I was afraid before I realised it was my time – Latanya Farquharson, Toronto, Canada

Starting a business seemed so far in my periphery, now that it is a reality I felt empowered to share my story with the amazing women who are reading this right now. I can’t even begin to explain how fearful I was when I was inspired to start my business. I quit around 20 times before realizing that starting a stationery business was something I was meant to do. I would sit there and talk myself out of it to the point that it seemed like it just wasn’t something I was capable of. However, that lingering feeling in the back of my mind and the gentle nudge of my husband prompted me to look further into entrepreneurship and how my talent could impact the world.  

Fast-forward, I have been in business just about a year and being a business owner means freedom to me. Being a business owner gives me the ability to set my own hours, work as much or as little as I want and set my own salary. Being a business owner brings me great pride with the fact that I am able to create a life that I choose. I don’t think there is anything more empowering than owning your own business. I mean, don’t get me wrong, owning your own business is not a walk in the daisy field by any means, but having the chance to choose every day to do what you love and enjoy makes the hard days much easier and the great days even greater!

The reason I became an entrepreneur was mainly because I wanted more of an ability and capacity to give back. As a child, my mother was a single mother who sacrificed and strove to be the best mother possible. She was and still is. However, with young children, the community was so pivotal in assisting my mother to give my siblings and I all we needed. I remember one Christmas seeing so many gifts under the tree that I still remember it to this day! That was a community. So I promised to myself if I ever had the capability to give back that I would do it to the best of my ability. Entrepreneurship has allowed me to set my business up in a way that a portion of our proceeds is donated to a local Toronto company that engages young people across Canada who are navigating poverty and homelessness to pursue the Arts. Cool isn’t it?

Who has been your greatest influence in business and personal life and why?

My greatest influence in business/professional life would have to be my parents. Both of my parents arrived in Canada as immigrants from Jamaica and both created pathways for themselves in business; my mother in the corporate world and my father as an entrepreneur. My father owns a professional transport company that began as an individual moving company and he transformed it into a company that transports large ticketed items all around Ontario. His business is full time and fully sustainable. My mother worked in a large multi-national company in their HR department for over 12 years and was a V.I.P in her department. As a change of scenery, she now works with youth on an in-home basis as a mentor.

They by far are my biggest influences because they represent me personally on both sides of my spectrum. Currently, I work in the legal field in tax consulting however, I run my business on a part-time basis. It’s nice to be able to talk with them about their experiences and use their experiences to become a better all-around person. My mother has always been a generous person and I am so glad her generosity rubbed off on me to want to create a business that aims to give back in as many ways as possible.

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date?

My greatest accomplishment to date would definitely be making the decision to become a Christian. All of my life’s accomplishments after becoming a Christian I can 100% attribute to having strong Christian values and maintaining my faith. A close second would be accomplishing my goal of launching my business. My business was a thought for over 3 years before I decided in 2018 that I would officially launch.

What do you do to inspire women?

I carry myself with dignity and grace wherever I am. I inspire women by being unapologetically myself. In my opinion, inspiration doesn’t always have to be a planned conscious thing! It can be living your life the best way you know how and not being afraid to be vulnerable and share your fears and failures with the world. Let’s face it, sometimes things don’t work! Inspiring women through my failures and successes is something I think I do unintentionally but makes such a huge impact!

What’s your advice for other women that may want to do what you do?

My advice to the woman who wants to do what I do is to do your research! Research is very important before starting any business. The stationery business can be very lucrative if you niche yourself in something that you are passionate and talented at. For me, I have a wide imagination. Event and wedding stationery allows me to use my imagination when a client asks to have stationery created for a winter wonderland great Gatsby dinner party on a Tuesday night. My advice is to make sure you understand your market and how your unique talent can contribute to it. Saturation is very prevalent in the stationery market and knowing your talents makes it easier for you to “get in where you fit in”, and dominate of course!

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to Inspiring Women Today?

“Instead of begging for a seat, build your own table”! – My translation, the longer you take to capitalize on your great idea the less time the world has to embrace it. If you have an amazing idea that you think the world should know about, don’t wait on someone to magically offer you a seat at the table, build a table and create opportunities for people who share the same vision as you.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?

  • I love to play soccer;
  • Pampering myself at the spa, self-love is important;
  • Travelling;
  • Netflix nights at home with my husband;
  • Holidays with my family.

About the Author

Latanya Farquharson is the lead graphic designer and owner at Elegantly Angeleta, a Toronto based boutique specializing in special event and wedding stationery. Latanya’s designs have been featured in Canadian Wedding magazines and Blogs and is called upon for her creative mind by wedding professionals in Canada. Latanya prides in the fact that she is able to wander off into the abyss and create stationery that is not always “cookie cutter”. She has a special interest in vintage, rustic and non-traditional designs.  


