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.  




I am African, I am a girl – Ngwa Damaris Ngum – Africa

I was one with the world until race separated me from the rest of the world. Race is a group of people with common genetic features such as physical traits. Races arise from the need for nature to express human existence in diverse groups, in order to make life more colorful and beautiful. Unfortunately, society has used it to sow seeds of discord and separation. Just because I am black, you are white, she is yellow, does not make us different. It just signifies various facets of the same fundamental human essence.

I was one with the world until borders separated me from the rest of the world. Borders are artificial lines that separate geographic areas. Borders were created as a means of easily managing humans or social groups but society has used as a dividing criteria of people and societies. Borders have become a source of conflict instead of a means to preserve order and peace. Countries fight each other because they feel they are different. That I am from Africa and you are from Europe, Asia, and America does not make me different from you.

I was one with the world until religion separated me from the rest of the world. Religion is just a particular system of faith, belief and worship. Religious groups’ fight each other and the religious leaders watch and do very little or nothing to bring peace. They engage in trying to show the supremacy of their various religions over other religions. Religion which was supposed to be the most loving and harmonizing platform has now become a major perpetrator of hatred and conflict. That I am Christian and you are Muslim, Hindu, Budhist, etc does not make me different from you.

I was one with the world until language separated me from the rest of the world. Languages are just a system of communication among people. They are not meant to separate us. That I speak English and you speak French, German, Chinese does not make me different from you.

I was one with the world until currencies separated me from the rest of the world. Currency is just a system of money or medium of exchange in general used in a particular area. It should not be an instrument of division among humans. That I use the Francs CFA and you use the Naira, Pound sterling, Dollar, Euro  does not make me different from you.

I was one with the world until wealth separated me from the rest of the world. Wealth is just an abundance of material valuable possessions or money. I should not be treated badly because I am poor and you treated nicely because you are rich. That I have a thousand francs and you have one million francs does not make me different from you.

I was one with the world until politics separated me from the rest of the world. Politics is just a set of activities associated with the governance of an area or the use of mandated and consultative power and authority to foster the interest, values and ideals of a community such as a country. It is meant to assist in building a nation and not a tool for division within a nation. That I am a democrat and you are an autocrat does not make me different from you.

I was one with the world until education separated me from the rest of the world. Education is just a process of acquiring knowledge to better ones’ environment. Education is supposed to be a means for us to develop and mobilize our individual and collective strengths, and not a medium for division and hostility. That I pursued formal education and you pursued informal education does not make us different. That I have a Bachelor’s degree and you have a Doctorate Degree does not make us different.

I was one with the world until status separated me from the rest of the world. Status is just a relative social or professional position in society. A man needs a woman and a woman needs a man to make life more comfortable for us therefore I am female and you are male does not make me less inferior to you. A doctor needs a teacher as well as a teacher needs a doctor. A soldier needs a civilian as well as a civilian needs a soldier. A president needs his citizens as well as the citizens needs their president. Different professional and social status make life more comfortable for us all. It does not make us different from each other.

We were all humans, created equal until racism, borders, religion, status, wealth, position, currency, language, education, sex, politics etc brought in division, hate and separation among us. Countries fighting each other, the rise of terrorism and rebel groups, religious wars, civil wars, class distinction as a result of differences in wealth, race and position. Government administrators are ill-treating their own citizens in the form of corruption, embezzlement and human right abuse. All these and more have caused the world not to know peace for decades now with humans having no hope for peace on earth again.

I was born with my mind telling me I was equal to every other  person on earth until society made me know I was black; I therefore should despise whites; I am a Christian and should belittle non-Christians; I am African, I am a girl etc. All these caused me to feel less than others and so hated all those who were different from me. I built ideologies of division and hate for years until “the power of a mother” instilled equality, love, peace and unity in me. She made me know that no human is different or greater than another human on earth. This message is absent in our classrooms, misinterpreted by our religious leaders and administrators to cause more hate and division. Her message gave me hope. The hope of peace and unity on earth. I am so thankful to my mother for the knowledge she has imparted in me. At this time when the world is in need for peace, unity and equality, advocates like her cannot not be left unnoticed. She has put her message deep in me and keeps reminding me that we are the peace, unity and equality the world needs and looks up to.

