I was fortunate enough to interview the inspirational author Penelope Magoulianiti, we discussed her new book Women, Motherhood & Independence: A Guide to Financial Freedom, Beauty & Confidence After Birth as well as practical ways to achieve the perfect work/life balance, what inspires her and what life lessons she feels are the most important to teach our children.
“When you feel that there is no hope, when you feel invisible, disappointed and tired just take a break. Take an hour just for you and go somewhere to relax. Go for a long walk, find someone to care for the kids and go for a massage, have a bubble bath with a glass of wine, candles and soft music. Do something just for you.”
Penelope, you’ve not only managed to create a sense of perfect balance in your own life (juggling a successful career and a family) but you are also devoted to helping other women achieve the same. What tips do you have for women who are struggling to find their own equilibrium?
It is extremely important to know what you really want to achieve. What is your goal? Do you want to spend more time with your kid? Do you want to have an hour within the day just for you? Maybe you want to start your own business but you blame a lack time. Once you are clear on what you really want, then you can practice the technique I am about to describe to help you find time to do the things that you truly enjoy in life:
This is a simple formula but very powerful, which helped me understand why I was so overwhelmed every day.
On a piece of paper, write all the tasks you do within a day, you must record everything, even the smallest task. With the goal you want to achieve in mind, categorise them based on the following three categories:
*Non-important / delete
Then – the ‘delete’ ones you just stop doing. If they are not important, they are not contributing towards your goal and they are giving you lots of stress so don’t do them.
The second category – delegate – personally, I looked and found ways to delegate these tasks. For example, I needed approximately 2-3 hours a week for ironing. I found a lady to do the ironing for me and I used those hours to grow my business. The cost to hire someone to iron for me was cheaper than me doing it.
Supermarket shopping. It’s cheaper and quicker to do online grocery shopping than going at the supermarket with a list because most of the time we end up buying more and spending more time at the supermarket going from corridor to corridor in case we miss something.
Finally, the last category – the important one – this is the list I am concentrating on because this is the list that will help me achieve my goals.
Again, being focused on what it needs to be done is extremely important. To achieve this I have created and I am using on a daily basis “The Ultimate Jugglers Task List”. Basically, it is a list where each day I concentrate on the five most important things that need to happen within the day and I don’t do anything else until I finish these five things. By using this list I’ve managed to increase my productivity and achieve more with less time.
Your readers can download this list for free at www.womenmotherhoodandandindependence.com
Have you always found it easy to achieve a sense of balance in your life, or was there a pivotal moment that changed things for you?
Finding balance in life was a struggle for me at the beginning, especially when I became a first-time mom. I was a career woman so you can imagine how hard it was at the beginning to get used to my new life. I was carrying the belief that once you become a mom you need to forget your dreams and ambitions to raise your kids and that belief was making me very unhappy. Only when I started reading and researching this matter did I understood I was suffering due to an outdated belief system I was carrying subconsciously. A belief that has been installed from childhood and I had never questioned it up to that moment of time.
I started questioning and evaluating my beliefs one by one. I kept asking myself: “Does this belief help me grow or is it holding me back?” And if it does hold me back what do I need to do to change it?
What inspired you to write your wonderful book ‘Women, Motherhood & Independence’?
As I said before when I became a mother for the first time I found it very hard to adjust to my new way of life. One minute I was over the moon at having the gorgeous little man and the next minute I wanted to go back to work. It was like I had two Penelopes in my head fighting and talking all the time. It was exhausting. And the worse part was that I was passing all this stress on to my son.
Only when I realised that I couldn’t go live my life in the same way I used to and that I had to make some adjustments that would work better for me, things started to work out. I’ve started putting into action things I’ve read and learned from seminars I have attended in the past like: how to manage your time better; how to find confidence in yourself again; how to feel beautiful even when you have 5-10 kg to lose; how to use the time that you’ve got for yourself to relax and re-charge. All these made me happy again, my relationship was better and I found my confidence again.
This is how the idea of the book came along. I wanted to share what I’ve learned with other women and help them find the right balance for them. Each one of us is different and each one of us has different needs so my model for a balanced life may be different from yours but the principles and techniques remain the same.
Were you raised in a family where women were encouraged to embrace a full and rounded life?
No, I was raised in a small village in Cyprus where women they were supposed to get married at 18, not get educated beyond high school and support their husband in everything he did.
Where I am today I owe it to my mother who encouraged me to study, who encouraged me to live life fully, to explore and learn and never accept ‘No’ for an answer.
You are exceptionally motivated. Where do you think this drive comes from?
