthetician, I more or less fell into this through circumstance, but I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else!

 

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Pictured: Angela, her husband, and their friends on their wedding day (last year). 

 

After high school, I took several different jobs, including a receptionist job at a waxing salon. The owner thought I could be a good waxer, that I had natural talent, and she sent me to school to learn to be an esthetician. I immediately connected with the teachers and the classes, and I graduated at the top of my class!  This was something I could not have imagined in high school. I have learned that when you are passionate about something, the studying and learning parts come easier.  And I love my work!  For the first time in my life, I am truly good at something besides riding horses.

 

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Pictured: Angela’s sweet horse, Ty! 

 

When I am working on a client, whether I’m doing a facial, skin treatment, or wax, I want to help my client feel confident about themselves.  It’s not so much about our outer beauty as it is our inner beauty, and I feel that part of my job is to bring confidence to a client so that they can let their inner beauty shine outward. We are all different, and we all have different body types, different ages, different shapes, and sizes. But sometimes, a small difference can bring a person confidence in themselves, and when I can do that, it’s the best part of my job.  Not everyone’s goal is to look like a model in a magazine. My goal is to help my clients to better match their outside to who they see themselves on the inside so that they bring that new-found confidence into the world. When a client’s face just lights up, I know I have done that!

 

Pictured: Angela’s eyebrow work (on her clients). In the circles, “before” pictures are shown above, and “after” pictures are shown below! 

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: Never give up. Period. No matter how hard life is now or how down you may feel, know that everything happens for a reason. Before I was an esthetician, I had a different job that I thought was my “forever” job.  However, I was let go from this job with no warning and on Valentine’s Day! And to make matters worse, we were right in the middle of buying a house and getting qualified for a mortgage. At the time, I was so upset and couldn’t see past what was happening. Just a short time later, I landed the receptionist job at the wax studio, and now I am a licensed esthetician doing work I absolutely love!

 

If I had not been let go from that other job, I never would have found my true profession, nor have the enjoyment in a job that I have now. Looking back, I can see how all the pieces fit together and it makes sense, but at that time, I had no idea. So, no matter what is happening at the moment, continue to push forward and do your very best.  What seems like the worst thing in the world can be a blessing in disguise.

 

 

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Pictured: Angela riding her horse. 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: For me, the family was always a big part of my life.  Every night we would have dinner together and talk about how our day was and what we would like our next day to be like.  If there was an issue, we would talk about it as a family.  So, because of this, I feel that I have a team behind me, people that are there for me.  And now, as an adult, my team includes more than just my family, but what I refer to as “my tribe,” which includes good friends as well.  My tribe is an important part of my life, and we work together to support each other.

School was NEVER my thing!  I struggled a lot. Because I have dyslexia, I never felt confident or comfortable in the classroom.  My brother was extremely studious and scholastic (as is my mother), so I always felt that I couldn’t keep up.  However, once I went to school to be an esthetician, I just blossomed! I graduated at the top of my class, which was something I never thought I could do.

The biggest thing I can say to people who feel discouraged with school, their job, or other parts of their life – is to just hang in and don’t be afraid to try new things.  One day, you will find your calling, what you were meant to do. Don’t give up!

Being raised with horses teaches you a lot of responsibility and respect. When taking care of a 1,200-pound animal, there are times your life is in their hands, and there are times that their life is in your hands.  Being able to bring that sense of responsibility, discipline, and commitment to my career has been an important part of who I am today. I truly feel lucky to have the clients that I do.  I guess it comes back to that old and wise saying: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  I treat all my customers with respect, and I am very grateful that they chose me and trust me as their esthetician.

 

 

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Pictured: Angela pictured with her husband and her dogs. 

Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: For me, feminism is not about fitting a certain mold, putting yourself in a perfect little box or a perfect pedestal, or even anything to do with what society says a woman should be like. Feminism is about the ability to be a free spirit – to have the freedom of choice. Whether you choose to be a lawyer, a police officer, an artist, or a stay-at-home mom, feminism means that all these roles have value, and should be equally valued by society. Feminism is about having the opportunity to create your own best self, whatever shape or form that takes. It’s about being your own personal best according to who we are on the inside, not who society tells us to be.  Feminism is having choices, having freedom, and having the ability to live the life on the outside that matches who we are on the inside.

And as I said earlier, the best part of my job as an esthetician (and where I like to bring this freedom to my career) is when I can help someone bring out their inner beauty, feel confident in who they are, and help them to shine their own inner light – in whatever shape or form they choose to do so.  True beauty is something that is inside of us, and when I can be a part of bringing that beauty to the outside world, I know I am helping others. That is what is most important to me as an esthetician.

 

 

If you are in the area (New Jersey), come see Angela at Magnus Salon (click here for more) to get your eyebrows done, and let her make you feel amazing!

 

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Woman Wednesday: Jess

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below. 


