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Aug. 31, 2022

Andrea Mastrobattista- Living Your Life to the Fullest

Andrea Mastrobattista- Living Your Life to the Fullest

Are you a female entrepreneur who spends more time acknowledging the things you can do or what you can't do? Every single entrepreneur, at some point, will have life hand them challenges. How we perceive these challenges can be a form of self-care.

The truth is that most entrepreneurs have the innate ability to develop resilience, thrive through adversity and live their life to the fullest. And that's why I've invited Andrea Andrea Mastrobattista to address these key questions:

Can a physical challenge keep you from living life to the fullest?

How do you stop listening to those you "think" know better than you?

How can being downsized from Corporate America help you?

How can list writing help you change from what you can't do to what you can do?

Is multi-tasking a myth or positive power?

Are you a female entrepreneur who spends more time acknowledging the things you can do or what you can't do? Every single entrepreneur, at some point, will have life hand them challenges. How we perceive these challenges can be a form of self-care. 


The truth is that most entrepreneurs have the innate ability to develop resilience, thrive through adversity and live their life to the fullest. And that's why I've invited Andrea Andrea Mastrobattista to address these key questions:


Can a physical challenge keep you from living life to the fullest? 


How do you stop listening to those you "think" know better than you?


How can being downsized from Corporate America help you?


How can list writing help you change from what you can't do to what you can do? 


Is multi-tasking a myth or positive power? 

Andrea Mastrobattista’s Listener Offer: Your True You Digital Vision Board Course


Link: https://www.workvisionconsulting.com/course-cultivating-equitable-compensation

Connect with Wendy Manganaro:  


Andrea Battista

[00:00:00] Wendy Manganaro: Hi everyone. My name's Wendy Manganaro and I am the Host of the Wellness and Wealth podcast. I'm so happy to have you find us. And if you could take a moment and hit that subscribe button, I'd really appreciate it. This is the podcast where we believe when you show up better for yourself as a woman business owner, you show up better for your business. 

So sit back, relax. And learn from the practical to the woo-woo, how to best take care of you. 

[00:00:31] Wendy: Today we have a great guest joining us as usual. Her name is Andrea Mastrobattista. We were just discussing how I had a Mr. Battista for social studies. He was one of my favorite teachers in junior high.

So I'm gonna read her bio and then we're gonna get right into this because today is about living your life to your fullest. And, I think that's part of the reason why entrepreneurs love to do what they do and they get into it a lot of times is because they wanna have a life that's a little different than the regular nine to five.

And I think this is a great topic to bring to you. So, Andrea is a celebrated inspirational speaker and workshop facilitator who helps you recognize, embrace and embody your innate ability to live your most fulfilling life, no matter what challenges you face growing up with spine bifida and currently running her empire from.

The bed as she heals a pressure wound, Andrea has developed a lifestyle based on determination and adaptability that allows her to reach her goals despite or perhaps because of the challenges she faces. Andrea's messages of resilience and self empowerment, help clients step boldly into the lives they were born to live.

And I love that for so many reasons. So we're going to welcome first of all, Andrea, thank you so much for being here with us today. 

[00:01:46] Andrea: Thank you for having me, Wendy. 

[00:01:48] Wendy: Yeah, Andrea and I met through, a mutual person that we network with and I'm so excited because we found out we're both Jersey girls.

I wanna take a moment and talk about how this started for you, because usually a lot of times, anybody who gets a life changing diagnosis, it can go both ways. It can go that you really try to step into that and live life to the fullest or.

You can go right into some negativity and find it really hard to get out of that. Where it kind of self-perpetuates. So what brought you to the point that you were like, Nope, I'd rather live life to the fullest than stay in negativity and watch life go by. 

[00:02:28] Andrea: Well, here's the thing. It wasn't a moment from this most recent diagnosis and here's why I was born with spin bifida.

So I've cultivated a lifestyle of adapting to make my goals happen. If there was something that I couldn't do in the conventional way, I figured out how to do it in my own way. So, having 50 years of living that lifestyle before this pressure wound diagnosis happened in 2017, it was a natural progression.

Yes. It was a shock. It was something I wasn't expecting, but there was no moment of. Oh, I'm gonna lay down and just let life happen to me. I had to pull myself up by my bootstraps and figure out my current situation. Now I'm on bedrest. How do I live my life to the fullest going forward? So there was no moment.

