The Good Day Matrix Journey

The Good Day Matrix journey

Written by Daz Burns


The Good Day Matrix remains something I am incredibly proud to be a part of every single day with our amazing team.

Being purpose-led means nothing comes easy for us, we grind to bring in enough income to pay our team and to keep producing our free wellbeing content, to ensure people are able to access wellbeing. 


The beginning

Sometimes it feels like The Good Day Matrix has been around forever.

And sometimes it feels like we are still in our first week of rolling our sleeves up to get things moving. 

But today, you are getting the unabridged version of our journey.

So grab a coffee.

And maybe an emotional support blanket to snuggle up under.

Because, we are about to get into it.


I have always said that the journey began in 2017.

With a woman (me, in case you were wondering who she was) who appears to be searching for someone important, in a mighty thick fog.

But, really, it began in 2016. 

With the excitement and then heartbreak of finding out we were pregnant and then going through a miscarriage.

And I kept asking myself “what did I do wrong?!”


We then got pregnant again and at our 20 week scan they discovered something was wrong with our son’s brain. 

So, as you can imagine, tension, stress, worry and uncertainty were daily emotions and feelings that I was trying extremely hard to squash down while trying to keep one foot in front of the other and my parenting strong for our son Harry.

He could have a brain tumor.

He could have a brain bleed.

These were some of the potential theories for our unborn child that were floated by the doctors. 

And as you can imagine, these possibilities ran through my mind constantly. 

The mental fog kept thickening. 

Along with the ever present guilt of “what did I do wrong this time?!”


As soon as Mac was born, he was whisked away for tests (not an awesome way to bond with your new gorgeous baby, that’s for sure, but needs must!

And it turned out that he would have a 10% chance of a learning difficulty… gosh, don’t we all?! 

All that worry. 

All that anguish.

Seemingly gone to the outsider. 

Time to be grateful and happy, right?!

But the fog didn’t lift, it seemed impenetrable at this point. 


I was empty

When we got home, I should have been filled with boundless gratitude and joy. 

Instead, I was empty (and I couldn’t tell anyone that, because, how could I complain, my son was ok?!

In fact, the more they asked me how I was, the more I dug my toes in with my responses that “I am FINE!” (yeah, yeah, I know ‘fine’ never means ‘fine’.. But I was ‘FINE’!)


So, (surprise, surprise) my “push it down and carry on” approach eventually came to a head. 

My hormones added to the mix and I had postnatal depression (totally undiagnosed at the time).

My smiles (like in the image above) were the biggest lies I was giving out, trying to mask my inability to cope or feel ‘happy’. 

(I still look at photos of “her” with “her” gorgeous family from the early days and wonder who the heck she was, because she certainly wasn’t me, that isn’t my smile, those aren’t my eyes… it was all for show).


The Hey Mama ladies

So, later in 2017, with nothing else left to try, the fog still heavy and no excuses left in the tank to give. 

I invited some friends to come and exercise with me in my garage. 

We were a wee team that came together three times a week to sweat, yarn and laugh. 

Bit by bit, my smiles and laughs became more authentic and I felt them more deeply. 

Conversations become more honest and real.

The fog started to get more patchy and there were days where it lifted completely! 

I had built a tribe and found a purpose. 

We became known as the Hey Mama ladies.

Each person who was coming along, felt the same, and they would share those vibes with their friends, their colleagues, their whānau, their neighbours… everywhere!

And not so slowly, through word of mouth, our team of seven women grew to 120 women in three months! 

More sessions. 

More days.

More laughs. 

More achievements.

More connections.

A more authentic Daz was appearing each day. 

The fog didn’t seem to obscure my view anymore! 


Netball, a dream, but a curveball

Then, in 2018 I began managing the Waikato Bay of Plenty National League Netball Team and my evening commitments had to change.

(And one thing most people know about me is, I LOVE netball and have I have LOVED netball since I was a wee seven year old with an oversized blue netball skirt down at the Hamilton netball courts in the freezing cold at 8am every Saturday morning!)


So, now, with that wee seven year old girl’s joyful smile in your mind, you can imagine that this opportunity felt like the beginning of a dream come true!

Which meant that I had to stop running all my Hey Mama sessions and say goodbye to a lot of our women.

But letting them down didn’t feel right. 

Together, we had built a community of joy, of health, of friendship that was incredibly critical to my wellbeing. 

They had done more for me, than I could ever do for them. 

So I came up with an idea for an app. 

It was a bit far fetched and I am no techie, but I felt like it was worth giving it a nudge. 

In fact, I owed it not only to all those women, but also to myself, because I knew it could help so many women in their toughest times. 


The app journey

So, we embarked on developing an app that pulled together a few complex technologies to make this kind of connection and wellbeing accessible to all women, no matter where they live or what their circumstances. 

We approached Right Honourable Grant Robertson who was, at the time, the Women and Sport Minister and he directed us to Callaghan Innovation who gave us a Research and Development Grant to test out what we could achieve. 

