Bronwen Sciortino, CEO & Founder, sheIQ Life Pty Ltd
Bronwen Sciortino is the CEO and Founder of sheIQ Life
What's your industry?
For those who don't know anything about you or your work, can you provide a bit of background?
I was raised in Tasmania, an island that is located at the very bottom of Australia.
Growing up, I was surrounded by nature and animals of all kinds, both domestic and wild. I spent my days riding my horses in the countryside, taking the dogs for walks or curling up with my cats.
I was almost always outside. Playing sports of all kinds dominated my life. I was extremely fortunate that academics came to me relatively easily because I lived to run around and be active.
I was surrounded by beauty, cleanliness, and the amazing energy that comes with a pristine environment, but like many young people, I never gave it any thought. I had no idea that where I lived wasn't normal for everyone.
Being in nature sets me free. It allows me to jump into my own private bubble of solitude, silence, and tranquilly.
I attended Unviersity because it seemed like the 'right' thing to do, but I had no notion of what I wanted to do when I left.
A subsequent twenty-year career of working with businesses in financial planning and money management began when I unintentionally landed in a position in the financial services industry.
I wasn't aware of it at the time, but I was a perfectionist, and I was constantly using loads of energy to create a facade that my life was flawless. Over time, the cost of using energy at this level was a price I could no longer pay and eventually I broke.
In less than sixty seconds, I went from being a highly successful, award-winning businesswoman to having my life shattered into pieces all around me, and unable to manage even the most basic demands of life.
There is nothing about breaking that is fun, or easy or graceful. Furthermore, there are absolutely no incentives for any of us to go there, yet so many of us live our lives as if that's the only option available to us.
Over the course of two years of intense, intrusive, and exhausting effort, I had to look into all the deep, dark places inside of me and rebuild Bronwen 2.0. And that was just to get back to being able to participate in the basics of life. It took me another year to be able to stand confidently in the vibrant, interconnected, and uncomplicated life that I now appreciate.
Now that I've healed and come out on the other side, I have a greater understanding of my abilities, of when to push myself and when to take it easy, and of the ways in which I can perform easy, simple, and useful things that improve my life.
I now spend my time educating individuals on how to design the life of their dreams, anywhere in the world. Every working minute is spent demonstrating to individuals that living a healthy, happy, and highly successful life is not only possible, but can be done in a simple and practical way.
I demonstrate via the way I live how simplicity can be exactly the level of complexity that yields the best outcomes. Life will be as complicated as we make it, so we might as well make simplicity our guiding principle.
What does an average day look like for you?
I start my day with meditation of some form. Then I transition into movement (which might be yoga, walking, biking or QiGong) before showering and making a cup of herbal tea. Then I turn on my essential oil diffuser and light some incense before I settle into my work for the day which might be creative, administrative or research based. I arrange my food times around my energy flow and feed and nourish my soul as it is needed. Once my work is finished for the day, I move to catching up with my husband and sharing our news for the day, watching some TV and creating a meal for the evening before heading to bed (early because I have two very rambunctious cats who love to get me up early!).
How do you balance the needs of your business with the needs of your personal life?
I approach this as a blend rather than a balance. Life ebbs and flows and so too do the demands that come with that. There are times when work demands more of me and I have to let personal life slip back a little and then at other times personal life takes over and the business takes a back seat. I believe the most important thing is having a high level of consciousness around the ebb and flow and making sure that neither one takes over for too long a period of time. No matter what is going on, I have non-negotiable time that ensure that I do the things that recharge my energy and that means that I have what I need to get things done irrespective of where the demands are coming from.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you on your journey in business?
Imagine if we were all going to a buffet and were all too afraid to bring the dish that we can make the best? Instead, we all turn up with a plate of white, boiled rice because that's safe and won't offend anyone. How boring would the meal from the buffet be if that was all we had to choose from?
I love this advice because it makes it really clear how important it is to bring your unique talent to the table. This advice helps me every time I create something new. It motivates me to let the words flow and find the things that people truly need instead of serving up yet another plate of white, boiled rice.