Today I stand as one of the world’s peace, unity and equality advocates in my little corner of the earth because of the power of one woman, the power of a mother. I learned that for peace to reign I must have love and compassion for myself and everyone around me; never allow anyone make me feel like nobody; respect every human being, face the bullies and  lift up the down-casted in society while doing these things I should never ever give up. Now my compassion is not restricted by any social barrier; it is for the entire world. I am not limited by any particular religion, caste or creed. I see all humanity as one, and I am out to serve humanity at large. I am a testimony of how the voice of one woman; a mother changed me so I am calling on every other woman/mother to join the train in singing this song of peace to their children and later generations thereby getting to be peace advocates like myself. Females are always made to keep their voices silent but let mothers not silent their voices. Let us raise our voices to bring forth a generation of peace makers. Our time on earth is short therefore we have to make the later generations live in a world full of peace, unity and equality by acting now and accelerating the multiplier effect of peace.


About the Author

I am Ngwa Damaris Ngum, a female of Cameroonian nationality living in the North West region of Cameroon. I have a BSc in Economics from the University of Buea.

With regards to the current global crisis: natural disasters, climate change, rising inequalities, human rights abuses, escalating conflicts, increase disease occurrences, pressure on resources, environmental degradation etc . I originate from one of the two English speaking regions of my country who were being marginalized and has led to retaliation and civil unrest since October 2016.No challenge is without solution so I am currently setting up a “PEACE AND GREEN” village initiative to help people out of these global challenges. My vision is to see that we live in peace and serenity. I will love for every woman to be part of my peace building committee.

The PEACE aspect will consist of a group of individuals who will live together in peace, no tribalism, no racism, no greed, no religious difference etc. WE are a group of individuals who will set the pace and spread the information of peace, unity and equality.

The GREEN aspect will be to encourage a green diet and a green life style. This is to reduce the adverse effects of animal farms/animal products on the climate and our health.


Tel: +237 677519677


A Survivors Lesson on Resilience – Ria Story – USA

At 12 years old, the secret that I carried around with me was ugly, dark, and dirty. I was too ashamed to tell anyone my father would wait until we were at home alone and then he would make me dress up so he could take pictures of me. He would tell me that it wasn’t a sin because God had given me to him. He told me that no one else would understand.

It progressed as I got older. By the time I was 17 he was regularly having sex with me and would bargain with me for sexual favours in return for something like an outing with my friends. He said he wanted to give me an ultimate experience in life. An ultimate experience meant lots of things. One time it meant taking nude pictures of me riding my horse. One time it meant tying me up naked, putting a gag in my mouth, and beating me with a riding crop until I was black and blue.  One time it meant watching another man have sex with me. And, then they changed places. Life was almost not worth living – and I considered a razor blade and a tub of warm water to end it.

At 19, I met a knight in a shiny Camaro who helped me escape. I left home soon after meeting him, leaving behind the father who abused me and the mother who blamed me for it. I didn’t have a job, a car, or even a high school diploma. I had a few pillow cases stuffed with clothes, no money, and few options. After I left, I built a wall around what happened to me. To survive, I locked my past up tight behind that wall and threw away the key.

But, it’s not what happens to us in life that’s most important. It’s who we become because of it.

I started my career working as a waitress in a pizza restaurant. I was waiting tables and picking up the half eaten leftover pizza crusts off the floor for $2.13 an hour plus any tips the lunch buffet customers chose to leave. There’s nothing wrong with that. It was good work, and I was glad to get it. But, it didn’t take long to realise I didn’t want to stay there the rest of my life. I set my goals high and started working to achieve them. I worked my way through college and up through the ranks. At times, I was working two jobs and going to school full time. It took me ten years to graduate with my MBA. But, I did it, and I maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout my college career.

I had a very successful career in the healthcare field, spending several years in upper management, including working as the Director of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs for a large healthcare organisation.

In 2013 at a conference, I heard motivational speaker Les Brown say, “You have a story to tell and someone needs to hear your story.” I knew I had a story. I just didn’t want to tell it. I wasn’t sure I could. For more than 20 years the bonds of shame, fear, and pain had kept me silent.

Mark Twain said, “The two greatest days in your life are the day you are born and the day you discover why.” On August 14, 2013, I found my “why” and shared my story publicly for the first time.

We all experience pain, grief and loss at some point in life. Resilience is learning not just to survive, but thrive. Resilience is rising from the ashes of what happens to us in life and becoming more brilliant because of the flames. Resilience is the difference between “I didn’t die” and “I learned to live again.”

We can’t always control what happens in life but we can control what we think, feel, and what we do about what happens in life. As Viktor Frankl said, “When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Overcoming adversity in life is a journey. And, if a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, don’t just take the first step and stop. Take a step forward each and every day. It’s important to move forward consistently and it’s important to realise joy comes from within, regardless of our situation. Joy is not a product of our circumstances, it’s a choice we make.