It was innate if you will. Cuz I was born with predisposed to it 

[00:03:30] Wendy: That's really interesting because, I was born with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and I had to grow into good thinking.

Which is a very interesting thing because I think everybody starts to have their own journey.

So I think that's, there's a mindset that goes with that. I'm curious to hear from you how you deal with when other people say to you aren't you worried about this?

Or how do you handle other people's negativity to live your life to the fullest? Because I think what most people is that we start to listen to everybody out there and not ourselves. 

[00:04:06] Andrea: Yeah. It's interesting because I've been in terms of my disability, I've always been able to is ward that off if you will. 

It was a lot harder to cultivate when it came to my career. I'm really honest about that because for years I followed everybody else's advice in terms of my career. It wasn't until I was at age of 37, that I started on this path of my current company, Operation Inspiration.

I was in corporate America for the better part of 16 years. And the best lesson I learned from it is it's not for me. I learned a lot of lessons of resilience in getting through it and I'm actually still trying to piece through what got me, through, 16 years of, I will say essentially hell, for me, cuz just corporate America if you allow it can kill your soul. This is my experience I should preface that by saying for thosethat are having a good experience I so appreciate that. I can only relate my experience was just not for me. So it was a matter of knowing that there was always something better out there for me, but 

it took me a lot longer to cultivate those skills of breaking free of trying to do what everybody else thought I should do in terms of my career and listening to my own inner voice of what I wanted to do and what I meant to do with my life, which actually had to do with my having a disability in the first place.

I've never thought of having spin bifido or anything physically that's happened to me as anything other than a gift of some sort, because if I didn't have spider benefit, I probably wouldn't be an inspirational speaker. So I was literally born into this destiny. I just got career wise way laid into various areas based.

Oh, Andrea, that would be good for you. And because I thought mom and dad are the authority figures or my teacher had more experience or a boss had more experience. I listened to them rather than listening to myself. So that was a skill I did need to cultivate, but what helped me do it was that inner knowing that I was born with that.

I had the ability to create the life that I was meant to live no matter. 

[00:06:24] Wendy: I love that. And I love the fact that you had a 16 year journey to get there. So, a lot of people go through Corporate America and at some point in time, they go, this isn't for us. And I don't know if the pandemic helped or hindered those.

[00:06:39] Andrea: I think it helped a lot of people 

[00:06:41] Wendy: Suddenly they were like, oh, this isn't as secure as I thought it was.

So for those who still hang onto this thought of should I leave or not leave because they're still trying to find security within what was conventionally known? I would say for lack of a better word. Did you jump out, or did you start something on the side? 

[00:07:02] Andrea: Here's exactly what happened.

And I'll try to do the reader's digest version. My first 10 or so years of my career, I was with AT&T and then Bell Atlantic mobile, which eventually became Verizon wireless. I rose up the ranks from, telemarketing to customer service. And when I was in customer service, I used my skills as a writer to create a company newsletter and I was a communications major.

So that got me noticed by the IT department to have a communications position internal within, what was Bell Atlantic at the time and three months into that job. My boss came to me and said, Andrea, how would you like to teach yourself web design quote, unquote, and then build us an intranet site, which is intercompany and being the rah-rah team player that I was at the time, little miss corporate, please, everybody.

I said, sure. And I actually did it to their credit. They did give me a one week course and a Microsoft product that no longer exists. But at the time I fell in love with web design. And around 2000 while I was still at Verizon, I started my own web design company on the side. A year later in 2001, the merger went for bell and to Verizon, I saw.

The writing on the wall of, my department maybe going out to the west coast and I'm an east coast gal. So I said, I'm going to resign and I'm going to get my web design degree, which is what I did. Coincidentally, my last day at Verizon was September 7th. 2001, and we all know what happened four days later.

So there was a lot of fear around that of, oh my gosh. And not to downplay at all in any way the deaths that happened, but there was a lot of financial insecurity for people of like, oh my gosh, what did I do? I quit my job did. But I went ahead. I got my web design degree and I freelanced for about a year and half..

I wasn't getting too much in, so I had to go back into Corporate America for another year and a half. I was then downsized from the pharmaceutical industry on December 15th, 2004. Best thing that could have ever happened to me, because I knew at that point that I did not want to go back into Corporate America.