Website: www.elegantlyangeleta.com

Email: info@elegantlyangeleta.com  

A creative 27 year old workaholic – Hafsa Naseem- Karachi- Pakistan

Hafsa Naseem Bio:

Who are you?-   A creative 27-year-old workaholic. I am passionate and deeply immersed in what I do.

What is your business?- Freelance writer, Jewellery designer, and an enthusiastic speaker

How long have you been in business? – 8 years

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? Being a business owner means happiness to me. The sense of achievement and accomplishment is the best feeling ever. The satisfaction derived from work and happy clients gives me more energy and positivity to relieve and be more thankful and grateful for each passing day.  I never dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur until I became one. I wanted to invest my time and skills to something I enjoyed, and from there the journey of writing began. Then adding more colors to life, I started designing jewelry. Who has been your greatest influence in business and personal life and why? Women who excel even limited resources and support system. I admire many Ted Ex speakers. I just love listening to them as it gives me positive energy.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? I have so many secret admirers I never knew I had unless few people confessed me. I am happy to be a source of inspiration and motivation to so many women around me

What do you do to inspire women?  I talk to them and help them discover their strengths. I reflect on my personal life and experiences and try to bring out the best of them

What inspirational qualities do you possess? I am a good speaker and I believe in constant struggle and hard work. I know if you are determined to do something, patience and consistency will ultimately bring success. I feel I am an emotionally intelligent person and able to handle people well.

What’s your advice for other women that may want to do what you do?  Don’t let excuses find you, instead start now and the path will follow

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to Inspiring Women Today?  There is not a day that does not teach you anything. Be the learner and a good observer. Each minute brings life lessons

What do you do for fun/relaxation? I stroll through nature. I enjoy winds and rain. I love trees natural beauty. I love to meditate to recharge myself

What’s the best way for our Inspiring Women Today members and blog guests to connect with you?  For business, they can always message on page: www.facebook.com/oochijewelry/  Instagram: oochijewels www.oochijewels.com  and personally through group or inbox

I want to help as many women as possible truly love what they do – Jordan Wright – Australia

A brief Bio: My mission is to teach women how to increase visibility online by using simple strategies with skills they already have! I coach women into creating a business where people search for THEM! giving them the time freedom to enjoy their lives however they please knowing their business is working for them.

My name is Jordan and I’m an online visibility coach.

Who are you? I am a 26 year old entrepreneur from the Gold Coast in Australia. I knew that there was more to life than travelling 1.5 hours to and from work each day and as soon as I was presented with a different option, I took it with both hands! This opportunity was presented to me at age 22 and living in London. It was a Network Marketing company who’s products I had been using since I was 16 without realising what it was! 4 years later my business has expanded exponentially, I am the mother of a two year old diva and have been with my partner for 3.5 years now! I love meeting new people and creating new memories!

What is your business? My primary business is as an Online Visibility Coach where I help women grow their businesses both organically and through Facebook Advertising to find people who are genuinely interested in their product and willing to pay for it. I am also still working my network marketing business and am helping women who are looking to start their entrepreneurial journey by teaching them the skills on how to make the most sales right from the get-go!

How long have you been in business? I have been in business for 4 years now and have grown so so much in those 4 years!

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? I became an entrepreneur because I knew that I was meant for more. I knew that there was something missing in my life, and it was the independence that I wasn’t getting being a Finance Assistant. While I loved my job and the people I worked with, I didn’t enjoy having to ask for time off to spend with my family, and organising with someone how often I could see my daughter! That didn’t make sense to me. Being a business owner means that, while I am fully responsible for my own income, I am also free to live my life how I please. I am aiming to teach women that the guilt we are conditioned to feel as a stay at home mum, girl boss or taking the risk of creating our own success is societies issue! Not ours!

Who has been your greatest influence in business and personal life and why? I worked with an Intuitive life coach from the age of 20-23 before she passed away from breast cancer at the age of 49 who became a very close friend of mine and who taught me how to tap into my intuition and to manifest my deepest desires. She introduced me to my network marketing mentors who are incredible business people and have stuck with my and my crazy ideas for the past 4 years. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t met these amazing people!

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? Running successful online visibility courses that have allowed women to grow their own businesses online. Not only have I taught skills that these women had never even thought about implementing within their business.. I have seen them implement them and succeed!

What do you do to inspire women? I love meeting women on a personal level and getting to know why they started their business and what their goals are. I then take this knowledge and empower them and help them grow! Whether that be as a friend or a mentor. I want to help as many women as possible truly love what they do, how they look and show them that they are capable of anything and everything!