I left my corporate career in 2014 to pursue my calling full time. 10 books, a TEDx talk, and several years later, I work with organisations and individuals who want to develop resilience and increase influence in life and leadership.

I don’t share my story so anyone will feel sorry for me. I share my story so everyone can say, “If she can do it, I can do it.” We can take what life hands us and be bitter about it or better because of it. Your life story isn’t about what happens to you. It’s about what you do and who you become from that moment on. What matters is the rest of your story.

About the Author

Like many, Ria faced adversity in life. Raised on an isolated farm in Alabama, she was sexually abused by her father from age 12 – 19. Desperate to escape, she left home at 19 without a job, a car, or even a high school diploma. Ria learned to be resilient, not only surviving, but thriving. She worked her way through college, earning her MBA with a cumulative 4.0 GPA, and had a successful career in the corporate world of administrative healthcare.

Ria’s background includes more than 10 years in administrative healthcare with several years in management including Director of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs for a large healthcare organisation. Ria’s responsibilities included oversight of thousands of organisational policies, organisational compliance with all State and Federal regulations, and responsibility for several million dollars in Medicare appeals.

Today, Ria is a resilience and leadership speaker and author of 10 books. Ria was selected three times to speak on stage at International John Maxwell Certification Events. Motivational speaker Les Brown also invited Ria to share the stage with him in Los Angeles, CA. Ria and her husband, Mack Story, co-founded Top Story Leadership. Ria works with organisations who want to develop resilience and increase influence in life and leadership.

Get in touch:




Twitter: @Ria_Story

Instagram: Ria.Story

You are the only one that can control your destiny! – Claire McGrath – London UK

I have got to say I don’t think I am inspiring person. Others may see things differently but I am just me. Being me means that I have these amazing hair brain ideas which later turn into reality. I must say, a lot of my success has come from making something from the moment in time, the right here, right now.

I grew up in a family of 9 kids (was a Brady Bunch) we didn’t have a lot of money because my parents put us all through good schools, they had to work hard and I believe that it where my work ethic has come from. They work hard and they play hard- I fortunately or unfortunately inherited this too!

I was not particularly smart but I had a brother my own age and growing up he challenged me because he was naturally smart, I have always had to work hard to achieve. So, I think that is where my competitive nature began.

I left home at 18 to be a nanny in the UK, I loved it so much that I decided to move here forever, held down a good job, but when I decided to move home because we were expecting a child at the ripe age of 24, our world just about came crashing down. My husband couldn’t get a job due to his Visa, I couldn’t work because of being pregnant and having a baby (no one wanted to employ me not through lack of trying). We decided to move to Brisbane where my parents had a property business that they were happy to employ us in for an interim period.  That is where I fell in love with property.

I was too proud to ask my parents for any more help, but some weeks we would have less than a $1 in our bank account and with baby and another on the way, we found it difficult to make ends meet. Pasta was on the cards most nights! When we had a bit of money we would buy lottery tickets and I tell you we were being looked after. Whenever we won the lowest division which happened a bit, we would hold those tickets over until we only had the $1 in the account and use those to survive to the next pay day. I ran 3 jobs and my husband finally got a job, funny enough with an English company.

I worked looking after my family properties on a very part time basis but decided to do my REIQ certificate and then I researched the best property managers in Brisbane so I could learn the trade. I ended up in New Farm with Harcourts New Farm. I learnt from the best in the industry. There I met Martin Millard which was a turning point really. I had just had a Cancer scare had to have half my Thyroid out and we weren’t getting ahead in life. Martin asked me to join him and Sally in starting a property management business with Harcourts Solutions, I thought this was a great opportunity to really start providing for my family and putting things in place to set us up.

I had never signed up a management agreement and really, I was an assistant property manager, but I thought what have I got to lose! I was so nervous but it has been an amazing business and yes were there low days, absolutely, did I have a cry here and there, yep sure did. However, Sally and I got up every day put our big girls pants on and kept moving. We grew the business from 0-940 in 7/8 years.

4 years ago, my husband I came back to England, the first time in 10 years, we saw an opportunity here to perhaps do a Real Estate business here but differently. Last year was the hardest year in my life, I was sick almost the entire year, I was the fattest I had been in my life and was not happy. It has been 4 years in the making but this year I sadly sold my share of Harcourts Rental Management Solutions back to Sally and Martin and perused my own goals. This year has been an amazing, but challenging year and after 4 years of planning, meeting people and researching I have literally just opened a ‘Winkworth’ office in Surbiton in the UK.

