“Be yourself, and trust your own judgement and instincts.”
I was born in the North of Poland in a little seaside town of Koszalin and am the youngest of four kids. In 1981 my parents decided to leave Poland due to the political situation and move to South Africa. Soon after arriving in SA with only a few suitcases, my dad started his own export/import business. I’d go on business trips with him whenever and wherever I could as he always went to interesting places such as gold mines and remote factories. I learnt a lot about business from my dad. He is a compulsive entrepreneur and optimist with endless energy and everything represents an opportunity. My mum is more steadfast, reserved and academic and she got a job as the Chief Language Practitioner for the SADF. So, we settled in and enjoyed life in SA – the weather, the smell of the plants and ground after it rained… the colourful glow worms in-between the grass blades of our garden at night, the sound of crickets… all of it was magical and enticing.
I was a very happy, social, highly athletic, and bubbly little girl growing up. A bit of a tom boy on my blue BMX, I’d race up and down our street with cuts & bruises on my legs. I played chess, the piano by ear and loved competing in countless public speaking festivals. I also adored nature and would spend hours rescuing bees that fell in the pool. As a teenager, I chose to go to a prestigious boarding school which disciplined me somewhat and polished my manners. I went on to study Information Science at the University of Pretoria and after graduating, quickly got a job at a top IT Consulting company. I landed up specialising in IT telecoms billing systems implementations around the world. I also met my husband at work and it was literally love at first sight! I just saw him in the office, then told my friends that night that I found the man I am going to marry. We did marry, have three beautiful daughters together and he remains the love of my life. We support each other and we are a true team.
One morning our oldest daughter came up to us and said she had a dream about me speaking to Lord Sugar across the boardroom table. It was a very random dream as The Apprentice was not showing on TV at the time. My husband and I thought this must be destiny and I applied for The Apprentice! I had only just started my own Consultancy business leaving the security and prestige of IT Telecoms behind. My dads entrepreneurial spirit rubbed off on me and I also wanted to use my ability to communicate much more. So consultancy in place, I decided to go for The Apprentice. I enjoyed the challenge of the auditions and knew that I could win the process. Once in the process though, the deliberately restricted contact with family started to make less and less business sense to me. I realised it was against my values and plain wrong so I chose to leave the process! The prize became going home and not the 250K and a partnership with Lord Sugar. I will continue to fulfil my goals however without compromising my values.
Since The Apprentice I’m still doing consultancy for a select number of brands. I’m also doing quite a bit of motivational speaking for example, for Great Ormond Street Hospital, which is amazing. I’ve hired an agent, Thomas Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org) who is dealing with all media requests as it seems I am pulled in the direction of TV and radio as well. It’s great as my true talents lie in communication and having a platform to communicate is a true blessing. I am very grateful for everything I have and I do not take anything for granted. The most important thing in life is to listen to your heart. This will bring you true success and happiness. You must allow yourself to be yourself. Trust your own judgement and instinct. Never let someone who is wealthier, more popular, older or ‘important’ dictate the ‘Terms and Conditions’ of your life to you because they may be wrong and it’s not their call to make – it’s yours.