Paula Galli: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur

Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is nutritional practitioner, holistic nutritionist and life coach Paula Galli, whose work is dedicated to helping individuals overcome problems associated with low self-esteem, low self-image, and a dysfunctional relationship with food…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I am a transformational coach and food therapist. I help individuals transform their relationship with themselves, their bodies, the food that they eat and their lives.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Ever since I was a young girl, I struggled with low self-esteem, self-image issues and a dysfunctional relationship with food. As I grew into my teens this only got worse. By the time I was in my early twenties, I knew that I needed to make a change and get help. Learning that it was truly possible to transform these relationships in your life, from having done it myself, I knew that it was my purpose and requirement to do this as my career. Luckily for me I have always had an innate ability and desire to help others achieve their best life, so this was a perfect fit. Like the Ghandi quote states, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” That quote inspired the decision I have made in stepping into my career.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of what I do is seeing individuals connect with themselves on a deeper level than ever before. I am so honoured by knowing that they feel comfortable, and trust me enough, to open up about their deepest, darkest thoughts and feelings. I also love that now that I have put this out into the world, the response from others has been amazing. Numerous individuals have personally reached out to me and expressed how they have been struggling with similar issues themselves. I am glad to know that by putting myself out there, I have allowed others to feel safe enough to do the same. The most challenging part is knowing that often individuals who would benefit from receiving help don’t. It’s hard to watch others allow their fear-based minds to make decisions for what they do. However, I do believe that truly falling in love with yourself is a journey of self-discovery that takes time and cannot be forced. So if I ever get frustrated, I remind myself that everything is happening as it is meant to and when the clients are ready to shift, they will.

What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
2012-2013 was a great learning experience for me, as I took on more than I can handle. As many creative entrepreneurs usually are, I too am interested in multiple things. There were numerous times where I would take on too much work and neglect other parts of my life that I needed to nourish and pay attention too as a result. I would feel burnt out more than was good for me. However, by watching my natural patterns of taking on to much, I have been able to make some changes and new choices that serve my best interest, which in turn will and have allowed me to be more balanced.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I still see myself working privately, online and offline with clients, but doing group events online and offline as well. I see myself having written and published another book and doing speaking tours, where I hold workshops around the material presented within the book. I also see myself having created workshops for young girls and teens, around building a positive body image and self-esteem, as this is something that I am very passionate about and think there is a real need for.

What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
There have been numerous challenges that have shown up along the way, but I would say that they all stemmed down to one thing: fear. It’s definitely scary stepping into the world of the unknown and creating your own pathway when you do not have an exact formula to follow, which ensures you are going to get to the desired step. However, by having the support of my friends and family members, not to mention using a lot of my self-care tools that keep me grounded with my dream, I have been able to walk through those feelings of fear which always have tried and often still try to stop me from moving forward. I know that for anyone who is choosing to create a life and career that is unlike the norm, you are asking yourself to grow, to expand and to live in the discomfort. Resistance is a normal reaction to this way of being and the more you can learn to acknowledge the feelings of fear and resistance, the easier it is to be able to break through it and not allow those feelings to hold you back.

What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Money does not equal happiness to me at all. However, what I have learned is that money does allow me to continue doing what makes me happy, helping others in the way that I feel I am gifted in doing. As any young entrepreneur knows, starting a small business and getting out on your own is very difficult. Finances are often one of the most challenging parts of starting your own venture, so in this aspect, money is a very important part of the equation of success. Yet success to me really has nothing to do with money but rather it is related to living out your life’s purpose and your personal dream. The most successful people to me are the ones who inspire me, as I feel they are living and breathing what they feel they were meant to do in this world. Success also comes from having healthy relationships in all areas of one’s life: friends, family, food, your body, and yourself. To me a person’s level of contentment and acceptance of themselves and their life is how I view success.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Definitely publishing my book, “Weighing Love.” “Weighing Love” reads in three different ways: as an autobiography, an essay on ruthless self-love and a practical handbook to help readers overcome their own personal hurdles. I use some of my own story and letters from my childhood to demonstrate the hell that we create in our own minds, the pain we force ourselves to suffer and our struggle for a non-existent thing we call perfection. The book really paints a picture of the prison we create for ourselves and gives great insight and practical tools to help us break out. I touch on the fact that a lack of self-love and self-knowledge is the root to where eating disorders stem. Ultimately, “Weighing Love” was written to help anyone dealing with eating disorders, self-esteem issues, body image issues, negativity in their minds or anyone who is trying to be in touch with their authentic self. Publishing this book has been a dream of mine for over five years, so to see it actually be something that is readily available to the world is unbelievable to me.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
First thing would be, don’t allow your mind to tell that you can’t. As I mentioned above, we all have fears and insecurities inside of us. Often when we are striking out on our own we doubt ourselves or allow others’ opinions to influence what we feel and believe is possible. I would encourage readers to not allow themselves to shrink in order to feel comfortable around others. Marianne Williamson has a beautiful quote that I would like all young professionals to read: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. I believe that knowing this is the foundation to us living out our dreams and shooting for the stars; ultimately we were meant to.

Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
To me, I really don’t have a preference. As long as there is music I enjoy, a nice atmosphere, yummy food and I am in good company, I am happy.

When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
I love to journal, write books, articles and blogs, listen to music, dance, practice yoga, go for walks in nature and spend time with friends and family.

Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
Oh, tough question, as I LOVE going to new places and have so many other places I would love to see! I have to say, though, anywhere with warm weather, water, greenery, and a beach I am in my own paradise. My favourite place I have been to so far is Bali, Indonesia. I was in Ubud for a week and I still think about it almost every day. I felt very peaceful, grounded and calm while in Bali. The atmosphere and people were very friendly, inviting and humble. I am going to Europe soon and am very excited to visit a place with so much history and culture.

If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
I have too many to chose from, though I always loved the song, “The Voice Within” by Christina Aguilera, as well as, “I Was Here” by Beyonce, and “Believe” by Suzie McNeil. Each of these songs are sung by powerful women who are spreading the message of believing in your true self, manifesting your dreams and leaving a mark in the world during your lifetime. This is something that I aspire to do and try to live my life according to.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
I don’t even know. If I had the talent, I would be a performer, as I love singing and dancing, similar to Beyonce. However, since I was not born with amazing vocal chords and experienced what I went through as a young girl and teen, I know I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I don’t personally support any charities at the time, but throughout the year I always make a conscious effort to donate to some fundraiser or event that a friend, family member or colleague of mine is participating in. For example, in 2013/2014 two of my really close friends were involved with Africa Yoga Project, an organization that trains individuals in Africa to become yoga teachers and in turn creates income and well-being for themselves and their communities.

What to you is notable?
What I feel is notable is when someone is living from a place of authenticity and who cares about the lives of others. Though I think it is really essential to ensure that you are happy with your own life and what you are doing, I feel that helping others in any way that is natural to you is something to recognize. I believe in the whole philosophy of treating others the way you would like to be treated and this is something I do not see happening as much as I would like it to. I truly respect individuals who are genuine, who work hard for their dreams, don’t give up on themselves, think about the needs of others, an wants to make a positive difference in this world.

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