Authority Magazine
Published in

Authority Magazine

Power Women: Valerie Mya of Spray Valet On How To Successfully Navigate Work, Love and Life As A Powerful Woman

An Interview With Ming Zhao

“There is a solution and an answer for everything” is one of my most significant belief systems ever. I have spent my whole life asking “why”. I have uncovered everything to understand how this world works. There isn’t one part of this world I don’t understand. This is what my podcast is about. There is a reason and a solution for everything, and once you find it, everything opens. If I find myself stuck I just find the solution and answer. Having this belief system makes you unstoppable. Nothing can get in your way because there is a solution and an answer for everything.

How does a successful, strong, and powerful woman navigate work, employee relationships, love, and life in a world that still feels uncomfortable with strong women? In this interview series, called “Power Women” we are talking to accomplished women leaders who share their stories and experiences navigating work, love and life as a powerful woman.

As a part of this series I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Valerie Mya.

Valerie Mya is an entrepreneur, intuitive healer, and public speaker. Her first business ‘Spray Valet’ started as a side gig that quickly turned into an app-based beauty service that serves three cities in the US with more cities to come. While starting up a second business as an intuitive healer full time, working one-on-one with people, public speaking, and her weekly podcast ‘Become Light,’ Valerie wants to continue to help souls see what their lives are truly made of.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood “backstory”?

Sure! I grew up in a small town with one red light and more cows than people. Both my parents were entrepreneurs owning the only video stores in the area. At the age of 16, I traveled to NYC on my own to dance. I lived part-time in the country and part-time in the city. I rented a loft in a cat lady’s apartment. Very New York. Living in the city on my own at the age of 16 caused me to grow up very fast. I learned all my street smarts in that city.

Can you tell us the story about what led you to this particular career path?

After years of dancing in NYC, I decided to move to Los Angeles. I wanted to take a crack at the tv and film industry. That was not my soul’s path, but the move to Los Angeles was. After struggling as an actress in LA, I knew I needed to do something to make ends meet. I was very tired of the crappy jobs I was doing. I learned how to spray tan, and I thought, why not just go to people’s homes to do it. This was way before Uber or anything mobile, so I wasn’t sure if it would work. I decided to be open 24/7, have an organic solution, and go to people’s homes to make me stand out. It worked. I started getting bookings in under three months, and it grew from there. After years of growing the business, I evolved to fully stepping back and just running it while I stepped into another chapter of my career. I started working full-time as an intuitive healer. While doing spray tan sessions with people, I was giving them advice, and they would always come back the next week to tell me how I changed their life in some way. I knew I had this ability to read energy, and my intuition was always highly dialed in. These skills used to drive me nuts as a kid, but it’s wasn’t until then that I realized what I was sitting on. My healing business grew extremely fast and has changed my life tremendously.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I will never forget when I was spray tanning a woman who had cancer. Her daughter informed me that she was uncomfortable taking her wig off and asked to spray tan around it. What happened after I didn’t accept. Once she was tanned, she looked in the mirror and started crying. The worse thing for a spray tan but the best experience ever. She looked at herself and took her wig off. At that moment, she felt whole. Something she hadn’t felt in a long time. It’s incredible that in both my businesses, worlds that can seem so different, healing is happening.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Being highly intuitive, fiery independent, and a strong belief in myself.

I use my intuition for everything, even down to what to wear for the day. I use about 8 different types of intuition, so I can cross-check on a whole other level. Being intuitive has allowed me to make decisions without fear. When I have to make any business discussions, I always use my intuition over my mind. You can have facts, logic, and spreadsheets all day and try to determine the forecast of your business, but it doesn’t consider life. If my intuition is going against the facts, I listen. For example, at the start of everything that we have been experiencing lately, I used my intuition to look in and get a forecast. I knew how long we would be in this “new normal,” and it has allowed me to make choices for my businesses, especially Spray Valet, with no fear and an understanding of what is to come. This allowed me to set my businesses up for success when most people were unsure.

Like I mentioned before, I grew up on my own in NYC at the age of 16. My independence has played a massive role in my life. It has taught me that everything I need is within myself. This has created a sense of security and a knowing that I will always find a way.