I can only say the things I have learnt is trust in yourself, believe in yourself, don’t always listen to what people tell you. If you have a feeling deep down run with it, go for your dreams. Treat people with kindness and love yourself. Today I am lucky to say I have two healthy boys, a loving husband, two dogs and two rabbits. I have lost 14kg and still going, and I could not be happier, however I have done this. My moto is where ever you are there you are. You are the only one that can control your destiny!

Tired of Living by Everyone Else’s Rules – Marva Johnson-Jones – London

You’re tired of living by everyone else’s rules, of having to hide who you truly are, of pretending you don’t want something more out of life. Yeah, I’ve been there. At some point, you have to take control of your life and forge your own path.


It should have been shocking, but for me it was normal. I stood in the background, watching my great aunt bark orders at her male employees. The men stood around obediently, seemingly inhaling her every word. I thought all women were in charge of the world like that, why wouldn’t they be?

My great aunt was my sole guardian after my mother abandoned me and moved to another country. I was treated like a precious doll, and showered with all the things money could buy. The lazy days under my great aunt’s orange tree in Jamaica would have been idyllic if I hadn’t been so lonely. For all the toys I had, I was friendless, kept safely inside the walls of my great aunt’s compound like a jewel to be kept under lock and key.

My absentee father would enter my life on occasions, treating me like a temporary fix he needed to get out of his system. He’d show up and we’d be inseparable, and then he’d vanish just as quickly as he appeared. I wanted for nothing but it was hard to find something stable and solid to hold onto.

At aged 9 I was whisked away from one gilded cage to another when I was put on a plane to a foreign country, my mother, by now a stranger met me at the airport. I arrived in London into my mum’s upturned life, where she’d nestled herself
comfortably in an abusive relationship. Seeing my mother as the passive object of her husband’s rage was such a change from watching my great aunt take full control of a group of men who worked for her. But some things remained the same. Loneliness. The culture shock. There were many tears, but no one noticed, as I trudged my way through a very isolated and lonely childhood.


“What is your problem?” My husband lobbed the question at me like a weapon, his voice accusatory, and his demeanour wavering somewhere in between exasperation and apathy. He made sweeping gestures at our beautiful home, fully equipped with tennis courts, a swimming pool, and many other vestiges of privilege. I looked at my husband, and realised that he’d become a stranger I no longer recognised.

But I was no stranger to gilded cages. Despite a lifetime of being locked up by someone else’s whims, I’d never become very adept at being a dutiful prisoner. My husband viewed me as his trophy, and I was expected to comply. To live my
life in his own image.

Anything I’d put my heart and soul into was disposable and readily discarded like trash. It was as if my aspirations didn’t exist at all, outside of being a wife and mother, along with the chief organiser of the family’s social calendar. We seemed like the perfect family on the outside, but everything was different on the inside. Hard as I tried, I just couldn’t play this role any longer. I wanted something more. I needed something more. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, but I knew I had to find it. The distractions that I was using to hide my unhappiness were becoming weary. Spending money on useless things that were never opened when they
were delivered, alcohol, smoking, planning the next holiday even before I finished the current one. Ultimately, I saw what I could become if I didn’t take more responsibility for my own life.

I could have discovered it had I looked in the mirror and really looked myself in the eye, but this sort of logic and reason didn’t come so easily when I, in essence had lost all sense of who I was. It was that moment when I returned home, with the children for the summer holiday, when I put the key in the lock of our front door and realised that I couldn’t go back to. I weighed my options, and it wasn’t an easy decision, but I finally decided to take charge of my own life. Putting the key into the door of our home where there were no guards, or maids, or drivers, or anyone but me and the children, flooded my body with an odd sense relief. It wasn’t an easy journey, but it was my first step toward the redemption I’d been seeking my whole life.


Sitting in my home in London, I thought about my children, now grown, to whom I’d managed to give the stable and loving childhood I’d so desperately wanted for myself. Weaving my way through my journey into single motherhood and self discovery finally led to my conquering the loneliness beast that had been such a fixture throughout my life. I’d finally stopped engaging in the futility of trying to fit in and started living my life on my own terms, in pursuit of my own passions, and living in joy every day of my life, even on the gloomy, rainy days we have in London. I discovered my own brand of sunshine.

We are all here to be the masters of our own lives. I’m here to help you overcome the negative patterns that are holding you back, to stop looking outside yourself to find your happy place, and learn to find it within.

