Five years ago, the cold slap of an inconceivable tragedy jolted Anne Weiskopf from her successful but routine life as a media executive.
She bounced back, transformed her life, and today she is known as the WOW lady famed for coaching and inspiring woman to live out loud.
“I have a mission, a desire, a calling and that calling is for women who I do believe are the superior race,” she says with a chuckle.
Anne grew up in the corporate world in the 1980s when men dominated. Luckily, she found her footing in a business founded by Holocaust survivors, where the matriarch deliberately placed women in positions of power.
“I was lucky enough to be part of a group of women who really broke the mould as to what was not ladylike or whatever that might be and it had a real impact on me.”
She thrived for more than 20 years, but it all came to a screeching halt five years ago for the married mother of two boys.
“My oldest son, Jacob, who was the most amazing, wonderful, smart, brilliant person—the world was a little too much for him and he took his life in 2013 when he was 17.”
The loss was devastating and the Weiskophf family hit rock bottom, but in honour of Jacob they didn’t stay down. After deep soul searching, they emerged stronger and more aware that the same old life wouldn’t suffice.
Anne wistfully describes it as a “wow moment” that catapulted her on the journey to help women to get back on track to having a meaningful and fulfilled life.
“You never know what the person standing next to you is going through and part of me said, ‘I need to honour Jacob to do this’ and another part of me said, ‘If I am focused on someone else, I can’t be focused on myself’.
“I had developed a really big capacity to be with pain and sorrow and I never really thought that that was a gift until I learnt from talking to people and clients who were attracted to me, because in our culture we don’t talk about death or after death.”
Anne was compelled to reach out to women, but she didn’t want to settle for just the routine counselling. She opted to be a professional coach and earned the title at the renowned Coaches Training Institute.
“Coaching is a relationship based upon on the belief that you have the resources to discover the answers to every question you have in your life.
“My core belief is that all people, especially women, are naturally creative, resourceful and whole, which means we are all endowed with everything we need to design and create the life we want to live. “
This International Women’s Day, Anne, who founded the Make Your Now Wow programme, will be sharing this message with almost 200 women set to attend the inaugural Women of the World Symposium organized by WPortfolio that will explore the theme Women on Worth – Gender Equality and Femininity in the Business World.
Anne believes women have made significant strides in most spheres but there’s still more ground to conquer.
“Women do so much for so many people and we always say ‘yes’ too. There is something about giving ourselves permission to be who we are—we need to explore, to have faith, to be honest with ourselves and those with whom we are in a relationship with. We are used to people telling us what they think, what we should be doing.”
Anne detests telling women how to run their lives; she prefers to empower them using the SHIFT approach.
“Don’t just sit there…SHIFT THERE! Whether you are a new grad, a mid-life career changer, or a senior professional, at some point in our career we experience doubt, fear, and other disempowering thoughts, and we feel stuck!
“By learning and practising the S.H.I.F.T. model of empowerment –
S- See It, H- Hear It, I – Invite It In, F – Full Permission, T – Tap into your most resonant self – you can achieve your goals.”
Anne says she loves to see “women stand in their power” and urges them world over to keep pressing for progress.
“For this planet to have any hope at all we need to band together and take over and run this damn place. Come on girls, get your wow on!”