You Don’t Actually Need To Be Talented To Succeed. You Just Need This.

If you’ve got this one attribute, you can make it all the way to the top.

Is ‘Relatable’ The New Body Ideal?

Say hello to the new bikini bod: the one you already have.

Should You Be Friends With Your Coworkers?

Think back to the time you had your first day at a new job. Did you feel nervous? Probably, yes. You might have been worried about having to learn many new things, not knowing where the kitchen was, or how to access your e-mails.

RELATED: How To Be Career Confident

But the main thing that made you nervous was most likely the fear that no one would like you. For most people, being liked by coworkers is very important, or should I say, for most women. I recently read an article about a female journalist who says that her success was due to the fact that she has never “wasted” a second trying to be liked by her coworkers.

Most men seem to go to work simply to get the job done whereas women spend more time chatting to their coworkers about things unrelated to work and even building friendships. So there goes the productivity, one might say. Another argument of the above mentioned journalist is that things like asking for a pay rise and openly telling your boss why you’re better than your coworkers is something that men have no problem doing, while many women would dread it or even consider it as back-stabbing.

So would we really be more successful in our careers if we didn’t care so much? It would save us time and might increase our productivity, but it would also be pretty lonely. Caring about other people is a wonderful thing and as long as we don’t base every decision around our coworkers approval, I don’t see how working in a friendly atmosphere can harm anyone’s career.

Of course there is a fine line between being friendly and being friends, with the ladder sometimes making it hard to stay professional, but the bottom line is this: kindness always wins. If you are doing a good job at work, being liked by your coworkers will only help you in the long run. Have you ever heard anyone say: “She got the promotion because she is an absolute bitch to everyone at the office”? No, neither have I.

Image via Popsugar

Why You Need A F*#k It List And Not A Bucket List

It’s likely that you’re already familiar with the bucket list, but have you ever considered creating a f*#k it list? While the nether is great for listing all the goals and dreams that you hope to one day fulfil, it doesn’t take into consideration the now – which, according to numerous spiritual gurus, is where all of our power lies. So, dear reader, what exactly is a f*#k it list and why should you be ditching your trusty bucket list in favour of one?

RELATED: Throwback Thursday: Hidden Treasures To Add To Your Bucket List

The FU list is ultimately about letting go of anything that might hold you back from reaching your full potential and achieving your goals. This could be anything from caring too much about how others perceive you, to not saying how you really feel. In essence, it’s about taking back control of your life in order to get to where you want to go; saying “f*#k it” to the things that really don’t serve you a purpose.

Let me ask you this: how many times have you withheld an idea or a comment in fear of being wrong? How many times have you not acted on something – like giving that cute stranger your number – because you were afraid of looking foolish? And how many times have you looked back on that moment only to be filled with some type of regret? The point is that if you act out of fear, doors are less likely to open up for you and you’re less likely to be open to life. As the saying goes: it’s better to say ‘oh well’ than ‘what if.’

So, on that note, ladies, here’s the top 5 f*#k it’s to include on your list!

  1. F*#k it, I can’t be liked by everyone.

It’s a fact: you can’t be liked by everyone. And if you were, it would be a damn exhausting job people pleasing 24/7 – because let’s face it, that’s exactly what you would have to do. According to an article by the Huffington Post, if “about 85 percent of the people you meet like you, you are probably doing something right,” and on the contrary, “if much more than 85 percent of the people you meet like you, you are probably doing too much to get along.”

This isn’t to say that you’re not a likeable person, it just means that not everyone has the same likes or holds the same values as you do. If you find that you rub people the wrong way or vice versa, let it go. Instead, cherish the wonderful friendships that you do have.

  1. F*#k it, I’m going to say what I feel.

This is something that a lot of people struggle with, and surprisingly, it can do a lot more harm than good. In an article by The Guardian, a palliative nurse who had counselled the dying revealed the most common regrets that they had in their final days. Interestingly, not saying how they truly felt was among the top five.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others,” the article read. “As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

  1. F*#k it, it’s okay to fail.

Getting knocked back or failing at something is a part of life. But just because you fail once doesn’t mean that you’re destined to fail for the rest of your years. Some of the most successful people in the world, including Walt Disney and J.K. Rowling, were told no several times – and low and behold, they found their way to a big fat yes.