If you’re ready to conquer a lifetime of ingrained fears and boldly pursue your passion and purpose without hesitation, without holding anything back, without seeking anyone else’s validation, and without worrying about all the things that
could go wrong, I’m here to show you how to make it happen, to reconnect you with yourself, that person you were meant to be before you were forced by society, your parents, or anyone else into being something you’re not for someone else’s benefit. I’m here to help you discover the joys of just being you with no qualms and no apologies. This is your moment, take it!

About the Author

Marva Johnson-Jones is the founder of Acuity Rapid Results Coaching based in the UK. You can contact Marva on email
or by Mobile/Whatsapp: 07738115942 – Marva is currently offering a powerful, free 45 minutes Personal Empowerment and
Self-rediscovery coaching session. Book yours today. Please quote Ref#NTblog in the subject line of your email.

Stepping Into the Unknown Can Be Worthwhile -Inspired women

Stepping Into the Unknown Can Be Worthwhile – Sue Stockdale – UK

Stepping Into the Unknown Can Be Worthwhile -Inspired women

Stepping Into the Unknown Can Be Worthwhile – Sue Stockdale – UK

As a young girl, growing up in Scotland, I used to love reading adventure stories about ordinary people who had achieved extraordinary things. Some were fictional, like Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, and others were real-life adventurers like Edmund Hillary, and Ernest Shackleton. Reading these stories made me want to become an adventurer – but I began to believe that to do so, you had to be a man, or have a lot of money. It was not until many years later, that these limiting beliefs were challenged, and in 1996, I became the first British woman to reach the Magnetic North Pole. I realised that we can all achieve amazing things, but often the only person stopping you… you.

Taking a risk

My career began at 16 years old, and like many people it was in an office role in British Gas. Whilst in the company, I was keen to progress, and during my 11-year career I held various roles including within the Corporate Training function, and became one of the youngest employees to reach a Senior Management role. However, I still had an adventurous mindset, so eventually decided to leave that cosy corporate lifestyle behind, and embark on a 1-year contract in a war zone working for the United Nations! That seemed like a big risk to me, but a great opportunity at the same time, to work in an international setting, and learn how the culture and politics operate within large governmental organisations. It was a huge change and it took me some time to adapt, but what I learned that was most useful was about risk taking. When you are prepared to step into the unknown, it can be scary, but you can learn a
lot. It means when the next big risk comes along you are much better prepared for it.

The big opportunity

One year later I was back home reading the newspaper, when an advert got my attention. It said “wanted 10 novice arctic explorers to trek to the Magnetic North Pole”. I did not even know where that was, but it sounded cold! Over 500 people applied for the expedition, and eventually I was selected to join the team, led by David Hempleman-Adams. And, after a 30-day journey in temperatures cold enough to freeze your flesh in seconds, we achieved our goal – it was a great feeling of
achievement! This experience then inspired me to go on more adventures and I went on to Antarctica,
Greenland, and the Geographical North Pole. All of these expeditions taught me the realities of risk-taking, leadership, managing change and maintaining motivation, which I help business leaders put into practice today.

The adventure of building a business

I decided to use these lessons, plus my business and training experience and in 1997 I founded a company that helped women to start up and grow businesses. By building a strong brand reputation, we grew the business and in 2007 I faced a tough decision. Do I grow the business, find a Managing Director to run it, sell it, or close it? I realised that my passion lay in working directly with clients and inspiring them, rather than being a business leader, so I decided to sell the company to focus on utilising my core strengths of inspiring others.

Today I integrate my unique combination of business acumen, adventure experience and leadership capabilities in my work. Sometimes its individual coaching, delivering a motivational presentation to a team, or a leadership programme for an organisation. My clients are varied, from corporate leaders to people in elite sport as well as not for profit organisations and small businesses. They are based around the world, but all want to be able to achieve exceptional performance. I don’t think the journey of growth ever ends, we all need to keep on stepping into the unknown to explore what we are capable of.

About the Author

Sue Stockdale – Wiltshire, UK

Sue Stockdale is a sought-after motivational speaker who inspires business leaders around the world to achieve exceptional performance.  She is a compelling speaker with an understanding of motivation and leadership, gleaned from her experience in business, adventure and sport.  Sue has worked with some of the world’s top companies, as well as public sector and not for profit organisations.

Using powerful images and thought provoking messages, Sue inspires people to take action by drawing analogies between her experience and their situations.  Her presentations are delivered with passion and energy, so that delegates leave feeling they can achieve things they did not imagine were possible.

