Taking The Leap! An Interview With Valerie Mya Of On The Go Glow

"My decisions didn’t come from business textbooks, they fully came from my gut. The feeling was freeing, I just knew when things felt right."

This coming from the woman who has found herself CEO of an incredibly successful spray tanning business making everyday women and men feel like their most confidant selves, as well as A-list celebrities like Courtney Cox, Kristen Bell or best friend and Agents of Shield star Elizabeth Henstridge, get red carpet ready.

I met with Valerie Mya over lunch on a beautiful sunny day in Los Angeles, where it seemed the flowers and breeze knew we were getting to know each other for the first time. The patio was filled with a beautiful energy that most certainly reflected the light inside both of us that couldn't be more excited to share our histories. At the time, Valerie and I had met in a class and she had casually mentioned what she did for work. Little did I know till we had our lunch that this pixie-sized beauty was a badass boss. When she went on to share with me more about how she got to where she did, without any hesitation my wisdom jumped out of me and asked for this interview because she is an inspiration through and through. If you have ever had ANY hesitation to take the leap into a career, whether starting your own business or shifting gears into a new industry or company, and the only thing that holds you back is the idea that you don't have all your ducks in a row or know-how, read on for proof that passion, purpose and gut instinct is all you need.

Valerie Mya/Dana Patrick photography

Valerie Mya/Dana Patrick photography

Jessie: Did you know while you were growing up that you wanted to run your own business one day? If not, what did you have dreams of doing?
Valerie: As a kid/young adult I was never great at school. I had more of the creative brain - I was into dancing and acting. But the way schooling was set up didn’t really fit me, I almost failed high school. So no, I didn’t think owning my own business was a possibility. That was until I realized I was smart, I just had another way of learning (LOVE that!) Having this business has definitely helped me see myself in another light, and made me realize there are all different kinds of “smart.”
J: What was the moment that it hit you to start this business? What was the first insight and where were you?
V: As I mentioned earlier, I was into the performing arts, so when I moved from New York City to LA I needed a part time job in between the acting struggles. I worked at a few tanning salons as the main spray tan technician. I realized people requested me all the time; I didn’t really know then, but I believe I had a “thing” for making people feel comfortable - I loved making people feel good about themselves. Being a very independent type of person (I moved to NYC at age 14 on my own), I knew working for myself would be ideal. The idea of bringing this service to people just came to me (<--- WISDOM!), and I knew LA people love convenience, so I started it casually on the side not knowing if it was going to take off.
J: What did it FEEL like when you had that first gut pull?
V: People always say it’s so impressive to start a company but in a way, it always felt easy. I didn’t over think things and I just went with my gut with every decision I made. Listening to my gut made it feel as easy as brushing your teeth. Don’t get me wrong, the manual labor was hard and I had a lot of very long days/nights but when it came to making decisions, at the beginning and through out, it always felt easy.

Side note! Because Valerie didn't have pressure-filled thinking around needing to make this venture successful, she stayed out of her own way and was much more peaceful in allowing the steps to unfold in front of her and tap into her wisdom. This is absolutely possible for YOU, it just takes the simple understanding that your thoughts are the only thing getting in your way and making you believe you can't be successful. Carry on...

J: What were the first steps you took?
V: Because I started this business as kind of a side hobby at first, I started very basic. I got equipment, an email account and started spreading the word through word of mouth. After getting some routine clients under my belt I signed up for Yelp, and because I was the only company open 24/7, we were the only spray tan company to come up during late night searches. Yes, we really are open 24/7, you can get a spray tan at 2 in the morning (and yes, it happens). That really is what helped make On The Go Glow different than others and get the name out.
V (cont'd): I put in the blood sweat and tears at the beginning. From designing the website, to managing the phone calls, to spraying etc, I did it all. Being open 24/7 there was no “we are closed,” so whenever a spray came in, I stopped what I was doing and I showed up - I did that for about 3-4 years. I remember spraying from 8am to 9pm, sitting down to eat dinner and the phone ringing for another spray at 10pm. By that point I knew I needed to start hiring. (9 employees later, I think that was good idea!)
J: Did you ever have doubts at the beginning and do you ever have doubts or fears now? What makes you peaceful in those moments?

