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Empower Yourself | Why Self-Love is Not Selfish

Iva 1:10

Hi, and welcome to a new episode of the Mom Bosses Abroad podcast. We are here today with the lovely Nancy Rivera. And she's going to share with us how you can find more ways in your life to empower yourself through self-love. So Nancy, it's such a pleasure to have you here with us today. Welcome.


Nancy 1:48

Thank you so much for the invitation. I'm so happy to be here.


Desiree 1:52

Yes. So, Nancy. She's the president of Family Secret Helpers and the founder of all its projects. She is a coach, she's a speaker, a motivator and an author. She's also the host and producer of two podcasts, not just one but two podcasts and a TV show. She's the creator of a bEMpowered digital magazine. And most importantly, she is a mom. So Nancy, welcome and we were really looking forward to hearing a little bit more about your journey, how you got here and how you created the Family Secret Helpers and everything that you're doing right now.


Nancy 2:37

Well, thank you so much, first of all, and yes, it's a big journey that I have had. We started in 2012 with Family Secret Helpers and I started with this crazy idea of just like helping people, the community and everything else. But years passed and more needs were found in the community. So that's the reason why we have under Family Secret helpers we have eight different products.


Iva 3:05

Wow. That's amazing how it has grown through just that one initial dream or vision that you had for it.


Nancy 3:15

Yes, actually, we started because I was very involved with the community. Also I was a teacher before I found Families Secret Helper and I teach for 12 years and in my journey as a teacher I found out how powerful is to give to the students the tools they need to be like successful in life. So I just like highlighting some things that they were going through and that's the first thing that we did in the community. We started helping teenagers and kids to like motivated them and especially teenagers that were growing in in a low-income community. So that you could understand that even though they were in that kind of environment, it didn't mean that they had to like get stuck in that kind of lifestyle. So we gave them the tools and everything. And that's the moment when we realized that we have to do so much more for the community especially for women.


Desiree 4:15

And I love that- how you said it's like the secret helpers in a way right to really get in there and power them not put yourself into the spotlight as such but really empowering those within especially the moms, like you said, are the women into really creating the best that they can be and trying to reach their full potential and then with their children and the teenagers because that is a difficult phase, or can be at least so that is that is really great. So you do this on so many different platforms. In terms of speaking you are a book author, but also you do it in the media as in TV and podcasts. So how do you feel like what are the most powerful platforms for you and why did you choose those? And yeah, what are the ways that you're reaching people the most?


Nancy 5:20

Well, actually, we started with social media of course like everyone we're trying to get out there and social media. And then I understood that I could be doing so much more. So actually, I started with a radio program. I had a radio program for seven years. And in that process, I understood that maybe I could write a book actually the [inaudible] is was the one that told me that there's different topics that we were discussing, like ‘oh, you should write a book’. So I had already written like two books for school and for students and for teachers. So I said why not? Let's do this. And I think that that that that book was going to open so many doors so after that we started working with social media and getting there with the radio program. And after my radio program partner died, I decided that I wanted to continue with what we were doing, but I cannot do it in the radio because I didn't feel like I wasn't able to emotionally be there. So I started the first podcast. It was for a Spanish speaker forum for women. And that was my second door. And from there I decided you know what I'm going to do a magazine. I always have dreamed about doing a magazine and like, I have this opportunity to have a big network where I have contact with different women who are entrepreneurs that they run their business and their home. They're doing some amazing things for people out there so that we can motivate more women. So we did our first magazine for Spanish speakers and after that came the book, the second book. I think the second book came there. Then this opportunity that I was looking for third door open and it was my TV show. And I was like ‘oh my god what I am going to do now?’ Everywhere. I have to share this lesson with other women. So my TV show is going to be a talk show where I can bring women from all around the world so that they can talk about, we can discuss different topics, but at the same time they can expose their business and we can keep on growing together as a big network. So I think that that's the way that I went through all these things.


Iva 7:44

And one thing that I want to highlight from everything that you've shared so far, Nancy is and that it's appearing to me a little bit like that's how it went- but you correct me if I'm wrong. I'm feeling that you were to some extent following your heart's desire, you were following passions that you had, but also you were just following the breadcrumbs. Like, you didn't set out to have this massive vision and having it all figured out and structured in such a way that you knew which step was going to come after the previous one, but that you were just following those little hints and what was appearing in front of you. And I love that your first answer when things started to happen and opportunities started to come up that your first answer was like ‘sure, why not?’ you know that that type of mindset of ‘Okay, let's try this. I have no idea but I am open to it.’ So that that open mindset of growth and abundance and saying like you know what, this has been presented to me for a reason. And I'm gonna go for it. And then another door and another door and as you say, another door and you were never feeling that it was too much I guess because it all sort of feels steady. It's very in synchronicity with each other. Like all the things that you do somehow they do end up overlapping or feeding into each other. So it's more like a beautiful cycle. You're amplifying something that you started on a very small scale.