My belief in myself always was active in my mind, even at a young age. I obviously went through waves of self-doubt to find new pieces of understanding about myself, but there was always a knowing that I could do anything. I just knew I had something to do in this lifetime, and I dove head first and stood behind myself every step of the way.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. The premise of this series assumes that our society still feels uncomfortable with strong women. Why do you think this is so?

Great question. Whenever someone is uncomfortable with something, it’s because they deny that attribute within themselves. When we accept something in someone, it means we have accepted it within ourselves. Society may not be comfortable with strong women because many people still do not accept that they are powerful and strong in some area of their life. It acts as a threat because they aren’t whole with that attribute. It is triggering something within them to get their attention that this is an attribute that they need to embrace within themselves. It might not be at work, but it may be family or financial. Somewhere in their life, they are denying being strong. Women can be the target because, simultaneously, we are letting go of limited belief systems around women as a collective. Belief systems need to be rooted 100% to not be questioned. Once we as women fully embed these belief systems, we will not experience them in our lives.

Without saying any names, can you share a story from your own experience that illustrates this idea?

Think about a time you had a negative uncomfortable opinion about someone. We have all had these experiences time and time again. It’s not because we are bad people, but because we want to make ourselves feel better in the moment. Once, I realized that when we get uncomfortable or talk bad about someone, it just means it’s something we deny within ourselves; my whole world changed. I healed so many things within me and celebrated everyone around me. People don’t mean to get uncomfortable or be mean to others, but it’s just triggering something that isn’t whole within them.

What should a powerful woman do in a context where she feels that people are uneasy around her?

I know to make real change, we must not create a divide. At that moment, I would tell the powerful woman to take a beat and mentally celebrate just how powerful and strong she is and then find a way to help the uncomfortable people feel just as powerful as she feels. Make them feel like they are “on the island” with her. As leaders, it’s our job to illustrate being whole while helping others get there. Then we all win.

What do we need to do as a society to change the unease around powerful women?

Women are powerful souls, more than I think most know. We have intuitive gifts that naturally come to us because of how our bodies are built. We have super-sensitive feeling systems that give us so much power.

To make a real quick change in society, it all starts with us, from within. If we focus on where we are being accepted as powerful, we will begin to believe that is a reality. The more we focus on small areas throughout the day, the more we create that energy. Even if it’s, “I am powerful making a mean spaghetti dish in the kitchen, and people love it.” I call it “breadcrumbs.” See the breadcrumbs of that reality coming into focus. If we want to change outside of us, we must focus within. Create a mind shift, a belief shift, and then the reality will shift.

In my own experience, I have observed that often women have to endure ridiculous or uncomfortable situations to achieve success that men don’t have to endure. Do you have a story like this from your own experience? Can you share it with us?

I was sexually assaulted at a job, and years following, I had many men who I thought would help me make a connection in my career, but I quickly found out they just wanted a date. It was tough to navigate, even more so at a young age, but I wouldn’t be this influential leader without those moments.

I see myself in a whole different light than ever before, and it’s because of those moments that I am who I am today.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women leaders that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

Honestly, I would have answered this question very differently years ago than now. That is because my reality is different now based on what I have healed. These challenges aren’t meant to harm us but get us where we all deserve to be.

Let’s now shift our discussion to a slightly different direction. This is a question that nearly everyone with a job has to contend with. Was it difficult to fit your personal and family life into your business and career? For the benefit of our readers, can you articulate precisely what the struggle was?

Balance is what I do for a living in my healing work. I am always looking into my life’s energy to see what areas need more attention. I was not always this way, though. I remember when I started Spray Valet, and it was only me. I would spray from 8am-11pm, show up at my partner’s home to eat, and the phone would ring. I was open 24/7, so work never stopped, literally. I don’t suggest this type of lifestyle. I don’t believe to be an entrepreneur or have a successful business, you need to be working all the time. I actually think the opposite. Have a mind of a millionaire. Millionaires take a vacation all the time! If you are balanced in all areas, they feed each other. All our energy is connected. In my healing work, I broke it down to 8 areas that always need to be balanced. So now I strive to make sure they are being fed equally. If work needs more attention, I find the right people to fill the roles. I also know my limit now. I know how much work a week I can handle that keeps me feeling good.

