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A powerful combination

Celynn Erasmus is a registered dietician, professional speaker and writer, co-authoring the best-selling Fast food for sustained energy. Joni Peddie, CEO of The BizComm® Group, facilitates, coaches and speaks on personal growth, team performance and sustainable transformation. She is also the co-founder of the Enneagram Institute in South Africa. Together they have established the Resilient Energy Centre ( and are helping people live healthier, more balanced lives. Their WIFN presentation had women off their feet and getting healthy hormones pumping out energy and happiness.

What I love about their tips is that they are easy and quick to implement … and have a great impact on a busy lifestyle:

  • Are you time-poor and stress-rich? Fuel, Activate, Behave for a FABulously energetic life:
    • Fuel your body to unlock energy and vitality, and manage your waistline
    • Activate your body and brain to manage stress and ensure mental agility
    • Behave authentically to play to your strengths and collaborate more powerfully.
  • Breathing deeply is a built-in stress reliever
  • Daily wins become major victories

Don’t miss out on Celynn and Joni’s excellent book, The F+A+B Quotient.

Freedom to be me

Colleen-Joy Page
Colleen-Joy Page

As a successful business owner and life coach, Colleen Joy-Page has a wide spectrum of messages that benefit women.  For her evening with the women of WIFN, however, she chose the topic that is closest to her heart: helping women discover their authentic identity. This frees them from seeking to live up to unrealistic expectations – most often created by themselves – and from operating in a survival mode that results in them feeling either superior or inferior to others.  Genuine relationships are formed, Colleen says, when we are “equal to” each other – nothing to prove.

While you really need to attend an Apple Tree workshop to get the full benefit of Colleen’s wisdom, we have distilled these few seeds to give you a taste of it:
Your Apple Tree is your true, natural, liberated you, and teaches you teaches us that we don’t have to “become” someone.

Inner obstacles like fear, procrastination, carrying others’ burdens need to be transformed to free our dreams.
Instead of living a life of doing, make yours a life of being

You can find out about Colleen Joy-Page’s courses on her website:

Scripting your own success story

imageEveryone has dreams. But it is what you do with these dreams that is important. Dreams, once you make the decision to act on them, can become reality.
Glynis Nunn, Australian Olympic Champion

There is no shortage of articles on the lack of women in the financial planning industry.  Women seem reluctant to enter this still male-dominated career, and, it appears that when they do, the obstacles are numerous.  In Wendy Phaka’s story here, you will read of courage, commitment and the care of colleagues, and how these transformed her challenges into opportunity …

I was 20 years old, and had recently completed my Certificate in Human Resources.  I was full of hope for the start of a new career, but, the sad reality of South Africa is that, without any experience or contacts in the industry, finding a job seems an insurmountable challenge.
When my aunt, who worked at Chartered Wealth Solutions as a tea lady, took maternity leave, I filled in for her temporarily.

Some of the staff members – known affectionately within the company as the Chartered Crew – chatted to me about my plans for the future.  As we got to know each other, they must have spotted something special in me – I like to think it is my commitment to doing whatever I do with excellence.  I have also always held to the belief that I can improve my situation by working really hard.

Before I knew it, I was offered the opportunity to become part of a financial planning team as an administrator.  This meant that I would be working with the team’s para-planners in attending to client queries, dealing with relevant companies regarding tax and penalties, and following up on queries with transactions.
I was both nervous and excited to be offered the position, but the practice’s team assured me that I would grow to be competent, with the right amount of mentoring.

Genuine friendship
When I started out, I was aware that I required some assistance in honing my skills. To begin with, I could not pronounce English words properly, my home language being Sepedi. Donovan Adams, CFP®, one of our financial planners, was willing to help. He heard that I lacked confidence when speaking over the phone. Donovan and I met three times a week to work on my pronunciation.

I, of course, also knew nothing about financial planning and its processes. Raquel Rodrigues, a para-planner, dedicated her time to training me in financial planning, our company values and goals – we spent two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoons every day going through what I needed to know. And the support did not end there …”

My future in financial planning has become more certain now that Chartered is funding my studies: I am studying towards a Certificate in Financial Planning.

With this foundation, I have hope of a bright future. I am honoured to be an employee at this company and am grateful for the opportunity I was offered.  Without the commitment to mentoring me demonstrated by so many here, I would not have achieved the milestones that I have.

image 2

Wendy with one of the children at Tumi and Karabo Child Care Centre in Alexandra, a start-up business supported by Chartered in 2014.

Ways to Win as Women

stockvault-honey-comb127835As Executive Director of the Centre for Leadership and Dialogue at the Gordon Institute for Business Studies (GIBS), Shireen Chengadu is passionate about finding their own voices in whichever context they are operating.  The focus of her presentation to WIFN was to be and seek a mentor.  In addition, she encouraged women to develop and unite their voices to take a stand – for that which nurtures people and creates equality in society, and against that which divides communities and negatively impacts women in particular.

Here are some of her nuggets of wisdom to help women find ways to win at work:

  • Be your own best brand ambassador:  be distinct or extinct!Volunteer for stretch assignments to gain new knowledge, relationships and experiences.
  • View negotiation as problem-solving, not as a win-lose situation
  • Bring yourself to the tables of power and make yourself heard and your voice matter.
  • Find a great mentor, sponsor or advocate
  • Be a door-opener rather than a gate-keeper

Shireen continues to lead entrepreneurial forums for women to ensure they are equipped for the roles of leadership into which they have stepped or will be stepping.  Her personal credo is:  Disrupt yourself – often!

Shift those shackles!

shutterstock_197320142As the Quick-Shift Diva, Kate Emmerson make short work of useless items – that unused popcorn machine, that never-worn floral dress in lime green.  But, her message to women is far more than how to clear clutter.  Kate challenges women (and men!) to clear their emotional clutter:  those feelings of unforgiveness, those long-standing fears, those attitudes that no longer serve the better person you have become.  Both the physical and emotional decluttering are cathartic and make room for fresh growth and new ideas.

  • Here are some of her tips shared with the WIFN guests:
  • Pay attention to your outstanding goals – ask for support and accountability
  • Check your attitude – what is and isn’t serving you?
  • Focus on your to-do list – not others’ – to live light, live large

Kate Emmerson is also an author and her books and courses are just as inspiring as her presentations – find out more from her website.

The Unwritten Rule of Business: Networking

Networking expert and founder of The Networking Company, Helen Nicholson, was the speaker at the very first WIFN event. In her address, she noted that, while women typically have a business network of 11-15 people whom they can access for advice or assistance, men have 50-70 people they feel comfortable contacting for help. That’s a staggering difference! And consider the implications for growth, advancement in companies and industries, and confidence and influence.

Helen gave very practical pointers to mastering the art of networking.  Here are a few (and the bonus is that they are contained in her free – yes, free – ebook on her website):
Have your 10 second elevator speech, your ‘hook’ ready, in response to the question:  “So, what do you do?”

Great networkers are distinguished by two attributes: they understand their strengths and have their own personal brand.
Touching someone’s elbow when greeting him or her increases his or her ability to recall you by 70%!

The correct place to pin your name tag at any event is on the top right-hand side of your chest, almost at the base of your shoulder.
Thank you, Helen, for sharing so readily of your wisdom and encouragement to women in the financial services industry!