What inspirational qualities do you possess? I am very loud and will forever be making you feel like anything is possible! Haha. I know that we as women are capable of so many things, more than what we originally believe possible! Imagine back to when we were kids and we were forever competing with the boys at everything! When did that change? Why did that change?! I know that I want my daughter to know that she can do anything! And I want to show women and mums that even though we may have lost a sense of self at some point in our lives…. there’s no reason why we can’t find it again!

Whats your advice for other women that may want to do what you do? Take the plunge! Invest in a good mentor who you trust and learn the skills you need to boost your business and watch yourself thrive! Never stop investing in yourself because you’re worth it!

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to Inspiring Women Today?Always charge your worth. Whatever you feel you’re worth, double it!

What do you do for fun/relaxation? I am such a book worm. I enjoy writing books and reading anything with a good storyline!

What’s the best way for the our Inspiring Women Today members and blog guests to connect with you?

Website: http://jordanwright.me/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/JordanIreneWright/groups/?ref=page_internal

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/

Email: jordanwright@jordanwright.me


Don’t Let Fear Tell You That You Can’t – Bron Stange –  Australia

Who are you?

I’m the founder of Bopo Women, Bron Stange a natural body-positive, feminist skincare brand. I’m also a former law student, eating disorder survivor, proud Aquarian, feminist, coffee addict and mum to the best dog that’s ever lived, my Cavoodle Nala. I’m also deeply passionate about the power that conscious business and spending has to change the world and love nothing more than seeing people do the work they were put on this earth to do.

What is your business?

Bopo Women is a natural body-positive, feminist skincare brand taking on the beauty industry with products that encourage self-care, self-love and feeling good in your skin. Our products have been created with therapeutic experience at the forefront and have been crafted to help women cultivate self-love and self-care rituals in their lives.

How long have you been in business?

Since September 2017.

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?

Being a business owner has been a completely unexpected, yet utterly magical, twist of fate in my life. To me, being a business owner means having a powerful tool to change the world and create new ways of relating to each other and ourselves. I became an entrepreneur as a result of my own painful experience with an eating disorder and wanting to do something to help women love our bodies. Creating feminist, body positive skincare was my way of changing the beauty industry and it’s harmful messaging from the inside.

Who has been your greatest influence in business and personal life and why?

I think the greatest influence in my business life so far has been Julie Parker of Beautiful You Coaching Academy and the Priestess Podcast. I admire so much how she’s created a beautifully aligned, authentic and social conscious business and platform and continues to constantly learn and evolve with absolute transparency and vulnerability. In my personal life, I don’t feel like I’m influenced by anyone in particular and am more inspired by all of the incredible women I meet bravely creating businesses and lives that are truly aligned with who they are.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?

Launching a skincare business with no experience in the industry and just a vision and determination. Just starting and seeing it all come to life has been incredible! Leaving behind a potential corporate law career and instead leaping into what my heart wanted to create is definitely the thing I’m most proud of so far.

What do you do to inspire women?

Through Bopo Women, I help women to question the harmful standards the beauty industry proliferates and reconnect with their bodies. Our products remind them of their own inherent beauty and that they are already enough.

What inspirational qualities do you possess?

This is a hard one! Maybe not caring about conventional wisdom, social norm and rules and just doing my own thing! I think I also have some extraordinary patience levels when it comes to my business thanks to my experience recovering from an eating disorder which really taught me how to sit with the uncomfortable.

Whats your advice for other women that may want to do what you do?

Don’t let fear tell you that you can’t. That you aren’t enough or that you don’t have the right degree, qualification or experience. If you have a vision and you feel really passionate about bringing it to life you can do it. However, I’d also say if you don’t have this kind of passion for your business it may be difficult to find the resilience and inner strength to get through the hard days and weeks. Knowing how much I believe that the world, and women, need Bopo Women, has gotten me through the periods of ambiguity and frustration and I know that belief will continue to do so.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to Inspiring Women Today?

Test everything. Keep trying different angles. Have patience and believe in your vision. Also, nothing is ever as good or as bad as you think. Stay grounded! I’d also say don’t assume that just because something worked for another business it will work for yours. While you can of course always learn from others, sometimes you need to trust your gut and go with what seems right for you and your business that might not align with conventional wisdom.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?

Walks in nature and by the sea, drink tequila, find new amazing coffee places, yoga, shamefully binge watch reality tv, read about astrology and learn tarot, listen to podcasts, dream up new business ideas and cook delicious food.

What’s the best way for the our Inspiring Women Today members and blog guests to connect with you?

Website:  www.bopowomen.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/bopowomen

I’m a Funny Introverted Vegan! – Heidi Lumsden – Australia

Who are you?

Hello! My name is Heidi, I’m a funny introverted vegan, empath who is 29 years young. I’m a Gemini, a photographer and homeschooling Mum of two, Melody 6 and Odin 18 months. I have had endometriosis, I’m engaged to be married to my aspergers partner of almost 10 years and we also have two beautiful fur babies. One of whom has cancer. Wow, writing this all down made me realise how badass I am. Everyday I fight for my happiness, my kids happiness, my health, and my (out of the ordinary) life choices. I wouldn’t say it’s ‘easy’ being me but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was given this life for a reason and I won’t take it for granted.