Desiree 9:14

Yeah, that's right. Yeah, the reason I also asked that earlier was because you try to make all these plans right of like, ‘Okay, should we just be on audio? Should we do a written form? Should people see us because we want to reach as many people as possible and not just, you know, concentrate on one?’ You try to plan and I think that's the stage like we were in a little bit before, but it's so nice and empowering to hear like to just wait for those cues, you know, opportunities will come at the same time they will be your sign. This is the way you should go and this is the way you're gonna reach like a new, like new people or more people and that effect. So it's really inspiring.


Nancy 10:03

Thank you. Actually, the secret here is two things. One is my kids. I have the role model of my kids. So I have to_  they cannot see me like ‘Oh, I'm thinking about what I'm going to be doing’. I need to prove to them that everything is possible and I am the example. So the second one is actually my women, the women that follow me, that is I am saying to them what they can do and go forward. Just quit your job and start your business. And if I'm not doing it, then what is the example? So that's the secret key behind everything. I have to go- I am scared sometimes- if I feel that I'm not going to be able to do it yet, but I just don't sit there and just go for it.


Iva 10:54

So you're anchoring this driver into the leading by example mentality. Yeah, you're putting yourself on the hook sort of or right on the spot by saying like, ‘Okay, I'm gonna put the spotlight on me because this is what I am all about.’ But it's also left for people to look deeper and see if you're really walking the talk.


Nancy 11:19

Yeah, that's the point.


Iva 11:22

So what would you say to the listeners that might be on the fence? Because somehow somewhere they have failed or read or gotten an idea that ‘oh, you have to you have to keep in just one lane or you have to really niche down to amplify’ and some listeners might actually be more relatable to the multi passionate aspect of having different passions and or different ways in which they want to express whatever message or service or gift they want to be sharing and they feel like ‘oh, I could never or I don't know if it's possible for me what Nancy's doing’. What message would you have for them?


Nancy 12:06

I just have to share with you that I had all the perfect environment to be a nobody in this world. I grew up in a very poor house where the violence was the number one thing every day, my dad was very violent to my mom. So that's what I grew up seeing that men treated women this way. Also we were very poor. When my mom and my dad got divorced. That was a hit in the economy in my house. So I got to meet this very bad kid in school. And because all the things that were going around, I was even kicked out of school when I was in 10th grade. I could not finish my school in school. I had to take some tests so that I could have my high school degree, the GED. And the moment that I got pregnant, I was going to be a single mom. That's the moment that I said, ‘You know what? It's not only me, there's a person that I'm going to bring into this world, and what am I going to? What I'm going to do with her?’ So that's the moment that I decided to turn my life and still I was working with my life and trying to accomplish something and improve myself. And once I started Family Secret Helper, I said ‘okay, this is the opportunity not to only help other people but to also heal myself.’ And I think that once we decide that we are going to go for it, that we are the person that can change our life. Things start to change. And I started a business in 2015- a spa I did not have any idea about having a spa but I wanted to have a spa. So I worked for it. It was open for only eight months and I had to sell it because I was a disaster. But that's not like a dampening effect. The other thing I did is I just decided that this bad experience I was going to turn into something positive. Okay, this is the things that I did wrong and this is the things that I'm not going to do in my next project and that's how I keep on growing.


Desiree 14:24

Amazing, amazing. And it really comes back to as well our kids are the ones that empower us right to ignite that fire within us to either turn our life around or you know, start something new. And I think this is a really great sort of entry into talking about self-love, how, you know how we need to navigate this this big, like healing within us and also really taking care of us in such a profound way to have that strength to in turn help other people. So you are truly multi passionate. You do so many things and we know now where that fire comes from. And so how do you actually balance all of these things while healing while really taking care of yourself and your family?



Well, I think that the first thing that we have to think about self-love is that it's not selfish. We believe that taking care of and making that self-love is something selfishly because we're going to maybe not have time for our kids, no time for a house, not time for our career, or for our husbands or wives or whatever. But they know that if we're not okay, the persons that are around us are not going to be okay. We're not going to give them our best. So I know that for example, in the Latina community, we were talking about that we as a group we grow up thinking that we have to do everything for everyone else and we are the last ones to think about ourselves. And that's not true: if we are not okay, if we don't see our value, if we don't respect ourselves and if we don't get up in the morning and look at ourselves in the mirror and say ‘Oh, I love you. You're so beautiful’ _who's going to tell that to me? We got to believe that, so we got to start there. Understanding that self-love does not mean selfish. It means that you're taking care of yourself, but you can also take care of your kid and everything else.


