Writers

Paula Fenwick – local Kew East resident and Amazon best seller

By 6 April 2024May 19th, 2024No Comments

Paula Fenwick – Corporate Executive Becomes Amazon Best Seller

Overnight Success in 10 Years

Paula Fenwick grew up in South Africa, starting her career as a corporate executive at Pfizer, a major pharmaceutical company, rapidly climbing the corporate ladder and embracing the multifaceted challenges of the pharmaceutical industry. Her tenure at Pfizer was marked by significant achievements, including playing a pivotal role in numerous successful product launches. She gained experience in government negotiation, advocacy strategies, media and public relations. Beyond her corporate responsibilities, she engaged in philanthropic projects, like the Desmond Tutu Educational Trust, striving to make a tangible difference.

Growing up in apartheid South Africa shaped her life path leading her to join Rotary as an Interactor at the age of 15. Her involvement with Rotary, an organisation that epitomises the principle of ‘Service above Self’, has played a significant role in shaping her perspectives on service and leadership. Paula says that Rotary has provided her with opportunities to contribute to community projects, engage in humanitarian efforts, and collaborate with like-minded individuals dedicated to making a positive impact. This experience has strengthened her commitment to service and reinforced the idea that all businesses should aim to have a positive contribution to society. She feels that when we shift our focus from personal gain to how we can serve others, it creates a more fulfilling and meaningful life and career. This principle of service has been integral in her leadership style and approach to business. It’s about making a difference, adding value to others’ lives, and in doing so, finding a deeper sense of purpose and satisfaction in her own life. Rotary has been a living example of this philosophy, and it continues to inspire her to integrate the values of service, leadership, and resilience into every facet of her professional and personal endeavours.

Paula’s road to resilience started with the end of her first marriage. Going through the divorce made her question her whole existence and so started a very conscious journey of self-discovery. Paula says: “I needed to work out who I am – I knew who I had become but I didn’t know who I was”.

Raising her two daughters was a major priority in her life and 10 years ago, she left UCB, a multinational pharmaceutical company, to start her own Leadership Coaching business while still consulting on various medical marketing projects to the pharmaceutical industry. She also had a dream that she wanted to be an author and a motivational speaker. She wanted to share the lessons and skills that she had learnt.  However, at that time, she was a single mother with two teenage girls and she had neither the finances nor the headspace to build her coaching business from her dream and into reality. So, she had to park her dream of becoming an author. Paula reflects that “nothing gets lost in the world of time and experience. I learnt so much and all of it has made a difference now as I launch my book and my new business.”

As a leadership coach, Paula says that she uses her lived experiences to empower others, showing that it’s possible to balance career ambitions with family commitments, and thrive. The in-depth knowledge she has gained in the corporate environment, has given her a real understanding of the challenges people face in the workplace, as leaders and in the team environment. Her personal resilience skills have become a cornerstone of her coaching philosophy, emphasising the significance of bouncing back from setbacks and using them as catalysts for personal and professional growth.

Paula says that she brings a very practical and direct approach which encourages people to open up to greater self-awareness. By sharing her personal journey and instilling the value of resilience, she guides individuals and teams toward achieving not only professional success but also personal fulfilment, creating a harmonious integration of career aspirations with a meaningful and balanced life.

After her daughters finished school, Paula went back into a corporate role, most recently as the Medical Director for an Australian-owned pharmaceutical company, Specialised Therapeutics. Paula says that her story is one of making tough choices, embracing change, and growing through life’s challenges. Her life exemplifies that personal growth is an ongoing journey, and sometimes stepping away from a successful career can lead to an even more fulfilling life, one rich with purpose and meaningful impact. Paula says: “Through my life journey, I discovered the profound importance of living through our values and strengths. This means more than just aligning our actions with a set of principles; it’s about infusing every professional endeavour with authenticity and purpose”.

At the beginning of last year, Paula realised that she needed to make a change, not knowing quite how her future was going to look like. And then the craziest thing happened; she received a random LinkedIn message from a leadership coach and author. Despite their unfamiliarity, Paula decided to meet her for coffee out of curiosity. After establishing the serendipitous nature of their meeting, the coach shared her experience of writing a book in just one week, prompting Paula to express her own aspiration of becoming an author. Encouraged by the author’s journey, Paula was motivated to pursue her long-held dream of writing a book. Through the independent publisher Inspirational Book Writers, Paula signed up for the book writing week at the beginning of June last year – but there was a catch – she was still employed and scheduled to go to a medical conference in Chicago over that exact same week. The internal struggle between pursuing her dream, and aligning with her purpose, while maintaining her financial security caused immense personal stress and illness. Balancing the security of her job with her sense of purpose posed a significant challenge, compounded by the concern of leaving behind her team. Despite being ill, Paula attended the conference in Chicago and once again parked her dream of becoming an author. Missing out on the June book writing week, Paula committed to the October session, determined to write her book.

Paula says that the Universe turned up the heat and that things just got tougher and tougher for her. She reflects on the quote: “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” At one of her low points, a friend suggested that she read “The Surrender Experiment” by Michael Singer. The book resonated deeply with Paula, giving her the courage and faith to make the bold decision—to leave her 30-year career as a corporate executive in order to align herself with her purpose, values, strengths, and vision. Leaving behind the familiarity of her long-standing career and the relationships that meant so much to her was daunting for Paula. She felt the weight of loss and the discomfort of stepping out of her comfort zone. To take this leap, Paula had to confront and overcome all her fears regarding financial security. It was a journey of trusting in her own worth and readiness for the change she was embarking upon.