What is your business?

I am what I like to call an artistic portrait photographer. Basically I turn people into a piece of art they can keep forever.

How long have you been in business?

I started taking photos professionally about 5 years ago when my daughter was about 1 year old. I have been a newborn photographer, pet photographer, boudoir, weddings, events, couples, family – you name it. Now I like to focus on artistic portraits, it’s where I can really let my creativity loose. I do still offer wedding and event photography but I’ve trained my partner to tackle those for me. He takes the photos and I edit them.

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?

To be honest, it just kind of happened. I had been into photography for a small amount of time before I was gifted my first camera. That camera got me through some hard times. I choose to be a business owner now because of the flexibility. I can homeschool my children during the day while taking photos on the weekend and editing at night. It also gives me something that’s just for me that I enjoy, my art.

Who has been your greatest influence in business and personal life and why?

Lauren Bath. She was the very first travel photographer and influencer on instagram. She has inspired me the whole way. I still remember how I was so excited to meet her and how much I looked up to her and now she tells me how much she loves my photos and how I could teach her about portraits. She’s pretty amazing.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?

Being chosen as the photographer for Garage Ink Manor by Teneile Napoli who is a famous tattoo artist and another woman I look up to and admire. I was also given some amazing news that I can’t quite share yet.

What do you do to inspire women?

I’m not sure.

What inspirational qualities do you possess?

The fact that despite my chronic disease I never give up.

Whats your advice for other women that may want to do what you do?

Pick up the camera, take photos every day. Keep trying and know your worth.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to Inspiring Women Today?

Do your taxes.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?

Take photos, no seriously I love it. Spend quality time with my family, watch a Netflix series with my partner.

What’s the best way for the our Inspiring Women Today members and blog guests to connect with you?

You can find me on Instagram: www.instagram.com/adelhide_

You never know how much support means – Kayley Meloche – Australia

You never know the extent of how much your support can help a small business.

None of my clients know the extent of my conditions- and they don’t understand how much they are appreciated!

In 2015 I slipped a disk in my lower back. After going through chronic sciatica pain and tonnes of subpar doctors for almost a year, I finally got diagnosed. I was rushed to hospital a few weeks later for surgery.

Being from New Zealand, I am not entitled to anything to help with taking time off work. So there I was, bedridden and recovering from surgery with no income. Not to mention the medical bills and all the time off I need when I literally could not move.

In healing, my body decided it would be a grand idea to produce a bony ridge on the operation site resulting in chronic pain and limited movement. This is also paired up with sciatica, scoliosis and sacroiliac joint pain yay!

To this day, some days I can’t walk, or sometimes I am hunched over and very slow. Some days I am in constant tears. And some days I can’t even take a full breath in because the pain is unbearable. I also have deteriorating disks which means the disk under the operated one is wearing out and things will get worse with time. It’s like having the spine of a 70-year-old. I’m 29.

Who would hire me? I can’t sit in an office chair for 8 hours a day. I can’t lift anything heavier than my cup of tea! I’m a liability. But I am good at what I do.

So thankfully, with the help of my amazing husband Kyle, our little company Maple & Honey Digital Agency has taken off! This allows me to work my own hours. I don’t have to travel to and from work. And I can work laying down on my laptop! I don’t know what I would do without my lovely clients and the support from friends and family!!

I just wanted to write this to show people that there could be more going on than people realize. The power of a like on a Facebook page goes a long way. A 5-star review can make someone’s day! A tag in a comment can help people get a new client.

Supporting small business is so important. I can’t stress that enough! When ever I can I try to find and support small business- I don’t want my money going to some big wig to pay off his Ferrari!! I want it to go to real people who are working hard.

So thank you. Thank you to everyone that is supporting each other. Thank you to my existing clients. Thank you for every like on our page. Thank you for supporting women in business. Thank you for supporting small business.

Thank you – Looks can be deceiving.

After attending a networking event yesterday where I looked totally fine. I’m actually in agonising pain. I’m also wearing a back brace under that dress!

Today I am in bed with a hot water bottle in so much pain. I can hardly walk because of pushing myself too far yesterday. And by pushing myself, I mean it was a normal day for most people!

Thank you again to everyone that supports my digital agency and allows me to work from home. I don’t know what I would do without you all!

About the writer.

Kayley lives on the Gold Coast and runs her own business, Maple & Honey, Kayley specialises in Google Adwords. With her husband Kyle (Canadian- hence ‘maple’) they create websites, specialising in membership websites, SEO and digital strategies.