V: Honestly, at the beginning I didn’t have doubts, because it felt kind of like a small hobby. Don’t get me wrong though, once it took off and I realized “Wow, okay, this is a full blown business,” I had a moment of “Can I do this?” Like I mentioned before, school wasn’t my thing and I didn’t go to business school. But when the doubts hit me, I realized I was already doing it, I already owned a business, I just had to keep trusting myself and not over think anything. As for now? Sure! Doubts and fears always creep in. As the business grows, so many things have to change within the business, and the thought can creep up “Do I know what I am doing?” When I do have doubts and fears I always remember all the clients that keep coming back, all my employees that feel like family and who express loving working for OTGG. Everyone involved calms me and the proof of succeeding is all around me, within them and in what I have built. As scary as it can be, it’s also very exciting to see OTGG grow.

J: What do you feel your company does for people and what do you offer?

V: Whenever I hire someone I say the most important thing I care about (besides epic spray tans) is that the client feels 100% comfortable. I believe OTGG gives people a safe place to “bare it all” and look and feel amazing after. We see all walks of life and I really think we make sure everyone feels comfortable in their own skin. It's a boost of confidence that we spray - we love spreading self-love. We offer long lasting incredible spray tans that don't smell, we believe in using only healthy products on your body, so we have our own organic solution - and all in the comfort of someone’s home or hotel room (or anywhere really) 24/7. 

J: Have any crazy stories to share?

V: We have a lot of crazy stories! From those very late 2am calls, to getting so close with clients that we go through marriages, divorces, and deaths with them; Spray tanning someone with cancer and having her cry after because she said she hadn’t felt so good in a long time. I have a huge list of stories, that honestly has changed my life. I am currently writing a book that will have a bunch of funny and heart touching stories and explaining the amazing connection strangers can have while "baring it all."

What is becoming a theme of my interviews with these superstar Taking The Leap entrepreneurs, is that they didn't allow any momentary doubtful or fearful thinking get in the way of them and their unfolding reality. That's it. So if you're sensing a flicker of curiosity within you to explore something new whether in work, career or relationships, I encourage you to follow it, because your thoughts (and your feelings coming from those thoughts) are the only thing getting in your way.

To close, I'll leave you with two pieces of solid advice from Valerie...

I have noticed, this year, once I took the fear of “not having money" or “will the appointments keep getting booked” away, the company really took off again. Taking away the fear (Ahem... not believing those thoughts!) has allowed the business to really flourish. Just like at the beginning when I wasn’t over thinking it.

As for taking the leap?

Do it, take the leap. Know that it may be hard work and very scary at first, but it will be well worth it. Trust your gut. If something feels wrong, don’t do it (even if the business textbooks say to). I really didn’t follow any business plan I just went with what felt right. I had a lot of people telling me “you should do this - you should do that,” but most of the time I didn’t listen. Tune into yourself, listen and trust.


All my love, see you next week~


An On The Go Glow technician can be booked in the Los Angeles or Las Vegas areas via their website at





Taking The Leap! An Interview With Aida Bernal Of Spellbound Entertainment

"What I do isn't just help people get jobs, I'm helping people's dreams come true. That's something that I honor and take very seriously."

This from the mouth of the woman who my best friend and client of Aida, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, calls Mama Shark. The woman knows the entertainment business like the back of her hand (her experience in the industry is mind blowing), she's incredibly passionate about her work and her clients, and has a heart bigger than the size of Texas.

I first met Aida a few years back through Natalia when she joined Natalia's efforts to spearhead the industry in Hollywood. Natalia's intention was to eclipse the overtly sexualized stereotypical roles that the industry so quickly throws Mexican women in, which in regards to the culture of Hollywood, can unfortunately be no small feat. I remember being in awe of the team they had created; They were on a mission, hand-in-hand, to find roles that represented a strong and empowered Latina. With pitch after pitch, Aida was getting Natalia in rooms that took her talent and intention seriously. Cut to Natalia most recently wrapping season 5 as the first Latina superhero on television (or any other medium, for that matter) on Marvel's Agents of Shield, I would say this team has broken through a glass ceiling.

This is Aida. This is her mission for each and every one of her clients.

Photography by Cammy Kinney

Photography by Cammy Kinney

So how did Aida get to the point of Taking The Leap into becoming manager extraordinaire? "Since I was young, working at the cash register at my parents store, I knew I would have my own thing. I didn't know what exactly, but I had the feeling." I can detect a deep sense of appreciation she has towards her parents for modeling what it looked like to be an entrepreneur, having their own store on the historic Olvera Street in Los Angeles. The love they shared between each other and for their business started the fire, and as she grew older, she knew she wanted to work in entertainment and work with artists.

When her first entertainment job as a stylist's assistant got her to music video sets, her fire grew bigger and the vision started to narrow. Every single job that followed, she says, led her to where she is today (be prepared for this killer resume): Queen Latifah's music management company Flavor Unit/West Coast (this wet her taste buds for management), MCA Records (where she heard the advice of a lifetime from an A&R executive, "Look at this like college - you're getting paid to learn. When you leave here you'll know what you want and what you don't want"), then finally, several years at the production company for one of the superstars of our generation, Jennifer Lopez.

As I experienced myself, taking the leap from a regular job to work for yourself is a spiritual experience. After collecting information and insights, the wisdom bubbles up out of no where that it's time to leap, and for Aida, though she considered herself a linear person who would have things more planned out (SAME HERE), the insight smacked her upside the head in the shower one day that it was time to go and she had to listen. It was time for her to step two feet into her own company...

Aida: I had friends and acquaintances tell me I was crazy, but when you know, you know! If I can share one thing with the world that I learned from that process: We need to be better supporters of each other. If someone is telling you their ideas for a big move in their life, whether it be writing a cook book or going out on their own in business, it is your job as the listener to empower them instead of fueling the embers of fear. You don't know where they are in their process - you don't know where on the ladder they are. If they're further down the line and are grounded, then it may not matter, but if they're a baby chick beginning to hatch and you come at them with your 'logical' fearful thoughts, you've just crushed their spirit.

AMEN, sister! Speaking to Aida about her work now, you can feel every bit is coming from her guts. Her passion is immense and so inspiring.

Aida: I feel very blessed to be able to run my own company, work from my gut, my intuition, and though I've always done that in every entertainment job I've had, being on my own, there's no politics or bureaucracy between me and the client or potential client.

Jessie: You're able to run your business from your wisdom, no holds barred! The core of your business, the ground that you stand on, because you choose people from that heart connection, from that gut instinct, it's inevitable for everything to blossom - from your clients careers to your career as a manager/producer. I feel like you can see the potential in your clients before they can see it for themselves.

A: Yes! It's all about listening to their story, listening to their history. When they demonstrate their drive and passion for whatever it is they want to do, that's what makes me engage. Those are the kind of people I look to work with, the ones that inspire me. Not just because they're great actors, but because they're good people going after their dreams. It's really not that complicated, it's really quite simple.

J: Do you find yourself getting emotionally invested in your clients since you're so involved in the day to day of their dreams?

A: I can't manage at a distance. I've been told by industry and non-industry people that you shouldn't become too attached to your clients because this business is brutal, this business is ruthless - I didn't get into this business to have that mentality. I came into this business for the love of what I do and the passion for seeing something through from beginning to end.

J: I can see the connection here to your music days.

