Introduce yourself! Who are you? My name is Manuela Rocker, I am 52 years old and live on the Northern Beaches of Sydney (Australia) with my husband Carl and our 11 year old son Jett. I have been in Australia for 22 years now but I grew up in Lugano, a beautiful town by the lake in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland.
Who would you say is your #1 inspiration? I don’t have one person in particular, but in whatever I am interested in I find a particular person I draw inspiration from. For example, in the entrepreneurial world I love Sir Richard Branson for his innovations and diversifications within his own brand. In the self development world, I love Tony Robbins and his approach to grow ourselves. In the sports arena, I love Roger Federer (tennis player) and I know this may sound bias as he is from Switzerland but even though I started following him for that reason, there is much more behind it. He is a role model on the tennis court as well as off the tennis court. He is down to earth and a great inspiration for my son who is passionate about tennis.
What is one thing no one really knows about you? This is a little funny… I’m pretty scared of heights, which is curious as I used to be a flight attendant many years ago.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? If you really don’t like the 9-5, Monday to Friday go out there and do something else! You don’t need to please your family and you won’t disappoint them if you are committed to whatever it is you want to do.
What would you say to 16 year old you? Stop doing what your friends are doing just to fit in and being accepted. Smoking?? seriously, what was I thinking!… luckily it didn’t last very long! I’m making a bit of a joke here but the message is important. As a teenager you tend to do things that you might not want to, simply to fit in. Encouraging young people to be who they are and not force themselves to do things they don’t want to just to fit in the mould is crucial. I would also say “ask for help if you need to!”.
What’s your dream job? I feel very fortunate that I am in my dream job. I do a few different things which makes my days pretty exciting. I help people reaching their health goals, I have an online jewellery store, my business partner Megan and I have also invented The Change Mate which is a portable change room. (after all my travels I was bound to come up with something smart to help people getting changed anywhere with no fuss) and I also am involved in Bitcoin. I love having different activities and they all have one common thing: I can work on them from wherever I am as long as I have internet connection (my smartphone). Having a son has changed my way of thinking and work decisions quite a bit. I wanted to make sure I could spend as much time with him as possible, I wanted to be able to drop him off at school, pick him up and take him to his activities as well as enjoying quality times with him and my husband.
Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel? Yes, I remember the words very clearly: “If you think you can make a living doing that I think you’ll have a harsh wake-up call.” At the time it made me feel angry but then I realized that this person said this because they were scared for me. I thank him every day for saying that to me by the way as I felt very strongly to prove him wrong. Sometimes friends are scared of what they don’t know and of changes. We need to forgive them and help them to understand.
What message do you think every woman should hear? I can think of 2 very different scenarios a woman can find herself in, especially when starting out in an entrepreneurial journey. 1) a circle of friends where the tall poppy syndrome is present like a pest that you can’t get rid of, or 2) a circle of friends where women lift each other up and celebrate each other. Unfortunately very often women are stuck in the first scenario and it takes them while to even realise that. I would look around me and think of who is really supporting me and who is trying to hold me back. Sometimes you need to kiss and realease some friendships that serve you no purpose and are in fact toxic.
What is your favorite thing about where you live? I love the beach and the ocean. It’s a bit funny as I don’t really go in the water that often but the sound of the waves is so calming. The fact that there are 8 permanent beach volleyball courts 500 metres from our place is an added bonus. This is where I met my husband many years ago!
What do you love most about yourself? My never give up attitude. If I put my mind to something I will pursue it til I manage to achieve it. I’m not saying that everything I put my mind to was a success, far from it! But, my perseverance and my positive attitude have certainly paid off and I also learned a few lessons along the way!
Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity? Yes, in 2008 when the GFC hit us like a ton of bricks we were devastated. We lost so much in such a short period of time and it took all of our strength not to curl into a fetal position and stay there forever. We regrouped pretty quickly and did whatever we could to avoid going under. It was a very hard time but also a big eye opener in terms of how to do business.