Adventis which was the pharma company gave us three months free with a career counselor. So I started to go on corporate job interviews. The first interview I got, I wheeled myself into the double doors of the building and immediately felt sick to my stomach.

Visited the restroom, got sick to my stomach, went through with the interview, got the job. They gave me a financial offer and I counter offered. They met my counter offer and I still didn't accept it. I said, it's not for me. So went back to my career counselor and he asked me that interview question? Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years? And Wendy, I'm telling you, and I know this is a long story, but I apologize. I'm almost done. When he asked me that question, I flashed back to every single time that I was asked that throughout my career.

My answer, depending on where I was with my career was always a little bit different. The sentence that was consistently there was I wanna inspire people. So he said, let's figure out how to do that. You're a communications professional. You're comfortable in front of an audience. Why don't you give what he called at the time

keynote speeches about your life in a wheelchair. To which I said been there, done that. Everybody in my situation is pretty much doing it. And he goes, wait a minute. This could be your entree in. So I did start doing it. And it evolved into this company called operation inspiration wherein my credo became the company credo, no matter what challenges you face, you have what it takes to create and live your most fulfilling life.

So that was a roundabout way of probably answering your question. But I knew when I was downsized from corporate America, that I would never at least full time go back. And I haven't. It's will be 18 years this year. Yep.

[00:11:03] Wendy: I just wanna go back to something you said, cause I think this is so important.

You said, I was downsized and it was the best thing that could have happened, because it opened the opportunity to something greater. I wanna stick with that for a second, because I think that there is a lot of times in life where we look at the present circumstance, the reality, and panic. Like, what am I gonna do? Not realizing that really, that could be the best catalyst. 

[00:11:34] Andrea: Yeah. I didn't see it as a negative. I saw it as an opportunity. And that's the difference. I was literally be being given an open door out of corporate America.

And I've actually never said it like that in all the times I've spoken about this. I was literally given an open door out of the life that I didn't want into the life that I did. And I took that gift and, I'm laughingly saying, because I'm in a wheelchair.

I was gonna say, I ran with it and I did. The metaphor is not lost on me. 

[00:12:05] Wendy: I think that's amazing. Cuz I think that there is sometimes an onus when people feel stuck, that it's their circumstances that make them stuck, not their ideology behind the circumstance. Because there is a difference between an opportunity and, oh my gosh,

can you believe this happened? 

[00:12:25] Andrea: It is your ideology in a way, because it's how you frame it. The circumstance was, I got downsized. Now ideologically, I can go, oh, this stinks. I may have some severance pay, but I'm gonna have no income coming in soon.

Is that a negative or is it an opportunity for something better? So to me that is ideology. 

[00:12:44] Wendy: Right? But I think that there's a mindset behind that because not everybody knows how to make that jump from an ideal of this

isn't the worst thing in the world to this is an opportunity. I think that's something has to be practiced in sense of how we think about something really can help our attitude of something. It can really change and form a better situation in everything that we could perceive as negative.

So, my question is what's the difference between those who stay in their problems and those who can change their mindset?

[00:13:21] Andrea: Yes. And it's something that I tell people all the time, it's really at the core of how. I look at it. It's about focusing on what you can do rather than on what you can't. So, I'm gonna use my current situation as an example, August 20, 28, 2017. , prior to that, I had been, running both of my companies cause I also used to have a web design company. 

I was out and about my community driving my van. I have a wheelchair accessible van. And then I was diagnosed with this stage four pressure ulcer, immediate bedrest. You cannot sit in your wheelchair. 24/7 bedrest. You obviously cannot drive. So it is a whole bunch of can'ts. Okay. That's what I can't do.

What can I do? I can still operate a computer from bed clearly, cuz we're doing this interview. I've got a brain in my head. I can still write my ideas down. I can still communicate with people over the computer. I run my business out of my home anyway. People can still come here. Clients can still come here. I filled my brain with all of the cans, rather than the can'ts. If I had focused on the can'ts, I would've gone absolutely crazy. Yeah. So it's about focusing on what you can do. And that gets me out of the negative place I will be, and I will be honest with everybody.

Am I perfect at a hundred percent of the time? Heck no, because I'm human. There have been many setbacks in this journey and every time I get hit with a setback, the can'ts come creeping into the mind, but I've got the tools to turn those can'ts into cans. 