Inspiring Story – Sue Stockdale – UK

To contact Sue:


Twitter: @suestockdale

Nikki Taylor personally thanks Sue Stockdale for sharing her inspiring story today with us on Inspiring Women Today by Nikki Taylor. Should you too wish to share your very own inspirational journey/story please email and our editorial guidelines will be sent to you.


Empowering Women to Become the Masters of Their Own Destiny Post Domestic Violence - Empowered Womens stories

Empowering Women to Become the Masters of Their Own Destiny Post Domestic Violence – Kate Worsfold – Australia


Empowering Women to Become the Masters of Their Own Destiny Post Domestic Violence - Empowered Womens stories Empowering Women to Become the Masters of Their Own Destiny Post Domestic Violence – Kate Worsfold – Australia

Kate Worsfold is a survivor of 15 years of Domestic Violence wanting to share her story with as many people as she can to help bring an awareness of this insidious and evil social ill. After spending her career in Managerial and Operational roles in various small business and corporate companies, she was given the privilege of working for the Queensland Times Newspaper as their Adopt a Family Appeal Coordinator.

During her time working with so many underprivileged people within her community, she realised her passion to help those who needed to find their wings and their voices, especially those who had suffered like her at the hands of Domestic Violent (DV) abusers. She then forged her organisation Wings of Destiny focusing on assisting women who have left DV relationships, to find their self-empowerment, self-confidence and freedom again and empower them to never return to relationships of abuse.

Kate understands all too well the paradox in leaving a DV relationship and then revoking the decision to retreat and return. One of the prevalent reasons Kate believes most women return to these relationships is because these women lack clarity in their self-identity and confidence. She believes they lose who they are and become conditioned into believing what others think of them, consumed by their limitations instead of focused on their true potential and the greatness they have within them.
Kate is committed to helping women be reunited with their true selves and finding their wings to fly so that they are capable of forging an amazing destiny for themselves that is not comprised by abuse. She has written her 6 week program “Destined to be … ME” that takes women on a deep soulful journey on finding their inner values, bringing them in alignment back with their authentic and true sense of self and learning how not to allow their negative experiences and trauma to define who they are but rather they learn the tools on how to define themselves based on their personal victories and greatness they already possess deep down inside.

Kate is a strong community advocate in helping women and families post DV and facilitates her course through various community centres in the region with the sponsorship of various businesses helping to subsidise placements for these women to rebuild their lives and additionally through the endorsement of several community campaigners and MP’s. Kate has also written a book which is due to be published in the coming months.

Empowering women to become the Masters of their own Destiny, Kate Heilbronn truly empowers women who survived domestic violence.

Inspiring Story – Kate Worsfold – Australia
To contact Kate:

Web: Wings of Destiny

Nikki Taylor personally thanks Kate Worsfold for sharing her inspiring story today with us on Should you too wish to share your very own inspirational journey/story please email and our editorial guidelines will be sent to you.


Mega Advertising – Phillippa Jacobs – New Zealand

What defines someone as inspirational? To me it means inspiring others to step up too by doing the walking, not just the talking.

My business is Pinnacle & Co. Limited in Christchurch, New Zealand. I started Pinnacle in 1997. This hasn’t happened by luck or by mistake. Nor has it by blood sweat or tears. Okay, I lie, a few tears!!! It has happened with passion, and dedication, and a lot of laughs too.

I started as a first class honours visual communications student looking for work. It didn’t take long to get work but the next few months proved pretty tough.

I had been fired for glandular fever, fired for severely hurting my knee (4 surgeries), made redundant twice, terminated with wrong contract, you get the picture. Then major self doubt set in with government interviews (in order to claim a financial benefit). They suggested that perhaps I wasn’t very good at design (forgetting I have first class honours). I was determined to get a job, and a good one!

I hit the pavement over and over visiting what now are only describe as our oppositions, until an amazing man Terry Kearns offered me rent free for six months at his advertising studio, to start my own business. My CV was looking pretty bad, so I talked with my parents, even though I was only age 26 and we thought “why not!”

So December 12th, 1997 was a day I’ve never looked back on. It taught me anything is possible, even with low self esteem at High School and not a good start into a career path. I learned that to believe in yourself was the first magic step. And when someone tells you can do it, believe that they just could be right. There will always be people that can’t do what I’ve done, but I believe all people have potential to do their best, and that is how I live each day, with my glass half full attitude.

I have a truly wonderful team of staff. They are very loyal and supportive, hard working and clever. I believe what Richard Branson says, be good to your staff and they will be good to your clients (and you)! So true. They are good to me, which in turn makes me love my workplace too. If you love your job then it shows in your work and your life!

So how do I inspire people when it seems to me that what I do is just normal? Yet weekly, if not daily, I cross paths with someone that says how much I inspire them. It’s crazy at times; people who inspire me are often the ones that say I inspire them. Awesome. I guess it comes to another common saying: hang out with successful people and you too will be successful. I add to that with happiness too. I need happy people round me to be happy! I thrive on people being nice to other people.

We love helping small/medium businesses succeed. Yes, we help many large national and international businesses too, but it is the businesses where there are less hoops to jump through, no politics, just passion to succeed that we have the most success with – because they let us drive them. Pure excitement.

So what do I do? I go to work each day. I do have good holidays but when I am at work, I work, because I want to. Because I enjoy watching my company make others so happy. I’m still motivated to take my business further. I don’t need it to be the biggest, but I do need it to be the best!!!

The other part of making my world better, is what I am able to do for everyone else. There is something special about helping other people. As a person, and as a business we do so much for charity work. I belong to Zonta, I run a youth group for Zonta (Z Club) at Avonside Girls’ High School. I chair Kiwi Business Chicks, since 2006, I have been a member of BNI since 2005, I am on the Industries Board at Yoobee School of Design. And at Pinnacle we do a host of different things to help charities do better.

Why? The values that I have had instilled in me, are the values I wish to spread to others. My personal values come through in my business as we love helping businesses, we love helping people. Our clients love our openness our friendliness, and this is what gets me up in the morning to do more in our world.

We are always growing our own business as well, we are proud to be Strategic Creative Partners with our amazing clients.

Inspiring Story – Phillippa Jacobs – New Zealand
To contact Phillippa:

Web: Mega Advertising

Nikki Taylor personally thanks Phillippa for sharing her inspiring story today with us on Should you too wish to share your very own inspirational journey/story please email and our editorial guidelines will be sent to you.

Nikki has known Phillippa for many years and it was Phillippa who added a brainstorming day with Nikki Taylor when starting out on her own business in Recruitment.

Thank you Phillippa, I will always remember that day you inspired me with my branding. – Nikki Taylor


2012 Young Australian of the Year – Marita Cheng – Australia


Marita was born in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. She grew up in housing commission with her brother and single-parent mother, who worked as a hotel room cleaner. She graduated from high school in 2006 in the top 0.2% of the nation, and that year was awarded Cairns Young Citizen of the Year for her volunteering and extra-curricula efforts, which included winning awards for mathematics, Japanese and piano. Marita speaks English, Cantonese and Japanese.

Marita is the founder and CEO of 2Mar Robotics doing mechanical engineering. She also runs an artificial intelligence company. 2Mar Robotics makes affordable and beautiful telepresence robots – robots which enable people to be in two places at the same time, for people with disabilities, CEOs and busy people! 2Mar will be shipping their first pre-orders in April 2016. Aipoly uses convolutional neural networks on the iPhone and Android phones to identify objects in real-time. Aipoly launched in the App Store in January at CES 2016 (the world’s largest consumer electronics show in the world with 170,000 attendees) and has already won multiple awards in Australia and around the world.

Five weeks after 2Mar was founded in 2013, it received $20,000 from the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Accelerator Program. Later that year, it received five prizes, including the top award, the Innovation Excellence Award from Tech23 2013, Australia’s most prestigious pitching competition. Following that, 2Mar exhibited at CES 2014, the largest consumer electronics show in the world, with 140,000 participants in Las Vegas, where VentureBeat named Marita “the coolest girl at CES 2014”.

Marita was named the 2012 Young Australian of the Year for demonstrating vision and leadership well beyond her years as the Founder and Executive Director of Robogals Global. Noticing the low number of girls in her engineering classes at the University of Melbourne, Marita rounded up her fellow engineering peers and they went to schools to teach girls robotics, as a way to encourage girls into engineering. While on academic exchange at Imperial College London, Marita expanded the group to London and through innovation and sheer will, Marita then expanded Robogals throughout Australia, the UK, the USA and Japan. The group runs robotics workshops, career talks and various other community activities to introduce young women to engineering.

Marita regularly travels around Australia presenting her work including appearing on Q&A on ABC beside two Nobel Laureates and the Chief Scientist of Australia (TV audience 600,000), and alongside Ashton Kutcher at Lenovo’s #TechMyWay (online audience 35,000). As well, she has presented overseas at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Singapore (2015), the World Entrepreneurship Forum in France (2014), the World Engineering Education Forum in Dubai (2014), and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts’ World Conference in Hong Kong (2014).

