Here’s the scenario – you’re working in an impressive, highly paid role. You’ve been told, "You're an asset to the company”. You’re due a mortgage on your first property. Would you take a 50% pay cut and change career? If you felt there was more to life and you were determined to go for it, you’d probably take the risk.
That’s my Page 1 Woman. But she wasn’t always that way.
Are you a fan of the personal development industry? Some people can’t understand its popularity and regard personal development techniques as faddish. Those who build their businesses around it are seen as self-serving chancers, in it for money.
Then there are those who swear by it. Their lives have been transformed by the likes of Tony Robbins, Bob Procter, Rhonda Byrne et al. And ‘The Law of Attraction’, positive thinking, affirmations, gratitude rituals, and changing mindsets, have brought them self-empowerment and new found freedom from self-limiting beliefs and poor self-esteem. Many of these people have overcome stubborn challenges. They’ve gone on to achieve beyond what they ever imagined and sometimes to make a bigger difference in the world.
Have you noticed that solo-preneurs often set up their business around challenges they’ve overcome?
Alongside studying for an effective qualification, they’re in a good position to teach others the skills that they themselves have mastered through overcoming pain. But when the challenges are related to sensitive and intimate areas such as relationships and sex especially, it takes courage, determination, guts and a willingness to embrace risk to channel your knowledge, skills and experience into a business that can benefit others.
Have you ever stood on the platform of a London Victoria line tube station and wondered who was staring at you from the darkness of the driver’s cabin?
Chances are you would have imagined a bloke. Stereotypically, train driving is viewed as a man’s profession. Right? But, you may have been wrong.
Apparently, around 100 or so women drive tube trains. And my Page 1 Woman is one of them.
Did you know that entrepreneurs are starting businesses at a record pace of 80 an hour?
And did you know that this includes a record number of under 35s? According to HSBC Private Bank Essence of Enterprise report 2016, 59% of the UK’s entrepreneurs under the age of 35 are women. Wow! Women are rocking it!
My Page 1 Woman, a member of that notable 59% club, quit her prestigious job in a well-known US based coaching company and set up Write Business Results at the age of 29.
Have you ever come across a stylist who first helps you to overcome your internal limitations and then moves on to styling you?
Whether you call her a coach with a twist or a stylist with a twist, my Page 1 Woman, Abigail Rebecca is all about enabling women entrepreneurs to ‘get their style s..t together’ so that they develop a solid personal brand that boosts their business.
Imagine this: You’re facing a challenge to cross the Atlantic solo and break the women’s world record. You’ve no history of endurance activity, never mind rowing. Would you be terrified?
Here’s the narrative. She’s a competent Head of an inner city primary school in a deprived area. During the day she operates as an effective leader, dealing with the challenges that such environments spawn. At night she returns to the ‘perfect’ home and the ‘perfect’ partner. Hmmmmm! Appearances can indeed be deceptive.
Have you ever played roller derby? It’s a fast, furious contact sport. So, clearly you’d have to be an aggressive risk taker to play, right? But aggressive is definitely not a term I’d apply to my Page 1 Woman™, who’s an enthusiastic, award winning roller derby ‘blocker’. Risk taker? Definitely as she’s on a mission to transform childbirth culture from negativity, pain and trauma to one of parent empowerment, relaxation, ease and even enjoyment.
What would you do if you were in a high salaried job in the lucrative pharmaceutical industry, but were overly stressed and unable to be true to your values? Would you give it all up?
My Page 1 Woman™ did. But it didn’t come easy.
Here’s the scenario, you’re a mixed race woman raised on a West London council estate where career ambition is in short supply.
As a single mum of 2, in a relationship with a narcissistic charmer, you’re an IKEA employee of 10 years paying the debts of material accumulation. Sounds like a stereotype, right? Welcome to the world from which my Page 1 Woman™ originated.
Approximately 85,000 women are raped each year in England and Wales. So, what do you make of that? If it makes you want to stop reading, don’t, because not enough is heard about rape from the survivor’s perspective.
Think of an accountant and who comes to mind? A dry, conservative, pale male nerd, perhaps?
My Page 1 Woman, an accountant by profession, in no way fits the stereotype. She’s definitely not dry or conservative and you would never call her a nerd. She’s bubbly, out-going, funny and larger than life. Small in stature and with a voice that easily hits the high notes you’d be forgiven for mistaking her for someone 10 years younger.
Have you ever met a massage therapist who aimed to help people fall in love with their faces and with themselves? And have you ever had a massage during which you could feel the love in the massage therapist’s touch? Extraordinary, right? That was my experience when I received my first inter-oral massage from my Page 1 Woman™ Lynn Rae - genuine caring, warmth and love.
Now here’s an interesting fact - 83% of working age people acquire a disability as opposed to being born with a disability.
When people with a disability are seen as ‘them’ in relation to us, that figure challenges the world view of disability as abnormal. In other words, it could happen to you or me.
So, picture this: you’re a successful career woman; an out-going, health conscious 29 year old, who attends the gym frequently; you’ve never smoked and drink very little. You go to bed one night and awake, legs paralyzed. You return to work 18 months later in a wheel chair. You’ll never walk again.
Do you know many women who, in their 60s, decide to up sticks and move to a different country? Unusual, isn’t it?
The conventional view of 60-something women, is that they are slowing down, preparing themselves for retirement in familiar surroundings near their grandchildren.
But that’s not the narrative of my Page 1 woman, Terezia Koczka, because for her, age is not a barrier. And she doesn’t fit the stereotype of a woman in her 60s.
My Page 1 Woman was brought up in a Communist dictatorship where life was strictly controlled. People weren’t free to learn what they wanted or travel abroad. That came later.
Did you know that only 1 in 10 statues in the UK are of women? And, surprise, surprise, most of these are of Queen Victoria. With such figures you’d be forgiven for thinking that, unless born to be queen, women have played little more than a bit part in British history. But put simply, it’s all about airbrushing – concealing our contributions in the annals.
Picture the scene: You’re an 11 year old, walking with your parents on the Howrah Bridge in Calcutta, one of the world’s busiest roadways. You suddenly spot a man in a loin cloth dying in the gutter. The world walks by - uncaring, unmoved. How would you feel? For my Page 1 Woman™ this was more than shocking. It was life changing. She’d found her calling. ‘At that moment, I decided that when I grew up I was going to be a doctor working with poor people in global health’. And so began her development as a leader of human rights.
Globetrotting to near and far flung places as part of your job would be many people’s idea of a dream career. Images of excitement and glamour may emerge. And the reality of living out of a suitcase far from partner and family takes a back seat.
If the globe trotter were a global head of HR in a series of large companies, you might then get a picture of status, influence and a huge salary. What more could a woman want in her career?
But what if you love your career but begin yearning for something deeper? What if you felt trapped by constraints and procedures that prevent you from making a real difference?
How many doctors do you know, have left the profession to set up a business creating comics? Sounds crazy? With its high status and salary, the glowing reputation and admiration that doctors attract, especially in the Far East, you’d be forgiven for thinking that those would be enough to keep a young woman within the profession.
But what if she had a passion for comics and a flair for creating comic art that had been carefully honed since she was a toddler? And what if once qualified in medicine, she lost sight of her true self?