[00:15:11] Wendy: I love that. And you know what I was just thinking, as you were talking, so this happened to you in 2017 and, as we know that we, the world shut down for two years. 

[00:15:20] Andrea: I had a head start on the rest of the world.

[00:15:23] Wendy: And that's what I was thinking. I was like, when that happened, you probably had a totally different mindset of this is what my life is already. So it's not as scary as those who were not prepared. I mean I don't know if any of us would've ever been fully prepared to be shut down at any point in our life. 

[00:15:40] Andrea: And I'll share another story that happened to me when the pandemic hit. I was getting up and about in my wheelchair and was ready to get back out into the world again.

And the pandemic hit. At the time I mentioned I was running two companies, I had my web and print design company and I was doing Operation Inspiration. I was doing my inspirational speaking and workshops and such, my main bread and butter at the time was my web design. And I was working on getting more speaking gigs and workshops because that was my eventual goal.

Now here's another gift prior to the pandemic, I had a number of website clients who were on retainer, meaning I had a steady monthly income coming in. Within the first week of New Jersey shutting down, cuz we are Jersey girls represent, all of those retainer client clients suspended their contracts.

They freaked out saying Andrea, we can't, things are gonna get rough. We have to cut down in certain areas. And the first thing they cut down is is marketing and communications. Whatever, that's another podcast. Okay. So rather than freaking out, cause I could have, I went from literally steady income to zero steady income.

I said, how can I frame this? This is not a negative. I've been wanting to take my inspirational business full time. People are gonna need inspiration. So I went full bore into educating myself about how to do virtual speaking gigs, which I have done in the past few years, how to build, digital courses, which we'll talk about at the end.

I literally threw myself into that. So, has it been an easy road? Heck no. It's been a really tough pandemic time and it's still a challenge, although it's getting easier. It's getting better, but that it was again, an opportunity I stopped looking at, I lost, oh, I can't do web design and nobody's gonna wanna hire me because everything dried up here, what can I do?

I can inspire people. That sentence came creeping back in, in the best of ways I wanna inspire people. I can inspire people. And that was my open door to doing this full-time.

[00:17:49] Wendy: That's fantastic. 

And so part of my. Thing of going through COVID too, is what I didn't wanna do anymore.

And actually what's really crazy is that I built up this great big agency during the time we were in lockdown I was able to like really hundred percent focus on that and not much else cuz not in a bad way, but I had a lot of more time. Prior to the pandemic my husband and I were running a nonprofit When the pandemic had it, we couldn't go out anymore to go serve those we were serving. And so I had all this time to put into my business for a full year and it was great. And then, I was like, I've reached a goal and, it's not what I had envisioned from the start. And actually I went back to what I started to do when I first started my company, which I love.

So it's interesting, sometimes life puts you into these situations and it gives you the opportunity to really sift through. And find out what's really important to you. 

[00:18:40] Andrea: Yep. And a hundred percent, not only did the pandemic do it, this pressure wound situation did it.

The gift of the, of all of that adversity is that it really brings home. What is truly important to you? I was rolling along in my business, running the two businesses, actually dealing with some fear of the web designs, my bread and butter. How am I gonna make this transition into doing its operation inspiration full time?

I wanna do this. Well, the universe just gave me a way to do it. Just not in the way I was expecting. I jokingly tell people be careful what you wish for, but also be ready for it. Cause you may sometimes get it in the way you want, but boy does that rarely happen?

[00:19:18] Wendy: I had a coach who used to tell me the, how is none of my business. You put it out there. All of the rest of it is none of your business. It will happen.

Not because you don't do certain things toward it. And some of it is what you were talking about is going from, I can't, this is the most terrible thing, all of this negative stuff to, okay, let me look at what I can do. 

[00:19:37] Andrea: And here's the amazing thing about focusing on, on what you can do if you just think of one thing. Okay. So got on bedrest. All the can'ts were there. Can't get out of bed, can't drive the car.

Can't get to, can't get to appointments cuz I can't drive the car. What can I do? I can use my computer. I can use the phone. People can come over. So, starting with one thing that I could do a whole list of things that I can do came up. I sent this an email to my audience the other day just think of one. Literally one thing, and then you'll be amazed at what happens. Just think of one thing and the rest will follow. Focus on the can dos. 

