Empowered Women Empower: Meet Jacquie Edwards
In this edition of Love Happens’ Empowered Women Empower series, join us for a peek inside the inspiring mind of Jacquie Edwards. Founder of “Authentically Aligned Woman”, a program designed to help women create the space to be who they truly are. A goal reached through understanding their inner voice, creating a powerfully aligned vision, and finally designing a brighter future. Participants learn to feel more confident in making decisions about their business, knowing it won’t mean sacrificing who they are. (Actually…this very process led Jacquie to start her own Alpaca farm and move out of the USA!) Be empowered by this bad-a** female empowerment business owner!
Empowered Women Empower: Meet Jacquie Edwards, Founder of Authentically Aligned Woman
Love Happens: As our name and the tagline of our publisher KOKET denotes we are firm believers that you cannot achieve any level of success without love.
When did your love affair with helping other women begin? And how did it make you feel?
Jacquie Edwards: I never used to feel like I could make a difference. I always felt like just one small person in a sea of other, more powerful faces.
I remember when I worked as an accountant and left my small city office to move to the big London office of my firm I was so excited. But it didn’t take long to realize that I had entered a totally new world where the “boys club” was strong. I had naively thought things like that didn’t exist anymore. Until I was side-by-side in the bathroom crying with other women from my team. I approached HR to discuss the issue and was told that they knew there was an issue but there was nothing that could be done. Once again, leaving me to feel like I couldn’t make a difference like I didn’t matter.
I was just one more woman hiding in the background.
Then, as I built my first business in the real estate industry, which is mainly male-dominated, I relived over and over moments of having to “play the game”. To make sure the men around me didn’t feel bad because a woman was in charge. I had to pretend to be less than and the dumb blond in order to keep the power balance tipped in the man’s favor so they would get the job done. I was just one more woman hiding in the background.
Finally, I couldn’t close my eyes to the inequalities anymore. And I couldn’t keep telling myself there was nothing I could do. It was too scary to watch the government and the world around me disparage and take away my freedoms as a woman. But I was still just one person…until I remembered that I was a leader and an amazing teacher. I could use my skills to help other women stand up, step into their authentic selves and make their impact. I realized that together we can build an army of women changing the world. And creating a legacy for the future. That is the true feminine power, a connected and inclusive ‘power with’ instead of ‘power over’. The more I share that power, the more powerful I feel, the more powerful all the women around me can become—and that feels, well, powerful!
Lh: What empowers you?
Jacquie: It is so easy to feel like we aren’t enough. That we aren’t smart enough or strong enough or good enough. Because that is the story we’ve been told for generations. Like there is some measure of enoughness that we all need to reach but we are ashamed because we haven’t figured it out yet.
And when we believe that shame and feeling of not enough we give away our power. We stop believing in our true and authentic selves. And we try to hide with whatever we think other people are looking for or want us to be.
I empower myself when I step out of my shame of “being different” and step into my authentic self. When I listen to my inner voice and live life on my own terms then that is when I am fully in my power as a woman and as a leader.
I empower myself when I step out of my shame of “being different” and step into my authentic self.
Lh: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Jacquie: My greatest achievement is stepping forward and living my first-class life. It sounds so cheesy, but it can be incredibly challenging to actually build your dream life. There is so much fear and worry about what other people will think. I struggled, wondering what people would think when I left my “good job” as an accountant to become an entrepreneur. And then again when I ended a “good business” that I was no longer aligned with.
We are taught that if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. If the job/business/relationship hasn’t completely gone down in flames then we need to keep pushing forward with it.
I am extremely proud of myself for recognizing when I’m no longer aligned with something. And being able to move on without having to break it all and burn it to the ground. It’s ok if other people think I’m crazy as long as I’m true to myself. Now I’m living my dream life on my alpaca farm surrounded by fuzzy animals. AND changing the world at the same time.
I am a woman living my first class life on my own terms.
Lh: Who is Jacquie Edwards the Woman?
Jacquie: I am an introverted country girl that loves to laugh and have fun. Every day I shed a bit more of the cloak I donned to “fit in” and follow the rules. I wear cozy hoodies and yoga pants. And usually, I’m covered in mud and dirt from hanging out with farm animals.
Lh: Who is Jacquie Edwards the founder of Authentically Aligned Woman?
Jacquie: I am so much better at blending all the parts of me. My role as Jacquie Edwards the Woman and Jacquie Edwards, the founder of Authentically Aligned Woman grow more and more similar as I step into my full authentic self. I believe that I can help others best by being an example of what I teach.
Lh: How do you empower other women?
Jacquie: I believe that the way that I can best help other women to step into their power is to own my full and authentic self and my own power. When I am an example for my best life and act from my fully empowered place of self-love, I show other women what is possible for them to do. There are not yet enough role models of women living their lives on their own terms so that is what I aim to do every single day and empower other women to do the same.
Lh: What three pieces of advice would you give to a young woman starting her career?
Don’t be in a hurry—everything will happen at just the right time and there are so many amazing things to learn and do along the way. I spent so long in a rush to get to the next step or the next milestone that I forgot what I stopped living the life of freedom that I started it all for and was a slave to “following the plan”.
Take care of yourself first. Just like when you get on an airplane and they tell you to put your safety mask on first in an emergency so that you can help others after. The more care you take of yourself first the more space and energy you have to share with others.
Learn from others but make sure you follow your own path. It’s so easy to get caught up in “this is how it is supposed to be done” mentality and we beat ourselves up for not being able to follow exactly what we learn from a training course or expert when really if we just take some of what we learn and let ourselves align with our unique quirks and personalities we would be on a rocketship. It’s when we add our own unique flavor into the mix that we create genius and success on our own terms.
Lh: Do you have any mottos you like to live by? Or favorite empowering quotes?
Jacquie: We have recently read “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle in my Women. Power. Wealth Group and her message about how women need to stop being selfless is so powerful to me and a place I strive to live from:
I burned the memo that defined selflessness as the pinnacle of womanhood…Selfless women make for an efficient society but not a beautiful, true, or just one. When women lose themselves, the world loses its way. We do not need more selfless women. What we need right now is more women who have detoxed themselves so completely from the world’s expectations that they are full of nothing but themselves. What we need are women who are full of themselves. A woman who is full of herself knows and trusts herself enough to say and do what must be done. She lets the rest burn.Untamed, by Glennon Doyle
Lh: What’s next for Jacquie Edwards?
Jacquie: As I continue to grow and live fully into my authentic self I will continue to share my story and lessons with the women around me. I am building the Women. Power. Wealth community on Facebook to provide a space for women to step into their authentically aligned selves and build the lives and businesses of their dreams so that together we can change the world.
By Anna Beck Bimba