Granting Lessons From Agata Galuszka, Who Was One of the Youngest Women In The Board Room of London’s largest Employer

  • Published on:
    October 30, 2019
  • Reading time by:
    8 minutes

Agata Galuszka is an entrepreneur, speaker, success coach and the founder of Ultimate Confidence LTD. These days, she’s living the life she’d always imagined but the journey to get there was far from easy.

Despite coming from a happy home, and being very successful in her workplace as young woman, Galuszka found herself with an abusive husband and a failed business. Desperate to reconnect with herself and start over after ending her marriage, Galuszka dove head-first into self-help best sellers and scoured the internet for advice on how to rebuild her life. She just couldn’t seem to relate to any of the so-called “experts” because most of them were men and their stories were nothing like hers.

After months of searching (and gathering the courage to confide in someone) Galuszka connected with an amazing life coach who gave her the tools to discover her purpose, regain her confidence, and begin creating the life of her dreams.

Armed with a new sense of empowerment, Galuszka earned her Master’s degree and landed a position in one of London’s largest companies, the National Health System. Because she excelled at increasing productivity and developing new programs, it wasn’t long before Galuszka had a string of promotions under her belt, and became the youngest female board member as the Director of HR and People Development.

‘’I had to work twice as hard as my male counterparts to be seen as capable and ultimately earn their respect, but I finally had the high-powered career, coveted salary, and prestige that comes along with administering million dollar budgets and developing personnel. You might say I’d “made it’’.

Her new title allowed her to use the tools she’d learned to counsel her corporate employees and help them create the massive mindset shifts required to uplevel their careers. But she knew she was meant for more. ”I started to realize how limiting my job was. I could only help people within the scope of the company and it became clear that my real passion was to empower other women in the private sector.”

Once her son was born, Galuszka made the decision to leave corporate to serve in a bigger way. She understood that sharing the tools she’d learned to rebuild her confidence and discover her passion would be a game-changer for women just like her. 

These days, Galuszka uses her experience and expertise to connect with women all over the world and teach them how to find lasting confidence and true happiness. Her mission is to help women everywhere create lives they’re excited to wake up to every day and she leads the charge with compassion and a genuine desire to make a difference.

In your own words, what do you do?

I’m a life and success coach, speaker, entrepreneur and the founder of Ultimate Confidence LTD. I help women uncover the blocks that are preventing them from creating the lives of their dreams and teach them how to develop unshakable confidence so they’re able to find true happiness and share their brilliance with the world.

If you could go back ten years, what would be some of the top tips you would give our audience? 

I would say that taking small steps toward your goals each day has a compound effect and results in big changes over time. Most of the women I work with initially think they have to change everything in their lives right off the bat to get from Point A to Point B. But that mentality is overwhelming and unmotivating.

The reality is if you’re committed to taking even the smallest action day in and day out, your life will look a whole lot different in 6 months or a year. Consistency might not be the sexiest idea but it gets results.

“I had to work twice as hard as my male counterparts to be seen as capable and ultimately earn their respect.’’

What made you think you didn’t earn their respect or had to work twice as hard as your male counterparts? 

At my very first board meeting as the brand new Director of HR for the company I worked for at the time, a senior (male) board member asked me to get him a cup of coffee. That’s the kind of behavior I had to contend with…I’m sure a lot of women in the workplace can relate!

While I had no trouble working my way up the corporate ladder, once I reached the C-level, the corporate Boys Club mentality was ever-present. There were plenty of sexist jabs worked into just about every conversation; my ideas and ability to deliver results were constantly called into question.

I’d developed a pretty thick skin but I definitely felt like I had to go above and beyond what would’ve been expected of a man in my position in order to prove my worth to the other board members.

“One promotion followed another and I became the Director of HR in record time.” How?

When I first started out in the corporate world, I was doing mindless work. I’d lost interest in what I was doing and felt stuck in that job. I learned pretty quickly that if I wanted to be considered for higher positions within the company, I would have to be willing to take some risks and put myself out there. 

So, that’s what I did. I started sharing my ideas…I kept talking to the right people and pitched them regularly. I was very stubborn!

There was a lot of enthusiasm and excitement around making things happen during the interview process but once I was in whatever new role I’d been promoted to, all those new ideas would fall flat and projects would get delayed; it was very frustrating. I think one of the reasons I worked so hard to make it to the C-suite is so that I could actually make a difference by initiating change.

What is a skill you think all women should learn and why? 