You can contact Kayley by email on kayley@maplehoney.co

Wonder Woman – Jo Lynch – Australia

I had 6 kids by the time I was 26 and got married at 29 and had another 5. My youngest is now 11 and my oldest is
31. All my life all I have done is be home for the kids and do for them. As you can imagine there were a few times
during their growing up that I suffered from depression. But I got through, and I am out on the other side of that
now. However, almost 7 years ago now our house burnt down. That was a complete life changer. Before that I was a
very successful Mary Kay Director, running a team of girls. Only 2% of the consultants become directors. I was feeling
pretty chuffed with myself because I finally felt like I had achieved something in my life. But, as you can imagine,
after the fire, I had a complete breakdown. I won’t bore you with the details but let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.
Thankfully I have a very supportive Husband and we got through it. But, after the fire is where my life completely

In December of 2011 I joined a gym. I wouldn’t have done that had we continued to live where our house was, but
because we were further into civilization now I was able too. I had joined gyms before, but this time was different. I
was given 3 free PT sessions that completely changed my life. The first trainer I was given didn’t click with me, so I
was given another and that is where the rest of my life began. He inspired me so much that by the end of 2012 I was
a fully qualified Personal Trainer. I had already started cert 3 in hair Dressing a few months before the house burnt
down so I was doing both at the same time. I did work in a gym for a little while but felt it was ridiculous the amount
of rent I was paying to the gym, so I bought some equipment and started to run my business at home.

A couple of years later I went back to school to do cert 4 in Hair Dressing. That was a great time. I gained more friends and was
really loving the studies. In the same building by this time was a Beauty School, so as soon as I finished Hair Dressing
I started with a diploma in Beauty Therapy. OH My Gosh! I really loved that. Never in my life would I have thought
that I would enjoy putting my hands on people but I find it very therapeutic. I completed my diploma in June 2016.
And believe it or not, I have just gone back to school to do cert 3 in Barbering. While doing my cert 4 in Hair Dressing
I realized I wanted to specialize in men’s but there were no Barbering courses then, so I didn’t pursue it, but now!
I’m super excited to be able to fulfil one more dream.In amongst all this great study period I began to run. I have trouble with my shoulders and that makes it difficult to train the way I really want to, so I had to re-evaluate my training and what I could do. I realized I still had the ability to run.

And one of my main goals when it comes to exercise is to be fitter. So, running it was. I now run 20+ km a week. I walk 20+ km a week. And I do Highland Dancing 6+ hours a week. I do at least one fun run a year. I just did 13.5km in Run The Rock. Think I might actually get another one in this year and I am thinking of a half marathon this time. I am not a fast runner by any means, but I do run and it helps to keep me sain. It’s definitely my outlet, my therapy. So is the dancing.

Since we have been renting from September 2011 we have moved house a lot. Too many times to keep count. It’s
been really tough. I hate moving, but for one reason or another we always seem to have to move. In doing so, I had
lost a lot of clients because we ended up moving too far away for them to attend regularly. Moving to Mitcham killed
my business, but we are now in Wantirna and the house we have is big enough to cater for all my businesses and
what they need, and we have renewed our lease for the first time in 7 years, such a relief.

I have had to do a lot of self-development and I continue to work on me daily. I’ve got a long way to go still, but I am improving in all areas of my life daily. I attended a self-development retreat back in November and that has helped turn my business around. Doing so many things it’s sometimes hard to know where to put my energies. But I now have clarity and with that
clarity I have become consistent. Of course, that’s exactly what my businesses have needed all this time, but with me
doing so many things I use to jump around all the time with what I wanted to focus on.

Not anymore. Now I focus on the fitness side of things and teach others how to have the success with their weight loss that I have had. And that makes me feel so good. I have 7 ladies already on the wait list for my next group that wont be running until June. Can’t tell you how chuffed I am at that. Consistency. That’s all it takes. I also home school my 3 youngest children so being there for them and their schooling is of the most importance. This is the main reason I work on my business rather than going to work for someone else. My kids need me to have that flexibility.

So, in short! I am a Personal Trainer, a Metabolic Nutritionist, a Hair Dresser, and Beauty Therapist, and will soon be
a Barber. I have 11 children with 8 ½ Grandkids, I run my businesses from home so I can home school my 3 youngest
children. I run 20+ km a week, I walk 20+ km a week, I do Highland Dancing 6+ hours a week, I’m learning to play the
bagpipes and I’m just overall Wonder Woman.

You can contact the Author on – beautywithjo@hotmail.com

The Day I Started To Believe In Myself – Kim Wright – Australia

I was born in Launceston Tasmania the eldest of five children. My father was a Boiler Maker Welder and my mother stayed home and worked hard trying to make ends meet. Theirs’ was a turbulent marriage which ended in divorce 25 years later. As children we had lots of freedom and would regularly go missing for the whole day as we trekked around the countryside returning in time for our evening meal to an anxious mother. Despite her vexed look and harsh words, she doubtlessly was pleased to see us.