When I was 15 years old, my family went through some very challenging times. Having people accusing and gossiping without even knowing what was really going on it was my reality for a while. Unfortunately, when you live in a small village where everybody knows everybody this is unavoidable. However, this situation made me stronger and more determined. The first seminar on personal development I attended was with Anthony Robbins. That was the beginning of my new life.
I also keep filling my mind with positive stuff daily. I make sure that I devote time to meditate and I avoid watching the news, reading the newspapers or engaging in any kind of gossip. I also prefer to read, listen or attend a seminar or an online course instead of sitting in front of the TV. Learning should never stop. For me it is an on-going process and I am so happy and grateful for the things I have learned over the years.
Can you share some words of wisdom for mums who are feeling overwhelmed or stressed?
When you feel that there is no hope, when you feel invisible, disappointed and tired just take a break. Take an hour just for you and go somewhere to relax. Go for a long walk, find someone to care for the kids and go for a massage, have a bubble bath with a glass of wine, candles and soft music. Do something just for you.
We should schedule time for us. We can handle everything from a position of calmness, we can’t accomplish much when we are stressed and overwhelmed.
If someone is hoping to turn their life around, where would you advise them to start?
Examine their belief system – identify what kind of beliefs they are carrying; positive or negatives? And as I said before try to change the negatives to positives. Also, we need to pay attention to our vocabulary. The words we are using as a way of communication. Do we use words that uplift us or words that are negative and puts our spirits down?
What do you feel are the most important lessons that we should teach our children?
Never, ever give up from the first set-back, or the first failure. They need to believe that they can do it and not to be afraid to fail. They need to learn to love themselves and set high goals.
As a mum, what would you like to change about the current state of the world?
I am devastated with so many children suffering and living in horrible conditions. No child should have to face so much cruelty and injustice but we have so many of them suffering. If only we could love unconditionally and understand that we are all the same. If only we could show to these children how important and precious they are, and that they are not alone in this world.
What can we expect from you in the future? Do you have any exciting projects on the horizon?
I am currently working on gathering material for my second book. I am also in the final process of finishing my online program called “21-Day Transformation Program for a Balanced Life” – a product where I teach techniques and principles to help you create the balance you want in life. I am very excited about this program because it doesn’t require too much time to watch and it’s very easy to implement. I have developed it with the working mum in mind and I believe it can help us find the right balance in our lives if we follow the process I am describing.
About the Book
This book is intended to help all of Women who wish to continue living their dreams, achieving their goals and becoming successful without having to compromise their dreams and desires because of Motherhood.
In this book you will find strategies and ideas that you can apply to your life daily in order to stay on top of things, become more creative, more energetic, and healthier irrespective of how much sleep you have managed the night before.
It is my belief that we can achieve anything we want, in life if we are clear about what it is that we want, make a commitment to become successful, and then take the necessary steps and actions required to achieve that success.
Women, Motherhood and Independence will help you reclaim your life and assist you in finding your own success path post childbirth.
After reading this book you will be able to:
• Set goals and actually achieve them
• Get things done on time
• Become financially independent
• Lose weight, becoming more energetic and healthy
• Gain confidence
• Become a good role model to your kids
• Help improve your relationship with your spouse
Whether you are already in a career, you have your business, you would like to start a new business, or you just want to be more present and engage more in family life and activities, Women, Motherhood and Independence will help you utilize your talents, become more focused and achieve more in less time with less stress.
About the Author
Penelope Magoulianiti used to work as a private banker for many years. From a very young age, she had to face many challenges, both financial and social. The challenges she faced through those difficult times make her more determined to succeed in life.
When she became a mom, she felt the urgency to pass to her own children a legacy that they would be proud of. She wanted to become a good example for her son and daughter; a successful businesswoman, and entrepreneur dedicating her life to helping her fellow women in becoming successful in their niche.
With the economy getting worse every year and the corporate world looking not so promising, she finally took the decision to quit her job and move forward in creating her own business. Her dream to help other women in gaining their financial independence while being good mothers and living their lives more fully became her ultimate goal.
With her experience throughout her working life in the corporate world, the invaluable knowledge gained through her mentors, together with her home life as a wife and mother of two, Penelope delivers her message in a simple and to-the-point manner that will help women to regain their drive to succeed and the determination to conquer their dreams and ambitions.
Penelope’s book Women, Motherhood & Independence: A Guide to Financial Freedom, Beauty & Confidence After Birth is available in Kindle and paperback version on Amazon: http://a.co/062sJvM
You can find Penelope: