Giving birth to your life’s purpose
By Fati Gorezi
Ania Jeffries is an award-winning Coach and runs her own Coaching business. She is also co-author of the ”Pay it Forward: Notes to my younger self” as well as the author of the upcoming book “Gain Confidence in 24 Hours – the toolkit to help you grow”. She is also the founder of ‘Women Work’. Ania’s main passion however, is to empower women to inspire everyone whose lives they touch, particularly the younger generation, and to make a difference in the world.
Where did the idea of ‘Women Work’ derive from and when did you bring it into reality?
I am an award-winning life-coach and number one best-selling international author, a Mentor for the ‘Princes Trust’, an ambassador for ‘Girl Rising’ and a radio presenter. My purpose is to give women a voice, to empower women to leave an impactful footprint, a legacy for the next generation. To be a women of collaboration, of contribution and not of competition.
My expertise lies in the area of self -belief and confidence. When life throws unexpected challenges your way it makes you wonder why so many people are unable to ask for help? Why they suffer in silence? Why individuals feel they have to wear a mask rather than share their struggles? I decided to run a workshop for 20 women in self -belief and confidence. In over 5 months, as a result of the phenomenal support from the local community, from sponsors and supporters such as Town and Country Housing, The Range, Tesco, Marks and Spencer, Metro Bank, Pickering Cancer, our media sponsors ‘’Times of Tunbridge Wells’’ . My workshop snowballed into a one day event for all women with a footfall of over 1300, 71 workshops and 52 speakers. It’s purpose to raise awareness of mental health, build confidence and self -belief, grow new networks of collaboration, stronger businesses, families and communities. Our next event is on 20th April 2018 at Salomon’s Estates in Tunbridge Wells, Kent (see www.womenworkevents.com). There are 50 speakers. Designed to encourage women to help each other, to open up new opportunities for women to come together, to feel inspired, uplifted and empowered and we invite men to join us too as we need you to support us. Aimed at women at home, out of work, looking to return to work, in careers, in business, wanting to set up businesses, grow in personal development, I am absolutely delighted to have Global Woman Magazine not only as a Co Media Sponsor but also a Speaker at our event.
What were the biggest challenges that you faced when you started ‘Women Work’ and what are you biggest challenges today?
My biggest challenge initially was having the courage to ask for help. As the event snowballed into something bigger than I anticipated I realised that I couldn’t do everything by myself and I needed other people to share their knowledge and expertise. I ended up with a committee of volunteers who were fantastic. Everyone who I asked for help gave me tremendous support and their belief in me helped me to move forward with my mission. Even now women approach me in coffee shops and other places to tell me how the events ‘changed their lives’. This feedback is immensely rewarding. This event created a ripple within local communities that developed into a veritable tsunami. With my own family’s support and encouragement, it taught me the importance of keeping a positive mind-set and it was great to see the power of collaborating communities thriving because of women networking together. My strength is my creativity but now, if I need help with something like running the financial side of a business, I simply ask for it and it happens. I am inspired by so many amazing people that sometimes my enthusiasm needs to be reined in!
What is your background? And can you describe your early life?
I was born in the UK but my parents were Polish immigrants. I had a very happy upbringing with lots of family support. My father was a pioneer of Space Structures and my mother was a strong and powerful woman that surrounded me with love and the belief that anything was possible. They taught me the value of hard work as well as the importance of respecting others and aiming high.
Encouraging women to believe in themselves and build their own confidence is a great goal that also brings value into society. How does this make you feel?
It makes me feel fantastic! The book I co-authored with 18 other women – ‘Pay it Forward’ includes a section on how I faced many challenges. The book pays it forward by having the writers share their own personal stories in order to inspire others to find the courage and strength to share their own stories all in line with my vision of ‘’Paying it Forward to other Women’’. Five of the co-authors will be speaking at the ‘Women Work’ event on the 20th April.
In your opinion what are the most essential first steps needed for women to take control of their lives?
Firstly, never be afraid to ask for help and never give up. Stay with your gut instinct.
Secondly, always look forwards and never backwards. The only difference between an old and a new attitude is perception. So, by changing your attitude you change your perception.
Thirdly, love your life. Focus on the positive and not the negative. Be grateful, be kind and be grateful. Pay it forward.
And lastly accept yourself and love yourself.
What do women need to know when it comes to becoming extraordinary business leaders?
It takes failure to understand what success means. The best leaders will have made mistakes in the past and had challenges to overcome. They will have turned these setbacks into life defining moments of strength and courage. There is beauty and greatness within everyone and sometimes it only takes one other person to show their belief in you in order for you to shine, spread your wings and fly. So, be the leader, spend time with the people that matter as well as those needing your help and support. They too can give you strength to follow your vision and your dreams.
It takes huge strength and courage to be a good leader. To stand firm on what you believe in and not be dissuaded. I still learn something every day about effective communication and ways to communicate. Sometimes I get it wrong but by using self-reflection I gain a better understanding of how to get the best from my team, my business, my partnerships and my networks.
What are your plans for the future?
My plan is simple. To continue to inspire women through a series of national events and workshops that will hopefully inspire men too. It is important that men are not excluded from these initiatives as their opinions are valid too. Women and men need to work together in order to create better futures for our families, businesses and communities. I believe that we can jointly create a bigger and brighter future for all and I am inspired by the success of the ‘Women Work’ and ‘Pay it Forward’ series which has taught me to think bigger, play bigger and dream bigger.