There’s two parts to me – the Micro and the Macro.
Micro Maggie is 'The Working Mother’s Mentor', the coach, consultant, author and public speaker.
Macro Maggie is on the Advisory Boards of four sustainable, global companies and launching the 'Free Power and Water Foundation' with my UK based business partners in mid 2018. We will assist women and their communities to have clean drinking water and alternative power sources for their villages in rural areas of India, Africa and Australia, and also provide micro loans and education to start their own businesses.
I came to Tasmania with my family in 1959 when I was three. Dad was the Dean of Hobart at St David's Anglican Cathedral for many years, and was also the Chaplain of St Michael's Collegiate School where I went from Kindergarten until Year 12. I really disliked school and it was quite a lonely experience. I didn’t fit into the traditional education system at all, and wasn’t part of the 'popular group' either. The upside? With a family "as poor as church mice”, I learned how to earn money and be independent and entrepreneurial before I became a teenager.
Dad was always so busy with his church, board and broadcasting work, and with four other children in our family, I did what I could to win my father's attention and approval. So after leaving school and at his suggestion, I put my acting dreams on hold - instead I took an Education Department Scholarship to do a Bachelor of Education, "for the security". Hardly entrepreneurial!
Part of me had 'sold my soul' and sadly that was a pattern I kept repeating for many years afterward. I left Australia at 22 with just a couple of hundred dollars in my pocket, worked on a private yacht and later passenger liners around the Greek Isles. I jumped ship in South Africa, then earned my Bachelor of Business Leadership at UNISA, where I was the only woman on the course with 142 men.
Ten years later, I was married with 2 wonderful children - but I was living a total lie. Stifling my gifts and talents by remaining married to my professional golfer husband, supporting his career and dreams and not my own. I had stayed in this relationship, worried about what people might say and the shame I may bring to my family by divorcing him.
Then I studied with Deepak Chopra, becoming his first Meditation Practitioner in the Pacific Rim, learning quickly that "if you don't go within you go without", and that I needed to love and approve of myself first and foremost.
My children were only six and three - leaving was scary, but I now knew the Universe would support me.
The biggest turning point in my life though was losing everything materially in a failed property venture and being half a million dollars in debt yet knowing it was my responsibility to pay. Refusing to go bankrupt, and with the help of a financial counselor, I negotiated paying back all those people over time. Ten years later I am nearly there!
I’m most proud of giving birth to two extraordinary children and bringing them up virtually on my own. I thrive on staying young at heart – in mind, body and spirit . I have had a whole new lease of life in my 60's, and don't contemplate ever retiring!
2017 was a major turning point – earning a Global Award from the Women's Economic Forum; speaking from stages around the world about issues affecting women; becoming a best-selling author on Amazon; being appointed to the Advisory Boards; and being asked to head up the Foundation.
I’ve learned the hard way to always listen to and follow my heart rather than my head, to exercise my mind and body in some way at least six days a week and get enough restful and restorative sleep.
My advice is nurture yourself FIRST. Look after your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, then you are more able to support all the others who are depending on you! Stop making someone else rich. Stop investing your precious time, energy and gifts into someone else and their success. When you can, start your own business, preferably one you can run from your home.
Support your 'sisters'. Don’t gossip about them, compare yourself to them or feel intimidated by them.
Every day I meditate, set intentions and exercise, even if it is a walk. I read my intentions before going into meditation and before sleep, then regularly visualize achieving those goals.
My main goal now is to shift from consulting work to speaking and training, being paid to travel and see the world with my work, and to have multiple streams of income, which I can then recycle into my legacy project for women in Tasmania.
Photography by Ninna Millikin.