I don’t think I’d call it a skill maybe, but I think the one thing that would make our lives more fulfilling and a whole lot less stressful is if we felt comfortable asking for help. 

As women, we’ve been conditioned to believe we’re competitors and asking for support is seen as a sign of weakness. If we can’t “do it all” there must be something wrong with us. 

We can accomplish so much more when we have the support of a community of like-minded women behind us. That idea was the inspiration for my company Ultimate Confidence LTD. I wanted to create space for women to feel inspired, empowered, and supported.

Being part of a tribe where you feel safe to lean on when you’re struggling and celebrate your wins with is so powerful. And creating a space specifically for women is even more important because most of us wouldn’t allow ourselves to be open and vulnerable in the company of men.

What challenges do you face in your work? 

One of the biggest challenges I have with my clients is that so many of them have spent their lives chasing someone else’s idea of happiness. I work with some of the most talented and amazing women who have achieved great things but they come to realize on some level, they were trying to live up to other people’s expectations. 

It’s exhausting to deny the things you’re truly passionate about in favor of what you’re led to believe you’re “supposed to” do. Many of the women I work with have done this for so long and are so out of touch with the core of who they are, they’re unable to see their own potential.

It takes a lot of mindset work for them to reconnect with who they are and rebuild their confidence so they can start to believe in what’s possible. 

To what do you attribute your success? 

Well, I definitely try to practice what I preach with my own clients! First and foremost, my success is a result of the inner work I’ve done to change my own self-destructive thoughts and behaviors and replace them with beliefs and habits that are in alignment with how I want my life to look. I’ve worked with a few different coaches and I’ve even been to therapy. I believe we’re all here to learn how to be the best version of ourselves and create lives we’re excited to wake up to every day!

From a strategy perspective, I’ve gotten really good at breaking my goals down into a step-by-step process that makes success inevitable (I’m obsessed with project planning, what can I say?) This is one of the things I help my clients with so they can reverse-engineer their own goals.

What is your next big goal? How do you think you can achieve this one? 

In a couple of months, I’ll be launching my first online course. It’s part mindset overhaul, part project plan and it really encompasses the entire process I use when I work with clients one-on-one. 

My goal was to make a bigger impact by serving more women than I have the capacity to work with personally. This course is the culmination of years of personal growth as well as my experience working with hundreds of coaching clients in corporate and in the private sector. 

The material I’ve put together will help women recognize their negative patterns, where they come from, and understand how these patterns aren’t serving them. Inside the course, they’ll also learn how to cultivate new thoughts and beliefs so they can finally start living life on their own terms. The final phase of the course focuses on the step-by-step process I use to help my clients reach the new goals they’ve set for themselves.

This course has been years in the making and it’s exciting to finally see it all come together. My hope is that it will become a go-to resource for women everywhere.

I have a fantastic team of women behind me to help with all the moving parts but achieving this goal is just like achieving any other goal; it’s all about breaking it down into bite-sized chunks and taking some sort of action every day. 

How do you think modern women can be more fulfilled in their lives?

I think women are able to find true happiness and fulfillment when they feel empowered to move in the direction of their dreams without letting society’s expectations influence their choices. There are so many ideas thrown at us about what we’re “supposed to” want out of life, how we’re supposed to act, how we’re supposed to look. A lot of us cave under the pressure and we end up losing touch with our true selves.

When you’re free to share your unique gifts and create lives that are in complete alignment with your purpose and passion, you show other women what’s possible and inspire them to take action. Together, that’s how we change the world.

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

I spent close to 20 years living in London and during that time I found myself in a terrible marriage that tore me down in every possible way. The short version is, my husband was controlling, unfaithful and abusive. 

When I finally found the courage to leave him, I felt humiliated. My marriage was over and I had lost my first business and any investments I had at the time. 

Rock bottom was where I lived for a long time and I had no idea how to pull myself out of the desperation I felt. But eventually, I realized the only one that could change my life was me. I had to start over.

That experience taught me that letting fear run the show was a lose-lose proposition. To the outside world, I had the perfect marriage, a successful career, a happy life, but it was an illusion and on the inside, I was drowning under the weight of it all.

Keeping up appearances was debilitating and was not at all how I wanted to live my life. Being at my lowest point made me realize that living an authentic life on my terms was the only option going forward–no matter what anyone else might think of me. That’s when the real work began.

Find out more about Agata and The Ultimate Confidence LTD

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