In my family I was the first born. I was the first teenage pregnancy. I was the first unmarried mother. I was the first to shun marriage and opted to live in sin but married later. I was the first to be divorced. All through my life I have carried shame. The shame of being sixteen and pregnant. Marrying my baby’s father was not an option we were just kids playing around and got caught out. Even now I can see myself standing in the family kitchen confirming my parents worse fear that yes, I was pregnant.

There were no words of comfort or support given at any stage during my pregnancy. My mother told me, “I had ruined the rest of my life”. My father told me, “No decent man would ever want me, nobody wants used goods”. I bought that one and carried it around until I was well into my forties. Little wonder I have two failed marriages and a trail of broken relationships. More shame. I have three children to two different fathers, more shame. I left my children, more shame.

Let’s face it being pregnant at sixteen is not what any parent wants for their child. In the 70’s it was still associated with girls of (shall we say) loose morals or girls who came from a poor family background. Nice girls never did these things. I was the girl your mother told you to never associate with and your father told you to have a good time with, but do not marry. When I was five months pregnant I was sent to Melbourne and stayed at The Presbyterian Sisterhood, a residential placement for unmarried mothers until the birth of my daughter.

My baby was going to be given up for adoption. Funny I don’t recall ever being asked what I wanted until very late in my pregnancy. By then I had been told so many times as to what I was going to be doing that I simply repeated, “my baby was going to be adopted”. My beautiful daughter was born on 29 December 1973 and something happened on the inside of me. I found myself saying, “I am not giving her up for adoption”. Social workers, nurses, the sisters and matron of the unmarried mothers home tried to talk me out of it, but I stood firm in my decision.

Hmmm was that the beginning of tenacity or was I just being a stubborn rebellious teenager. I returned to Tasmania with my daughter and to my supportive parents. I dare say it was easy for them and I was not privy to any of the conversations that happened prior to my return or after. But they were there for me, and they loved my daughter as much as I did.

After living together for three years I married my first husband only to leave six months later. I left my first husband for another man who is the father of my other two children. It was a toxic relationship involving drugs, abuse, threats and manipulation. After 7 years I could not take it any more and left. I left my children. At that stage I believed I was a bad mother. I believed every rotten thing that had been happening within our home was my fault, if I was a better mother my children would be happier, if I was a better at relationships my partner would be happier.

Several months later my children and I were reunited as a family, but the road was so much harder because of the damage that had been done. We endured an incredible amount of hardship over the next 10 plus years but the one factor that drove me was I wanted a better life for my family, and for myself. I wanted more and was not prepared to sit back and accept what life had dished up so far.

Shame held me back. I made little inroads, but it was a constant uphill struggle and many times I would end up in tears of frustration and desperation. Subconsciously the shame I felt kept me from the very things I wanted. It started when I was sixteen and pregnant, followed by children to different fathers (we still hear that one today) “she’s got three children to different fathers” said with a condescending tone, said with judgment. Then came, “you’ve been divorced twice”, “a sucker for punishment”, and “how could you leave your children”? “I would never do that no matter how bad things were”.

I carried all of this and more until the day I started to believe in myself. It wasn’t triggered by anything special just a cumulation of events over a long period of time and the insatiable desire for a better way of being. I knew for things to change I had to start with myself. It has been a journey of self discovery and personal development with many ups and downs and twists and turns.

Living overseas for 2 years, then moving interstate 11 years ago to make a new life for myself, establishing a career in teaching adults with job ready skills, and now I own two businesses. The journey I started with my first business in May 2017 is far from the journey I am currently experiencing. The world I move in keeps expanding and the opportunities just keep coming. It is my choice as to which opportunities I accept and which direction I take at this exciting stage of my life. One thing I know for sure is I no longer carry shame. I love that sixteen year old girl and I admire her courage, her tenacity and her resilience without her I would not be who I am today or whom I become tomorrow.

About the Author

Kim is the Founder of Office Society and the Branch Director of Business In Heels – North Shore Sydney. She is an aspiring speaker and author.

Kim gives business owners the confidence in knowing their office is humming along efficiently allowing them to use their resources to gain a competitive edge.

A true business matchmaker connecting and collaborating business to business.

Kim’s favourite quote, “Life is like an ice cream, just when you think you have it licked, it drips all over you”.

You can contact Kim on – kim@officesociety.com.au

The journey of my healing had begun – Tess Hansel – Australia

A big hello to you!

My name is Tess Hansel and I live in Queensland Australia on five acres with my husband Bob, daughter Nicky, horse (Red), dogs (Chester and Katie) and our cat (Nova).

