Nicolle Coco Matthews & Coco Diamond
Inspired by Coco

1. Introduction
Nicolle Matthews, or Coco as she is affectionately called, started her motivational speaking career at the age of 18. She was asked by a public health Nurse to share her life experiences as a teenage mother during a high school teenage pregnancy prevention workshop.  Nervous and unsure of what to say Coco decided to just go for it.  She told the truth about being a young mom, with a history of abuse.  Picture this insecure eighteen year old high school drop out inspiring students to stay in school, choose healthy relationships and believe that their dreams could come true even if they made mistakes along the way. 
As Coco Matthews shared her life story with those grade 9 and 10 students, she discovered her passion and purpose.   It wasn't easy being a teenage mother, and as the truth about her experiences (including an abusive childhood) poured out of her heart through story and song, she new it was her destiny to inspire youth.  In that moment Coco began her life long journey towards success by utilizing her life story and unique artistic abilities to inspire a lost generation.  It was the beginning of her own impossible dreams coming true.

2. Background

Coco grew up in Toronto Canada in a single parent home with an amazing mother and two loving brothers. Life was not easy for her from the start, she was bullied quite a bit growing up because she was one of the only black children in her entire school.  With hand me down clothing from the second hand store, a crooked buck tooth smile and a learning disability to add to her unique charm... Coco was destined for greatness. 

Despite her insecurities, Coco loved life and dedicated the majority of her time to volunteer work with children whenever she could.  It was in a small church nursery at the age of 12 when Coco first discovered her ability to tell inspirational stories that have the power to change lives.  Three children were fighting over a toy creating quite a bit of confusion and fuss.  Coco rushed the children into her storytelling corner and began to share a 'made up on the spot' tale about three friends who did not understand the true meaning of love.  By the end of the adventure the three fighting children were best friends again. 

Aha Moment

Coco always felt nervous before and after her speeches.  It was kind of like standing naked on a stage as she revealed the absolute truth about her mistakes.  After one of Coco's first high school key note speeches a fifteen year old student approached her with tears in her eyes and whispered,  "Your story  made me cry, thank you for being so honest". That student began to strip away her own masks by revealing her own mistakes as she looked for some kind of approval from Coco.  

It was then when Coco realized that honesty was the best policy in this line of work.  Young people were looking for the truth about life because this crazy world is filled with so many lies.  She vowed then and there to never hold back, all or nothing.  She would spend the rest of her life sharing the truth with as many people as possible.  It's that truth that is still setting people free!

Truth Be Told

Although motivational speaking was Coco's passion, life threw a number of curve balls her way and she got caught up in what some might refer to as failure after failure.  At 26 she was a divorced single mother with three small children to provide for. The logical thing to do was to find a good job with benefits.  Leaving her passion behind to pursued a career in Administration, Coco attempted to follow all the practical rules of life.   

For five years Coco ran from her true passion, allowing life's adversity to get in the way.  With little success as a secretary, which she was not at all suited for, Coco finally decided to stop running from her "calling" and started her own business...what nerve.

With a little business development training, a diploma in Micro Computer Business Applications and a Life Skills Coaching Certificate, she found the courage to start "Inspired By Coco" a community organization dedicated to inspiring children and youth to face and overcome life's challenges.

The Here and Now

Today Coco's is still dedicating her life to inspiring youth.  She is living proof that if you believe dreams do come true, and you never give up, you can get paid to live your dreams out loud. Chaching! 

3. Professional issue 

There Coco was, sitting in front of her computer, in her three bedroom apartment, trying to market her brand new company on-line, utilizing a template from one of those 'get a website for $5.99 per month' companies. 

How was she going to convince a high school Principal to hire her as a Life Coach/Speaker?  How was she going to manage her finances, her time and her family on her own.  Regardless of the tremendous odds stacked against her, Coco could not forget the hundreds of students that were impacted by her story. So with home-made business cards, brochures and a text book sales pitch she landed her first four hundred dollar storytelling gig. Hallelujah!

Truth be told, her greatest challenges were not with marketing or sales it was getting over her own fear of success. Setting up meetings with Principals, sending out email after email, sales pitch after sales pit