Do you have a favorite photo of yourself? Yes I do. It’s photo of us 3 sitting at the beach. Jett was only 2 at the time. I do have one of just myself too, it was taken by Jett just before I headed out for a girl’s lunch.
What motivates you most? My family; I do what I do because I love spending time with my family. Time freedom is at the top of my list so I’m working towards an income that will allow us to spend much more time together.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Considering that I was told that I couldn’t have children I have no doubt that becoming a mother is my biggest achievement!
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward? I plan for my day the night before so once I get up in the morning I have my plan. I usually start by spending time with Jett during breakfast and playing games. Laughter is life to me. Once he is gone to school I will listen to a motivational or self development podcast. My days are pretty flexible but I have key things that I do every day which help me to grow my business.
What is one thing people would be surprised to hear about you? That I am studying to become a Nutritional Therapist
If you weren’t blogging, what would you be doing? I don’t do much blogging at present, I am concentrating a little more on social media and only blog a little about the specific topic of attraction marketing.
What is something on your bucket list? To go on the Glacier Express with my family. It’s scenic train with a glass roof that travels through the alps from St.Moritz to Zermatt in Switzerland.
What are your biggest passions? Tennis, skiing, Beach volleyball, traveling and hiking in the mountains
What was your most recent trip? This year I haven’t traveled much, just to Brisbane and Melbourne. Last year we went to Hawaii as a family which we loved and then I went to Arizona on a work incentive trip which was great.
How often do you travel in a year? Usually 2-3 times. It really depends on how I’m doing with my businesses.
What is your favorite destination? Why? As a family we love to travel through Asia. We love the simplicity, affordability and the fact that it is not too far away from Australia. We traveled to Thailand when our son was just 9 months old and have been to other Asian countries regularly. We love the food!
How do you prepare for a trip? We try to travel light. We’re getting better and better at packing efficiently…but when Jett was just a baby we had so much with us! It was so over the top at times!
Do you have a favorite picture made during one of your travels? There are so many but I love one where Jett is devouring a corn cob! It’s just funny. I took 2 in a row and on one he is happy and the next one he looks cranky!
What is your best travel tip? Invest in a good quality adaptor!!…remember to pack the trusted Swiss Army Knife in the checked bags and don’t store all of your passport in the same place. If you have 3 passports with you, find 3 places to store them (different story if there is a good safe in your room of course)
What is your next destination? We were just discussing it over lunch today: Japan for a winter skiing holiday
Why did you start traveling? I caught the travel bug when I was in my early teens. I loved going on holidays and was always planning my new adventure. I became a flight attendant mainly because I wanted to travel. I loved every minute of that job and met so many cool people. I have always been a U2 fan so imagine my face when we had the entire band on board on a flight from Dublin to Zurich! I used to go away for a few days here and there on staff travel discounted tickets which was always adventurous. My good friend Milena and myself well and truly took advantage of staff travel!! Think of weekend shopping trips to New York, 5 days gateway to Mauritius… oh the memories!
What is a traveling hack not generally known by people? We make 3 piles of mixed clothes (some of mine, some of Jett’s and some of Carl’s) so that if one suitcase goes missing everyone still has something. We roll our clothes instead of folding which takes up less space. Extra hack: If we travel to Asia we always have clothes to donate so we use the plastic bags you can suck the air out with the vacuum cleaner so that everything fits beautifully. When Jett was 9 month old we used our hard case suitcase as his bed. It worked beautifully!
What’s your travel style? As comfortable as possible. If we’re off on a holiday in active wear if I am on business then comfortable smart casual. A pair of black stretchy jeans, Vans and a nice t-shirt and a comfy sloppy joe go a long way!
Why do you love travel? I think it all started with my fascination with planes… can you tell by my son’s name?
Manuela Rocker is an experienced entrepreneur passionate about helping people reach their health and wealth goals. She is currently building up her newest business,Change Mates.