Desiree 16:39

Correct. Correct. Yeah, that is beautifully said



Beautifully and powerfully said and it needs to be said more and more often. Just we really need to highlight it in yellow and underline it, you know, circle it in red, put arrows in it and say, ‘Hey, it is not a selfish act at all.’ If we want to be showing up for our families the way that they deserve, and the way that we want to as well, it starts with us. And I love what you said about if we don't buy it ourselves. We can also be getting those comments from everyone but it doesn't mean anything because we're not we're not believing it within ourselves. So that is really just a golden rule to live by. And I'm so happy that you're sharing that today because we definitely need to amplify this message so much more.


Nancy 17:35

Yes, every time that I have the opportunity, I just say it because some of my clients, the ones that go to my office or the ones that I even have my phone. Many of them have to sometimes heal from their child, that little child, that inner child that we have, and everything starts there, when we're growing up those things, those words that we tell our kids are going to mark them so we have to be very careful with the things that we say_ we start saying to our kids: ‘You're ugly or you're dumb or you're this or that” they are going to believe that because you're hearing it from the person that is supposed to tell you everything. We told you everything and teach you everything. So once you hear that the first time and it comes from mom or dad or for someone who is in our circle, we want to start believing it so we have to go back and sit down with that inner child and just forgive_ talk to her and just letting go, so that we can actually be a better person as adults. So I think that everything starts there. Understanding that self-love is not selfish and just going and it's a difficult process, but it's a very, very, at the same time good process to sit down and talk to our inner child and just let go and understand that the words that we heard… I mean, we have to know ourselves, know what we want, what our passions are, understand what our goals are so that we can actually have both things. 


Desiree 19:12

Yeah, right. Yeah. And words are so so powerful. That's right. It's amazing that you found this community to help women who maybe do not have the power yet to say these words to themselves, but that you guide them and when you say those to them, because words are so much more powerful than we sometimes think. Yesterday I was reading a story about a woman and as she said that back in high school. She because she felt she was always a little bit on the chubby side in high school someone said like, ‘Oh, you have such a like chubby cheeks or something.’ And from that moment on, she always wore her hair down, like down to the side so her cheeks, would kind of be hidden right? And then she said that the other day she went to the gym and she had her hair in a ponytail and her husband just said a fleeting comment, probably didn't think anything, like ‘hey, you should wear your hair much more like that so I can see your pretty face.’ And she said in that moment he didn't even realize what he had done. He healed something in her that she carried with her for two decades, right, this insecurity wall just through a comment. So it's also we need to be generous with the things we say and the things we spread to friends around us, you know, to our community and to share these because we never know the difference that we can make, the impact little words can have on that person. 


Iva 20:50

And this is also something that I want to rescue from your story, and Nancy, from what you have shared with us so far, is it that sometimes we have gotten this impression that self-love is more on the superficial level of you know, I get a massage, I go and I get a manicure or something and it's okay right? I'm not saying that that is wrong, but I guess that what we're discussing here goes far more deep into this acceptance. This acceptance and this identifying or words/labels that might have come from, as you said, usually it's from our parents or caregivers and it's like they slap that label on our back and we cannot see it so we cannot reach for it and see where it is. But somehow it prevents us from going for those doors that are opening or thinking that we have somehow the talent or the gift to persuade or even to allow ourselves to desire. You know, here locally. I work with Mamas and we actually held a session yesterday where we were discussing you know, what are your intentions and desires for the week. And one of them she said, ‘You know what, I just I just feel that I don't know if that is possible for me.’ So even to allow ourselves to have a desire is something that we can heal through this self-love and the self-acceptance that there needs to start believing even if we feel it's been two decades, right? There's always an opportunity to reverse that, to shift it, to change it and to start from a clean slate, from a healed self-loved place. 


Nancy 23:32

I also had the opportunity back in 2016, we had a project under bEMpowered Women where we help women who were victims of domestic violence and one of the things that we did is that a Sunday when the spa was closed, we gave that space to those women just to like give them you know, that self-care, like we will do massages and do their hair, but at the same time we're talking to them and it is the result because today one of the things going around the world is still domestic violence. Women are still being mistreated, and they experience so many violence in their marriage that they don't understand that they are losing their power, just to be there, just to stay there. And I know that is not easy. I will say I'm a survivor of domestic violence. My mom is the survivor of domestic violence. I work with both women and I know how hard it is, but at the same time, that's one of the things that I teach them. You have to get back on your self-love. Once you like get that power back, things are going to change


Iva 24:51

And sometimes the violence and abuse is psychological. It's emotional. It's not with you know, it's not physical, it's with words. And you think that in a way the person is having a bad day and you're trying to justify it for a long time until the self-love kicks in and you finally see it for what it is_ it's also a form of disrespect. And you are allowing, unfortunately, that person to tell you what your narrative and what your story should be about yourself. So I love that you're sharing all of these stories with us, Nancy today, because they really create that illustration that it is possible for anyone that might feel in a situation where they don't think that they can get out of that there is a way out. And you know, help is always available and there are always support hotlines and places where you can go and if you feel the need to listening to this today, to make a change, just know that you are going to be supported. We'll highlight that a little bit more because the shift really has to come from within, but also there's that scary aspect of saying ‘how am I going to make it on my own then? How am I? How is the different life possible for me from what has happened so far?’