An internationally recognized women in engineering advocate for her work as the founder of Robogals, which has taught 45,000 girls in 9 countries robotics to get them interested in engineering, Marita is now a sought-after keynote speaker.

In 2015, Marita attended Singularity University, located at NASA Ames on a Google scholarship, studying exponential technologies to improve the lives of a billion people within the next 10 years, and has degrees in mechatronics engineering and computer science from the University of Melbourne. She serves on the boards of Robogals Global, the Foundation for Young Australians, and RMIT’s New Enterprise Investment Fund, where she helps decide on startup investments. In her spare time, Marita enjoys reading, travelling and daydreaming.

Marita’s Bio Originally Published on
Featured Photo Credit: InStyle Magazine Australia

Inspiring Story -Marita Cheng – Australia
To contact Marita:

Web: Marita Cheng’s Blog

Nikki Taylor personally thanks Marita Cheng for sharing her inspiring story today with us on Should you too wish to share your very own inspirational journey/story please email and our editorial guidelines will be sent to you.


Midlife Turning Points -Empowered Women

Midlife Turning Points – Anne Noonan – Australia

 Midlife Turning Points -Empowered Women

Our second half of life can be so much better than the first. I truly believe that we can turn our health completely around if we grab hold of it in time. And when we do, our whole life can change. Relationships, business, personal success and our purpose can turn up in amazing ways.

At the age of about 46 I found myself facing a hysterectomy. I was excited about it. I just wanted this hell of a cycle that began at the age of 11 to be over. When my cycle began in primary school it determined where I went, what invitations I accepted, whether I went swimming when everyone else was going or whether I spent a lot of time at home. It remained that way throughout my life. I accepted it as normal – doesn’t everyone have ridiculously heavy painful periods?? A few years and 2 kids later, when a hysterectomy was suggested, I was over it. I was over the anaemia, the fatigue, the deficiencies, the weightgain, the weird illnesses and the depression that accompanied it – I was ready.

This was it! It was going to be done and I was going to have my life back.

It wasn’t to be. I woke up out of the anaesthetic in a hot flush and my menopausal symptoms seemed to be on full volume. Hot flushes that didn’t seem to end. Dry skin, sore joints, increasing middle, overloaded liver, foggy thinking, lack of interest in everything and a feeling of simply sinking deeper into a pit. I wanted out of it. My gyno suggested I go see my local for an HRT script, I had my doctor suggest antidepressants and in my foggy hot sweaty brain I was ready to give up. A couple of naturopaths gave me different treatments all of which treated a little section of a whole – like spraying a raging fire with a squirter bottle.

So it was time to step up and take my life into my own hands. I had my certificate in human nutrition, I knew my stuff, I knew how to eat healthily and I thought I was. It just wasn’t enough. The real detective work began in earnest! I studied up every book, seminar, CD and workshop I could get hold of that concentrated on the midlife woman and the issues she deals with. From anxiety to zinc deficiency I had to take my health by the reigns and turn it around.

So I did. It took a few years, some experimentation and some failings. My body became my petrie dish. When I learned about the liver, the importance of macro and micro nutrition, the power of breath and movement, my health did an about face. Weight dropped off, my fogginess disappeared, my skin cleared up, the fatigue lifted and my acheyness was replaced with a sheer joy for life.

I now run programs for women who’ve gone through something similar. You can turn back the clock – you can regain your vitality. I want to live life to the fullest until it’s time to go. Doesn’t everyone? With a nutrition and mindful movement plan it’s doable. When I discovered mindful movement and breath techniques it was like my cells started singing ‘hallelujah, she’s found what she needs’. So I became a yoga and meditation instructor and combine it with my health coaching and have a driving passion now for the midlife woman who wants her mojo back.

My blog and classes information can be found at and an obligation free 30 minute consult could be the best thing you do for yourself.

My bio:

Anne Noonan is a certified Yoga, Meditation, Food and Nutrition Coach with a passion for the midlife woman and everything she goes through. Anne has also worked as a Personal Stylist and owned her own fashion range a few years ago before her health started to take its toll. She knew the only way to get back on top was to take her health into her own hands. You can check out some of Anne’s journey on her blog and read about her programs and classes on the ‘classes’ page.

Inspiring story – Anne Noonan – Australia 
To contact Anne:


Nikki Taylor personally thanks Anne Noonan for sharing your inspiring story today with us on Should you too wish to share your very own inspirational journey/story please email and our editorial guidelines will be sent to you.