Named one of 21-ninety’s “dream-chasing girl bosses you need to follow,” Maura Chanz is a creative with a rare ability to connect with all audiences. Known for her unapologetic attitude and can-do spirit, women of all ages recognize Maura as a woman to watch and follow. She is an actress, multi-disciplinary artist, writer, entrepreneur and champion for several causes, most of them aimed toward equal rights and inspiring young women to live unapologetically and reach their full potential. A few years ago, I had the pleasure to chat with Maura in a past interview about how entrepreneurship can be a b**ch sometimes. Now as a creative director, I had the pleasure to catch up Maura as we discussed her recent Corolla campaign, balancing life and business, and the key to staying disciplined.
You recently were in a Corolla campaign which is huge! Tell us about that experience and what it took for you to land an awesome opportunity.
MW: “Many don’t know that I started my career in entertainment as a commercial actress. The process is fairly typical. You secure representation (agent and manager) and your agent’s job is to submit you for hiring opportunities (auditions). In the case of the Corolla spot, the director’s team came across me via IG and requested that the casting office reach out to me to garner my interest. Unlike any of my previous auditions, we had a FT conversation. About two weeks later, I was called in for an in-person callback. Within a few hours, I was put on avail (hold) and booked for the job the following morning.”
In your opinion, what’s the best way to juggle and balance your life when you’re running a business that requires a lot of hours and dedication from you?
MW: “In my opinion, the best way to juggle and balance your life when you’re running a business that requires a lot of hours and dedication is to learn and implement time management techniques. I am an avid user of a planner and blocking out windows of time for work, rest, socializing, etc is essential to my well being.”
What are the misconceptions about “entrepreneurship”?
MW: “I believe the misconceptions about entrepreneurship is that you don’t have to report to anyone or that your time is your own. As an entrepreneur, your “boss” is your client or your customer. I have found that entrepreneurship requires MORE time than a 9-5 especially when you’re starting out. You’re not just doing your “job,”. You’re also book-keeping, handling administrative duties, ensuring all the legalities are in place, etc.
Why do you think so many people dive in before they’re truly ready?
MW: “I don’t think you’re ever fully ready for anything and entrepreneurship is no different. I think much like myself, many people dive into entrepreneurship PREMATURELY, because they’re tired of answering to others or because they think they’d be a better leader than their own supervisor or they believe they have the solution to a problem.”
I love that you include fitness in your daily routine! How often do you work out and how do you stay disciplined?
MW: “I truly love fitness, but unfortunately, I have what’s called reoccurring patellar dislocation which in short means my kneecap regular dislocates. This makes it difficult to remain consistent with my fitness routine. When I’m in optimal health, I aim to workout 4-5/wk. I stay disciplined by having a team of accountability partners and paying a trainer.”
What would you tell yourself ten to twenty years ago that you wish you knew then?
MW: “You will never arrive.”
What are some essentials you practice that helps your business run more smoothly?
MW: “Write a daily to-do list, keep a tracker, enforce business hours with clients/customers.”
What does it take to be successful and profitable in your brand/business?
MW: “I believe it takes persistence and a commitment to excellence to be successful and profitable.”
Tell us 3 interesting facts about you a lot of people don’t know.
I am an expert gift-wrapper.
I moved out of my family home at 13 and lived with my then manager in a boarding home.
I was home-schooled for high school.
What’s the first thing you do every morning to start your day on the right foot?
MW: “I have a pretty set morning routine. I start every morning with 3 Devotional Apps: Start Your Day Right, Bible, and Our Daily Bread. Additionally, I use The 5 Min journal to list 3 things I’m grateful for, 3 things I can control to make my day great, and write a daily affirmation.”
Name your greatest success (or something you’re most proud of) in your business experiences.
MW: “I consider having 85% of my clientele be referrals or return clients my greatest success.”
About Maura Chanz
Maura began her career as a professional actress at the age of 13 appearing on Disney’s A.N.T. Farm and numerous national commercials. While taking a personal hiatus from acting, Maura earned a B.A. in Comparative Women’s Studies and Writing from Spelman College where she interned for BET Networks, Konlive Distribution, and True Story Agency to learn the in’s and out’s of the entertainment industry. Upon completion of her studies, Maura returned to the screen as a co-star on Bossip’s WEtv, providing commentary on all things popular culture and also served as an apprentice to writer, producer, and showrunner, Mara Brock Akil. Maura formerly served as the creative director and producer of former LA based lifestyle group TheBlakSheep TV founded by actor, Kofi Siriboe, which garnered over 9million plus channel views.
Today, Maura can be found in the city of Los Angeles creating for herself and others as a creative producer and consultant. She is the founder of TRIBE, a women’s empowerment organization dedicated to reigniting the spirit of tribal community amongst women of color.