 

Q and A with Jess, Howard County, Maryland 

“If you have a setback in the process of achieving your goals, and you feel as though you’ve failed, take a moment to reflect on why you weren’t successful and what you can do to ensure that you won’t make the same mistake(s) again. Then forgive yourself and get ready for another try. Self-improvement is not an endgame; it is a constant process.”

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I’m passionate about self-improvement in all areas of my life. I am constantly reflecting on how I can become the best possible version of myself, the person that I visualize when I think “this is who I want to be.”

As a third-grade teacher, I am always looking for better ways to engage and instruct my students, whether it’s something small like using a magnifying glass to be “Story Problem Detectives,” or something big, like transforming my classroom into a tropical rainforest, complete with a humidifier and real plants. Every lesson that I teach, I ask myself, “What went well?” and “What could I do differently to make this lesson better?” The book that I’m reading now, “The Wild Card: 7 Steps to an Educator’s Creative Breakthrough,” is a great source of inspiration, and it also provides concrete steps to help me improve my teaching.

I strive for self-improvement in other areas of my life as well. I want to be physically stronger, I want to be more organized, I want to be more financially secure, and I want to be more fearless in pursuit of things that excite me. I’m always working on some part of myself.

It can be hard not to beat myself up when I make mistakes that put me further away from reaching my goals. But it’s something that I’ve been working on a lot lately.

 

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Pictured: Jess in her classroom. She does whatever she can to make learning fun for her students. 

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?

A: Striving for perfection doesn’t work. It’s an absurd amount of pressure to place on yourself, and it’s setting yourself up for failure. You are a human being. You’re not perfect, and you never will be. Perfection is an unattainable goal, and it’s unreasonable to expect it of yourself.

You can, however, always strive for improvement. I personally have started changing my mindset to think “progress, not perfection,” and that has done wonders for my stress level.

I wrote a lot about this in a post about my New Year’s resolutions on my blog, which you can find here if you would like to read it: https://averageadventuress.blogspot.com/2019/01/new-year-new-words.html

 

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Pictured: Jess rock climbing. 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: One of the stories I’ve heard the most about my childhood is the one that my dad likes to tell: When I was about three years old, my family was getting ready to leave the house (we may have been going out to dinner or to the park, that’s the part that no one really remembers). I was sent upstairs to get my shoes. After several minutes, my dad hollered up the stairs that if I didn’t come back down with my shoes soon, I would be left behind. No response from three-year-old me. He came up the stairs to investigate, and there I was, on the floor of my room, silent tears streaming down my face as I fiercely struggled to tie my own shoelaces.

I like to say that this story sums up two of my three main personality traits: stubbornly independent (to the point of pigheadedness at times) and a perfectionist, holding myself to high standards (sometimes impossibly high). This simultaneously drives my desire for self-improvement and makes me very anxious.

 

 

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Pictured: Jess at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. 

 

My third main personality trait: I’ve always been an introvert. As a kid, I remember feeling tortured every time my parents made me order my own food at a restaurant or introduce myself to someone new. Speaking to strangers was the absolute bane of my childhood existence.

I started playing the violin in 3rd grade, but I was hands-down the quietest in the entire orchestra until high school when the director decided he was going to bring me out of my shell. Throughout my four years of high school, he pushed me to take on leadership roles within the orchestra, and he even tutored me during the summer (to the point that I became concertmaster of the orchestra and played a solo in the spring concert my senior year). This was something beyond unthinkable to my ninth-grade self.

That one teacher had such a profound impact on my life. The confidence I found in orchestra spilled over into other areas of my life. It also cemented my desire to become a teacher. I want to do for students what my high school orchestra director did for me.

I’m still an introvert. I’m still stubbornly independent. And I’m still a perfectionist. I think these things are the anchors of who I am. But I’ve found ways to make these traits work for me, rather than allowing them to be obstacles between me and my goals; I’m turning them into strengths.

 

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Pictured: Jess playing kronum (a hybrid sport of soccer, handball, and basketball, played on a circular field with 4 goals). 

Q: What would you like others to learn from your story? 

A: To become the person who you want to be, you must make a plan; it’s not just going to happen on its own. I start with the big goals I want to achieve, and I look for small steps to get me closer to achieving that goal, one step at a time.

For example, reducing the amount of trash I send to the landfills is one of the big goals that I’m working on. Small steps toward this goal include using reusable grocery bags and produce bags, using reusable water bottles and coffee cups, and saying “no” to freebies that I don’t need. As I master each “baby step,” I move on to another small goal. Big changes don’t happen all at once; the small changes add up to big change.

If you have a setback in the process of achieving your goals, and you feel as though you’ve failed, take a moment to reflect on why you weren’t successful and what you can do to ensure that you won’t make the same mistake again. Then forgive yourself and get ready for another try. Self-improvement is not an endgame; it is a constant process.

 

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Pictured: Jess during her recent skydiving adventure. 

 

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Pictured: Jess surrounded by Legos in Copenhagen, Denmark.

 

 

 

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