Let us all take some advice from Thomas A. Edison the next time things don’t go according to plan: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

  1. F*#k it, I’ll worry about it if and when it happens.

Did you know that 85 per cent of the things that we worry about never happen? Let me repeat that number: 85 per cent! Yep, research conducted by the University of Cincinnati proves it. What’s more, the study found that 79 per cent of us actually surprise ourselves in our ability to handle the 15 per cent that does happen.

This is incredible considering we spend a good part of our lives worrying about all of the things that could go wrong. Can you imagine what could happen if we were to put that energy into thinking about all of the things that could go right? Oh the possibilities!

  1. F*#k it, it’s okay not to have all of the answers.

Life is full of uncertainty. You’re guaranteed to keep your job no more than you’re guaranteed to live for the next fifty years. So, why is it that we feel control over circumstance equates to stability and happiness? Because quite often, as I’m sure you’ve experienced, it leads to frustration and disappointment.

It’s okay to make the wrong decision, adjust it or learn from – you weren’t to know the outcome. Besides, sometimes it’s the wrong decisions in life that ultimately lead to the right ones. As Tony Robbins once said: “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.”

What would you put on your list?

Developing Your Intuition (And Why It Matters)

Using our intuition is not something we learn at school. Most of us have been taught to make decisions relying on logic and information that we receive from the outside world, but this is no longer a great strategy for a successful life. Information is everywhere and it can take us decades to get through it and arrange it in a logical way, and who has decades to spend on every decision? We need a shortcut and we need it now!

RELATED: Powerful Morning Rituals That Lead To Success

Luckily, intuition can provide this shortcut by helping us access our inner knowing of what is right for us in every moment. Successful thinkers and doers from all walks of life admit that developing their intuition has been vital to their success. Bill Gates, the richest man on earth has a popular quote: “Often you have to rely on intuition,” while Einstein said: “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”

“But I’m not Bill Gates and I’m not Einstein”, you might be thinking. “What if I don’t have intuitive abilities?”

Everyone has intuitive abilities

Intuitive coach and energy healer Freya Dwyer explains that intuition is the part of us that guides us to bring love and grace to every situation, and it’s a part that we all have. Even if you don’t think you’re intuitive, you have probably experienced intuitive hits without realising it.

For example, you might be having a fight with a family member and you really want to say that one thing that will ‘get’ them, but there’s something in you that warns you not to go there. Or you might get a strong sense to eat a certain food or walk a certain path, and you don’t know why, but to do anything else feels wrong.

Why is it important to follow your intuition?

Your intuition offers the shortest way to personal fulfilment. “If we don’t follow our intuition when the voice is quiet and small, eventually your life will become so uncomfortable that you will have no other choice but to follow it”, Freya says. A bad relationship is the perfect example that comes to mind. We see and feel that something is off from the very start, but we choose to ignore our gut feeling, just to end up breaking up months or years down the track after a lot of heartache.

Freya tells a story from her own life when her intuition helped her make a decision that wasn’t comfortable, but it turned out being the right one. “When I was in my twenties I worked for a company that was very unethical. I didn’t have a lot of experience and I thought that must be the way things were in that industry, but it felt very wrong to me.

“One day I just walked out.  I didn’t know what I was going to do or how I was going to pay my bills, but I knew I couldn’t stay one more day in that place. After I did that, I gained employment at a wonderful company and was able to build back my self-esteem.”

Developing your intuition

While everyone has intuitive abilities, using your intuition is like using your muscles. Train your muscles every day and you will soon notice that your body becomes fitter and stronger. Practice your intuition and you will start receiving clearer signals.

Freya recommends daily meditation as a way to develop your intuition. You can start with just 5 minutes a day and then gradually build up your meditation practice. Other activities that can help are journaling and yoga, or another physical practice to connect you to your body.

Self-care is extremely important when you want to hear your intuition clearly. When you’re stressed out and running around all day, you’re unable to discern between worry and intuition. Instead, take some time for yourself and do what relaxes you. With a calm mind it’s much easier to remember to pay attention to the signals in your body.

Stop and notice how you’re feeling throughout the day. Acknowledge the things that feel good, whether it’s patting the neighbour’s cat, smelling a flower, or drinking more water. Then notice how you feel when you do things that don’t feel right, like constantly checking Facebook or complaining. Get to know changes in your body as you go about your day. What gives you a feeling of bliss? What makes your stomach tighten?

The difference between intuition and fear

But wait, isn’t that tightening in the stomach just fear? Shouldn’t we ignore it and go for what we want anyway? Freya offers an easy way to distinguish between fear and intuition. Fear is about rehashing the past or trying to predict the future, while intuition is always, always in the present moment. Fear tells you that you have limited options. Intuition is infinitely creative. Fear tends to compare you to others and their situation, but your intuition knows that you’re entirely unique.

