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Dream Believe Create is an online magazine for women entrepreneurs, creatives and change-makers. It’s for women who want to start sustainable, mission-driven businesses or creative practices without sacrificing their principles and avoiding the profit-at-any-cost / business-as-usual model that we’re all so tired of.

Vicki O'Connor: On a Mission to Empower Women

Vicki O'Connor: On a Mission to Empower Women

When Vicki O’Connor embarked on her life’s mission, she did so with the intention of helping women to acknowledge their strengths, their innate wisdom and to remember their inner power. She wanted to teach women to realise their worth and to value themselves.

Vicki began her purpose-driven start-up, Seven Ladies Empowerment, while still committed to her day job. Regularly, she’d find herself rushing home, eager to get to work on the business development ideas that were suddenly flowing to her. Often, these ideas came late at night, and she’d find herself working until 3 am.

 “I'd come home and get on the computer and stay there for hours. It didn't feel like work,” she said. “It just did not feel like work. I was empowered. I felt alive, not exhausted, at the end of it.”

I wondered about Vicki’s inspiration, and she told me how growing up, she’d watched as her mother, a dedicated nurse, bringing up three children while maintaining her marriage and close friendships was constantly under-valued and diminished by the patriarchal society of the time. Her work and her contributions were simply not acknowledged as being worthy or of any real importance. Vicki saw this pattern replicated in other relationships, with women’s accomplishments disparaged and their bodies judged.

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Looking back, she realised that the women of that era weren't equipped with the confidence or skills to confront these prevalent attitudes and behaviours; and it was a growing desire to help other women in similar circumstances that was the catalyst for Vicki to develop a self-help program that guides women in their personal development. 

 “I feel it's my calling to change the injustice I saw. My calling is driven by all the experiences I had as a younger person, and throughout my life.”

 

It was another life experience that inspired the name of her business. Vicki has long relied on the support provided by seven significant women in her family. Each year, her mother, two sisters, her aunt and her two female cousins take two trips away together. Seven Ladies Empowerment honours those women and their support for each other.

 “It's a circle of women who support each other. We've had life throw things at all of us at various times ...  so we just spend time with each other. We laugh. We eat. We drink. We talk. It’s empowering.”

 Recognising that not all women have a support circle like this was the impetus for creating her online course. Vicki says the course is for any woman who feels disenfranchised and frustrated with their status quo.

 “It's for any woman of any age who just feels {about her life} ‘this is not right’ and ‘I know I'm better than they tell me that I am. I've got more to offer.’ There's a disconnection for them, and many of us are disconnected because we live in isolated homes. There isn't the same support, for things like raising children, that we often had in previous eras.”

Vicki believes there is a powerful transformation unfolding in society, one that will bring back balance. She describes this transformation as the rise of long-oppressed feminine energy {in both women and men}, and she has faith it will provide the critical mass the world needs for change.

To her, this is about both individual development and also about women uniting for a common cause. Empowered women address the world in a different, more positive way.

 “Empowered women are never about [having] power over others. When you've got a truly empowered woman who knows herself, she's never about being over people or dominating. She's about sharing. If I build you up, then we both benefit.”

Her ultimate goal is to help women treat themselves and others better. The first part means learning to be ‘selfish’{about the Self} and to put yourself first in your own life.

 “What I want women to know is that you're actually obliged to fill yourself up and feel good because what you're putting out there, the sisters feel and feed off.”

The second part, accepting others, means ending judgement. Seven Ladies Empowerment teaches women to understand that other women have their own ways of being in the world. Their ways may be different from yours, but that’s fine. There is nothing to be gained from a judgemental criticism of others.

 “Can you imagine the freedom of leaving your house knowing nobody's going to judge you? That would be awesome.”

 Vicki’s final piece of advice is this:

 “If you feel yourself about to judge another woman, try saying to yourself: ‘No, actually she's okay. Let her do things her way.’

 Remember, someone else’s life is none of your business. You don't know what it took for her to get to get out of bed that morning. You don't know what's going on in her life, so don’t judge her or her decisions, just let her be.”

 CONTACTS + CREDITS

You can get in touch with Vicki O’Connor or find out more about her online course or Empowerment Coaching at https://www.sevenladiesempowerment.com/

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