Career

How did she do that? Matilda Rice on becoming an author

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Matilda Rice chats to FQ on the recent launch of her new book.

She first captured the nation’s attention on her (successful) quest to find love during season one of The Bachelor as her cool, collected and naturally endearing self back in 2015. Now the blonde beauty adds published author to her lengthy list of achievements under the spotlight.

Having steadily grown her followers to more than 130k, Matilda’s popularity on social media has allowed her to ditch her 9-5 and focus on curating her best life possible. And what has she learned? Well, you’ll need to read a copy of her book to find that out. What we can tell you is how she did it.

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WATCH: Matilda talking wellness:


FQ: Can you explain your career path to date?
MR: I started in reception at Mediaworks fresh out of high school, then worked my way in to the Sales team. I then had a four year stint in Melbourne and London working in media sales before I came back to Mediaworks, then TVNZ. As of 2017 I’m now self-employed running my social media and blog, along with working on a new business venture with Art.

What do you love most about what you do?
I love that every day is different! My job varies so much, and I get to have experiences as a job which is pretty awesome. I get to work with different people all the time which I love, too.

What is your biggest accomplishment at work or a moment you’re most proud of?
When I got my first copy of The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Living a Beautiful Life. It was the most surreal, overwhelming moment seeing all my hard work come together so beautifully.

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What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome, as it relates to your career or industry?
Figuring out how to best deal with my personal life being a brand. Social media is a new industry, so everyone is learning about it together. I’ve made some mistakes, but I’ve learnt more about business in the past two years than in my entire career.

What motivates you?
Knowing that I’m the only one accountable for my successes and failures. Being self-employed means I only get out what I put in, so I know that if I don’t work hard, then I won’t be able to pay my rent!

What do you believe has been the key to your success?
Staying true to myself and my values, working hard, and being 100% myself at all times. In my opinion, business is all about relationships and I put a lot of effort into my relationships, whether they are personal or professional.

What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career?
That no matter what you do, there will always be someone with something negative to say. I can be a bit of a people pleaser sometimes, and find it hard to deal with criticism, so I wish I had started out with a slightly thicker skin.

What is your life motto?
Be scared and do it anyway!

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Tell us about the process you went through from concept to execution with The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Living a Beautiful Life?
I wanted a book that would be inspiring and health-focused, but also approachable and fun. I thought of the “Lazy Girl” concept earlier in the year and it could not have been more perfect. I am naturally incredibly lazy, but have found a great balance between laziness and ‘doing’ that works for me, so I wanted to share that in a relatable, funny way – and I think I have!

Can you tell us what it means to live a beautiful life – how do you define it and why is it important for people to pursue one?
A beautiful life could mean something different for everyone, but to me it is about being comfortable and content in your own skin. It means looking after your body from the inside out, and having positive and meaningful relationships in all aspects of your life. If you can achieve all that, then you are doing bloody well in my opinion.

What are your top three tips for someone wanting to write/publish a book?

  1. Don’t try and write like anyone else, find your own voice, and don’t pander to anyone.
  2.  Block out writing time in your diary. It’s really hard to find time to focus on writing, so I would make sure to block out a few full days a week with absolutely nothing else planned.
  3.  Don’t write a book to make money, or to pander to anyone, write it for yourself. You can never regret that!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
To make sure to celebrate your wins. It’s easy to get caught up in life that you forget to celebrate the wins in life. Big or small, it’s important to give yourself a pat on the back sometimes.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
Don’t put a limit on yourself. Know that the only limit to what you can do is the belief you have in yourself.

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What do you think are the biggest challenges facing women in the workplace?
The gender pay gap is obviously a biggie, and the more people that know about it the better! I also think sexual harassment is one of the biggest challenges as it is so common, but many women deal with it in silence for fear of making a scene or upsetting their bosses. We still have a long way to go to achieve gender equality in the workplace unfortunately.

Do you think women have the ability to juggle kids and careers?
Absolutely! My mum worked full time all through my sister’s and my childhoods and we admired her for it. She did a fantastic job of showing us how important it is to be independent.

How do you find the work/life balance?
Working in social media full time, it can consume your life! It really is a 24/7 job, whether it is media events in the evening, work trips in the weekend etc – I’m far busier now than I’ve ever been. It’s really important to me to try and switch off and take time to relax. I try and not do any emails or anything after 6pm, and try and keep my weekends as free as possible. I am much happier when I am relaxed, so I try and manage my stress levels as best I can.

Who’s your female icon or inspiration and why?
Dr Jane Goodall. She turned her passion for chimpanzees into a career and now does so much for animal rights and the environment. I just love her.

In another lifetime what would you want to be when you grow up?
A policewoman. I have no idea why, I just think I would have really enjoyed it!

What did you want to be when you grew up?
First of all I wanted to be a “businesswoman” like Mum (quite broad), and then I wanted to be an Emirates air hostess because I liked their outfits… (the mind of a 16 year old ha!) And then I realised I hated flying. How times have changed!

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How do you relax away from work?
I put my phone away, put on music, and chat and laugh with Art. Oh, and I Netflix (I think that’s a verb now?)

When do you go to bed and when do you get up?
I go to bed pretty early during the week (around 9.30pm or 10pm) because I love sleep and I feel like it heavily affects me the next day if I don’t get enough. I wake up around 6.30am most mornings (the sleep-in trap is easy to fall in to when you work for yourself!)

Who would you most like to be stuck on a desert island with? Why?
Donald Trump. I would use that time to try and talk some sense into him!

Technology you can’t live without?
The interwebs. I Google things every day! I always come up with random questions in my mind that I must have answered straight away!

Who do you most admire in business? Why?
I admire kindness and compassion in business. I hate the idea that you need to be ruthless and selfish to get ahead in the business world, and I hope that starts to change one day.

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What do you believe is the secret to success?
Always staying true to yourself and what’s important to you, and never being afraid to voice your opinion, even when it’s different to everyone else’s.

Who do you turn to when the going gets tough?
I know it’s a cliché, but I turn to my Mum. She always has the best advice, and knows exactly what to say to give me the motivation that I need.

What’s the ‘Lazy Girl’ beauty regime to keep you looking fresh?
Concealer under the eye, bronzer on the temples, and a bit of mascara. That’s the ultimate Lazy Girl makeup routine!

You have already achieved so much, but what’s next for you?
Three years ago, I never would have thought I would be doing what I do, but here I am! I try not to plan my life too much, but I’m really excited about this new venture with Art. Watch this space!

Photos: Instagram

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