After a 20 year corporate career, Maggie Biernacka had a calling to start her own business. Having tried her hand at consulting, she decided to follow her passion for coaching and is now the owner of her own Growth Coaching business. Maggie talks to The Industry Leaders about breaking through her fear of sharing her opinions online and forgetting what other people think.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I was not always an international business coach serving people in over 20 countries. Before I got my certificates in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), Effortless Transformation and Money Breakthrough Business Coaching, I spent over 20 years in international corporate marketing and advertising. I managed the marketing strategy and communication for food corporations serving 18 markets, geographically spread teams from the UK to Italy and Spain to Russia. After many years of working abroad and travelling for business, I was craving peace, balance, and spontaneity.
Creating my own consulting boutique-type firm was expected to provide it. But the reality was even more challenges and much more time devoted to business than was standard in my corporate job. I wanted my life to matter, and I wanted to get recognition for what I stand for.
When the European Commission recruited me as their expert, I started to breathe a little more and enjoy a balanced life. With every project, bits and pieces of joy were infused. But also, the nostalgia for my own international business kicked in.
So three years ago, at my father's deathbed, I decided to set up a coaching business that would capitalize on my international experience and help other female coaches expand their businesses following their dreams and passions. This decision resulted in a chain of events that brought me to my passion and core interest of coaching, i.e., courageous growth despite fear, judgment, and self-doubt.
I realized this trio tries to stop our expansion, block us from speaking our Truth and being our authentic True Self in business and life. We worry more about other people's judgment and the expectations that they might have for us than our own congruence. It's uncomfortable to face the fear and leverage its power to mould a reality matching it with a dream desire.
Using my Fearless Growth Formula, I'm on a mission to guide female coaches, experts and service providers towards their personal power and exponential, international growth. I help them discover their own voice, detach from judgment, and tap into their genuine wisdom. This helps them become unapologetic about their dreams and desires and transform their local coaching practices into international coaching and mentoring companies, helping people globally.
What kind of work does your role involve?
I'm #1 Fearless Growth Coach, and people know me for making "impossible-looking-things" - easy for them, so they become fearless and unstoppable. When we work together, they turn into ceiling-breakers and move forward no matter what. I concentrate on fine-tuning their message and audience to attract the 'best-for-them' clients. We work on monetization strategies helping my clients to charge prices that bring a smile to their lips.
My secret sauce and an essential element of Fearless Growth Formula is Unstoppable Mindset. All the work done to turn the positive expectation into conscious, proactive creation helps people massively enjoy the unforgettable lifestyle that supports their business and life. My programs come in three formats – self-study course, business transforming program and VIP private coaching.
What gets you excited about your industry?
As one of the fastest-growing and most healthy industries worldwide, the coaching industry offers endless possibilities for business owners. Depending on your preferences and energy, you can evolve from a small and local coaching practice with brick and mortar experience to a 100% online, global online coaching corporation.
The business expansion and growth rate are really up to you and your capacity to manage the dynamics and changing business circumstances. What hugely excites me is how we can increase this capacity by having the right mentor to guide us, direct us towards the skills required under our coaching belt, and help remove the mindset obstacles.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
With this question, I realized that the power of some advice lands only years after. As recovering perfectionist, I must admit it shocked me hearing years ago that a project could be eighty per cent there and still be 100% ready to go. Something hard to accept in the past now became my reality. It adds beautifully to the ease and joy of the projects I create and deliver.
Another piece I got already as an online entrepreneur was "you can tweak it as you go." This one seemed to be a game-changer in my approach to business. The minute I realized perfection does not exist and things are not written in stone forever, my stress level decreased dramatically, and the way I do things now feels much lighter. I allow myself to create with ease and joy, stay in the flow, not knowing the HOW and not knowing the end. The results astonish me every day.
What, or who inspires you?