Connecting to your intuition is a discipline. Practice every day and little by little you’ll be able to experience greater flow and ease in your life.

Image via Pixabay

Inspirational Women: Michelle Bridges

Each week, SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.

RELATED: Inspirational Women: Meredith Cranmer

Tell us about your role? What is it and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?

Every day is different! I’ve just finished a huge tour across six states for my new book Powerful Living, and soon I’ll start filming on location for The Biggest Loser. When I’m not on the move, I’m usually in the office three to five days a week, keeping up the communication with my amazing team and working on projects like new product ranges.

When did you know this is what you wanted to do as a career?

I knew very early on that I wanted to help people, but I wasn’t exactly sure how! I noticed in high school some of the kids really weren’t keen on joining in on sports, so I thought about how I could get them involved. So, at 14, I pitched an idea to run exercise classes for these students – I’m not sure how polished my pitch would have been, but I got the go ahead and have been in the industry ever since.

What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path and since then?

There were times when I was really frustrated working in the fitness industry. I thought there were only a certain number of paths you could take – be a PT, be a group fitness instructor, manage or own a gym – and after ticking all these things off my list, I still wasn’t fulfilled and was hungry for more!

How did you overcome these?

There were times when I pulled back from the industry and did other things, like learn more about business. I brought those new skills and creativity back to the industry and kept refuelling that flame. My clients soaked up the advice I gave them in sessions and I knew there had to be more I could do with my knowledge and experience. I had to figure out a way to share this expertise with more people. I started writing columns and pitching TV segments, before eventually getting the call from The Biggest Loser.

In your position (Biggest Loser/12WBT/author) you have helped thousands of people transform their lives. How does it feel to be such a positive influence on so many?

I hear new stories of success – some small, some big – every day, and I’m still so humbled by them! It really does make me so joyous that I’ve been a part of that for them. It’s the best feeling ever, and that’s why I continue to do what I do. I was in a cab the other day and the driver was telling me that his wife did 12WBT last year and he’s never seen her so confident. He was almost in tears telling me about it. Every story just drives me to push harder and further!

You’re the number one health and fitness woman in Australia inspiring many, how do you deal with the pressure?

No matter how crazy things are, I make sure exercise is a priority! It definitely helps me clear my mind. I also surround myself with great people who are the best at what they do. I trust my team completely, so I’m not worrying about every little thing – I know they’ve got it covered.

Where do you find your inspiration, who is it that inspires you?

Jamie Oliver is a huge inspiration. What he’s done with his Food Revolution is amazing, and you can tell he’s stayed true to himself his whole career. My 12WBTers also inspire constantly! The way they support each other and take the tools from the program to transform their own lives and the lives of those around them is incredible.

Your hard work has allowed you to be involved in some amazing projects and endeavours – what do you feel is your biggest accomplishment?

I’ve had to pinch myself a lot of times over the years! Hitting ONE MILLION KILOS weight lost across the country through my 12WBT program was a crazy milestone that I’m very proud of. I also never thought I’d have two Guinness World Records to my name! How awesome is that?! On an industry front, it was a huge privilege to receive the Fitness Industry Roll of Honour Award last year.

What are your goals for the future?

My goal has always been to empower as many people as possible to be the best version of themselves, and I’ll continue at it for the rest of my life. If everything fell over tomorrow, I’d still be doing what I’m doing – helping people with fitness, good nutrition and getting on with their lives.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?

Be consistent – in all areas of life!

Top 5 Rules To Success In Business

For many women creating and running their own business provides greater flexibility, independence and fulfilment than a traditional 9-5 job. The great thing is that anyone with an idea and the determination to pursue it can become a successful entrepreneur if they take the right steps. Finance entrepreneur Michael Kodari, founder of stockbroking experts KOSEC-Kodari, shares his top 5 rules to success in business.

RELATED: How Self-Belief Can Help You Achieve Your Career Goals

  1. Integrity – Do as you say

If you ever commit to doing anything make sure you act on it, whether it is big or small. We have to act upon the promises we make, otherwise we become powerless.

  1. Trust Yourself – Believe in your vision

Be certain and confident, trust is the first thing that has to be established within yourself and others to move forward.

  1. Who do you want to be?

Your presence is shaped by your inner thoughts. Have a winning mindset.