Nancy 26:08

Yeah, I understand that. That's the first thing that we have to do understand that you're in this situation. Once you understand that you are in that situation then it’s how you're going to look for help. And it's something that we're not supposed to do alone. There are groups, there are hotlines, there are different things that can actually help us to do that process and get to that help that we actually need.


Desiree 26:39

Yes. And it's it's really powerful to have to have a community and a hub that you can always go to. When you do find yourself in that situation, when you do need that support and that guidance to get yourself out of these situations. So really bless you for doing what you do and for helping all these women.


Nancy 26:59

You thank you so much.


Desiree 27:01

Yeah, it's really important. I mean, you know, this is something that is so unspoken as well, because often I mean, I'm sure often women do not even realize they're in that situation, or even self-sabotage in a way because they have, maybe they don't have the strength to get out of this kind of situation or they do not realize that they are in a bad situation. Do you do you find a lot of cases like that as well?


Nancy 27:31

I have worked with different situation with women who are being abused, and one of them is, how they were- how they grew up. If their parents were together, like the whole lifetime, they're feel like they’re suppose to stay there. I mean, they don't care if their husbands are doing this or that. And that's something that we have to maybe change and that's some of the things that I'm working on. Because yes, if we identify ourselves in this kind of situation, and we understand that there's programs that can actually help you but at the same time, there are other women that they don't even notice that they have lost so many of their of their identity being in that relationship. And that's very, very scary because they are in that that big ‘No, that is not happening to me’ and then they have all this family and for them, they are worried because they know that they're going through this process. So yes, I have had those two different types of persons. Also, one of the main reasons why women stay in their marriage, even though they're being abused it because of the money. They are scared to go out and if they're a stay-home mom, how they're going to start, again fear for the kids. And one of the programs that we have is actually helping women who are being abused or that they are survivors to start their business. That's one of the programs that we receive donations, and we give them the tools they need. So that they can actually start their business and that it would not be needed to like stay in that marriage.


Desiree 29:22

Exactly. And then to give them the tools then to start either start over or continue supporting themselves and their children as they're leaving that. And then to mentioned it again but it doesn't even have to be physical violence only, there's so much mental abuse as well going on where, you know, like you said women are completely losing their identity, they're losing the sense of reality of like they think it's normal, and it's not and it takes really a community like yours_ people like you to empower these women to start living their life, the life they deserve. And so you also have an amazing freebie that you can share that you're sharing with us today. It's called Empower Yourself. Would you like to share with us a little bit about that?


Nancy 30:22

Yes, Empower Yourself is about that. Yes, it is possible to live that dream life that you have been thinking about. So what you're offering is a free, one free session of coaching so that you can actually identify what you want in life and set that goal and go for it. So it's a free set up coaching session. You just need to write to Family Secret Helpers to That's our email so that you can actually say, ‘Oh, I've heard you in the podcast, and we can give them the information.’


Desiree 31:02

Thank you so much. That's really wonderful. And, and I'm sure for those listening or for those that know other women in these types of situations that need their support. Please pass that on to them as well. It's so empowering to be able to speak to someone that can actually help you out of that situation and live the life you fully deserve to live.


Iva 31:25

Yes. Thank you Nancy, so much for chatting with us today. It was wonderful having you here and obviously we only scratched the surface. There's so much more to this topic than we have available time for but if you want to continue looking more into this topic and you want to connect with Nancy, you can find her on Instagram and she also has links we're also going to be posting links to her website, her freebie and the email address in our show notes so you can look up everything that she has to offer in terms of her resources and all her different platforms. So Thank you Nancy, for being here with us today.


Nancy 32:11

So when you go on our website, you will be able to find all the links to the TV show and all your podcasts and everything. You also cover the Spanish speaking and the English speaking community through those so that's wonderful. Thank you, Nancy, thank you so much.


Nancy 32:34

Thank you for this opportunity and I hope you and wish you the best.



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Nancy Rivera

Nancy Rivera is President of Family Secret Helpers and founder of its projects. Coach, Speaker, Motivator, and Author. Host & Producer of two Podcasts and a TV Show. Creator of an Empowerment Event and a Digital Magazine. She’s also a proud mother of two.



Podcast Bempower Women

IG @bempower_women

List of Domestic Violence Hotlines Around the World  List of domestic violence hotlines - Wikipedia


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