Paula had to make the life-altering decision based on her purpose and values. It was a moment where she knew she had to honour her entire being and step into her true self. This significant choice arose from her inner strength, supported by the unwavering backing of her family, who have always been there for her. She left Specialised Therapeutics on Friday the 13th of October and embarked on her book writing journey starting on Monday the 16th of October—a momentous step that had been ten years in the making.

Paula managed to write her book “Bounce Back Fast – 5 Practical Steps to Resilience” in one week. She had researched and studied the areas which form the basis of resilience, such as mindfulness, positive psychology and coping strategies, but it was her extensive lived experience that equipped her to tell her story. Writing the book turned out to be a straightforward process; it emerged authentically from the heart, and the words effortlessly poured onto the pages. However, launching the book and introducing it to the world required the culmination of all her experience and marketing skills acquired throughout her career. She had to step through her vulnerability and show up with courage – and resilience – to bring the book out into the world.

Through her book, Paula aims to inspire others to embrace change, make choices aligned with their values, and embark on a life lived with purpose. Her journey is a testament to the profound impact that intentional decisions can have on personal fulfilment and the positive ripple effect they create in the lives of those around us.

Paula says that “This book is my journey of rising up from the depths of despair, getting to know myself and finding my voice so that I can be me – real, authentic and not afraid to speak up. The time is NOW for me to share all the lessons, tools and strategies that I have learnt along the way so that others can have a path, a manual, some guidance to help them on their journey. It has taken a lot of time, effort and money – and heartache – for me to work out what works best. I’ve put all my knowledge and heart into this book so that the reader can walk their path. My aim is to inspire people to embark on a journey of self-discovery and connect to their true self”.

Over the last 10 years, Paula held has this book close to her heart. She says that “it has taken me 10 years to grow into my vision!” Paula has realised her goal of becoming an author, with her book “Bounce Back Fast – 5 Practical Steps to Resilience” reaching the #1 Amazon Best Seller rank in 6 categories at launch. For Paula, living from the heart entails aligning one’s actions with our deepest values, passions, and truths. It requires the courage to pursue one’s unique path, even when it diverges from the expected or conventional. Through her experiences, Paula has discovered that decisions made from the heart not only lead to success but also cultivate a deep sense of fulfillment and authenticity.

 

Website: www.paulafenwick.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paula.fenwick.leadership

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/paula-fenwick-resilience

Bounce Back Fast – Reviews

Review by Emma Volpe

Bounce Back Fast by Paula Fenwick is a compelling and timely exploration of resilience in the face of adversity that we see in our society today. In this engaging and insightful book, Paula takes readers on a journey through the intricacies of bouncing back from life’s inevitable setbacks, offering practical strategies and profound wisdom to help navigate through challenging times.

At its core, Bounce Back Fast is a guidebook for building resilience – the ability to withstand and recover from difficult circumstances. Drawing from a combination of personal anecdotes, psychological research, and real-world examples, Paula presents a comprehensive framework for cultivating resilience in various aspects of life, from career setbacks and personal relationships to health crises and unexpected tragedies.

One of the book’s greatest strengths lies in its emphasis on practicality. Rather than offering abstract theories or cliches, Paula provides readers with actionable steps and exercises designed to strengthen their resilience muscles. Whether it’s reframing negative thoughts, developing a support network, or practicing self-care rituals, Bounce Back Fast equips readers with the tools they need to bounce back stronger than ever.

Moreover, the book is filled with inspiring stories of individuals who have overcome life’s obstacles, serving as beacons of hope and resilience for readers facing their own challenges. From entrepreneurs who have weathered business failures to survivors of trauma who have rebuilt their lives, these narratives offer invaluable lessons on resilience and the power of the human spirit.In addition to practical strategies, Bounce Back Fast delves into the psychological underpinnings of resilience, exploring concepts such as cognitive flexibility, emotional intelligence, and personal growth. By understanding the inner workings of resilience, readers gain deeper insight into their own capacity to bounce back from adversity and emerge stronger on the other side.

Another notable aspect of the book is its accessibility. Written in a clear and engaging style, Bounce Back Fast is suitable for readers of all backgrounds and levels of familiarity with the topic. Whether you’re a seasoned self-help enthusiast or someone facing adversity for the first time, the book offers something of value for everyone. Furthermore, Paula’s compassionate and empathetic tone creates a sense of connection with readers, making them feel understood and supported on their journey toward resilience. Rather than lecturing from a position of authority, Paula comes across as a trusted friend, offering guidance and encouragement every step of the way.

Overall, Bounce Back Fast is a must-read for anyone seeking to cultivate resilience in their lives. With its practical strategies, inspiring stories, and empathetic approach, the book provides a roadmap for navigating life’s challenges with courage, strength, and grace. Whether you’re facing a personal setback, a professional obstacle, or a global crisis, this book will empower you to bounce back fast and thrive in the face of adversity.

Julie Mundy:

“Bounce Back Fast” is a compelling and intimate guide that delves into the author’s personal challenges, such as divorce and single parenthood, to offer readers a path toward personal transformation and resilience. With a conversational tone that feels like a heart-to-heart chat, it combines personal anecdotes with five practical steps aimed at igniting the reader’s inner light and fostering a profound change. This book serves as a powerful reminder that while we cannot control life’s inevitable ups and downs, we have the power to choose our reactions, offering hope and practical strategies for anyone feeling lost or seeking to thrive amidst adversity. It’s an inspiring call to action for rediscovering life’s joys, making it an invaluable resource for anyone on a journey toward self-discovery and true fulfillment.

Gina Bloom:

‘Paula provides the unique gift of synthesising her own personal therapeutic journeys with useful, accessible psycho-education. She does so in a way that is highly readable, inspiring and interesting. Truly a ‘guide on the side’ rather than ‘stage on the stage’ approach to self-help. She is a mentor and a role model, and this book brings a lot of depth and range into the healing world.