Penelope Magoulianiti comes from a corporate background. Born and raised in Cyprus, where traditions held women in prescribed roles: marry, nurture, and prioritize everyone else, Penelope went on to defy expectations, immerse herself in continuous learning, and leap into the corporate ranks of banking.
When she decided to resign at age 40, and with two young kids, she wrote her first book, Women, Motherhood and Independence, created The Goddess Diary© Process and started a career as a speaker, trainer, and coach.
The quest led her to understand the intricacies of the human mind, shattering limiting beliefs and embracing self-love.
Today, she stands steadfast on a transformative mission: to deeply connect with women who fight with the tug-of-war between their ambitions and perceived sacrifices. It's often not the work itself but the patterns and mindset they approach their work that becomes the genuine hurdle.
Her vision? To usher them through pattern disruption, renewed thinking, and a reimagined approach to their work, leading to balance, purpose, and profound joy.
Penelope Magoulianiti, Transformational Coach
Can you share your journey and what led you to become a women's transformational coach?
I witnessed my mother's struggle to be perceived as equal from a young age. I remember promising this would never happen to me, yet I had to try hard to stay out of a system and a culture promoting women to stay home, raise their kids, and serve their husbands. I worked hard for my career, and I've never settled. I always wanted more, so I went on a personal development journey. I've studied and learned from the best. I kept pushing myself to become more and be more, and I always knew I was destined for something more than banking.
But in my continuous drive for success, I've left the most important person behind: myself. Somehow, I had convinced myself that I didn't have time to rest, and I got burned. And this, as you can imagine, had a profound impact on my health and my relationship with my husband.
I knew that if I wanted to save my marriage, I had to change some things and that the solution wasn't to step back from a career I loved but to adopt a different approach.
We're under the wrong impression that our career is causing problems in our relationship, whereas the truth is how we approach our career is causing the problem. And this comes down to what we believe about ourselves and others.
My passion was in teaching but not in the traditional way. I wanted to create experiences that changed lives, and this is how my journey as a transformational coach/expert started: working mainly with career-driven women, transforming their lives in a way that they benefit both from their work and their relationships.
What is the philosophy or core belief that drives your coaching methods?
My philosophy is that there isn't one cut-off method for everybody. Each woman I work with is different; she has different circumstances and needs, so I create tailor-made strategies for my clients under my philosophy of Balance 360™. Sometimes, I'm a mentor; other times, I'm a coach; sometimes, I act as a trusted advisor. The main thing is that I help my clients bridge the gap between excelling in their careers and enjoying a deep connection with their husbands without thinking about sacrificing one of the two.
In your experience, what are some common challenges women face, and how does your coaching approach help overcome these challenges? The most common ones are the difficulty in juggling responsibilities between work and home; the hectic schedule often causes them to neglect themselves, leading to burnout, exhaustion, and emotional drainage. This affects the quality of life and the relationship. Another common challenge is the overwhelming need to stay updated with the industry trends, which causes the fear of losing a competitive edge or being perceived as out of touch in their role. At the top of that comes the guild. They feel guilty because they believe the work causes a distance from their partner and kids and stills their time.
The lack of energy for connection with their partner may cause a rift. They are afraid that the loss of intimacy is not temporary but will become more and more of a norm and destroy the connection. This brings other insecurities up, like the fear and doubt about their partners' commitment, potential infidelities, or even the painful thought of a divorce due to growing apart.
And all that results in becoming more masculine. They constantly battle to keep up with the high demands of their position, and the belief that they need to adopt a more assertive dominant approach never works because they feel that they wear a mask daily. This makes them appear inauthentic and destroys the polarity of their relationship.
Lastly, there is the pressure of societal expectations as they strive to be the perfect professional, partner, and parent, whereas deep down, there is the fear of judgment from peers, family, or society for not "being good enough" or "not having it all." And this is where feelings like inadequacy or impostor syndrome surface as well. When they start working with me, we don't stay to the first layer, as I like to call it. The first layer is the first reason that they give me; they perceive it as the real cause of their problems. I love to go deeper. I see myself as a doctor who goes to the root of the problem to cure it.
Can you share a transformative story of one of your clients that deeply resonated with you? Recently, I've started working with a very accomplished and very successful lawyer, helping her clarify her tendency to say yes to requests that not only put her health in danger but also are causing a rift in her relationship with her husband.
We delved deep, and she managed quickly to reach an insight that left her silent for a few minutes. This happens when my clients get an insight, an aha moment that clarifies everything they have been trying to solve for so long. She understood that her pleasing tendencies were rooted in her childhood when her parents divorced, and she put in on herself to make them happy.
I facilitate this kind of transformation, and it gives me so much joy to witness my clients reach the level that makes sense and resonates with them.
What are some tools or techniques you find most effective in your coaching? Depending on the situation, I use different tools. Listening deeply to what my client says is a good way to start. As I've already mentioned, I look for the deeper meaning, the story behind the story, because the minute I catch that, this is when transformation begins.
How do you ensure your growth and self-care as someone who empowers others?
I ensure I nurture my body, mind, and spirit every day. My approach with my clients is holistic, and I create the same rituals that provide "Me Time." I prioritize myself as I prioritize my husband, kids, clients, and work. No one is more important than me, and I don't feel guilty about it because I know that when I'm feeling good and energized, people around me will benefit.
What is your daily mantra?
You can have what you want without sacrificing what you love.
One book every woman should read.
"The Gifts of Imperfections" by Brene Brown
A personal habit that has changed your life?
I journal daily and use it to become aware of the stories my mind is telling me.
Best city you've visited for inspiration?
Capri, in Italy
Before we close, what are you working on right now, and what are your plans for the future?
I work with only a handful of clients, and they must work with me for at least six months. An insight can happen instantly, but maintaining the transformation requires commitment and constant practice. And that's why I want a long-term commitment.
As for my plans for the future, my goal is to create exclusive retreats twice a year for ten women where we get together in a beautiful place in Europe, preferably an island, and we do deep inner work while having fun.
One of the things we neglect is to have fun; with these retreats, my goal is to work hard and have fun simultaneously.
How can people work and connect with you? I want to invite your readers to have a conversation with me.
They can do this by booking a call, which will be complimentary and without any further commitment unless they wish to do so at the end. They can do this through this link.
They can also reach out through my email, send a message or follow me through my social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, website, and my Podcast: Unbound Ambitions with Penelope Magoulianiti.
Thank you so much for having me.
Certifications: Certified coach by The Life Coaching School, Approved Trainer by Cyprus Government Body (AnAD)
Years in Coaching: Seven
Notable Achievements: Winner of the GIFEW Evolutionary Women Inspiring Solopreneur Awards 2023, Finalist in Businesswomen Awards 2016