In My Vobyos - Liliana Mata

In My Vobyos - Liliana Mata


"I've been to hell and back [...] but every day you have to be thankful." 


This week I sat down with a long-time friend and Vobyo’s first customer in Singapore, Liliana Mata. 

The goal of this conversation was to discuss female strength, grit and resilience. Liliana is a fighter at her core and represents everything Vobyo champions. She’s unapologetically and immovably herself yet is forever pursuing self-improvement and the empowerment of others. Even as a child Lily was constantly asking questions, unafraid to push back on norms and traditions:

“I’m from a fairly "traditional" Mexican family. My dad could be strict and sometimes macho, and my brother was the same, so it was kind of the only way to survive… otherwise they would have overtaken me completely. From the beginning, it was always, “The guys make more money; the guys gets the cars” and I was always like, "Why? I want to make money; I want my own car...

These days Liliana has a beautiful family and has built a successful career. She is a director at ADP, handling a very demanding and very global clientele, and she is president of iWIN (International Women Inclusion Network) in Singapore, an internal network with a mission to engage, equip and empower women to achieve professional success. 

But Liliana has also been to hell and back over the years. She lost her two first children while living in China, and then lost her mother to cancer. Lily knows what resilience is. She knows what it is to keep getting back up, despite being knocked down hard...

You work with a range of global clients, including banks. What makes you good at your job?  

"A big part of my job every day is negotiation. Negotiating between my clients and internally, where each party can have differing goals, needs or constraints. I'm good at doing this because, now everybody knows me, they know I don't over promise and under deliver; they know I'll give them the facts then we can work from there."

"When I first entered the corporate world, there was a learning curve because I take my personality everywhere. I don't change for anything or for anyone. But as people got to know me, they understood I was there to do a great job and to grow. I didn't change or suppress myself, and that's why I have been successful, and that's why I am happy."

Has it been tough, working from home with Singapore's Covid-19 lockdown?

"Yes and no. No, because I have the benefit of having help at home, which is not standard for a lot of families. So that has been great. But yes, because everything gets mixed. For example, I'll be super focused on a client meeting or resolving something and then suddenly my kid will burst into the room with tears down her face because something happened and needs to be attended to immediately. So of course, you lose your focus. But then, I think, the same way this [meeting] is important to me, this issue is important to her so you have to pause. So yeah, that is difficult. Everything is mixed."

Tells us about your Spartan Races!

"That was one of the hardest things I've done in terms of physical and mental... it's hardcore.

"I had been dealing with months of feeling tired... I just felt tired and unfit and snappy at my kids... so I decided to get myself a trainer. And I loved it. Then a friend who had already completed three Spartans suggested we sign-up for a Spartan in Singapore. I thought to myself, "I'm not ready but you know what? Even if I'm not ready I will be ready." So I signed-up there and then and got training.

"It hurt so much, but then I saw my kids there, cheering me on, and it just felt so rewarding. I even smashed my goal time. Since then I did one other Spartan and have made it a priority to keep fit."

Do you have any words of encouragement for anyone who’s going through tough times right now?

"Well, yeah, you know, I've been to hell and back. I lost two kids, I lost my mom to cancer just like that. And you always think to yourself, it cannot get worse or you're not going to be able to cope. But I think, not only is it time, which will help, but it's also about the right attitude. You have to let yourself feel what you're feeling. Because that's what life is all about. You have to feel the pain, be in the moment. But then know that just as everything has a beginning it has an end.
"And I think, in days like these, every day you also have to be thankful. I think that is key. I may get mad sometimes, but then I think to myself, I have health, I have a home, I have my husband, my kids and my dog, who I love. You have to count your blessings.
"Lastly, lockdown is an opportunity to start reflecting. What do you want to take out of this time? Do you want to create a bunch of Tick Tock videos? Or do you want to think back on this time and think, "No, I got in shape, I spent more time with my family, or whatever it is."

Lastly, what does Vobyo's motto 'Own Your Fight' mean to you?

“To me it’s about owning YOU. There’s nothing more beautiful than being yourself. Just being happy with who you are - not apologizing for it or blaming circumstances. Own who you are and being proud of that.” 

Liliana can be found on Instagram here.

Liliana is wearing the Vobyo BX TR in Black. 


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