Be you, do you.
There is only one, unique version of you in the world and if you don't turn up and share that with the world then there's a hole where you needed to be standing. Not everyone will get you. Not everyone will gravitate towards you. But the people who do get you are the ones that need what you have to bring.
What's been the hardest part about the path you've taken and how would you advise someone facing a similar situation to overcome it?
Being a creator means that I often get visions of what people are struggling with and what they need to help them move beyond that. It often means that I'm a few steps in front of everyone and am creating things they don't even know they need. That can be lonely at times because it can take a while for people to understand what I'm doing and saying. And then they catch up and it's time for me to go and create the next thing again so I don't always get time to rest and be with people.
Are there any well-known Books, Podcasts, or Courses that you credit your current success to?
I have a really eclectic soul so I draw inspiration and creativity from all sources and all genres. My biggest tip here is to put ALL the options on the table and let yourself choose from the things that sing to your soul. Put away the conditioning that says that something is beneath you or is 'woo-woo' or 'out there' and let yourself go where you need to go to fill your soul.
What do you think are the most important qualities for a successful business owner or executive to have?
I believe time management skills, compassion (for yourself and others), delegation skills, leadership qualities and visionary capability are the most important skills for a business owner or executive to have.
This combination of skills will help you prioritise the important things, communicate with people in a way that inspires them and tells them you value them and allows you to see the things that need to be done to keep your company growing and relevant in your industry.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out as a business owner?
I'm a huge proponent of living your life with what i call an indestructible "Why."
It's the thing I can fall back on for myself in trying times. It is the constant reference point that serves as a reminder that things can easily improve if I remember to choose to take steps to simplify my life.
My "Why" is to lead a life filled with the utmost ease and grace while still experiencing high levels of success, joy, love, and laughter.
Humans have a remarkable capacity for complicating situations when the simplest answers will suffice.
Due to the fact that life is both extremely visible and connected around-the-clock, we may develop the perception that we must always exceed expectations. In order to appear to be keeping up, let alone have the potential to advance, we add an absurd amount of "stuff" to our schedule and drive ourselves to live a life that is demanding and fuelled by stress.
We don't like it, but we don't have time to look up and see what other possibilities there are.
We do have time, and I have the knowledge, experience, and insight to enable people to live their lives differently, my "Why" serves as a constant reminder to me.
The motivation that keeps me going every day comes from watching people's eyes light up when they grasp how easy it is to be successful, happy, AND healthy.
What are the top three things you think are essential for business success?
An indestructible 'Why' - this is the cornerstone of your business and the thing that keeps you focused and motivated when things get tough.
A connection to, and a passion for, the thing you're in business for. If you don't care about what you're doing and have no connection to what that thing does for the world then you'll be forcing yourself to turn up everyday and you'll be half hearted in your efforts. It's tiring to do something that isn't interesting day in, day out and it's been shown to be one of the things that is the greatest contributor to high levels of stress and burnout. Love what you do and it will be so much easier to do it every day.
Always look for the win-win in every situation. When you win and the person you're selling to wins you create a situation that engenders success. Always work out what is important to the other person and make sure there's a values match with yourself. If the values match isn't there, the win-win is walking away and not working together because without a values match there will always be conflict and conflict is exhausting at the best of times.
Do you think someone can be a great business owner without having many years of experience first?
There are plenty of people who have been successful in business without having many years of experience first, just like there are many people who have failed in their own business with decades of experience. For me, success comes when you find the right product to help the people that need it at the right time. The rest you can work out along the way.
In general, do you think the world is producing better business owners in 2023 than it was fifty years ago?
Business in 2023 is different to business 50 years ago so I don't believe it's possible to compare them. The world is much more visible now than it ever was, barriers to entry are much lower (and often non-existent) and people can set up and establish a business with global reach so much more easily. Time moves quickly and businesses come and go now and I think success is in the eye of the beholder more than ever before.
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