  1. Don’t be afraid to fail – To become successful you might fail many times

Success will bring challenges and will continue to test you, be ready for it!

  1. Do not listen to others that are negative or may put you down

Do not ever listen to people that say you can’t, prove them wrong! Do not allow others to suck the energy and life out of you, surround yourself with positive individuals that add value to your life and get the best out of you.

  1. Work extremely hard

Be intense! Focus your energy on one task at a time! Have complete focus and confidence in what you do and I will guarantee you will succeed.

  1. Help others get to where they want to be!

Do not be selfish, give as much as you can to family, friends and society. By doing so, you will receive more than you could ever imagine. Have good intentions and treat everyone with respect!

By Michael Kodari, founder of KOSEC-Kodari Securities, and one of Australia’s prominent experts in the stock market.

Powerful Morning Rituals That Lead To Success

Why did the early bird get the worm? Because he had already exercised, meditated, visualised and had set his intention for the day! Seriously though, some of the most successful people in the world including Steve Jobs, Anna Wintour and Tony Roberts attribute their accomplishments to productive morning rituals.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Find More Me Time

So what are their secrets and how can incorporating some of these practises be beneficial to our own lives?


Getting up at the crack of dawn to hit the pavement or the gym takes practise. But not only has it been widely reported that you burn more calories first thing in the morning, research demonstrates that a morning workout can regulate your appetite and increase mental awareness for the day.

According to Forbes, Vogue editor Anna Wintour is on the tennis court by 6am, while Starbucks president Michelle Gass wakes up every morning at 4.30am to go running. “When I’m at my best, it’s because I’m taking care of myself… Morning runs clear my mind,” she said.


Imagine kick-starting your day in a state of zen! You’d certainly tackle problems more efficiently and would be less inclined to let the smaller things frustrate you throughout the day. Research shows that meditation clears the mind, combats stress and can even boost immune function and increase levels of serotonin in the brain.

Talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres practises transcendental meditation on a daily basis and has said it is the only time she has stillness. “It gives me this peaceful, peaceful feeling,” she said at an LA gala.

Reflect on your goals

For most of us, our morning routine goes a little something like this: wake-up, eat breakfast, read or watch the news, get dressed, run out the door. But for Steve Jobs he used this time to reflect on his goals. During a speech at Stanford University in 2005, he said: “For the past 33 years I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

When you’re on autopilot it can be difficult to navigate the areas in your life that you’re not happy with. By taking time out each morning, whether that be putting pen to paper or looking in the mirror, it helps you to refocus and re-establish what’s most important to you.

Just like Jobs said: “Almost everything: all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure… these things just fall away in the face of death… leaving only what is truly important.”


While visualisation may not be for everyone, recent studies have revealed that thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions do. This means that every time we visualise doing something, we trigger a subconscious process that actually trains our brain.

Part of motivational speaker, Tony Robbins’ morning routine involves encouraging incantations, or affirmations, so to speak. He visualises everything he wants in his life as if he had it today. This method reportedly helps him to condition his mind, body and emotions to bring out his best self every day.

Advice From The World’s Most Successful Editor

Get fired at least once, make quick decisions and get up early are some of the wise words from Vogue editorial director Anna Wintour in a new book titled Winners And How They Succeed by Alistair Campbell.

RELATED: Take A Fashionable Trip Around The World

The uber-successful editor has become renowned worldwide with her trademark bob, dark sunglasses and commanding nature.

Her role was parodied by Meryl Streep in the film, The Devil Wears Prada, yet Wintour states that she is never that hard on her staff because “perfection doesn’t exist”.

Despite being one of the most famous women in fashion and publishing, Wintour says that her most surprising trick is pretending to be sure of herself, even if she isn’t.

“It makes it clearer for everyone else. Most people prevaricate. I decide fast.”

Wintour also admits in the book that she cannot shoot an editorial, write a story or make a dress but her strength lies in being organised and a good delegator.

“People work better when they have responsibility,” she says.

Inspirational Women: Nicole Lamond Philp

Each week, SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path, striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.

Name and role:

Nicole Lamond Philp, director of Universal Village, a Fair Trade food company that imports and distributes Qi Tea and is also the owner and distributor of Rhino Coffee.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

I run all aspects of the business and outsource operations to a 3rd party logistics company. I have a national sales and merchandising company that does my sales nationwide. Mostly I’m focused on marketing, including promoting Qi Teas which are in Woolworths, IGAs and soon to be in Coles. Some of this is creative work, which I love the most – creating campaigns, writing copy etc.

