We had the good fortune of connecting with Cherise Charleswell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cherise, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Outside of serving as the Executive Director of Boundless Brilliance, I run the Matie Masie Consulting firm, as a producer and co-host of Feminist Magazine which airs on KPFK 90.7 FM, and hold leadership roles in other organizations; so Work Life Balance is an imperative for me.
And the Covid-19 pandemic has made my need to achieve more balance, or to have a shift in balance; where my goal is to ensure that I’m not just succeeding in my career, but exceeding at ensuring that I’m not just existing, but truly LIVING .
The way that I’ve approached this shift in balance, is by scheduling my priorities and upholding my boundaries. This means that I schedule days for self care, travel (as this is my personal form of therapy), and even time to spend time with family and friends; and I’m uncompromising about those dates. The work-related priorities are inserted into my schedule, and I’m up front about dates when I may not be available, and request meetings outside of those dates, and make sure that I meet in pressing deadlines before my “self care” dates; this allows me to focus on myself without any anxieties or feelings of guilt.
This is what balance looks like to me.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Matie Masie Consulting embodies these principles. We take our clients’ unique needs into consideration, share our knowledge and expertise, and build relationships, in order to better provide them with unmatched service. Our services range from content development and copywriting to consulting on strategic planning and nonprofit management.
I’ve worked in various fields from health delivery, research, human services, media, and more; and after finding myself spending most of my professional career helping other organizations and businesses flourish, and realizing that I led efforts and contributed greatly to their success; I took the leap of faith and started this business. I realized that my expertise and experience could be of value to others.
Starting and operating this business hasn’t been easy. For example, I initially started out getting clients from word of mouth, and now I’m ready to invest more time and resources into networking and business promotions; beginning with a planned overhaul of our website.
I’ve learned that in order to work as an entrepreneur, you can’t be humble. You have to talk about your business, and let others know how you can add value & meet their needs.
Matie Masie Consulting is a Black + woman owned business started by a woman, with immigrant roots, who comes from “small island” people, but has big dreams; and who always encourages our clients to think big.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
You know, I admittedly spend so much of my free time traveling and leaving the Los Angeles area, including day-tripping and weekend getaways; that I had made the decision to become a “Tourist in my own backyard” about 3 years ago. If I hadn’t done that, answering this question would’ve been impossible for me. Whenever I have friends or family reach out to me about an upcoming trip to Los Angeles, I tell them to think outside they typical and cliche. There is much more to Los Angeles and SoCal, outside of the Hollywood walk of fame or Venice Beach. In fact, when I think about authentic Los Angeles, Hollywood isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.
So, I encourage visitors to check out our cultural sites: The Broad museum, The National History museum, California Science Center. I recommend that they head outdoors and considering checking out our many recreational and hiking trails, such as Eaton Canyon, the Zuma Trailhead, or trekking across The Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve.
For other non-touristy places to go, I recommend Leimert Park (particularly a drum circle), leisurely bar hopping (which we could hopefully get back to) in the South Bay, particularly along Pier Ave in Hermosa Beach, taking a short road trip and heading to world renowned Joshua Park National Park or Desert Valley National Park, saving your money and having an off beat experience by going bargain hunting in Downtown’s Fashion District, and of course stopping and trying street tacos, which are available in just about every neighborhood in Los Angeles.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve often stated that if I waited for attention, recognition, or even encouragement from my family, I would’ve never achieved anything in life. So, I’ve always been self motivating and looked outward for inspiration and support. When it came to encouragement, I looked towards a family friend from back “home” (the Caribbean), who I consider my godmother. Mrs. Gwendolyn Stoddard has always been very supportive of me, helped me to recognize my brilliance, and provided mentorship, including the reminder to “Focus on yourself and not the sweet NOTHINGs that men will whisper into your ear”.
I also want to give a shout out to National Graphics as strange as it may sound, that publication sparked my love for science, anthropology, and travel. I ended up pursuing degrees in STEM and anthropology, have traveled to over 30+ mostly solo, and now lead a nonprofit organization whose main aim is addressing the gender and racial disparities in STEM to create a future STEM workforce that looks as diverse as the world that we live in.
Introspection & Optimistic: Photographer – Gilbert Castillo Photo with bookcase in the background: Photographer – Tanisha Everett