I retired from my office job in 2013 and will never forget the unceremonious farewell as the organisation was very keen to see the back of an employee who questioned the unquestionable!

I suppose I’ve always been like that. For many years though, I would silently question those around me, but something happens as you begin your journey through menopause, and the emerging lioness within begins to roar.

That’s a good thing too, as us women have a long way to go before we can see the equality in our lives that we so deserve.

So, you could say that my retirement farewell on the day was non-existent. In fact, they were so pleased to see me go, that the manager drove into the city to meet a taxi containing my work exit document, ensuring that I would depart the office and organisation that very day!

My crime – caring about my fellow workmates and helping them have a voice. You see, there was (and still is) a real agenda against older women admin workers in Australia and all our experience, encouragement, and love and care is not what a typical office wants to see these days.

You would think I had learnt my lesson but, no, it took two more government contracts in a temporary capacity to see me well and truly out the door of admin/office work! And, yes, I was fired after helping a few members of the admin staff to get their concerns and unreasonable job conditions accelerated to the right quarters, by-passing a certain level of management.

The first time I arrived home – my husband, who gets home before me, jokingly asked me if I’d been fired as I got out of the car. It was a bit hard to hide as I had my typical box of goodies with my desk fan (a must during menopause) perched on the top.

The second time I told him by phone, as I was working out of a different city. He was not particularly amused.  “Let me guess, you got involved in someone else’s work treatment issue – right?” That would be a yes from me, I said quietly as he digested the news.

It’s all very well and good at the time, standing up for peoples’ rights, but afterwards you do begin to feel a tad foolish and wonder how things will pan out.

As I sat at my home desk, it dawned on me – I had always earned a living, before Bob and after Bob, and I began to sink into a pity party – literally used half a box of tissues. Part of me was miserable about the situation of older admin women in government and private sector offices and part of me was just suffering the effects of being ill.

You see I had been fighting hemiplegic migraines for quite some time. For any of you that suffer from those I send the biggest hug as it’s the pits. So, part of the tear fest was due to ill health, but a big part of my emotions was knowing that there are government and private sector offices all over Australia where older women are being ignored, pushed around and put down in the hope that they will give in and leave. And so many of these women are suffering ill health due to the stress and treatment they are receiving, let alone managing menopause.

I was so upset that the women I was helping (and men as well) were now on their own, but at least I had helped them take a stand and management was now aware and accountable.

For me though, I began a slide into a deep pit.  I was not only working through the emotions of rejection from my full-time role and contract roles, but I was second-guessing my overall role in life, as well as daily fighting the symptoms of hemiplegic migraine.

I went into a time of fasting and prayer and one morning I had an ‘aha’ moment, sitting at my desk – “You are a project researcher – why don’t you make Tess the project and research your health?”

And that’s what I did! I took some of my energy, compassion, love and consideration and gave it to me!

The journey of my healing had begun as I started to research the food I was eating, then went further into bathroom products, medications, cleaning products – everything. I discovered and removed all synthetic chemicals and began eating organic fruit and vegetables.

The turnaround was immediate, from the first mouthful of real food, because it was real food.

Now I’m helping and encouraging other menopausal women to become their own project.

Especially when it comes to bladder control. Hemiplegic migraines had left me incontinent, partially weakened on one side and with the foggiest brain.

Now I am healed, living without aches or pains, have a fully retrained bladder (having discovered the Dry Swan Exercise) and have taken back my life!

I have written two eBooks and have now created an online bladder control course to help other menopausal women put themselves first in their care life too.

You can read more about me here: 

Big hugs – I love what Amelia Earhart had to say, “The most effective way to do it is to do it.”



Tess is a bit of a miracle, having suffered many life-threatening experiences, including being hit by a car while riding a bike to primary school as a child, drowning, and two life-threatening childbirths.

The attacks in 2011 of hemiplegic migraine, and resulting stroke paralysis, saw Tess on a journey to explore how she could reclaim her good health. Part of that recovery was discovering an amazing exercise (Dry Swan) to reclaim her bladder control.

After years of research and struggle Tess has beaten the odds once again and is now sharing what she has learnt to help other women suffering urinary incontinence.

Tess is from a family of nine children and grew up in a post-war family (in Christchurch, New Zealand) with all the trials and challenges that presented. She is married to Bob (38 years) and has two beautiful daughters – Bobbi and Nicky.

Tess’ background includes owning and operating several businesses including television broadcast where she presented the local weekly shopping show. As well, Tess has qualifications in project management and has worked in many different businesses and organisations over the years, in various roles of EA, PA and secretary.


