Anna Wojtowicz The AW Creative
Anna Wojtowicz, founder of The AW Creative. (Credit: Courtesy of The AW Creative)

By age 30, Anna Wojtowicz had started her own business and found financial success. She had also burned herself out. A self-proclaimed “overachiever,” she had, indeed, pushed herself hard to meet her own goals. But then, she suffered a personal loss, and found herself unable to work amid her grief. She used the pause as an inflection point, reevaluating her relationship to success and coming out on the other side of the process with a new idea. She launched The AW Creative soon after that “aha” moment – a business advisory firm encouraging high-achieving women like herself to integrate intuitive thought and balance into their professional lives. Today, the New York City entrepreneur has helped over 100 women start and scale their businesses while they – and she – maintain work-life balance and inner peace. 

Here’s our lightly edited Q&A, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.

How is your business different from others in your industry?

We create a safe space where women learn practical mindset-specific tools that generate tangible results. 

I say “safe space” because, when I was healing from my own unhealthy relationship to achieving success, the only people I found talking about mindset work were pretty “woo woo,” and I didn’t feel comfortable joining those communities. But on the other side of the coin, many ambitious female entrepreneurs are led to believe that, in order to be successful, one must lead with a masculine energy approach. 

When I first heard people talking about mindset work and the balance of masculine energy (strategy action) and feminine energy (intuition, flow, mindfulness), I thought it was nonsense. But as I went through my own journey, I saw how incredibly powerful the integration of both intuition and strategy are.

Tell us about your biggest success so far. 

Healing my relationship to success as an overachiever, and finding my self worth outside of money. This might sound silly, but I never believed burnout would happen to me. I was a firm believer that emotions were obstacles to success, and whatever you were feeling had to be put aside in business. 

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?

When I experienced a loss. As I was grieving, I remember telling myself, “I won’t let this affect my business.” But it did, because I’m human. The paralysis I experienced in grief led me to take off my rose-colored glasses and see what I was avoiding. I realized I had lost my identity, and that my self worth was directly tied to my business. When you’re a high achiever, that revelation sets you into an existential crisis, because your entire belief system falls apart. You’ve accomplished all the things that were supposed to make you happy – but you’re still not happy. So where does one go from there?

I ended up going on a sabbatical to heal my relationship to success. What I found was duality. That it’s not about having peace or profit – you can have both. Everything truly comes down to balance, once you have the proper inner tools to work with.

Have you experienced any significant personal situations that affected your business decisions? 

Deciding to go on a one-year sabbatical from my business was an incredibly hard decision, one I never thought I would have to make. But to be honest, I was at such a rock-bottom point with my grief that I couldn’t go on pretending things were status quo. 

What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs? 

It’s really easy to give your power away without realizing it. All businesses need to make money – that’s a given. Butyour needs and purpose are half of the equation. So instead of saying, “What gap can I fill in the marketplace?” or, “How can I make money?” switch that perspective to, “How do I want to make money?” or, “How can I give people something that shares my purpose?” By doing this, you will stay empowered, rather than looking for validation from others.

How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?

I have a deep trust in the universe that everything happens for a reason. I remind myself that even on my darkest days, I’m being prepared for something bigger and greater than I could ever imagine. 

What is your go-to song to get motivated on tough days?

“Long Live (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift.

Who is your most important role model?

Taylor Swift. Not only is she a great business woman, but she is an example of leading with purpose. She constantly follows her intuition, regardless of whether it will work out or not. She’s not afraid to go against industry norms.

Instagram: @TheAWCreative
TikTok: @TheAWCreative
LinkedIn: Anna Wojtowicz

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