What was a tipping point that helped you achieve a greater balance or greater equilibrium between your work life and personal life? What did you do to reach this equilibrium?

My tipping point was when what I loved doing became work. I didn’t notice it happening, but it did. I started hating what I was doing, like pulling teeth. I had to rethink how I approached work. I loved what I did, so of course, I threw myself into it. It gave me purpose, so I just wanted to keep feeding it. Still, if I wanted to continue loving it and be at my best to pull in the best ideas and make the most significant impact, I knew I had to look at how many hours a week would be the perfect schedule to help me thrive. Like everything in my life, I intuitively asked a few questions to find the ideal work hours for my body and energy. I now spend a lot more time horseback riding and surfing! I also now know my purpose doesn’t solely have to do with my career.

I work in the beauty tech industry, so I am very interested to hear your philosophy or perspective about beauty. In your role as a powerful woman and leader, how much of an emphasis do you place on your appearance? Do you see beauty as something that is superficial, or is it something that has inherent value for a leader in a public context? Can you explain what you mean?

I don’t think there is anything superficial about expressing yourself through beauty. We have been playing with beauty products from the beginning of time. Then was clay on the face, and now it’s lipstick. I think the issue can come when we use it to validate ourselves instead of an expression of ourselves. When I was younger, I used my outside to validate everything. I spent a lot of work connecting with my true self, so now anything I do externally is just a visual or how I feel inside myself. As a leader, it’s essential to connect with our true selves and express that in many ways, including our appearance. But there isn’t one way to look. It should be authentically you.

How is this similar or different for men?

From the beginnings of time, men have been built to be more stimulated visually and women to be more stimulated emotionally. During caveman times, this was for survival instincts. Fast forward to now, those DNA instincts are still there, but that can put a lot of pressure on women to feel they need to look a certain way when men don’t feel that pressure. The thing to remember is that if we connect to our true selves, the self-expression of beauty will feel amazing and not pressured.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your opinion and experience, what are the “Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Powerful Woman?” (Please share a story or example for each.)

My five things would be; think outside the box, have a knowing you are the only one that can do what you do, take risks, trust yourself over anyone, have a knowing there is a solution and answer to everything.

Spray Valet started because I was thinking outside the box. I took something that already existed and asked how I could improve this. How can I evolve this? Mobile came to me, and it was very outside of the box at that time. Thinking outside the box allows you to be the first.

Knowing that I am the only one who can do what I do, came to me once I started doing healing work. I had this knowing when I started Spray Valet, but I wasn’t conscious of it until later. We all have a soul purpose, and we are the only ones who can do that thing. Everything I am doing in my career is highly tied to my soul want. I know only my DNA can do what I am doing. It’s a game-changer when you sink into this knowing. Your brilliant ideas come to life, you feel unstoppable, and your business flourishes.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without taking significant risks, physically and emotionally. I spoke about this on an episode of my podcast. I’ve put myself in uncomfortable situations to move the needle and get myself to the next best chapter of my life many times.

No one has told me how to approach my life. I have always cross-checked everything said to me with myself and my intuition. That way, I know the information aligns with me. If you were placed in an intense high situation and needed to choose right away, you would have to trust yourself over anything. I take the way of living into everything I do. No one knows what is best for you but you.

“There is a solution and an answer for everything” is one of my most significant belief systems ever. I have spent my whole life asking “why”. I have uncovered everything to understand how this world works. There isn’t one part of this world I don’t understand. This is what my podcast is about. There is a reason and a solution for everything, and once you find it, everything opens. If I find myself stuck I just find the solution and answer. Having this belief system makes you unstoppable. Nothing can get in your way because there is a solution and an answer for everything.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Very random, but Martin Short. I have been obsessed with his skills since a very young age. His comedy genius lights me up. I just love how his whole body expresses things. I think I connect to that because my entire body comes to life all the time because I read energy with it.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Ming S. Zhao

Ming S. Zhao

Co-founder and CEO of PROVEN Skincare. Ming is an entrepreneur, business strategist, investor and podcast host.