The Best You meets polymath Mirela Sula, founder of Global Woman
Mirela Sula has worked in media and education for over 20 years, with a background that involves psychology and counselling, journalism, coaching, women’s rights and media training.
Sula is the CEO and founder of Global Woman magazine and Global Woman Club, and she recently acquired The Businesswoman Today, an online network exclusively for women in business. She is also the organiser of the Global Woman Summit and Global Woman Awards, and has appeared on TV, radio and in print.
Currently studying for a PhD in Psychology at Regent’s University London, Sula has authored several bestselling self-help books and received numerous awards, including The Best Book of the Year from The Author’s Awards in 2016 for her book Don’t Let Your Mind Go.
Hi Mirela, what inspired you to start Global Woman?
Global Woman started with my passion to bring women together and help them build their confidence. I started my journey working with women in London five years ago. I was involved with a project to help raise awareness about domestic violence, which helped me to further understand the needs of abused women.
After a year, I created a platform called Migrant Woman, which included a magazine, events and workshops to help female migrants integrate into a new country. After seeing the interest and impact my work was bringing to women that engaged with my projects, I decided to extend my platform and make it global. Today, I have registered Migrant Woman as a non-profit organisation and Global Woman now includes two magazines, 14 clubs and more than one hundred events around the world.
What do you hope to achieve with these initiatives?
At the beginning, my intention was to follow my passion and work to bring more awareness about female empowerment to the world. Now, seeing the huge amount of followers that the Global Woman platform has created around the world, this has turned into a global movement and my goal is to create clubs in every corner of the globe. The aim is to bring women together to help each other, build their confidence and contribute to their families, their communities, and a better world.
Today, women feel more than ever that this is ‘our time’. It means that it’s time to wake up and take responsibility, not live with the world in mens’ hands. That’s why it is called the women’s era, a time to awaken our conscious state and bring it to the world.
How have you overcome challenges throughout your journey?
When I decide to start a new project, I never think about the challenges, I jut focus on how I can arrive there. The question is not if I can, but rather how I can get there. This is the model that we share with the women of our community as well, to encourage them to apply a can-do attitude.
For example, when I started to think about creating a club for women, I had no idea how Id achieve it. But, once I created a clear picture in my mind, one month later I had an office. Then, challenges grow with your ambitions. When the picture in my mind started to become global, the challenges became bigger, so my job was to find solutions. Challenges help to train my brain and push me to go beyond my comfort zone, which is also something I hope women learn to do when they join Global Woman club.
What do you consider to be your biggest successes?
For me, success is when you feel good with yourself, when the life that you lead has meaning and gives a sense of purpose, not only for you, but for the next generation as well. When I arrived in this country five years ago, I remember a meeting I had at the university where I was doing my PhD in Psychology. I felt a bit lost, a stranger in a new country, a single mother with no family, no social support, no job and many bills to pay. I was a student with a restricted visa and I went to have a career coaching session, so I could understand better where I want to go. I remember at the session, the coach asked if I was looking for a job. I said I was desperate to find a job, but he told me I was unemployable because with my skills and mindset I was a leader.
I was aware of my leadership skill in my home country, but here I am now in a much bigger country, in a city with eight million people and nobody knows about me. Then I reminded myself that “if you build your success once you can build it again and again and again” and this is the way I measure my success, one step at a time. My mantra is “Don’t feel inferior to others, just feel better then you did yesterday.” This was my way to achieve success every day, which led me where I am today.
How has Global Woman grown?
Global Woman is now in a community more and more women want to join in order to feel part of a big family. Global Woman started as a magazine, which led to the annual Global Woman Summit, first in London, then last year in Tirana, where we were also hosted by Linda Rama, the wife of the Prime Minister of Albania, at the Presidential Palace, and this year will be in New York in June.
As mentioned before, Global Woman Club started in a central London office in March 2016 and has gained incredible momentum, growing bigger all the time. It is about building trusted relationships, with warmth and shared interests, creating win-win collaborations and having a shared vision and purpose. We now have women approaching us and asking if they can start a club on their own city. To manage the growth, we have been getting the foundations and processes in place, and a new website that will help us to expand.
We help women all around the world to think global, to build their confidence, to go beyond their comfort zone, to start their business, to build their brand, to get featured in the media, to speak on our stages at events that we organise around the world, and to live the dream of their life. It is never too late to achieve their dreams, and what women are experiencing through the Global Woman platform is the sisterhood feeling, the support that they receive, the power that they feel from being part of this movement.
What is your favourite Global Woman memory?
Global Woman is full of memories, every day there is something happening in our community and every day we come up with new ideas about how we can add value. One of my best memories is the time we spent in Hollywood last October, when 10 women from different countries were invited to be part of a documentary for the Phenomenal Global Woman Show, which will be featured on PBS TV in May 2018. That was a magical experience, which will stay long in the memory. We finished the trip with a conference and launched a book called Phenomenal Global Women in Hollywood. It led to an exciting contract with one of the largest publishers in the U.S., Waterside, that will now be published under a new title of Women who are leading the New Paradigm.
How do you see the future?
I see Global Woman Club growing and being in every corner of the globe. My aim, through Global Woman Club and our online platform, The Businesswoman Today, is to engage with one million women by 2020. My plan is to open the platform and invite all women to be part of our Global Woman family and to leave a legacy for the next generation. It’s building a model that promotes togetherness and social inclusion to create a better world to live in.
What do you currently see as your biggest obstacle?
The biggest obstacle now is the time – I have this big vision to grow, but I may need to slow the speed of growth because I have my deadline to submit my PhD research in May. This will be a challenge for me as I need more resources, a bigger team and to delegate some more things to others.
What is your one wish for the future?
I don’t have a wish, I have a desire, a big faith to become the best version of myself, to do good things for people, for the world, to bring positive change, to be remembered by the next generation as a woman that could make things happen, no matter how hard it was. My desire is that everything that I wish for myself, I want every woman to have.
Hear Mirela Sula speak at The Best You Expo, 16 – 17 February at London’s Olympia17 February at London’s Olympia