Author Emily A Francis On How to Grow Beyond Your Comfort Zone to Grow Both Personally and Professionally
An Interview With Maria Angelova
Layer the flavors. Every single thing you have done to this point has added a layer to your dish. Some are bland, others are burned, while many are delightful and delicious. What are the next layers you are hoping to add to your dish? You are the cook in your own kitchen and it’s time you layered each flavor and ingredient with clear and solid intention. No more handing off the reins to anyone else. It’s time to kick it up a notch and add more spice to your dish. This is the beginning of really getting your hands dirty, and you are going to love it!
It feels most comfortable to stick with what we are familiar with. But anyone who has achieved great success will tell you that true growth comes from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. What are some ways that influential people have pushed themselves out of their comfort zone to grow both personally and professionally? As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Emily A. Francis.
Emily A. Francis is a highly sought-after speaker, bestselling author, and wellness advocate with an array of education and experience spanning over 25 years. After moving her family to the Mediterranean during the 2020 pandemic, she was given the opportunity to leave everything behind and create an entirely new life. Since moving to Malta, Emily has become deeply involved with local food production, writing a regular column in the local tourism magazine, titled “Emily in Malta,” where she interviews local farmers, fishermen and chefs on single-ingredient farming answering the age-old question of why the Mediterranean way of living is the healthiest and happiest in the world.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
Thank you so much for this opportunity! My childhood was quite idyllic. I grew up with two loving parents, an older sister, and ten years later a baby brother, and a handful of pets. I was a gymnast and a martial artist most of my life. I was the quintessential daddy’s girl through and through, which is why when he died suddenly of a heart attack while playing tennis, I came home to a totally different life. I was only thirteen at the time. My entire world shattered in an instant. My hero was gone.
I was given about two weeks to grieve and then I was expected to shut that door and leave my heart and my memories behind. I was to never speak of him again, as if he had never existed. I became what I would look at now as a textbook case of what happens in the body when grief is silenced. The grief that goes unnoticed will grow roots and strangle your entire being if you don’t have the awareness and wherewithal to intercept it. I quit gymnastics shortly after and began cheerleading. This took me all the way through college on an athletic scholarship. I did not begin receiving therapy for the trauma of my father’s death until I turned 25. At this point anxiety and panic took me down, and no matter how I tried to hide from it or drink it away, I could no longer escape it.
And so began a quest for healing that would continue to this day. I had already dedicated myself to studying anatomy and physiology the years before (it was my major in college), but now the healing and approach to my body and soul took on a totally different importance, one that resonated beyond all expectations and limits. It took years of intensive therapy, otherworldly approaches, and even straightforward attempts to bring myself back to life to claim a new way forward that was both functional and powerful from within. This is how I have been able to professionally publish five books on body healing with a specific focus on the muscles and how they relate to human emotion. My pain and sorrow were transformed into my life’s work.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
When I was younger and gymnastics was my everything, I kept a poster of Nadia Comăneci on the wall next to my bed. She was holding a balancing pose on the beam. All of the muscles in her body popped with sheer strength and power. The quote on the poster said “Do not pray for an easy life. Pray to be a strong person.” I believe this was a message and a lesson for what was to come.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
There are many books, films, and podcasts that have made a significant impact on me. The first one that broke the mold was given to me by a friend. She was in ministry school and said when she read it, she knew it needed to be in my hands. Wow, was she correct! The book is called Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality by Anthony de Mello, a Jesuit Catholic priest, Indian by birth, lifelong yogi, and psychotherapist. It is based on a workshop he led and was published after his death. It was translated word for word from de Mello’s mouth. I had to slow myself down to read it one chapter at a time because there was so much juice in every bite. The book expanded and rearranged my perception of all of life. I wrote to his predecessor and remained in contact with him sporadically until his passing many years later. To this day, I am still in contact with the De Mello Spirituality Center and often host their director on my radio show. Anthony de Mello’s work changed me fundamentally and continues to do so even after his death.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Let’s start with a basic definition so that all of us are on the same page. What does “getting outside of your comfort zone” mean?
A basic definition of a comfort zone would come down to what you know. It’s an aspect of your life that you already know. It’s the place that doesn’t ask you to get uncomfortable. Comfort zones keep us small. Aren’t we tired of playing down the role we serve in our own lives? Don’t we ever want to challenge ourselves and find out what we’re really made of? Does a comfort zone mean that we have to shatter or go through hell in order to get beyond it? I don’t believe so. At least, I don’t believe that anymore.
Now more than ever in my life, I understand the value of challenging our comfort zones. I moved across the world with my husband, children, and four pets to an island that I had never even visited. I started a whole new life right in the middle of the worldwide COVID lockdown. I went beyond my comfort zone and allowed myself to transform into a version of myself that I never saw coming. For once in my life, I did nothing at all to block it. I let myself grow in a new way, the way my new dear friends, the farming community on the island of Malta, have done their whole lives. They have spent the last two years teaching me to do exactly this. “Let it grow,” they say. Getting out of my comfort zone now means something very different to me than it used to. It asks us to break the mold and discover a new version of ourselves. It requires the parts of myself that have been contained to go free and breathe from a different part of my body and soul.
Can you help articulate a few reasons why it is important to get out of your comfort zone?
You have to be willing to get dirty if you want to play big with your life. The truth is this: We all deserve to be the breakout star of our own lives! If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that life is precious, fragile, and shorter than we imagined. It is not to be wasted away dreaming of something that we aren’t actively choosing and creating in order to become a reality. This is it! This is your chance, every day, to do something that you might have only dreamed about doing. I spent years daydreaming of a different life. Now I live a life that I could not have conceived of before. What I used to ask for is now dwarfed by my reality. It so far exceeds all my wildest dreams and expectations. I can’t be the only one who gets to live a new dream. We all have that option! Why not you? Things show up when you do, and I can only promise you that these dreams are not waiting for you in your comfort zone.
Is it possible to grow without leaving your comfort zone? Can you explain what you mean?
There is always an opportunity for growth, but if you always stay in the same spot, you can only grow to the size of the space that is available. I will give you an analogy. When I moved to the Mediterranean, I heard about a priest with an olive press who lives in the fishing village. People bring their olives and he presses them into oil. Excited by the notion, I hired someone to find and plant two olive trees shortly after my arrival. They were exactly the same size and the same age. One tree I planted in a plot of land and the other in a large pot. The one I planted in the ground had so much more room to grow than the one in the pot. I didn’t notice just how much until the tree in the plot grew four times the size of the one stuck in that pot. When I realized how vastly different their growth had become, I replanted the stunted tree from the pot into the ground, like my other tree. I hoped that it might finally be able to catch up to its sibling. It has begun to grow, but, as they say in Malta, “slowly, slowly.” It is finally beginning to add to its branches, though the trunk itself has not thickened much. I replanted it in June during the planting season. I originally planted both a little more than two years ago. The olive tree in the ground is about four times the thickness. The branches are so plentiful that this year we had our first single olive grow on the tree! The first olive of what should be a nice harvest next year. The tree that was originally potted looks like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It’s weak and sad-looking. It bends forward and I’ve had to stake it with a long pole to help it restructure its posture. That was my fault. I put it in a place that had no real room to grow, while the other tree was given unlimited potential. I planted them where I had room to put them at the time. When we know better, we do better.
Olive trees in general need twenty feet of space from one another. They need to be able to have full sunshine on all their leaves in order to grow. They need to have room for the roots to take hold and branch out in all different directions underground. Interestingly enough, the olive tree is one of the few trees that has both male and female branches on the same tree. It has everything it needs to grow into something big and beautiful and yield liters upon liters of olive oil. It’s the container we choose for the tree that will determine the size and strength they can grow into. Sound familiar?
How does your garden grow? Or in this case, how does your comfort zone grow? It always grows to the size and shape of what we’re told we can be…until we break the mold and begin to grow in a new place, be it physically or mentally, with unlimited potential for expansion. This involves a mindset that removes the barriers of self-dialogue that tells us that we can’t. We need both an internal and an external environment that supports the new growth potential. Both have to be there for this to work. Let it grow…and stop trying to manage the process.
Can you share some anecdotes from your personal experience? Can you share a story about a time when you stepped out of your comfort zone and how it helped you grow? How does it feel to take those first difficult steps?
Moving to Malta came at a personal price for me. The deal I had to make was that since I do not have a work visa, I could not try to get a job or create a clinical bodywork practice here. I haven’t been in full-time practice for years. Once I had children and became more involved with my books, it wasn’t a top priority. But I’d always kept a handful of cherished clients. I knew that with the skills and specialized training I have, I could open a flourishing practice here if I so desired.
However, I’m not going to do bodywork for free, and in order to find a sponsor to hire me, it would require that I work more hours than I am able to balance in a healthy way. At this point in my career, I’m not willing to work that many hours for someone else. So I had to start fresh and decide what was it that I could do to bring meaning to my life. I could have done nothing and just continued writing my books and being with the family. That might have been just fine — but not for a super curious person such as myself. Being just fine is not anything I aspire to be anymore. I had to ask myself, “What is it that I like to do? What do I dream about doing? What can I do to make something like that happen?” I contacted the local tourism magazine and asked if I could write for them. I told them, “I want to write an article…No, that’s not true. I want to write a column.” They wrote me back, saying, “We’d love to have you write for us! But, full disclosure, we can’t afford you.” Knowing I couldn’t be paid anyway, I let them know that this was perfect, as I was more than happy to write in trade for publicity. I needed help building my brand here in Malta. It looked to be the perfect fit.
It turns out that my brand became something totally new and unique. I am now the local columnist for the magazine Oh My Malta, with a column titled “Emily in Malta.” I go to farms and fishing villages all over the island of Malta and its sister island Gozo. I meet local farmers, fishermen, and chefs and learn about the way that seasonal foods are grown, harvested, caught, and prepared. But here’s the curveball I didn’t expect: I don’t just write these articles; I am now live on camera! Their camera operator, my editor, and I do in-person interviews that have spread like wildfire across the country. When I was younger, I would have loved being on camera! Now I’m 48. I am what I would describe as a middle-aged mother who has gotten comfortable writing behind the scenes. I had to take a big leap of faith and turn off the restless mental chatter that says “No one wants to see this short, loud, round American girl on camera” and do it anyway.
Well, it turns out this might be exactly what people here want to see! It’s interesting because at first I thought that getting interviews with these farmers would be easy, but it turns out I was greatly mistaken. I had to find every single one of them on my own and then convince a population of very private and shy people to allow me, a cameraman, and an editor into their homes and farms to do these interviews. I went down to the fishing village across the island every single day for two weeks straight trying to find anyone who would grant me an interview on their prize fish during the season. I was relentless. People here are not very interested in being on camera, and many in these areas aren’t as comfortable speaking in English as they are in Maltese. It has required me to become a much bolder version of myself to make these connections and also to gain their trust and friendship. Whatever my comfort zone may have been in the beginning has been shattered and is now in the rearview mirror. I would venture to say now that my Rolodex of contacts on this island has been incredibly hard-earned and one of my greatest and most cherished accomplishments. I did that! I hand-crafted an entirely new life for myself. A life that now includes some of the most incredibly special and loving people I never would have found any other way. I visit all my farmers often and continue to maintain close relationships. The old version of me never would have believed it. The old version might have been stricken with anxiety just walking out the door. For my book release this year, I am organizing “The Taste of Joy Festival.” It will be a festival open to the public where all the farmers I have interviewed can come and sell their signature products all in one place to the people. It is my way of letting them know that my new book is not just about me, but about everything in the life they have given me. I want to share them with the world! I even managed to get the foreword to my most recent book, The Taste of Joy, written by the tourism minister of Malta. How? Because his father is a farmer and they are “my people.”
Here is the central question of our discussion. What are your “five ways to push past your comfort zone, to grow both personally and professionally”?
I’m going to add a twist to this question and introduce your readers to the five ways from the Mediterranean to push past your comfort zone to grow both personally and professionally. I add this because no one has ever taught me more about pushing beyond my own limits and learning to embrace my beautiful and delicious life in such a zesty way as this culture has. I will answer as if it is a recipe for life rather than a slideshow for the boardroom.
