Maria Mattsson – In the midst of life’s flow

Maria Mattsson has substantial experience from business activity and has worked in leading positions for more than twenty years. Later she chooses to step out from her comfort zone from being an employee to run her own business. She is now working as an inspirer and just published her first book,”"A life formula - How to get more out of your life.””. A book where she would like to share her insights and which might help you to live your life in full. And maybe have the courage to take a step towards your inner dreams.
Maria enjoys meeting other people, feel they are enriching. Now she lets us meet her...

During your career you became burned out. How did you realize that you suffered from the burn out-syndrome?

It was a long and sneaking process. I felt stressed out and tired. I suffered from sleeping difficulties and had stomach pains and joint aches.

Could you estimate how long the process was?

It is difficult to say. It’s a lot about what kind of life you’re living. You stress and don’t have enough personal time. So it’s a slow process. I didn’t realize that I was burnt out until afterwards.

As a parent of two boys, I can imagine the difficulties to find time for you after work. Children demands attention…

Yes absolutely. Family has always been important to me, but when having a career there’s a certain amount of pressure during your everyday life. From the time you wake up, the children are going to day care or school, maybe you end up in a traffic jam on your way to work, different meetings at work, in-house and external, a hundred e-mails together with a set time to pick up your children, to be able to send as much time with them as possible. You’re in a tailback on your way home. As an addition, the children may have after school activities; you want to have dinner together and so on. This is how most people experience their days.

A crammed schedule…

Yes, and I have experienced all of this as fun. I loved all of my employments and love my children. So I wanted to be able to do it all. To be able to find time for this I had to cut back on my personal time.

To have personal time can be useful in the contact with others too?

I think so. I believe it’s good for everything.

Photo: Paulina Westerlind

You hear that stress isn’t too bad as long as you are having fun at work, what’s your opinion?

If you are stressed out to the extent that you don’t feel well, regardless if you are in a fun or exciting context, I believe that stress isn’t good for your body.

How did you heal yourself?

That was also a long process. But it always starts with giving to you. Nature gives me energy and I like to walk.

Advice for hungry entrepreneurs to achieve balance in life?

To create space for personal time. Time for reflection. Walking, exercise and think about what you eat. Health determines our quality of life and is essential for us to have strength.

Do you have boundaries between your work and your spare time?

No, I work a lot and many times also during evenings and weekends. But I always make sure I have room for my personal time every day. And I make sure I don’t get stressed out.

Today you work as an inspirer?

I do and my book, you could say is the starting signal for that. To work as an inspirer, hold lecturers and workshops. I am genuinely interested in other human beings. I love meetings. They enrich and give. I hope to be able to reach out with my words through this book. To inspire other people to find themselves and to find their own path.

To not fall in line, like everybody else?

Yes, it’s easy to do.

On the back of the book it says;” Because she doesn’t tell you what to do. You know for yourself”…

I believe that we all have the answers within us when it comes to ourselves. So what I do is giving out the keys, or a formula of how to get there faster if you want.

When I have read management literature, I’ve come across guidelines saying do this, do that and it might work for a while.

Yes, it’s easy to think about: what is right and what is wrong. The most important thing is to do it in your own way. And I write; you can pick the raisins from the cookie from all angles.

How did it feel to go from being an employee to run your own company?

It was a huge step. But my family has run companies for generations, so it wasn’t an unfamiliar thought.
As an addition it gives me the freedom and control over my personal time

How far back does the enterprising run in your family?

It was my grandfather who started delivering milk during the 30:s.It went on from there.

Many of us don’t like to speak in front of a crowd, but that’s nothing that’s bothering you?

No. I worked for eight years as a consultant, and I worked with that form but aimed more towards the business within the company.

And now you swapped, and aim more towards the human being instead?

Yes exactly. Because I believe it’s there it has to begin and that’s interesting to me.

Swedish cover of the book

How does it feel to publish a book?

Both surreal and fantastic. It feels wonderful to have come this far. I begun my writing four years ago and a year and a half ago I decided that it had to be a book.

It’s been a long process. When I started, it wasn’t to write a book, but more to write down my thoughts, reflections and insights and I felt that it had to be more than just my own reflections, I wanted to share. I feel it’s made a difference to me and maybe it could to someone else too.

Will there be more books?

I think I will write more books….

In the same area?

I don’t know at the moment. Right now I’m living in this book that was just published. So we’ll see..

Do you relax by listening to music?

Yes, I do. I love music and I even sing in a choir.

Do you remember the first music album you bought?

One album I do remember was my first ABBA album. I think I was seven years old.

Is that a genre that you kept to through the years?

I like everything. I enjoy listening to different music at different occasions.

Plans for the future?

Right now my book is being translated into English and my hopes are that it will continue to Europe. And later also in the US, where I have contacts to make my way to their market further along the way. That’s my dream.

One should aim high?

I write about that, to put the bar high.

Svip.se would like to thank Maria for sharing her time and thoughts with us, and wish her all the best with her writing.