Our tech team pulled every magic tech cord they could and put in all their out of the box thinking to get this crazy idea off the ground.

Whenever someone in our team would say “it can’t be done”, I would naively challenge with “I’m sure there is a way, we just haven’t found it yet!” 

And then, they would find it and keep moving forward!  

The app became known as Hey Mama Movement and wheels were in motion. 


2020, the year of big things

Then, the old bomb of 2020 dropped and some big decisions were unavoidable.

My parents could see not only the potential, but also my passion and generously gave us an investment to keep us ‘in the game’ when we thought we were going to have to pull out.

I didn’t want to take their money. 

They are two of the hardest working humans I know and I know how hard they worked for every single dollar and none of it came easily. 

It wasn’t their job to effectively bail me out.

But, it honestly felt like we were SO CLOSE to cracking it. 


So, we gratefully and nervously accepted their investment and kept pushing.

But, I tell you what, when you are bootstrapping a project like this and have to keep the tech developing, get marketing, drive PR – it certainly pushes your mortgage to its unsustainable limits. 

All while in the throws of a pandemic.


You can now imagine stress is high, the stakes are high and the anxiety is out the gate. 

But, when it is your parents’ money that is now involved, it is another level of anxiety and pressure to get it right for them when they have believed in you.

I was ‘busy’ all the time, hustling, filling every single minute with emails and work, so I didn’t look like I was taking any of it for granted or not seeming to do everything I possibly could to make the app a success. 

(A valuable lesson here is hindsight is the difference between ‘busy’ and ‘productive’ or ‘effective.’)


The pivot 

Now, someone (who probably profited from the decision) suggested it would be a critical pathway to rebrand to help with sales.

So, we rebranded it to Collective Upside (in case Hey Mama Movement was the issue or the colours we were using). 

But, at the end of the day, our platform never got to a place where it was stable and never became something I was proud of to share with others. 


So, in May 2021, after many discussions with family, accountants and our team.

We made the call to disestablish Collective Upside (previously known as Hey Mama).

But the dream wasn’t over (haha, but wait, there’s more!).

We talked to all our contributors who filmed content for yoga, pilates, HIIT and self defence and said that our dream wasn’t over and that we still wanted to help women to thrive and live well. 

I shouldn’t have been surprised, but they were all supportive of this vision. 

These legends were all in with us, to release the content we had created for free to increase accessibility for our wahine. 


So, in just six weeks, from May to June 2021, we took down our old platform and one of our awesome team, Cory, built us a new website and our team worked tirelessly to create a new brand, name, funding model and concept for a free online wellbeing website to support everyone to thrive and live well, everyday. 


Introducing The Good Day Matrix

Our purpose-led wellbeing organisation in 2021 was one of the proudest moments of my life. Our wellbeing pillars of body, mind, identity, community and environment interconnect, influence and underpin everything we do.  


The Good Day Matrix remains something I am incredibly proud to be a part of every single day with our amazing team. Being purpose-led means nothing comes easy for us, we grind to bring in enough income to pay our team and to keep producing our free wellbeing content, to ensure people are able to access wellbeing. 

The grind is real. 

At times the conversations with accountants are still touch and go from their side of only seeing numbers. 

But, from mine and our teams, when we see the epic impact and ripple effects in people’s ecosystems that we mahi with. 

We know this is the path we are meant to be on.

Inspiring curiosity. 

Advocating for action.

Challenging perspectives.

Increasing accessibility. 

Providing different resources. 

Working with businesses and organisations to build capacity and capability.

Seeing people thrive and live well every day.

This is where we are meant to be. 


Highlights to date

One question I was asked recently was what have been some of my highlights to date?

Weeeeelllllllll…. (if you are still snuggled up reading this, you must want to know right?!)

  • Finding the inner confidence and resilience I never knew I had inside me!
  • Meeting the Co-Founder of Netflix, Marc Randolph (WTAF?!).
  • Finding a crew of humans along the way who support me and our kaupapa, just by being ME and not trying to be the person I was told early in the journey I ‘should’ be to ‘fit in’. 
  • Hearing from people who we don’t know how much a story we have shared helped them in their own personal journey. 
  • Meeting exceptionally generous Kiwi’s who give up their time to share their stories with us.
  • Holding events and connecting great humans together who truly care about others. 
  • The daily joy of working with the absolutely fabulous Emily and Sam every single day, striving to do great things for others, having each other’s backs and having a solid laugh.  


So, though the daily grind of ensuring we are financially viable is still a constant focus, I remain that naive human that started this journey so long ago, constantly saying “I’m sure there is a way, we just haven’t found it yet!” 

And then, every time, we do! 


I hope you have enjoyed this unabridged version of The Good Day Matrix journey. 

If you managed to stay with me for the whole yarn, let me know what kept you reading. 

What did you connect with in this story? 

Was is it my ever so original fog analogy? 😉

I hope you finished your coffee and it didn’t get cold! 🙂

Have an awesome rest of your day. 

It’s a good day to have a great day. ❤️

Daz xx

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