- It begins with asking yourself one foundational question with regard to both work and life: What is the life you want to create that will nourish your soul? Work is what you do. Life is who you are. Those need to be thrown into the same mixing bowl more often. Most people spend more time at work than at home. If what you spend your days doing does not nourish your soul, then what the heck are you still doing there? Get very clear with your questions and the answers to them before you make any sudden moves. The three questions I always ask myself before I begin any new tasks are: (1) Who are you? Meaning, what are you really about? What do you stand for? Who is the person you think you are? This sets the tone for the next two questions. Don’t stray far from who you really want to be. Next: (2) What do you want? This has nothing to do with vision boards of houses and cars but with what is in your heart and soul that you really want for your life. And the final game-changer question: (3) What are you willing to do to get there? This separates the dreamers from the doers every single time. Get very clear and laser-focused. Then begin to write the recipe for your new dish. What is the recipe for your life that reflects the life that feeds your soul?
- Layer the flavors. Every single thing you have done to this point has added a layer to your dish. Some are bland, others are burned, while many are delightful and delicious. What are the next layers you are hoping to add to your dish? You are the cook in your own kitchen and it’s time you layered each flavor and ingredient with clear and solid intention. No more handing off the reins to anyone else. It’s time to kick it up a notch and add more spice to your dish. This is the beginning of really getting your hands dirty, and you are going to love it!
- Time or thyme? I’ll give you a hint: It’s both. Timing is the most important part of this piece. You must respect the laws of timing and also not miss your chance because you are waiting for the perfect time. Like jumping inside a game of Double Dutch jump rope, you have to wait until the time when both ropes are open and you can jump inside and keep hopping to the beat. It’s always about timing. Step into the flow of it and stop resisting or pushing. It’s a finesse and a spice you can learn to work with. Speaking of spice, thyme is a flowering spice that can kick up a decadent dessert dish just as much as it can add complexity to a savory one. Decide which way you want to go and then throw in that spice. Check in with yourself to be sure that the spices you are adding go with the original intent. Always reassess and make sure the path you are creating is one that is elevating all your senses. If not, take a step back and begin again. Gaze into the open spaces and jump. Be smart and always be very methodical in your approach. Keep your eye on the prize. Don’t settle and don’t waver. It’s possible that the mess you are making in your kitchen is up to your elbows at this point. No one said it was going to be pretty, but you are worth it. Keep going.
- Invite people over for dinner. It’s not healthy to eat alone all the time! A shared meal with friends and neighbors is the best approach to a happy and healthy life. Community is sacred and is vital to driving both business and personal relationships. Ideally, it is based on sincerity and common goal sharing. In the Mediterranean, faith, family, and food are the three tenets of a good life. Thankfully, when you become friends, you become so much more. You are taken in as part of their family. Just because you are building something outside of your comfort zone does not mean you have to go it alone. It was never meant to be an experience of solitude.
- Celebrate the harvest. When I met my first farmer for my very first interview for the magazine, I went to a potato field. I was so excited to dig potatoes out of the ground. I had heard it’s like hunting for Easter eggs, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands dirty. To my surprise, when we got to the farm, the potatoes had just been dug out and harvested the night before. The interview had been very last-minute, and we missed the first harvest. All along the field, the farmer had long tables and chairs still set up. The previous night, they had celebrated the harvest by having all the children and grandchildren, cousins, aunts, and uncles join. They have a stone wood-fired oven next to the tables and chairs. He said that every harvest, each member of the family picks out their own potato from the ground and they put it in the oven along with the meat. They all sit at the tables eating fresh bread with olive oil that they grew themselves. They drink plenty of wine, for which they also grew the grapes. They eat their potato and meat together as a family. They celebrate into the wee hours of the night. I thought this was so special that they do this every time. But here’s where it gets even better in terms of what it means to celebrate the harvest. In Malta, there is a big wind problem. The farmers have several different locations of land in which they farm their fruits and vegetables. So after we did the first part of the interview at his home farm, this farmer said, “Okay, now follow me to my next field and we will pick these potatoes since they have not yet been harvested!” He has several different fields in which he grows potatoes. They don’t just celebrate their good fortune after the last potato in the very last field has been harvested. No! They celebrate every single field! Every single harvest is honored as their way of giving thanks to God for a bountiful harvest and to ask to continue to be blessed. This is a gratitude practice if I ever saw one! If you are setting a goal for yourself to grow someplace beyond what you know in your life, you have to take a pause and not only reflect, but also honor and celebrate each monumental step as you go. Growing is not easy and it takes time, patience, and respect for the process. This makes room for more growth and adds that element of sweetness to your new dish that makes it so much more fun to eat! If we aren’t celebrating life, what are we focusing on? Let it grow! And celebrate as you go!
