by: Brenda Reasby
Celebrities and motivational speakers faithfully release book after book that teach us how to gain financial success, improve our love lives or find the perfect career in an unsure world.
Niya Brown Matthews, author of “The Boss in You,” published in 2015 by T&J Publishers, gives an entirely new meaning to what it truly takes to be a boss chick (or man). If you’ve always wanted to advance your boss mentality, this motivational guide breaks it down chapter by chapter.
As a real estate agent, businesswoman, humanitarian, author, mother and wife, Matthews has been through trials and tribulations in her life.
Growing up in a small town in North Carolina, Matthews decided to jet to Atlanta after the passing of her father and a bad divorce. She wanted to be where the money was and surround herself with people who were doing big things in the business world.
These bosses and bossettes would become close friends – or so she thought. They drove around in the best foreign cars, lived in luxury houses, wore red-bottomed heels and carried nice bags. (If you have these things, you must be doing something right! Right?)
However, Matthews realized all those material things didn’t matter when she was diagnosed with cancer. Matthews ended up losing her job, her so-called friends and the nice things she had worked for. It pushed her to embrace the more important things in life she hadn’t valued before.
During that critical time, her mother described a dream: Matthews was wearing all white and gracing a stage, speaking over a crowd of hundreds of people. Matthews knew motivating other women was her calling.
And this book certainly motivated me. It inspired me to keep chasing my dreams, but to do it while keeping my sanity.
Reading Matthews’ book felt like talking to a girlfriend of mine. Instead of getting the tea or sharing the juiciest gossip, she gave me words of wisdom and empowerment. Her tone of writing was down-to-earth and conversational.
She sits you down and gives you the real, whether you like it or not.
In one chapter called “Superwoman Doesn’t Exist,” Matthews shares a story about one day when she was running back-to-back errands, getting her kids off to school and scheduling meetings for work. Caught up in the hectic day, Matthews was unaware that she had walked into the office with her house slippers on. In the midst of an embarrassing moment, she realized it was time to stop, take a breath and take time out for herself.
I loved this chapter because as a student trying to make it career-wise and stay afloat with work and classes, I was relieved to know that sometimes it doesn’t hurt to say no.
Trying to be ambitious, taking on a million-and-one tasks, and striving for beauty at the same time can bog you down mentally and physically. Sometimes your sanity is far more vital, even if it means refusing to do a favor for a family or friend.
Each morning, Matthews repeats this mantra to herself in the mirror and encourages her readers to do the same: “It’s not my fault nor is it my responsibility to be someone else’s source of strength and happiness.”
What makes Matthews so relatable are the testimonials she shares throughout the book. She encourages you to face your fears and embrace your flaws. Be ready to think of these things because they could help you overcome the hurdles you may be facing as you try to reach your goals.
Using writing exercises at the end of each chapter, Matthews helps readers discover things about themselves they may have never known.
In one chapter called “What Are You Running From?” Matthews asks readers to write down a number of qualities or habits that they want to change about themselves. On the following page, she asks readers to write down a positive affirmation to those very same negative thoughts.
One flaw I wrote down was “I don’t think people see me as an approachable person,” but for a positive affirmation, I wrote, “I’m a relatable and friendly person even though it takes time for me to warm up to others and break out of my shell.”
Since I bought the book for my personal collection, I can always flip back to the notes I jotted down for inspiration.
I purchased “Boss In You” from Mount Mary’s Barnes and Noble Bookstore for $14. It is an easy read and a great guide for women who are looking for positive words of motivation.