A: Yes, very similar to A&R (Artists and Repertoire) in the music business. They sign the band then see them all the way through. The recording, the marketing, the release of the album, the music video - there's all this process that happens before that act becomes what they become. For me with talent management, because I've done some developing (which a lot of reps don't want to do), I will meet with someone and when there's that spark on a human to human basis, and the cherry on top is that they happen to be brilliant artists, to me, that's what matters. You sign the human being behind the actor. For me, it's not just about these really talented people, it's about having a real, personal connection.

A: (cont'd) When it comes to the relationship, I'm the one that has to process the 'no' before I speak to my client. It can be difficult especially when it has nothing to do with my client. I have to make sure I'm in a place where I can deliver that info so it can be received well. There are times where I've had to deliver three 'no's' in one day, and that's just a fragment of my day (due to meetings, submissions, pitches, etc), but then there's times I get to deliver three 'yes's' - I have to be ready for all of it. I deal with the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. Learning how to manage the lows is the real key because being an artist is one of the most vulnerable things you can be. I'm known to be protective of my clients because when you're putting your artistry out there, everyone is going to judge (especially in the age of social media), there's no way of getting around that. So it's so important that those of us who work with talent whether it's agents, managers, publicists, even attorneys - to have that in the back of our brain. Knowing when you need more heart and less business.

Whew! What an incredible human, and what an advocate to have on your side as an artist on this roller coaster of an industry. What I love most about Aida's story is that she has literally followed her wisdom her entire career. Through each endeavor, without hesitation, she did the work, managed the ups and downs and moved on to the next step when her insides prompted her to. Now, I'm sure she would agree that she's human and every twist and turn felt overwhelming at times, but in hindsight, she was being guided from the inside-out. As she said, she is very blessed to be able to run her own company. From my perspective, because of her bravery and surrender to the process, even if she wasn't fully aware of the magic at the time, is why she is where she is. And guess what? Whether you're in the industry or just trying to figure out your next step in life, know that you can have a journey like Aida's the moment you choose to. The answer is inside, just allow it to bubble and it'll smack you upside the head in the shower one day too, I guarantee it.

Aida wanted to share some parting advice for incoming artists:

Do everything you can to be the best artist you can be, {hone your craft} as a musician, painter, actor, etc because that is all YOU. {And YOU are who the world needs!} As SNL's Michael Che says (not verbatim), "Don't put your goals into something or someone (in my actors cases an example would be a hiring 'body' like a Network or studio), because it can be taken away. Make your goals ABILITY based." Tune out the noise, and keep going.

And finally, the gem she left me with in all of her Mama Shark glory...

"I color outside the lines, and so do all the people I work with. We are the disruptors, we have something to give to the world. I already know how talented my clients are, the rest of the world just needs to catch up."

May we all have an Aida in our corner.

All my love to you and see you next week,


Spellbound Entertainment is a management and production company. You can see Aida's clients in Agents of Shield, Mayans MC (Sons of Anarchy spin-off), Narcos, Sense8 and more. The first film produced by Spellboud Entertainment called STARFISH is in post production. It's written/directed & produced by UK client Al White and also produced by Aldo Jovan.

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Follow your gut...

I know you've heard it before... "Follow your gut" or "What does your gut say?" But I'm here to encourage you from experience, after continuing to walk my talk, to truly DO IT... then sit back and watch the magic unfold.

In what I teach, following your gut is also referred to as following your wisdom. Your wisdom being that knowing that bubbles up one millisecond before your thoughts clobber the hell out of it. It is an innate GPS system built into us. It has all the answers on what is best for us on a moment to moment basis, no matter the situation we're in. From our safety and well-being to career choices; From relationship matters to what we're going to eat for dinner to our health, we know what is best for us, at all times. It exists within ALL of us, even if you feel like yours took a hike sometime ago.