From your experience or perspective, what are some of the common barriers that keep someone from pushing out of their comfort zone?
In my opinion, the main barrier to anyone being able to grow is the way they view themselves and the internal limitations they place on themselves concerning what is possible for their life. It always comes down to your mindset. It’s giving yourself permission to go big with your life and having the courage to chase after whatever it is that calls to your soul.
Why do we think anyone else has more potential than we do? We are all sacred, soulful human beings. Our capacity to live the life of our dreams is rooted in what we believe we can do and how closely it aligns with what we are called to do. Make the decision and then trust the steps to take you there.
For some, the process will be much more difficult, it’s true. But nothing is impossible. I believe more than ever before that if you keep your focus laser-tight and constantly take steps to move toward your goal, taking proper rest when you need to and celebrating the small wins when you notice them, you will reach at least some part of that target. We are so much more capable than we are led to believe. I believe this is true in many facets of our life. There is a common two-step approach that I have learned to use in my life. The first step is to ask, “What is it that you truly want in life/business/etc.?” The second step is to ask, “What are you willing to do/sacrifice to get it?” If these two steps don’t align, then we need to ask ourselves why and reflect on the answer.
There is a well-known quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt that says, “Do something that scares you every day”. What exactly does this mean to you? Is there inherent value in doing something that pushes you out of your comfort zone, even if it does not relate to personal or professional growth? For example, if one is uncomfortable about walking alone at night should they purposely push themselves to do it often for the sake of going beyond their comfort zone? Can you please explain what you mean?
Let me first answer your question and say, no, it is not safe, smart, or brave to push yourself out at night to walk alone in order to face your fears. Your fears of being afraid to walk about at night are valid. People can be extremely dangerous and we cannot afford to play fast and loose with how we define “brave.” We need to assess the risks and use basic intelligence when approaching anything that makes us uncomfortable and only push beyond limits when the rewards are worth it. We want to push past our comforts, but we also have to be smart.
I have given so much thought to the concept of pushing beyond my comfort zones for a great many years. I went from being a kickboxing and aerobics director, yoga instructor, and martial artist to being terrified to walk into a gym. When I turned 25, I suffered from severe anxiety, panic, and agoraphobia that almost ruined my life. Coming back into my life was slow and gradual. In some ways I never fully recovered. I never taught an aerobics class again after my first major panic attack happened during teaching. On the outside, I looked brave and like someone who took action. And in most ways, someone who shared that opinion of me would be correct. I stopped teaching aerobics, but I continued teaching yoga for many years until I just could no longer keep up the façade of someone who had control over myself being in a public space. I began writing books and putting myself out there because, regardless of my anxiety, I needed a creative outlet. Putting words on paper probably saved my life and gave me an anchor on which to rebuild myself.
I pondered where this anxiety came from, because it seemed to come from nowhere. After much reflection and soul-searching, the thought of my dad dying while playing tennis really hit me as the catalyst. He passed when I was just thirteen, and the older I became, the more afraid I was that I would go down the same way. I did a lot of things to come back stronger and better, but going to group classes of any kind was not one of them. A few years ago, I challenged myself to join a yoga class. I faced some of my fears, but I would be lying if I said that I mastered any of them.
This year, after writing my latest book on moving to Malta and changing my whole life, I did something totally new and bold. I signed up for dance classes. Every week I face my fears, though not with ease or grace. However, I am reminded that these fears are coming from myself and do not represent my reality. Every week I challenge my fear, I dance my ass off, and I come home happy and soulfully delighted. I’m so proud and excited that it makes me want to show up again. Just this week, I added a second class to my schedule: ballet funk. It’s something I never got to take when I was young and I’ve always had an interest. So I’m going for it! Those are the things that make me the most afraid. Everyone has different things that frighten them. For me, showing up to interview someone on a radio show, or even being on a television show, might make me nervous or giddy, but not afraid. Showing up to take a group exercise class…that is what stops me in my tracks. So that is where my focus will remain. I’m going to keep showing up until I am no longer afraid. Then I can shift my focus to another place that needs my attention.