Tess Hansel – Author of

Organic Food Heals – 7 Awesome Ways to Good Health Naturally

Take Back Your Bladder Control

And Online Course – Better Bladder Better Life

Divorce is the end of the relationship, not the end of life – Revathi Mohan – India


I was born in a highly conservative family in a town called Tiruchengode (Tamilnadu, India). Like most of the girls in my community, I completed my Masters with Distinction. And of-course, it is a symbol of esteem to complete an Engineering Degree or a Master Degree – Strictly ‘No’ to the job.

Till then life for me was one and only my family, to get a good name to my family members – that too based on the subject score and the words from my teacher. Those days girls will not be appreciated and encouraged much if they achieved something other than academics. After 2 years of groom hunt – with the approval from the astrologer and the groom’s first circle (no doubt, to approach the people who only gave positive words about the guy just because astrologer gave positive remarks), I got married. It didn’t last even for 10 days.

I was born in a social circle where good girls must tolerate all the non-sense attitude of the groom’s house. Even though they disrespect us to the core out of insecurity and low self-esteem.  He verbally abused me. Within a week of marriage, tortured me to the core and also said, this is your final day – threatened me to get ready with the suicide note. I was petrified. I realized, his intention behind this marriage is not to live a happy life with me. I was shattered. I heard the worst statement I ever hear in my life- ‘Why do you smile at guest – are you trying to flatter them’ – so far I heard ‘Smile’ is the basic respect we give to the other human being. I was not allowed to talk with neither the guest nor anyone at his home.

I tried my best to make my parents to realize his attitude. I was clueless what I am going to do next. I am okay to go with the flow.  I took a decision and discussed with my family members that, I don’t deserve to live this kind of life, no matter what- I just want to come out of this.

The impact they left in 10 days remained for 3 years in my life- I was on medication for a year and therapy for couple of years.

I experienced the definition of Depression.

I was ashamed to meet my loved ones- It reminded their toxic words not to talk with anyone.

I used to cry for no reason when I see for paper and pen – that reminds he compelled me to write a suicide note

I got to fear for my favourite food and restaurant  – since he said he mix poison in that

I got fear to travel – since he tried to crash the car which my father complimented for my wedding just because I was not ready to write suicide note.

My hands shivered like anything. I just wake up in the mid of night and cried for no reason.  I could not hold a glass full of water to drink. I was scared of everything – even to cross the road without a companion was a biggest achievement.

Then I took a decision – I don’t want to give any reason to anyone to follow my instinct. All I could feel is , ”I don’t deserve to live this kind of worst life”

2013- I got married and applied for divorce.

Then I joined in college studied full time Masters in counselling Psychology.

It was absolute pain to sit in the classroom and listen how to handle the pain.  There are days I run out of the class and cry for no reason.

There are days I was unable to focus on any therapy.

I got absolutely very good friends during my college days who hug me everyday and say I am perfect

On 2013 my birthday I was a depressed patient in a hospital and at 2014 I was a psychologist intern at a hospital. I found a Year can do a lot to a person based on the choice they made.

I passed out in the year 2015 and I was the first student who got placed in my department

Placed at an reputed Engineering College as the first CounsellingPsychologist.

Yes, the two gentle men created a job for me.

2016-   Quit my job and started travelling just to explore about people and lifestyle.

Interviewed amazing personalities right from Mrs.India, Padma Bhushan Awardee( highest civilian award in India) Member of Parliament, Lawyers, Educational Institute Founder, Students, Spiritual Gurus , Road side sellers etc

Found the answer for ‘what matters the most and where the real happiness is’

2017-   I started to write snippets and blogs , then I wrote a book about parenting ‘ The Smile Syrup’

Now, Revathi, The Author – ‘The Smile Syrup’

Am sure now I am the reason behind the Smile of Millions

And now my parents are proud of me for the difference I am making in people’s life. Talking with strangers – listening to their problems- giving a clarity in their life and making an impact is a bliss. And it takes years and so many hardships to realise this thing.

I hate people call me victim or survivor. I don’t want people to pity me and I don’t want to play a safe victim game. I always want to be a person who tries hard to get what I deserve.

I realised it is my responsibility to change my identity. Of course yes, the person who could save me is only me. The choices I consider and the decision I chose matters a lot. Even though, my father is financially and socially secured I haven’t experienced this kind of bliss even before.

What I am now today is because of the kind of people I chose to be with  and the kind of life, I want to live and to the kind of person I wish to make the positive impact . I do counselling and make people really okay with my presence. I am happy and feel content that I make difference in their lives. Life is once, nobody deserves to live an unhappy life.

I realize, not all the men are cruel. I was compelled by someone to write a suicide note and I was inspired by someone to write my book ‘The Smile Syrup’.

2018-  I framed my own module and started a story telling session  for parents.

It’s my prudence and persistence makes me to reach the place where I am today.

One life changing statement in my life,


Now I am proud to say, if you know me a year back – I say, ‘ sorry that’s not me- everyyear my growth is  strong and allow me to re-introduce myself’.