Here we speak to multi-passionate entrepreneur, blogger and author Emilia Ohrtmann. She is the author of new book It’s Your Life: How To Choose Confidence.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your career journey to date?
I am originally from Germany but have lived abroad for the last 16 years. Although I studied business studies, my passion was and still is fashion and design. I worked as a buyer for a big German retailer in Germany and the UK for many years before I started my first business, designing children’s wear in the US in 2009. Since then I have started two more businesses, to date I work as a freelance website designer. I’m also the co-host of the Mums in Biz Podcast with weekly episodes helping mums who own a business with their business and life journey. I have recently written and launched a book called ‘It’s Your Life’ and I’m in the final stages of making one of my biggest dreams come true…to launch a clothing line for women that inspires confidence.
I’m a mother of two boys and two girls, a wife, a triathlete and we currently call Dubai our home. I believe women of all ages (especially young girls) should be able to live their life on their own terms and I’m an avid promoter of how to be confident to achieve this goal.
How did you overcome the biggest challenge in your career?
I am not sure I had only one big challenge in life.. I think overall the challenges I had were often created by myself, me standing in my own way or believing things about myself that were not real..
One of my more recent big challenges was being seen only as a wife or a mum of… Leaving my full time career, following my husband and his career to two different countries, where I felt I was often labelled as a wife or a mom and not as my own person with my own business and life, was something I struggled with. It took me quite some time to define myself and to realize that it is enough if I know who I am. I don’t need a job title, a husband or my children to be defined. I, as a person, am enough.
Overall I learned to see challenges not as something negative or something that is against me. I learned to look at challenges as something positive, something to work towards, something to grow and learn from. I learned that if I master a challenge, I will learn and I will become more confident to tackle the next one.
Why did you write It’s Your Life and what is the message to the reader?
For a long time in my life I believed I didn’t have a choice about so many things. I believed situations or other people determined what I had to do or how I was supposed to behave. It took a long time to realize that my life was only mine and that everything I needed is within myself. I was responsible and nobody else was living my life for me or could give me the confidence I wanted. Nobody else knows my dreams as well as I do, nobody else will celebrate my wins the way I do, nobody else will have to live through my failures. Nobody else will have to get up and try again. My life is my choice. And your life is your choice.
This Is what I want to pass on to my children and of course any woman who needs to hear this. The idea for this book came about because I don’t like to travel without my four children. So whenever I do, I write letters to them…. Just in case… I write things down that I want them to read when they grow up, things I want to pass on to them. There came a time when I thought it would be great to put these life lessons into a book that they can read later when they grow up. So that is what I did.
My book “It’s Your Life” is about dreams, dreaming big, believing in yourself and loving yourself. It’s more important that you love yourself first, believe in yourself first, before you place so much value in what other people believe of you. You are the first and most important person to do that.
And it’s about choices. All the choices you have to make to live your life according to your own terms and nobody else’s.
It’s about other people not being better than you and that nothing depends on other people or circumstances.
It actually all depends on us. We have to step out of our comfort zones, and maybe other people’s comfort zones in order to follow your big dreams.
I have lived inside my comfort zone for a long time. I have listened to other people and lived my life because of what I thought others wanted for me or said about me. Once I realized that it truly does not matter what others think, it’s so liberating. It does not matter what confidence means to others. It matters that you feel confident with yourself. No matter if that is as an introvert or extrovert, a sporty person or a dreamer. It’s your life, choose to live it your way. You need to feel happy!
In the book, I share the story of my path to becoming the person I truly want to be and live the life I truly want to live…and this journey is not over yet…
I share my methods and stories that helped me along my way. These are not to show you how to do it but to show you that you have choices, to show you that it is possible and to make you think about what you want your life to be. To remind you to go out there and find your own way to live your life!
What is your life motto?
Neale Donald Walsh said “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. I would take that even further and my favorite life motto is “The life you are dreaming of happens outside of your comfort zone.”
This is something I remind myself of every single day in order to follow my dreams but also to do seemingly little things like going for a run rather than staying on the couch. And whenever I am at a crossroad or face an important decision. Everything I really want in life is outside of my comfort zone.
What are three pieces of advice you would give to readers in these uncertain times?
Keep looking for the positive. It might be hard and not obvious right now but there is always a positive in a situation and there are always positives in life. The more you see them, the more they will come to you. The same is true for joy, you can choose joy, you can choose to laugh and have fun, even in uncertain times.
Secondly remind yourself that you always have a choice. Even in uncertain situations. We can choose what we do next, what we think and tell ourselves and we can choose to look for joy and positivity.
And lastly a pure business advice: stay connected and keep on networking. You never know whom you might meet, what you will learn and why it might become useful.
You can find more information at https://emiliasjourney.com/