So if we have the answers all of the time, then why don't we listen to and trust ourselves? Why are we constantly believing our negative thoughts over our wisdom, and justifying those thoughts as 'logic'? Well, the following things I know for sure: Fear of failure and making the wrong decision are definitely strong-willed thoughts that bring up some undeniably yucky feelings (reminder: our feelings are always coming from our thinking, not the world around us. Take a peak at last weeks post >HERE< for more on that). And when we have a whole mess of negative thinking around something that brings up awful feelings, it makes the negative thinking seem really real about the world around us. Another reason? Sometimes our wisdom tells us exactly what we DON'T want to hear, even though it is truly what is best for us. Need an example? Read on...

I started developing What Moves You while I was working at a top talent agency in Los Angeles. However, when I began working there, I had the intent of it being the career I would retire from - What Moves You was no where in sight. After about 8 months at the agency, I slammed into an emotional wall and had no idea what hit me. I continued to go through the motions of life til one evening I caught an episode of Oprah interviewing Jack Canfield (Author of The Success Principles and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series), and he said something that made me feel like he was talking directly to me...

"You don't want to get to the top of the ladder only to find out you had it leaning up against the wrong wall."



What happened next? The ultimate soul search. See, I had been so caught up in my thinking around how I couldn't believe that I, Jessie, the girl who always had a plan, felt lost. How could that be? That's not who I am! (Ps - that's just a thought). I had a lot of noise to sift through to get to my wisdom, even though it was always there. The first step was to read The Success Principles, which had fabulous information to help chip away at what my soul-pull was. Then one day, like magic, my noisy thinking had subsided while I was in the shower and the answer bubbled up from my wisdom... "Build a program that helps people get out of their thoughts and trusting their wisdom."


But guess what happened next? ALL the thoughts.. "OMG if I have to develop something, how long will THAT take? Geez, that seems like I'm just wasting time! Wait, and what if I do all of that and it doesn't even work out? How would I even become successful with something like this?" Holy toledo did my thoughts go crazy. But do you know what was wonderful about that specific experience? Even though my wisdom had come through with something that wasn't a quick fix to my career stressors (it would have been so much easier to get a job that I could apply for with no real effort beyond editing my resume), it gave me the answer to my life's purpose, my soul-pull. Even though it wasn't an easy path, it was the right one.

Of course, I am human, and choosing to stay in the high-stress job for what ended up being nearly two more years while I developed What Moves You, felt like a giant mountain to climb sometimes. But every time my thoughts told me to get another job while I worked on my program because it was all getting to be too much, I would ask myself "Is it time to leave?" and every time my wisdom came back with, "NO." And do you know why? Working there evolved into my greatest education, even beyond my paid-for college degrees. It gave me the opportunity to put my work into motion. What do I constantly say? We live from the inside-out from our own, personal, thought-generated reality. And with this high-stress job in entertainment where everything looked like it was affecting me from the outside-in, I can tell you now after putting in the work of monitoring where my thoughts were all day, every day - we are most definitely, undeniably, living from the inside-out.

Why this story for today's Monday Musings? It felt completely right to share, heading into the new year. I want you all to begin following your wisdom, one small step at a time. What do you want to eat for lunch? Follow it. You've received an email from a co-worker that's a little passive aggressive and your wisdom is telling you to pick up the phone instead of email back? DO IT, you'll be shocked at how it works out for you. Yes, it may be uncomfortable sometimes, but I'm telling you, life unfolds for you in the most positive of ways when you follow it. Like I say ALL THE TIME, you are human, I am human; It's difficult to get in touch with what's right for us if we have a mess of thinking making a crap-ton of noise in our heads. But we will all be getting deeper and more in touch with our wisdom, learning to honor and trust it more consistently as we grow, every moment, of every day, for the rest of our lives. I want you to feel what it feels like, I want you to see the magic that happens when you do so. You will become more open-hearted, you'll create more connection with others, you'll begin falling in love with life, all over again.

Here's to you, and all of your wisdom.