How/when did you know this what you wanted to do as a career?

I’ve never really thought of it as a career, it’s more that I wanted to be involved in Fair Trade – I wanted to introduce Fair Trade into Australia and see it in the mainstream.

“Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.”

Where do you find your inspiration?

People who take a different path in life to the one they were born into – people who take up the challenge of what they are ‘called’ to do is really inspiring. Any work (whether art or in business) that is striving for what is good, true or beautiful is awesome.

Did you have a mentor? Who/what helped you to get your career off the ground?

Yes, I do have a business mentor, Dale Simpson of Bravo Consulting. He’s been fantastic. He keeps me looking at the big picture – what am I trying to achieve? Because the goal wasn’t about a $ profit figure or something so tangible. It’s easy for one’s dream to get buried in the day to day minutiae and Dale helped keep the dream alive, so to speak. And it’s so valuable to have someone in your corner on the days when you feel like chucking it all in!

What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path, and since then?

The fact that I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started the business was a bit of a stumbling block! I’d also only ever worked in admin, I’d never been the person at the top actually making decisions. It took me a long time to get out of that mindset and grow in confidence.

How did you overcome these?

I went and did the first year of an MBA, then switched over to the Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which was a great course.

What are your goals for the future?

To meet really inspiring people who are making the world a better place. To grow Qi Tea to be the most significant green tea brand in grocery in Australia and to see Fair Trade products in every household in Australia. To become more loving. To live in a house that feels like I’m living in a work of art. To spend some time living on a boat or in a shack near the edge of the world.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?

Choose something you’re passionate about and go for it! A general rule of thumb in the early days is everything costs double what you budget and will take twice as long as what you think, so always, ALWAYS crunch the numbers. Timing is the essence of life and each year brings its set of (hopefully) victories and challenges. Take time to reflect and appreciate and learn from them all. Never compromise your values or your dream to make the world a better place.

How To Get Motivated – And Stay That Way

Perhaps you to find the motivation to do the laundry or write a novel. If you are struggling to get moving, follow through on those goals and commitments with the help of these tips.

RELATED: How to find time for your creative projects

1. Change out of your pyjamas

It’s not so much a change of clothes, as a change in your state of mind. Some people recommend not doing work in your bedroom because you associate this room with sleep. Others can’t get anything done without a shower and a clean working space. But staying in your pyjamas gives you one less reason to get moving, get out of the house, and get to work.

2. Get inspired

Even if you think it’s corny, collect inspirational quotes – and review them from time to time when you’re feeling a dull patch. Personally, I have go-to TED Talks and poems. Read a book or listen to music get your mind rolling and blood pumping. Seek out material and activities that you enjoy, and people whose company fuels your soul. In short, get excited about life and find reason in what you’re trying to achieve!

3. Just do it

Nike was right all along – just do it. Don’t make excuses. Whether you need to exercise, respond to an email, or compose an aria – you need to get to it! Don’t tell yourself the weather is bad or you had bad dreams last night. Sit yourself down (or get yourself up) and just throw yourself into it.

4. Disconnect

Oh dear, a day without the internet?! While once upon a time, television was seen as the enemy of productivity; today, it is social media. Sure, Game of Thrones might still be around to distract you, but we are all know how easily a casual browse through your Facebook feed can turn into a four-hour rabbit hole of Buzzfeed quizzes and Wikipedia. Also, you don’t need to perpetually be connected. Constantly being within an arms reach of your mobile is completely unnecessary and totally distracting. I don’t care if you haven’t finished this article yet, if you have something to do… bookmark it and walk away.

5. Reconnect

Don’t forget to lean on others for support. It may be as subtle as announcing your intention to achieve something to someone else – you are less likely to pull out of a commitment if you have someone watching over you. Perhaps you would rather go talk to a friend, seek their support and perhaps they will remind you of what you are capable of.

6. Relax

Sure, some things need to be done on a deadline, but use your spare time wisely. Give yourself a good sleep, meditate on your lunch break, and just take some time every day to gather your thoughts. Taking a step back from your task and getting some perspective can be a far more effective and intelligent way to work, and will often allow you to refocus on what actually needs to be achieved.

7. Make time

We can all get weighed down in menial, everyday tasks, like doing the housework, that distract us from something more important. Make time to execute your goals, even if it’s just a planning session, remembering that staying on track with your life is far more important than vacuuming your bedroom.

