With four career titles, Meaghan Murphy, our NJMOMpreneur of the Week, is the first to admit her struggle to juggle is real. But when you meet her, you know instantly her super positive, fully-charged, lightning bolt level of energy is the secret to her success. To say she does it all is an understatement—if she’s not appearing on the TODAY show or Zoom-ing with her Woman’s Day magazine team about an upcoming issue, she’s co-hosting her wellness podcast or spreading the word about her brand new book, Your Fully Charged Life. In between all of that, you can find this Westfield mama of three getting her sweat on at a 6AM fitness class, crafting with her kiddos, or sharing her genius home-hacks on Insta. We sat down with her to unlock some of her secrets to having seemingly endless energy, how the pandemic pause has been a gift, and her favorite spots in the town she calls Bestfield, for everything from farmhouse-style furniture to fava beans.
featured image via Lauren Anzevino
You have your hands in a lot of different arenas career-wise. Tell us about the multiple roles and businesses you’re currently juggling.
It’s been a whirlwind this past year, and the struggle to juggle is so real right now. I’ve been a magazine editor for over 20 years, and now I’m the Content Director of Woman’s Day magazine, which I started in March at the beginning of lockdown. I met my team virtually and redesigned the 130-year-old magazine from my makeshift standing desk in what was once a baby’s room. I also finished my upcoming book, Your Fully Charged Life, for Penguin-Random House (it comes out February 23) while homeschooling my three kids and re-energizing the magazine. In between this, I’m one of the co-hosts of a popular podcast called Off the Gram, which just hit 100K downloads and was named Top 30 health and wellness shows on iTunes. I also have been doing TV segments. I have an acting background, which came in handy while filming from my home with my banker hubs reluctantly handling the camera (aka iPhone). It’s been a lot, but I’m grateful to be able to make it work.
That sounds like it takes a lot of energy, which we know from your book has really become kind of your life mantra- living your life “fully charged.” Tell us about the book.
I’m so excited to “give birth” to this book—it’s 20 years in the making. Like the tagline says, Your Fully Charged Life is a radically simple approach to having endless energy and filling every day with YAY. I used myself as a guinea pig to road test the tips and tricks based on positive psychology, neuroscience, and real-life experience. I’m inherently negative (they called me ‘Grumpy’ as a kid), but I retrained my brain to live with more optimism, gratitude, and joy naturally, so I know anyone can do it, too.
Why did you want to write a book? What was the process like from the idea to eventually getting it published?
I’ve often heard: What’s your secret? How can I bottle your good energy? The book is my attempt to help everyone live “fully charged” because it feels good. The process of getting published wasn’t easy. I’m fortunate to have a 20+ media career under my belt that spans titles like SELF, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, and more, which opened doors for me. I met with several literary agents and ultimately really bonded with Laura Nolan of Aevitas Creative Management. Once she signed me, we worked on a comprehensive 70-page outline for the book, which we then shopped to publishers for 2 weeks before going to auction. My dream publisher was Penguin-Random House, and I was pinching myself when I got their offer.
What do you think your children learn from you by watching you work?
I think Team Murphy (my nickname for our family of five) learns fun things from me, like using lollipops in a line on the top of a pumpkin makes an excellent mohawk or how apple cider vinegar is a great way to catch fruit flies. Kidding aside, I hope they see that everything is always possible when you live with passion, purpose, and kindness.
What is the biggest challenge in your career, and what is your biggest challenge in motherhood?
My mantra is “say no more often so you can say yes to what matters,” but the challenge these days is I have a lot of what matters to me. I’m passionate about the book, the magazine, my podcast, the TV opportunities—there just isn’t enough time in a week to scratch all of my creative itches. On the motherhood front, after homeschooling last spring, I hacked my life by putting my kids in a full-day, in-person Catholic school this fall so that I can crush on work. And without a commute, I get 2.5 hours of my life back daily. I will clock out to do homework, eat dinner as a family, and go through our bedtime rituals, and then can I can log back on if I need to. This pandemic pause has been a gift to my family— I’m cherishing the time I didn’t know I was losing and focusing on the silver linings.
You are very passionate about supporting local businesses, particularly in Westfield. Can you share a few favorites and why you love them?
I was once named Chief Spirit Officer of Westfield (aka Bestfield). I run the Instagram @bestfieldnj as a fun hobby because I believe everyone should love where they live and have a strong sense of pride and community. For stores, a big favorite is The Farmhouse Store. I furnished my entire house with them because I wanted it to feel like I lived there. For restaurants, Limani is my go-to for the shrimp and fava beans—George and Vasilia treat you like family, and it’s BYOB—and Ferraro’s has the best gluten-free menu in town (I’m celiac). Baron’s is a mom-and-pop drugstore that you could legit get lost in, for everything from the beauty counter to the unique holiday décor and gifts. The Love Charge chapter in my book opens with a scene from Baron’s. And, of course, The Town Book Store— seeing my book on those shelves will be electric.
What’s your biggest piece of advice for other moms who have a dream or idea they want to see come to fruition?
Be bold enough to say whatever it is you want out loud—then say it repeatedly to anyone who will listen. You never know who you will spark once you take that first step.