Hey, my name is Anna Boroshok and I am happy to welcome you to the community of women who dare to dream.
Today we are more than 700 women from different countries. A lot of us are based in Belgium because that's where the community of Fearless Female Founders
has started. We are all different but we have similar values and ambitions:
- We believe into our potential and strive to realise it to maximum
- Even though we have high ambitions, we remember and preserve our female nature
- We avoid overloading ourselves and strive to create a balanced life which we enjoy
- We create businesses that are ethical and that are in line with our preferred life-style
- We constantly learn in order to grow
Here is how we spend time together:
Now, a bit about me: FROM A DESERT TO THE BEST UNIVERSITY IN COUNTRY
I was born in a dysfunctional Soviet family in the 7th
largest desert in the world (Kyzylkum), in the country called Uzbekistan. My father was constantly drinking and cheating on my mum and my mum silently accepting the situation. This lasted for 30 years until my father went overboard and started cheating on my mum in front of my eyes. I was 12 years old.
In 1992, right after the collapse of the Soviet Union my mum had finally found the courage and put the suitcases of my father outside of our apartment. After that there were years of financial struggle for me and my mum. I remember I had to wear shoes with holes for 3 seasons simply because we couldn't afford buying new ones. Now I have more than 40 pairs.
Even though money were scarce, my mum invested every penny into my education hiring tutors to prepare me for university…..and…I failed my 1st
attempt to enter a University.
Then, my mum told me, "If you fail to pass the next year, I will find you a job of a nanny in a kindergarten…ah, btw, I've been to the University of World Economy & Diplomacy in the capital of Uzbekistan. It's the best University in the country but only talented children and children of politicians get there. It is also beautiful." That's how my mum has put a seed of dream into me.
I was getting ready to another, more simple University but secretly dreaming about "the best Uni in the country". This motivated me study harder. Went the time came to apply to a University, I went to Tashkent – the capital of Uzbekistan – and on the very last minute changed my mind and submitted the documents to "the best Uni in the country". My legs were shaking, I was risking to become a nanny that year but I did take a step forward and I've never regretted it.
As you have guessed it, I have passed the exams and entered that University.
- Dare to dream, it will motivate & inspire you to work harder.
- Believe in yourself, you are your most precious resource. If you don't believe into yourself, no one will.
- Trust your guts and the Universe, they know your path better than your rational self.
- Even if you are scared, keep on working towards your dream, step-by-step. FROM UZBEKISTAN TO EUROPE WITHOUT A PENNY?
Most of the students were going home after studies, but I was heading to internships. I don't remember who gave me this advice but it served me so well. When I was applying to the universities abroad, the good CV has helped me to get accepted to the Lancaster University MA program in Warsaw.
The only problem was…neither me nor my mum had money to cover the tuition fees and living expenses. The salary in Uzbekistan was around $60/month back then, so there was no way my mum could help me.
But I wanted to go to study abroad so badly that I applied to all the possible scholarships and I have got one which covered both the tuition and the living expenses - $3000 for a year. I was the happiest person in the world!
If you really want something, money will come. A YEAR OF LOW CONFIDENCE, INTROVERTISM & DYSFUNCTIONAL LOVE
Studies in Poland were hard. My English was on a very low level, I was struggling to write scientific papers. In the beginning I was getting very bad marks: F, D, C-. But I was gradually growing to higher marks, eventually graduating with B+.
My relationships with peers was difficult. Because of my poor English I was avoiding talking to anyone. Apart from that I was always afraid of being judged – my soviet past played huge role in it. But it's that year I've started learning other ways of communicating, being genuinely curious about other people, learning how to communicate better. That's when my journey towards extrovertism & confidence has started.
That's also when I read the book that has started my transformation: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. It was the first time I have realised that we are the owners of our fate and we can create it by first knowing themselves and then creating a better version of ourselves.
That same year I met my 1st
husband – a handsome Italian guy – my coursemate. This was a poisonous relationship since the very beginning. I was too needy and he was too cold, negative, and unavailable. Little I knew back than that I was re-producing the dysfunctional relationships of my mum and dad.
You can make any difficulty your life coach, learn and grow from each obstacle.
People DO change. If you are not happy with a certain part of yourself, you can change it.
If you don't know your harmful patterns, you will keep attracting unfortunate people and events into your life. FROM AFRICA TO GOOGLE OR LIFE MISSION CAN CHANGE
After Poland I got another scholarship to obtain MA in Cooperation and Development in Italy. By the end of the studies we had to choose an internship and I have chosen Capacity Building project in Ethiopia.
I've always dreamt about helping people, so it was a great opportunity to pursue my mission. What a disappointment it was to discover that Africa doesn't need our help. We only develop their dependency on our money and destroy initiative. I've seen a lot of money laundry, laziness and lies. I knew then that it contradicts to my values and ethics and there is no way I want to do this job.
I came back to Europe (joined my husband in Ireland) and started my life from scratch: I've decided to switch to a commercial sector. My 1st
job was in Customer Service in Accenture – the worst job I've ever had. We were treated so badly: constantly criticised, penalised for every little mistake. Even going to a toilet you had to login and logout of the system, so they would know how long you were away. It was humiliating.
The money wasn't bad, I've even managed to save some money to buy an apartment for my mum in Russia. But I couldn't stand this working environment anymore. Somewhere inside I felt that I deserve something better. One year later, when they offered me a promotion, I said NO and left to another American company with better salary and better treatment.
But the problem was that my job was to renew IT licenses. The salary was good, we were living in a modern apartment in a fancy area of Dublin, we've got a car. But in something like 7 months in the company I've started wondering what value do I get from this job? What do I learn? Where will it bring me? The prospects were rather gruesome.
I started checking out vacancies in other companies. I hardly imagined what I want to do, I just wanted to learn and grow, see what my potential is.
During one of such searches I've spotted a vacancy at Google…my heart started pumping. The first thought was "Who am I to work at the best employee in the world?" But then I thought "Will it hurt if I try? What do I lose?". I've started the process.
7 interviews down, I have got a congratulations letter with a salary I couldn't dream about. Was it easy?
Listen to your heart: when is it beating with excitement? When butterflies starts flying in your belly? That's where your path is.
Story to be continued...