Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in leadership development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marisa Matz, Founder and Owner of Matz Learning Solutions, LLC., located in Carlsbad, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am the proud owner of two successful businesses, the first being Matz Learning Solutions, a global HR, coaching, and organizational development company. My second business is HermanasRising which was born during the pandemic when I noticed a large discrepancy in the workforce, particularly in management for women of color. HermanasRising aims to close that gap with a specific leadership development program for women of color.

Our customers for Matz Learning Solutions range from large corporations seeking to develop their leadership team to small to mid-range businesses in need of training and learning solutions. Our goal is to help leaders overcome challenges and develop ongoing strategies for success.

Our customers for HermanasRising are high achieving, mid-career level women of color who lead a team of 2-15 members and have high potential for growth. Our goal is to eliminate bias in leadership development training opportunities and content.

Tell us about yourself

I have been described as a visionary leadership development educator & consultant. I have dedicated my 20-year career to working with new to mid-level leaders, helping them discover and define the fundamental leadership practices required in the 21st Century.

Raised in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley, I was born to a father who emigrated from the Philippines and a mother raised in the Mexico-U.S. border region of Texas. They instilled a strong sense of determination, perseverance, and leadership. This led to my passion for serving women of all diverse backgrounds and life experiences to exemplify their leadership capabilities by building communities where all are seen and heard.

I learned early on that I was born to teach. After college, I had the opportunity to teach English for a year in Osaka, Japan, which further instilled my love for teaching others. Upon returning to the states, I launched my corporate learning and development career. After a one-year sabbatical of traveling the world with my husband and earning my Yoga Certification at the Nosara Yoga Institute (NYI) in Costa Rica, I decided to form my own company, Matz Learning Solutions in 2014 and HermanasRising in 2020.

My daily motivation comes from my strong belief in the power of healthy mind-body practices through yoga. My desire to help women succeed and finally, by two children who teach me daily and motivate me to be my best self for them!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I would say my biggest accomplishment as a business owner was making the leap from the corporate world to entrepreneurship back in 2013. Trusting myself and my ability to make this transition was a challenge. I would also say starting HermanasRising and initially reaching 50+ women with my message discussing the tension between their career aspirations and life priorities. Essentially, providing time to pause and provide guidance to affirm and validate these feelings that we have personally lived through ourselves!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The hardest part of being a business owner is having to switch hats frequently. Not only am I the visionary for my two businesses, but I also have to oversee, create, problem solve, and manage many activities. There are many things that help to keep me organized and on top of things, but my team helps to keep the wheels in motion.

I am naturally energetic and enjoy engaging people from all walks of life. Having to wear so many hats makes the work I do every day extremely rewarding, although it can be exhausting at times. I rely heavily on yoga, my kids, and getting outside to help keep my mind clear and keep the ideas flowing!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Never stop learning. Be a lifelong learner.
  2. If you are naturally a talker, learn to listen. If you are a natural listener, learn to speak up. Both of these skills are vital to being a business owner and leader.
  3. Never burn a bridge. Sometimes people that you meet can come back into your career life and could play an important role in getting you where you want to be.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

My message has always been learning and being a lifelong learner. Without education, we no longer grow as individuals. We not only learn in our jobs and careers but also in our lives and our relationship with others.

A key message for current leaders that I always drive home is to get to know your team and not just through one-on-one business discussions. Really get to know who they are and what makes them tick. I believe if you do this, you’ll find you have a happy team who would be more than willing to work hard on behalf of their manager. Great managers breed great teams!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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