Woman Of The Week : Catherine Plano

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Who: Entrepreneur , Author , Empowerer of women and Boss Lady

Why we love her: For her heart to rise up and equip women to live in their potential , her savvy attitude and down to earth personality !

Follow: Website , Facebook , Twitter ,Instagram , LinkedIn, Google+

Achievements:
Completed my first book after over two years of writing it – Getting to the heart of the Matter
Completed Oxfam five times – walking 100km in less than 48 hours to raise money for poverty
A beautiful 21-year-old son whom I am so very proud of Jordan
Continue to grow and learn new things
Swimming in the ocean with wild dolphins, that was an achievement considering I am scared of deep water, I think I was traumatised by the movie JAWS
Successful career of 22 years in corporation and a very successful business of over 8 years Quantum Co-Creation Pty Ltd
Current businesses/ projects/ jobs:
CATHERINE PLANO you can see in the services that I offer.
Rise & Thrive e-Courses will be launching on the 4th of July .

I AM WOMAN project we have an online blog, a digital magazine and podcast. We are launching a T.V. show this year, collaborating some amazing talents and we are blessed that you will be one of them. Can’t wait!!

5 favourite things:
1:Hanging out at home with my husband, on a Friday night having amazing conversations, fine dinning and enjoying each other’s company over a nice glass of red wine while the fireplace is on (if its cold enough).
2 Going to the market on a Saturday morning to buy fresh produce to go back home to have a cook up with some tunes in the back ground, this is another way my husband and I connect, in the kitchen.
3: Chilling with my two Chihuahuas Frankie and Kalani, both beautiful angels, we have a lot to learn from animals, they are always happy to see you and they love you unconditionally.
4: Family time is very important to me; it feeds my heart and soul. I am French, well… my whole family are French and my husband is from Venezuela (Spanish) so there is nothing more satisfying spending time with a family that loves food, cooking, wine and music. We are a very passionate bunch and know how to have fun – Joie de vie!!
5: Travelling is another one of my favourite things, although I do not like flying – I love to see the rest of the world and be immersed in their culture. I find travelling opens up my mind and changes the way I think. Its refreshing.

Questions:
1: What motivated you to start your online magazine I AM WOMAN PROJECT?

I wanted to create a community where women could connect, create and collaborate. Connection is the number one human need and there was a need for it, especially for women in corporations.

2: What do you think women need more of in life?
Time to themselves, I think the only way we can change what is going on is to pause, reflect and start to invest in me or you time. I think women’s instinct is to be a mother, whether they are or are not a mother, it’s almost a default position. We focus too much on the external world rather than the internal world.
3: What do you think is vital to achieving happiness?
Follow your heart, do the things that you love. Make it a daily routine, where you do one thing that makes your heart jump with joy and have fun while doing it. We have become so serious in life and forget what its like to be playful and have fun.

4: What is your advice for women wanting to start a new venture or dream?
Go for it!!! Dream BIG. When you have an idea, back your self and make it happen. What ever you put in to a project is exactly what you will get out of it. Even in the face of adversity there is a seed of opportunity. Never give up. When you are stuck and you say this is impossible – take the time out and look at what are the possibilities for me to more forward, you have to change your mindset, it is up to you. If you think you can’t you won’t but if you think you can, you will.

5: What do you think is the biggest challenge in dating and relationships nowadays?
I think people don’t know how to connect or how to have a conversation any more, especially with these online dating platforms. In one hand I understand it, we live in a fast pace world and time is of essence so how do we meet our soul mate. But…what happened to good old faith, when the time is right it will happen. I believe you need to love you first to find your soul mate and I think that’s where people get it wrong, they are so focused externally that they end up in the wrong relationships because they get so desperate to have a partner… yesterday. I was single for 11 years before I met my husband and I had faith that the right one will come along, when I am ready. I believe when you spend so much energy online trying to find your soul mate, you send off the wrong vibes, instead why not seek friends first, have a coffee, connect, have a conversation and let it happen organically.