It’s powerful to feel afraid and go for it anyway. That is what makes us stronger, wiser, and bolder. It’s what elevates any experience from something totally bland to something absolutely sublime! At the end of our lives, we are not going to wish we played it safe more often. We are going to cling to the memories and times when we were bold, when we faced a challenge regardless of the fear we felt. That is what makes us come alive. I want to relish being alive. My new life feels like heaven on earth. I don’t want to miss any part of it!
This doesn’t necessarily change anything in my career, but it fundamentally changes me. That spills over into every other layer I put down in my recipe for life. Since moving here, in addition to dance, I have also taken courses at the culinary school and have become a staple on Maltese media. In addition to doing my monthly Oh My Malta! on-camera interviews, I have also been on a local wellness television show over thirty times in less than three years! Whatever dish I started out making of my life has become something entirely new. I am not any single ingredient that I originally put in there. I am the combination of all the layers and flavors up to this point. I leave room to build more into a full-scale meal. I am blooming fully alive and on time. I am respecting each season of my growth as it comes. Growing older and wiser is a privilege denied to many. There are plenty of people who grow older but never grow wiser! There are many wise young souls who leave this world too early. I am hoping for and am intentionally invested in growing both older and wiser and actively challenging my fears to make them a reality.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I want to remind people that kindness carries. It feeds us all deep down in our souls and it is the gateway to expanding our world into a better place to live, grow, and thrive.
Here in Malta, when I try to meet the farmers for interviews, the question they always ask of me is “Are you good people?” Because if you are good people, you will always be welcome at this long and lovely table. It’s never about what you do for a living here. It’s about your character. Your worth here, especially with that particular category of people, is never about money or status. It’s all about whether you are good people. Because that is the only way you are getting into this circle.
Keep working to be the best version of yourself possible, and then show up for those around you. Showing up is so critical. We have many “friends” in our lives, but how many do we show up for and how many of them show up for us? Keep good people close and cherish them. Treat animals and children well and watch the world around you grow into something more sustainable and enriching. That is how we nourish the world around us. Today’s world desperately needs reminding that a kind heart and nourished soul will elevate the entire planet. Let’s inspire those around us to do the same.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I am torn between two incredible women and writers: Brené Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert.
Brené Brown: I would give anything to study the emotional muscle body in accordance with her research. I think our combined work could produce data and research that would elevate the current narrative and connect some of the dots between mind and body. I think it would allow for a new way of describing the communicating systems of the body to the world more effectively. People still don’t recognize the gravity of wisdom that our bodies keep, but I think together we could bring this to the forefront.
Elizabeth Gilbert: Her book Big Magic (on audio especially) makes me feel like she’s written my personal anthem of big living and magical, creative ways to embrace my life outside the lines. I think being able to sit down with her and just talk over a glass of wine or cup of coffee would be a life-expanding experience.
How can our readers follow you online?
My website is www.EmilyAFrancisBooks.com , where you can find links to all my media sites as well as my on-camera interviews with the local farmers who mean so much to me.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!
About The Interviewer: Maria Angelova, MBA is a disruptor, author, motivational speaker, body-mind expert, Pilates teacher and founder and CEO of Rebellious Intl. As a disruptor, Maria is on a mission to change the face of the wellness industry by shifting the self-care mindset for consumers and providers alike. As a mind-body coach, Maria’s superpower is alignment which helps clients create a strong body and a calm mind so they can live a life of freedom, happiness and fulfillment. Prior to founding Rebellious Intl, Maria was a Finance Director and a professional with 17+ years of progressive corporate experience in the Telecommunications, Finance, and Insurance industries. Born in Bulgaria, Maria moved to the United States in 1992. She graduated summa cum laude from both Georgia State University (MBA, Finance) and the University of Georgia (BBA, Finance). Maria’s favorite job is being a mom. Maria enjoys learning, coaching, creating authentic connections, working out, Latin dancing, traveling, and spending time with her tribe. To contact Maria, email her at email@example.com. To schedule a free consultation, click here.