Mommy Noire Exclusive: Author Niya Brown Matthews’ Triumphant Journey To Bosshood
Two-time cancer survivor Niya Brown Matthews is perhaps one of the most inspiring individuals to ever pen a book. While battling her illness, Matthews was advised by a mentor to journal her thoughts and feelings and took heed to the advice. Little did she know that one journal would turn into several which were eventually compiled into a book for “boss ladies to become wiser and stronger” titled “The Boss In You: Don’t Wait for An Opportunity Create One.” There’s so much to be said about a woman who, during her own times of hardship, finds the strength and focus to author a book to help others and her willful selflessness is easily recognized upon meeting her!
A few days prior to her official book signing and release party in Buckhead Atlanta -which was quite the success having sold every copy of the book she had on her that day – Mommy Noire had the opportunity to sit with Mrs. Matthews in her Atlanta home for an exclusive interview. Upon my arrival, I was welcomed with a warm smile and free range to ask whatever questions came to mind including the tough ones related to her time in treatment and surviving cancer. To say the least, Brown Matthews is an open book and was willing to share her inspiration behind “The Boss In You” and much more! Check it out!
MommyNoire: Niya can you give up an idea of how “The Boss In You” came to fruition?
NBM: I was writing a lot in my journal when I was getting treatments for cancer at Emory and it went from writing in my journal daily, which turned into a manuscript and then turned into a book. It went from one journal to two journals and so on and we brought it all together and now it’s a book! I never thought that I would become a writer or author but it happened and the journey has been a blessing.
MommyNoire: So you were actively receiving treatments – which is notorious for being hard on the body – and you still found the time to journal?
NBM: I felt like I needed to help women who were facing obstacles and challenges whether it was life altering or not and, unfortunately in my case, it was cancer but I wanted to help bring light to the fact that you can make it through trying times. You can make it through and overcome these obstacles and really bring out the boss in you while doing so – whether it’s your personal life, career or balancing home and motherhood. I’ve shared a lot of personal experiences from my life in the book because I really want the readers to know that I can relate.
MommyNoire: Would you say that writing and journaling daily aided in your healing process?
NBM: Yes, my mentor always told me to write it down – my thoughts or the personal challenges that I was going through or whatever it was – and writing sort of made it easy, it definitely helped me cope.
MommyNoire: How do you encourage women to find the boss in themselves?
NBM: We need to find that inner boss and bring her out! We all have that fire in us and I feel like sometimes you need someone to help bring that out. So I say, find the boss in you whether it be your love life, your career a personal goals whatever it is, don’t give up! I say that because we tend to become timid and shy away from putting ourselves out there because of a fear of judgment or failure and you cannot let that stop you! So it’s about being bold, yet, polite and taking a risk and being okay with whatever comes next. But you also have to create a path for yourself when one hasn’t presenting itself to you, you know? You can’t wait either.
MommyNoire: Then removing the fear factor is key, right?
NBM: Right! There you go! That’s exactly what I want to tell people. Fear can hinder you from doing anything because you’re afraid of failure and you may fail but that’s okay! Because sometimes it’s necessary in order for you to achieve your goals and when you try it again, you know exactly what not to do and you never give up! Never give up!
MommyNoire: Niya, who or what motivates you everyday?
NBM: As arrogant as this may sound, I do. I put my feet on the floor every morning and I encourage and motivate myself. I’ve never needed a cheer squad to motivate me. I’ve always been driven and determined with whatever I decide to take on. For example, I’ve been doing real estate for fourteen years and started from the square one like everyone else and I’ve been moving around that industry for 14 years now. You know, it took me going to the [cancer] treatment center on the days when I was feeling low, and somehow I end up encouraging everybody in that room with me. I don’t claim to know what it is, but I will find the light in the dark and share it with others just to offer a sense of comfort that we all need in dark times.
MommyNoire: We did some research and learned that you’ve launched an initiative to do makeovers for cancer patients, how has this been received thus far?
NBW: Well when you look good, you feel good, right? So I just want women who are battling cancer to look and feel good! And what we did was surprise cancer patients with makeovers and it felt so good to part of this because I really think feeling like you look good is half the battle, especially when it does take a toll on you – with the weight loss and when your hair starts coming out. Looking in the mirror and seeing that you’re sick really hits hard and I want to make sure that women know that you can look good despite the illness and ultimately it helps you feel better. There’s so much more to come on the “Too Fabulous for Cancer” part of my business that I’m really excited about.
MommyNoire: Cancer. It’s prematurely taken the lives of so many people and surely everyone has been affected by it in some way, shape or form. You speak so openly about your experience with it, what would you say to newly diagnosed patients and the family and friends that are affected?
NBM: Cancer is not a death sentence. You can’t allow it to take your joy or zest for life because it doesn’t stop here. There is life after caner and I’m a living witness! I’ve seen what cancer can do and sometimes it is final unfortunately. However, find what brings you joy and focus on it. Seek counsel, stay close to your family, believe in God and be wherever there’s love and you’ll find that balance to help you cope. You’d be surprised at how much that light helps you get through, especially on those dark days because, trust me, I’ve had plenty. For me, I believe in God and prayer and meditation helped me so much, it really did. So ,I’d say to stay positive and keep positive people around you.
MommyNoire: Yes, that’s exactly what we need! Positivity seems like a strange rarity these days, especially when it comes to women – particularly within the media spotlight.
NBM: You know what? I have a teenage daughter and I want to set the best example for her because when you look at what kids are watching these days with reality TV, it’s not promoting a positive image of what it means to be a young woman. I really want to get back to a point where being ladylike is the norm and it’s respected! When I see women on TV fighting and ganging up on each other it just doesn’t sit right and I think it’s so important for young girls to know that that’s not the kind of attention you want and it’s so unfortunate when women who know better aren’t doing better for the sake of a little fame, it’s sad. That’s also not being a Boss Lady.
MommyNoire: It’s been said for decades “it’s a man’s world” and like you said earlier, there is a way to be bold and polite, what advice would you give to young business women to balance the two?
NBM: Like you said, it’s a man’s world and women have been looked at as being overly aggressive when they make power moves. But I feel like there’s a way to do it without being nasty and remaining ladylike, you just have to find that balance. You know how it is, right? There’s a way to get your point across without trying to square up with a man. Being a woman conducting business does not mean you’ve earned the right to be nasty and disrespectful. Be yourself but be assertive, know what you want and don’t be afraid to ask or demand what you need to move forward.
MommyNoire: Niya, you’re doing amazing work! How’s the feedback been so far?
NBM: So far so good! I’ve gotten positive feedback from women who say that the book really helped them. I never in my wildest dreams thought that my personal experiences and thoughts would help encourage women to take the steps to take it to the next level and it’s been amazing! I feel so blessed to share my journey and be a part of other women’s journeys as well!
MommyNoire: Please tell us where we can purchase “The Boss In You: Don’t Wait for an Opportunity. Create One.”