[00:20:18] Wendy: So our audience is mainly entrepreneurs and actually because you've done websites so you understand that when we're in business, we say, I have to build that website or I have to get

new marketing plan. I have to launch something. And we look at the such a big picture of it. It becomes overwhelming. 

[00:20:36] Andrea: Yeah. And it has to all be perfect before I can even sell it or talk to people about it. 

[00:20:41] Wendy: That's a show topic in itself, the perfection of it.

But for you, when you start to look at the I cans, how do you break that down so that it's not overwhelming? Because you understand website, I hear this all the time. I need to build a website.

And they put build website and then they're like, well, I spent six hours. I don't know where my six hours went because you don't build the website necessarily in a day. It's all a process. 

And any task that we have is a process. So for you, what's a practical process that somebody can start to shift this. I can't to I can?

[00:21:17] Andrea: It's exactly what I, what I said in the last question.

I'll be honest with you. I started to have a thought of what I told my audience the other day, and it switched what I said in my email to my audience the other day was if thereis a breath in your body and a thought in your head there is at least one thing that you can do start with that one thing you don't have to make a whole list.

Although I, like I said, I'll tell you when you start with that one, you're gonna think of others, but just start with one thing that you can do. Start with one thing and do that thing. Multitasking is a misnomer, trying to concentrate on all of that one at once.

So do that one thing. And then do the next thing, but concentrate on one thing. Just one thing. 

[00:22:03] Wendy: It brings me to that quote. A journey of a thousand miles 

[00:22:07] Andrea: started with just one step. 

[00:22:09] Wendy: I think that's so apropo and I think, that when we can do that, it helps us refocus what we're doing but I think for women, it's sometimes very hard because we're taught that we multitask well. 

[00:22:21] Andrea: We are the queen of the kids have to be taken care of and here's the job and here's volunteering at the church or synagogue or whatever, and we're that endless hamster wheel.

You get a lot more done when you concentrate on one thing at a time and you do it better. 

[00:22:35] Wendy: Right. Well, this has been so much fun, so I know that you have an offer for us. So I can't wait to hear what that is. 

[00:22:41] Andrea: Here's the interesting thing that happens when you start focusing on, creating digital courses, you actually create one.

And, I'm a vision boarder. I've been doing vision boards for years and years and probably starting in the early two thousands. And it was the typical poster board in scissors and glue and mess. I was just hunting around, on my computer and by accident, I found an app that whether you have a Mac or PC, everybody has access to, and almost nobody knows about it.

I did my research. I created an entire course about how to create a digital vision board. So it's a free app that is on your computer. and I teach you how to use it. So it's literally called your true U digital vision board course. Wendy, I think share the link with you. It's right on my website, operation inspiration.world, but there is a direct link.

There's actually two options. You can take the self-paced course, which is pre-recording of all the modules or you and a group of your friends and or colleagues can book a party with me and I can do a workshop slash party for you live and in person. So I've got two options for whatever you would like. 

[00:23:49] Wendy: I am a big believer in vision boards because I know every year, I create them and then I look at them throughout the year and I'm always surprised cause I'm like, oh, that's right. That did happen. So I think they're really super important and I can see how things on there. And I am gonna end with this sometimes it doesn't always happen in the timeframe you think. 

[00:24:10] Andrea: It doesn't happen in the timeframe that you want.

But it does happen in the timeframe. That's right for you. 

[00:24:16] Wendy: Exactly. Thank you so much, Andrea, for being with us today. I think our audience got a lot out of this conversation. 

[00:24:23] Andrea: This was a great opportunity. Thank you, Wendy. Given the opportunity to talk about all things inspirational that's amazing. 

[00:24:31] Wendy: Thank you so much. Have a great afternoon, everybody. 

[00:24:34] Andrea: Take care. 

Andrea MastrobattistaProfile Photo

Andrea Mastrobattista


Andrea Mastrobattista is a celebrated inspirational speaker and workshop facilitator who helps you recognize, embrace and embody your innate ability to live your most fulfilling life, no matter what challenges you face. Growing up with spina bifida and currently running her empire from bed as she heals a pressure wound, Andrea has developed a lifestyle based on determination and adaptability that allows her to reach her goals despite, or perhaps because of, the challenges she faces. Andrea's messages of resilience and self-empowerment help clients step boldly into the lives they were born to live.