6: How do you balance your business and marriage?
Easy my husband and I work together, I would not be here without his support. We have our date nights on a Friday, phones off and its just us. Then we spend Saturdays hanging out together. Sunday is my writing day; he supports me and gives me my space, which is really important for me. I love to write.

7: What was the scariest thing about looking for love the second time round?
The scariest thing for me was whether they were going to be the right fit for my son and I. My son was my point of focus and there was no way that I was going to let just any man into our life.
I had created a list of exactly what I wanted out of a man for example:
• Family had to be of great importance to him
• Cooking and food a passion
• A love for music and dancing
• Having fun with life
• Aligned with my core values
• Accept and embrace my son
• Love dogs (I sleep with my dogs, they are part of my family. I think it’s the French in me)
• Driven and wanting more out of life.
It took me years to find him but I have exactly what I wanted because I was very clear of my wants.

8: What are the top 3 things that you think a healthy marriage or relationship needs?
Communication is the most important thing for any healthy relationship. Communication to me is to be able to stand in your truth and be transparent about what you like, what you don’t like and work through things via communication. This we are very good at. I don’t understand individuals that can’t be honest with one another. Honest about your fantasies, your desires and your passions. How can you please one another if you can’t be honest about what you want? This just leads to looking outside of your relationship if you can’t be fully you. My husband knows absolutely EVERYTHING about me.
Time together is a must. When the honeymoon period is over we get caught up with this thing called life or work. We fall into old habits, these unconscious habits and then wonder what’s happening to our relationship. A relationship is like a fire, you need to keep topping up the wood for fuel or the flame just dies down. Making time to be together, planning a date night and time away to immerse in each other’s company. When we fall into our unconscious self, we don’t make as much of an effort. It is up to us 100% to relight the fire and fuel the passion for one another.
Respect that we have a different model of the world. A deep feeling of admiration for one another. Support for one another’s dreams and aspirations. I absolutely admire my husband I wish I could have a quarter of his brain, he is so very intelligent, he is kind and he can make anything happen. He is truly a genius. I respect his views of his world and he respects mine (very different) – we truly complement each other. We give each other space when needed, we have a mutual understanding and we have the same aspirations about life itself.
9: What was your biggest struggle in your time as a single mother? And how did you overcome it?
My biggest struggle as a single mum was climbing the corporate ladder and being riddled with guilt that I couldn’t be one of those mothers that got involved with school. I worked really hard so that I could provide for my son. He had to go to pre-care and after-care before he started his day at school, so the hours were so long for him. I had my sister who helped me out a lot, not sure what I would have done without her; she was like a second mum to Jordan.
There were days where I got caught up in traffic and was late to pick him up, the after-care place charged $1.00 for every minute your were late, I did my best to get there on time however most of the time I was late. That did put a lot of pressure on me, there were days where I was crying because I was stuck in traffic and I couldn’t get to him on time.
I ended up moving into a granny flat near Jordan’s school so that he could walk home and walk to school, which meant he didn’t have to do pre-care or after-care. It didn’t take the guilt away but I knew he was enjoying the sense of responsibility and freedom. I had two women who lived on other side of me, keeping an eye on him, as they were both retired.
The one thing I don’t think I ever overcome was the guilt that I couldn’t be one of those mothers who could stay home, drop him off to school and pick him up from school. That would of being a nice to have but not possible as I was on my own with no help financially or otherwise.

10: What piece of advice would you give to your younger self (if you could go back in time)?

To trust my gut instinct all the time and to have faith in what I believe in. I think I didn’t trust my gut instinct enough and only ended up in situations that I knew from the start but I ignored them. The other piece of advice would be to love me exactly the way I am – as a little girl coming from France to a new country not speaking the language, I was teased a lot, bullied and picked on a lot. I was so self-conscious all the time.

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