People who move forward with their vision despite adversity and external circumstances will never stop amazing me. I admire people who stand for the cause, no matter what, like Nelson Mandela or women fighting for women's rights and recognition like Malala Yousafzai. Authentic women in business inspire me personally, like Melinda Gates, Michelle Obama, Brene Brown, Mel Robbins, to name just a few I would invite to dinner!
Recently a person who impacted my way of running a business was Lenka Lutonska, a coach and mentor for female coaches.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
I follow big names in the industry, participate in online summits, and at least twice a year in major offline events. I'm also a member of industry associations.
I invest in my mentoring programs to uplevel my skills and expand the capacity of what's possible for me.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
The decision to become a coach seemed to fit my experience and skill set. I felt so ready and excited about the time to come and serve clients. I did not expect, however, that standing behind my own brand instead of having a corporate shield can deprive me of the confidence and trust in my own abilities.
After a year of running a 100% online business, I was still petrified to stream live events on social media and to reach out personally to network with prospects. I was convinced I did not have enough experience, looked horrible on the camera, and did not make any sense in English. That left me quite depleted and overwhelmed with the content I needed to create. It was challenging for me when I could not cope with the negative thoughts around my online activities.
Nothing was working. I was simply scared, lost and intimidated by the idea that all my former clients, bosses and colleagues would laugh in my face, judging my attempts to claim an expert position.
Being already a business expert with European Commission, European Marketing Director and well established digital sales expert, I still doubted my value and the ability to deliver my content. I was at the edge of saying goodbye to my dreams. Instead, I chose NOT to give up but to confront ALL my fears.
It was the most challenging decision of my life! Much more challenging than dropping my secure, international corporate career or moving my biz 100% online. The price of not taking action against my own insecurities was simply too high. That single decision became a catalyst of how I work and who I became.
I was not always brave, but I am now! I can break down the anatomy and DNA of every fear and self-doubt into pieces. I have experienced most of them. My body still remembers all the discomfort, sleepless nights and paralyzing fear of sharing my opinions online. I have conquered all my fears, and on top of that, I have developed Fearless Growth Formula that currently helps me and my clients transform into the best version of themselves.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
I would jump and scream for a good while, for sure! Then I would take my husband for a walk and inform him that the time for his retirement just came earlier. He is my great fan and supporter, and I would love to see him in my team.
Ten million dollars would create a powerful springboard for my business and enhance international exposure. It would allow me to hire a solid team to support us in building a cause-driven business. Such an amount would help me fund a scholarship for brilliant women struggling with their message and mindset around promising business ideas.
I would also love to see a movement for women in international business with relevant training, coaching and mentoring programs impacting tens of thousands. Maggie's Hub would become an international training and coaching centre for global leaders. It would be my tribute to all the people who helped me on my way to becoming fearless and unstoppable.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
Switching off was one of my challenges. My high-achieving mind was constantly pushing me to do more. So the idea of just "doing nothing" and relaxing seemed like the most complicated task for me. My mindset coach helped me to discover activities that bring joy and spontaneity into my life. Gardening became my recent hobby which surprises me a lot and gives me great satisfaction. I would never expect to have green fingers and express my creative talents for landscaping.
For a few years now, I've also been blessed with two vizsla dogs. If you are not a dog fan and need to know only one thing about this type, they need a lot of activity. I'm passionate about my dogs and spend time every day walking them through the fields or forest. This is an excellent opportunity to get clarity, gather thoughts and summon my energy.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
I wish the coaching industry develops faster than expected so that every business owner could be assigned a personal coach or mentor. It would transform massively the way we do business as humanity.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
There are some universal truths in Break Your Fear and Fail Big by Allan Scott. I believe every female business owner should read either of them at the moment of doubting herself.
I love coming back to the works of Eckhart Tolle or David R. Hawkings. Every time I find there's a new perspective or a new layer, I did not notice earlier. It leaves my spirit elevated.
How should people connect with you?
I love direct, old fashioned human-to-human contact, so email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I could also be spotted on social channels:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/FearlessGrowthCoach
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/maggie_biernacka/
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