8. Be brave

There is nothing more rewarding than surprising yourself. For example, I’ve been taking steps in being more assertive – speaking up about things I would have previously died before saying. In some cases they have worked out and sometimes they haven’t. However, even when they haven’t resulted in what I imagined, I’ve felt proud of myself for achieving something I was previously too scared to do, for being honest and true to myself, and then being more excited that, instead of belittling myself for a “failure”, I patted myself on the back for making progress.

9. Take baby steps

If you’re in a serious slump or suffering depression, start small and remind yourself that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Remember that the something is always better than nothing and reward yourself for your achievements, no matter how small. Make a to-do list and pat yourself on the back as you check things off. The best way to remind yourself you can do it, is by doing something (anything!), and recognising that you have achieved. Which brings me to…

10. Practice self-love

Ever been told that you are your own worst enemy? Being self-critical is not the key to success. Contrarily, perfectionism is more likely to contribute to low confidence and feelings of doubt that inhibit your ability to achieve. Be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself like a close friend and forgive yourself for mistakes and work to understand your misgivings. If you have spent all of today in your pyjamas, recognise that this was merely a mistake and you won’t make the same one tomorrow. Be kind to yourself!

How To Achieve Success Through Serenity

Can you stay serene while striving for success? Janine Hall, the smart, savvy and super-successful entrepreneur and founder of Escape Haven – a group of women’s surf, yoga and luxury spa retreats in Bali, Byron Bay, Portugal and Morocco – says hell, yes!

Janine, 40, who splits her time between Bali and Byron Bay, knows a bit about overcoming adversity after starting out her life as an orphan when her Australian mother gave her up for adoption. She lived in an orphanage before being adopted and was reunited with her birth mother 18 years later when she came to New Zealand to find Janine.

A former fashion executive, Janine quit the corporate world to open up a surf and yoga retreat in Bali in 2010. And her success has been swift – Escape Haven Bali’s now the No.1 ranking women’s retreat on consumer review website Trip Advisor. And within four years, Janine’s expanded to Sagres, Portugal; Byron Bay and Marrakech, Morocco, with all four Escape Haven retreats generating more than $1 million in revenue.

Janine’s true passion is teaching guests the same wellness techniques she’s used to grow Escape Haven. And, she’s also recently launched The Creating Futures Foundation charity in Bali which aims to transform economically poor villages by teaching orphans surfing, yoga and education. So, how on earth do you stay zen while growing a business empire?

“It can be very daunting starting a business, particularly in a third-world country where initially I didn’t know one person,” Janine says. “It definitely had its own set of challenges and when you feel isolated on top of all of this, the road can be a little rough. Having self-belief and energy to persevere helped immensely.

“The more I focused my energy, the further I could drive. I gained perspective to make the right decision and do things better. It also bought me a lot of happiness.”

Janine believes people are more effective when they are in a calm place. “You make better decisions, and you feel happier,” she says, “you connect better with others and all you can see is possibility.”

She attributes yoga, surfing, meditation, beach walks, massages and a healthy diet to her success, which she strives to pass on to Escape Haven guests, who are taught well-being tools which can be integrated into their daily lives post-retreat.

“Women can reach their dreams, make the right decisions for them and overcome their self-imposed limitations,” Janine says.
For us non-guests, here are Janine’s top five tips for staying serene while striving for success:

1) Think happy, be happy: “Your thoughts are so powerful, and in turn affect your mood and outlook on life,” Janine says. “Next time you are feeling overwhelmed at work, take a few deep breaths from your stomach, and think yourself happy and calm.”

2) Take time out to feel vs think: “Switch your mind off even for a few minutes. If you have a busy brain, get outside and connect with nature,” Janine says. “Experience everything around you by fully exploring all your senses. How does nature smell, feel, what can you see nearby and far away? Before you know it you will be so immersed in a world that feels calm.”

3) Utilise the power of aromatherapy: Using calming oils in the office will induce feelings of tranquillity and simplicity, Janine says. “Try experimenting with different scents for different moods you want to evoke – energising, calming, relaxing – the choice is yours!” Janine says.

4) Don’t deprive yourself of sleep:  Good energy levels are crucial, Janine says. “Getting well-rested sleep is particularly important. You’ll feel better, make better food choices and feel happier overall.”

5)  Don’t take yourself so seriously: It’s easy to get caught up and lose perspective. “Laughter is the best medicine,” Janine says, “especially through hurdles. It will instantly make you feel better and offer you a clear perspective to make the right decisions.”


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