THE BLOG
12/18/2014 10:38 am ET Updated Feb 17, 2015

Women in Business Q&A: Angela Vassallo, Founder of Second Wives HQ

Angela Vassallo is an established businesswoman & founder of Second Wives HQ who has been a second wife and stepmother within a harmonious blended family for over a decade. Having studied under personal development experts Wayne Dyer, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Jim Maxwell and Louise Hay, Angela has dedicated herself to sharing her knowledge and personal experiences in the hopes of helping as many second wives find their personal peace, and keep a sense of themselves.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
Growing up, I spent most of my life as an athlete, training and competing in the 400m and 800m Track and Field. I believe my years of sport have taught me discipline, goal setting, and delayed gratification.

I began attending personal development and success seminars, where I learnt from the likes of Wayne Dwyer, Louise Hayes, Zig Ziglar to name a few. My 20 years on a personal development Journey has been the driving force in my life to not only succeed but to help as many people as I can do the same. This has fueled my entrepreneurial spirit to make a difference with my life.

How has your previous employment experience aided your tenure at the helm of Second Wives HQ?
Looking back on all the the things I have done, I can see how they have lead me to where I am today. My Athletics gave me my discipline, my acting training set me up for my future as a keynote presenter, owning my own health and wellness business taught me how to be an entrepreneur, writing my book, showed me how to express myself and share my message, and becoming a stepmum and mum, taught me patience and acceptance. All of these combined have allowed me to give birth to Second Wives HQ.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Second Wives HQ?
The highlight has been having my book well received in the media. Being asked to come on numerous television shows to share my message and my brand, has been a real sense of accomplishment for me.

The challenges have been building the brand and the business, and keeping the ball rolling. When you are your own boss, and you are starting out, you have to hustle -everyday, always looking for opportunities to get yourself out there and spread your message.

What advice can you offer to women who want to start their own business?
Go For It!! I waited until I felt it was the right timing. Looking back I could have started earlier. Just do something everyday, work on your business idea. And it's very important to surround yourself with the right people. Meaning, you only need a couple of people to bounce ideas off, or ask for advice. Never be afraid to ask for help and advice, most people who are successful in business are only to happy to help, you just need to ask.

What is the most important lesson you've learned in your career to date?
To believe in myself. It's ok to feel nervous or out side of your comfort zone, but it's not ok to let that hold you back. Feel the fear and do it anyway, that is what I say to myself when I am scared or doubting what I am doing. Self talk is the key to your success, make sure it is positive. Tell yourself you can do it, especially when others say you can't!

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
With help! I have realized it's ok to ask for help, and accept it when it is offered. I focus on the things I need to do, and outsource what I don't want to do. Maintaining work/life balance is hard, and even trickier with a blended family, people coming and going, with different dynamics, all wanting your time and attention. Extreme self care is important when wearing many hats, I take time out during the week to get my hair done, or go and see a movie, once in a while on my own. Doing things that don't involve anyone else, has helped me to find a balance. When you give so much to other people or things you need to make sure you give back to yourself.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
I think the biggest issue for women in the workplace, is to have a career and succeed, we need to do it all. The husband will get ready for work in the morning, have a shower eat and then go. Generally the woman will have 50 other things that need to get done, before she even walks out that door. It's balancing all these things, to not only run the household and family, but to have a career too.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Mentors in my life have played a huge part in my professional and personal life. I have always had a coach or a mentor. I believe that no matter what you do in your life, if you want to succeed in it, you need a coach or a mentor. The key people that I have hand picked, or who have just appeared in my life, are definitely the reason I am where I am today. My husband has been one of my biggest mentors in business, and in my personal life, I am blessed to have him on this journey with me.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
Sheryl Sandberg - because she has given women permission to go to the top in your career and raise a young family at the same time. She goes home to her family at 5.30pm everyday, and she doesn't apologize for it. She asks women to "sit at the table" take risks, and lean in.
Oprah - She has always been a huge influence to me, she has made such an impact with her life, she has used her platform to make a difference, and lead the way for women everywhere.

What do you want Second Wives HQ to accomplish in the next year?
I want Second Wives HQ to be recognized as a place where second wives and stepparents can connect and know that they are not alone. I want to see my book The Second Wives' Guide change people's lives, keep marriages together, break down walls and have more happy harmony blended families. A decrease in the amount of children suffering by being caught in the crossfire of a bitter divorce. Second Wives HQ is on a mission to make a difference and spread the word, and ask people " do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?"