AnnaKarin Horneij-History Maker
Women have to believe more in their own capacity
By Fati Gorezi
AnnaKarin Horneij is a successful businesswoman from Stockholm, Sweden and has a history of success as an inspirational speaker and a visionary. AnnaKarin also helps women all over the world to gain financial independence and advises them on how to build their own businesses. In this article she shares her story, her secrets of success, and most importantly, shares her tips for all those women who really want to find success in their lives and in their business. AnnaKarin’s story includes her struggles and personal experiences and how she has worked hard in several business areas. She tells us about the things that inspire her and what it means to be a successful entrepreneur . She also shows some of the ways to become a successful woman in life and in business with some valuable tips for all women who want to achieve success in building their own businesses.
AnnaKarin, you’re very well known as a entrepreneur and Speaker. But what did the young AnnaKarin want to be when she grew up?
From as young as three years of age I knew for certain I was going to be a dancer. We were living next door to a dance school in my hometown in the north of Sweden and I saw all the girls in their pretty costumes rehearsing for shows, and I wanted to be a princess too! And I was a lucky little girl when my mother put me in a dance class at the age of three. That is how my career in dance started out!
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I have been collecting toys since an early age and my collection is huge. I collect mostly girly toys, dolls, teddies and dollhouses etcetera. I actually gave up counting when I reached 400 dolls and 28 doll-houses many years ago! I even had to build a stronger floor in the attic of my new house when I moved in to fit my big collection! And since i had a company in the second-hand/antique field I was not actually short of opportunity to get my hands on even more toys!
What has been the most challenging or riskiest undertaking you’ve had in your career?
I started out as a business owner when my daughter was only seven months old. We had moved back to my hometown in the north of Sweden from London. And since I had been working with dance since I was only 12 years old as a dancer/teacher I decided to open a dance school. There was already three dance schools in my home town but I knew I could make it work – and I did! We tripled the business income compared to the business plan during the very first term! And it was mostly down to ‘word of mouth’ from happy costumers!
Can you talk about one woman who has impacted your life?
My mentor during my training to be a dancer was my biggest influence. She always said its 25% talent and 100% hard work if you want to succeed. You cannot give less than 125% if you want to make it. Grit is what you need, to dig your heels in and do the job!
You run more than one business. How do you keep the balance in your life while maintaining such high productivity?
I have always run more than one business at a time. I guess I need variation to stay motivated and on my toes. I split my time between the different fields of work though quite often they get intertwined. I can travel as much as I do since I live on my own and my children are both grown up and “out of the nest.” So I only have myself to worry about at the moment!
You are a great advocate for supporting women. Can you tell us more about why you choose to do this, and the importance of this in today’s world?
In my family there has always been strong women breaking the boundaries and doing their own thing. My great-grandmother was a seamstress running her own business and my grandmother was one of the first women in Sweden to go on to have a higher education. She actually was one of the first women to have a college degree. Back in those days it was only considered important for men to have an education. She then continued to University and worked as a language teacher at a high school. My mother has a University degree too and worked as a CEO for a company for many years. I was taught that there is no difference between the brains of men and women so I should fight for my right to equal pay. I have been one of the lucky ones, I was one of the first women in in Sweden to gain Rotary – and I have been able to negotiate my own salary during the short periods that I have been employed. But I am aware that there is still a lot of injustice in the workplace today between men and women and we all have to work to minimise this difference.
Was there any profound moment for you that helped push you into moving from being employed to creating your own practice?
When we moved back to Sweden and I had our daughter I realised that I needed to have my own Company to be able to choose my own work hours. And I started up a dance school when our daughter was only seven months old. Everyone said that there was too many dance schools in my hometown already, but I just new I would make it!
What gives you a sense of purpose to live the life that you do?
Knowing that I can work with what I have a passion for. And luckily enough I love travelling and that makes it worth the hours on the airplanes and trains.
And I enjoy trying to give people
a better life health-wise (body and mind)
and advice on how they live.
Guiding other people has been my passion since I started teaching at the age of 12.
What advice would you give to someone feeling like a “fish out of water” in the corporate or business world?
I think women in general have to believe more in their own capacity and in themselves. Be more willing to take a chance and not always look for security. I always ask myself – ‘What is the worst thing that can happen?’ Usually this scenario is very unlikely, so then I feel better about going ahead and doing it. And more often it all works out in the end!
If you could travel to any time and place in the past where would you go and why?
I do not really want to go back in time. I feel I have come to a point in my life when I know who I am and what I want out of life. I feel more secure in myself and my abilities than I did before. And I do work that I love and have a family around me for love and support. So I feel satisfied with my life right now. I have found peace of mind and love, what more can you want?
What’s next for AnnaKarin?
For the future I see more and more work globally. When it comes to all of my fields of work. The health products based on Moringa that I work with in Zija are open globally. And, as a Speaker/Coach you can work anywhere. And when it comes to the property side, a house is a house in any country – you just have to make sure you know the laws and tax terms for each country. But most important is the family, and that is looking good. And, of course, I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity to be one of the Speakers at the ‘Global Women Summit 2018’ in New York city! it is going to be an adventure to share the stage with Les Brown and all of the other talented women!