Robbie Mathews – Changing the world for the better
By Fati Gorezi
Robbie Mathews is a successful global entrepreneur, a financial transformation coach, an empowering international Speaker and investor. She is also the President and co-founder of ‘The Mathews Entrepreneur Group, Inc.’ (www.tmeginc.com) founded in 2007 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois USA. She provides the knowledge and tools needed for women around the world to achieve their financial and life goals and to build a sustainable legacy for their family and community. Her greatest achievement is knowing that she has made and continues to make an actual difference in someone’s life.
How did you originally get into the international business field? What made it appealing to you?
By taking a leap of faith. My husband and business partner, Michael “Bart “Mathews and I attended a free speaker seminar to pick up some tips to improve our speaking skills. Our goal was to be better sellers of our newly revised book titled “Financially Speaking: The Best Improvement Starts with Self-Improvement-Create Your Own Economic Stimulus Plan”.
However, during this seminar we were inspired and motivated to think bigger, beyond being local book peddlers. We were encouraged by our Coach to take our message of financial security and empowerment global. We took his advice and he gave us the opportunity to conduct our first speaking engagement in Johannesburg, South Africa, in front of a crowd of 1200+ attendees from 20+ countries.
From that experience in South Africa, we realised it doesn’t matter what country you are from, what language you speak or what currency you use because the lack of financial literacy education is a global problem. Financial literacy education is not a priority in our school systems. So, it is important that the issue be addressed by all of us and at all levels of society on a global scale.
Michael and I speak about the importance of financial literacy education publicly in the United States and internationally. We believe our role in this world is to “motivate, inspire and empower people to totally change their life financially. We want to change how people “Think, Act and Feel” about their money and to provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to take control of their personal finances.”
We developed our seven “LIVE W.E.A.L.T.H.Y.©” principles that are designed to educate our clients on how to stay debt-free, spend guilt-free and live financially-free. Now they can achieve and maintain lifelong financial stability through responsible and educated financial decision making and consumer spending. We want them to build a legacy for their future generations as well as for society at large.
How would you describe your entrepreneurial journey?
I can only describe it as a “whirlwind” experience. After we saw the need and impact our information had on the people of South Africa, we wanted to continue to share our message on a global level. We began getting invitations to speak in London, France, the USA and other countries. We are also being asked to be personal ‘financial transformatio’n Coaches.
We had to take a step back to re-invent ourselves and develop new business models for our education, speaking, coaching, products and services. From there we have, and are continuing to develop, products and services to better serve the needs of our clients, globally. We also needed to “brand” ourselves and ensure we maintained our integrity and honesty above all else. How could we share our message if people didn’t know who we were or feel they could trust us?
And lastly, we are developing new infrastructures and systems to ensure we can efficiently support our clients, our various business models and be properly positioned for growth.
In your opinion what is ‘Women’s Empowerment’? Is this about gender equality? Or is it more than that?
I look at women’s empowerment and gender equality as two separate, yet equally important, factors in the level of success a woman ultimately achieves.
With gender equality a woman is dependent upon external forces to grant equality; equal pay, equal treatment, equal access, and equal opportunity regardless of her level of achievement. Empowerment is the internal force. Even if the environment is fully gender equal a woman must decide and make the choices to take control of what happens to her. She must use all of the resources available to her, to obtain the level of power and freedom she desires to accomplish her goals and to become fully empowered.
What are the qualities of an empowered woman? And how can women be empowered while maintaining their femininity?
I don’t believe femininity is impacted by being empowered. An empowered woman is confident, fearless, strong-willed, determined, driven and compassionate just to name a few traits. Men and women possess both feminine and masculine traits which include the ones I listed above. However, which traits a person decides to display most often determines if they are viewed as more feminine or masculine. When I was in corporate America, I felt empowered during my career. I possessed all of the traits listed above in addition to being assertive, competitive and sometimes aggressive to get the job done. But I did it so well while rocking my 3-inch high heels and skirts slightly above the knee!
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
There is a quote that I subscribe to that states, “Being courageous doesn’t mean that you aren’t afraid. Being courageous means that you have the inner strength to embrace being afraid and still move forward.” If you want to start your own business, “just do it”. Find your ‘why’, your ‘purpose’ or reason. But do the proper research for your product or service. Secure the proper funding. Brand yourself and market your product/service. Then open your doors (or website).
Don’t be afraid to make money, to become wealthy. The more money you make, the more money you have to create a legacy for your family and to help others. Value your services based upon what you are truly worth. Don’t sell yourself short.
Last, but most importantly, become financially literate in both your personal life and business life. Take control of your finances. Know your numbers. Remember, the Best Improvement Starts with Self-Improvement! Live Wealthy, Live Healthy!
You own a business with family members. What do you think are the benefits and challenges to running a family owned business?
Yes, my husband Michael Mathews is the CEO of our company ‘The Mathews Entrepreneur Group, Inc.’ (www.tmeginc.com). I am the President. The benefits are that we see each other every day all day. The challenges are we see each other every day all day!
What does this mean? Because we see each other all the time, we can get more things done. We bounce ideas off each other and work towards our common business and personal goals. On the other hand, if we have disagreements on strategies or directions or what to have for dinner, there is nowhere to escape-LOL! But on a serious note, because of our solid foundation, we can weather the ups and downs of marriage as well as being business partners. While we are almost identical in what we like and prefer in our personal life, we are quite different from a business perspective. He is very right-brain and creative. I am very left-brain and logical. So, our business roles do not overlap.
How do you feel about attending ‘Global Woman Summit’?
I am exhilarated because I get to financially empower global women. I get the opportunity to “transform their financial DNA”. This is my passion and calling. I am also privileged to appear on the same stage with my husband Michael Mathews, along with some of the most powerful and influential speakers such as Les Brown the renowned international motivational speaker and his daughter Ona Brown. But mostly, I am honored to be in the service of Mirela Sula, founder of the ‘Global Woman Summit’, ‘Global Woman Club’, ‘Global Woman Magazine’, ‘Business Woman Today’ and ‘Global Man’. She is truly a visionary and inspiration to both women and men. She has provided the perfect global platform that allows women from all over the world to connect, network, support and do business together. I am proud to be a part of this new paradigm for changing the world led by women (and men) just like me!