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Iwona Michalska

Iwona Michalska: From the Brink of Despair to the Pinnacle of Success: The Unshakable Visionary Behind TRTrehab and Coaching

In this Global Woman Magazine article, we delve into the life-altering journey of a remarkable individual who turned her life-threatening experiences into a powerhouse of professional drive. Her story, a stirring testament to the human spirit, unfurls the layers of resilience and ambition that propelled her to establish her ventures, TRTrehab and Coaching.

Faced with the precarity of life, she harnessed her challenges into a fierce determination to pursue her passions and foster a significant impact on the lives of others. This narrative is not just about personal fortitude but also about the concrete steps taken to translate tenacity into successful, community-centric businesses.

As we explore her endeavours, we uncover the personal epiphanies and strategic insights that convert hardships into groundbreaking professional achievements, embodying the truth that adversity can serve as the spark for profound transformation and enduring success.


What inspired you to turn your life-threatening experiences into fuel for your professional journey, and can you share how that energy translated into the concrete steps you took to establish your businesses?

My life-threatening experiences were transformative moments that compelled me to view life with a different lens. Instead of allowing them to break me, I chose to use those challenges as fuel for my professional journey. The realization that life is fleeting motivated me to pursue my passions and make a positive impact on others.

Establishing my businesses, TRTrehab and Coaching, was a step-by-step process fuelled by determination and a desire to create something meaningful. As a single mother going through a challenging divorce, I faced economic uncertainties. However, I refused to be defined by my circumstances. I started by identifying the needs within my community and the broader market.

I combined my personal experiences and expertise to create a holistic approach to health and wellness, addressing both physical and mental well-being. TRTrehab, focusing on physical rehabilitation, and Coaching, catering to mental and emotional wellness, were born from this vision. It was about offering comprehensive support to individuals facing challenges like what I had overcome.

I took concrete steps by investing time in research, understanding market trends, and aligning my business model with the evolving needs of my target audience. Building a strong network and seeking mentorship were crucial in gaining insights into the industry.

Ultimately, every challenge I faced became a stepping stone. The energy from those life-threatening experiences transformed into a drive to make a positive impact on people’s lives. My businesses reflect that commitment—a testament to the idea that even in the face of adversity, one can build something meaningful and contribute to the well-being of others.

During your TEDx talk, you captivated the audience with your story. Can you reveal the core strategies you employ to maintain such a strong connection with diverse global audiences?

Connecting with a diverse global audience is a challenge that I approach with authenticity, relatability, and a genuine desire to inspire. The core strategies I employ are grounded in creating a meaningful and personal connection with each individual listening to my story.

Firstly, authenticity is paramount. I share my journey with raw honesty, embracing vulnerability, and acknowledging the challenges I faced. By being genuine, I aim to resonate with people on a human level, fostering a connection based on shared experiences and emotions.

Secondly, relatability is key. I make a conscious effort to weave universal themes into my narrative, ensuring that people from different backgrounds can find aspects of my story that resonate with their own lives. This inclusivity creates a bridge that allows diverse audiences to connect with the underlying messages and lessons.

Thirdly, I tailor my message to address common human struggles and aspirations. Regardless of cultural or geographical differences, the fundamental desire for resilience, growth, and success is universal. I emphasize these shared values, creating a narrative that transcends borders and speaks to the human experience.

Additionally, I actively engage with my audience during and after my talks. This involves incorporating interactive elements, such as thought-provoking questions or activities, to make the experience more participatory. Beyond the stage, I leverage social media platforms and other channels to maintain an ongoing dialogue with my audience, inviting them to share their stories and perspectives. In essence, my strategy revolves around being genuine, relatable, and inclusive, while actively involving the audience in the conversation.

By doing so, I hope to inspire individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose in the face of life’s challenges.

Can you elaborate on how your holistic approach in TRTrehab, and Coaching does not only affect physical health but also induces a mental and financial transformation?

At TRTrehab and Coaching, our holistic approach is founded on the belief that true well-being encompasses physical, mental, and financial health. We understand that these aspects are interconnected and addressing them comprehensively is crucial for individuals to achieve holistic transformation.

Starting with physical health, TRTrehab focuses on rehabilitation, not just from a standpoint of recovering from injuries but also promoting overall physical wellness. Our programs are designed to get people out of pain, improve strength, flexibility, and mobility, enhancing the quality of life for our clients. Physical well-being serves as the foundation for a more fulfilling and active lifestyle.

Simultaneously, Coaching addresses mental and emotional aspects. We provide tools and strategies for stress management, resilience building, and fostering a positive mindset. Mental well-being is not just the absence of illness; it’s about equipping individuals with the skills to navigate life’s challenges and thrive emotionally.

The financial transformation aspect stems from recognizing that economic well-being is an integral part of a person’s overall health. Through Coaching, we offer guidance on financial planning, budgeting, and creating sustainable income streams. This is particularly relevant in today’s world, where financial stress can significantly impact mental and physical health.

By integrating physical, mental, and financial components, our holistic approach aims to create a synergistic effect. For example, improved physical health often leads to increased confidence and mental resilience, which, in turn, can positively impact one’s professional and financial pursuits. Similarly, addressing financial stress can alleviate mental burden, contributing to better overall well-being.

In essence, our holistic approach is about empowering individuals to achieve a balanced and fulfilling life. It goes beyond physical fitness, encompassing mental and financial aspects to create a comprehensive framework for transformation. We believe that true wellness is a holistic journey, and our programs are tailored to guide individuals towards a more vibrant and prosperous life on all fronts.

Winning the “Best Small Gym/Health Centre in Yorkshire” is an exceptional feat. How do these recognitions shape your business philosophy, and what impact do you believe your work has on the fitness and wellness industry?

The recognition of winning the “Best Small Gym/Health Centre in Yorkshire” is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the entire team at TRTrehab. It significantly shapes our business philosophy by reinforcing the importance of excellence, innovation, and a client-centered approach.

Firstly, these accolades validate that our holistic approach to health and wellness is making a meaningful impact. Winning such awards tells us that our commitment to providing high-quality services and creating a positive and supportive environment for our clients is being recognized by both our community and industry experts.

Moreover, this recognition fuels our determination to continually innovate and elevate our standards. It serves as a reminder that complacency has no place in our philosophy. We strive to stay at the forefront of the fitness and wellness industry by embracing new technologies, staying abreast of the latest research, and refining our programs to meet the evolving needs of our clients.

In terms of industry impact, I believe our work has contributed to reshaping the narrative around health and wellness. Our holistic approach, addressing not just physical fitness but also mental and financial well-being, represents a paradigm shift. It emphasizes that true health is a multifaceted journey, and fitness is not just about the body but the overall quality of life.

Furthermore, by sharing our experiences and insights through platforms like TEDx, we aim to inspire change within the industry. We encourage a shift towards more inclusive and comprehensive wellness programs that empower individuals to take control of their health in a holistic way.

Ultimately, these recognitions reinforce our belief that our approach is not only effective but resonates with individuals seeking a more balanced and fulfilling life. We hope to inspire other businesses in the fitness and wellness industry to adopt a holistic mindset and recognize the profound impact they can have on the lives of their clients and the community at large.

Considering your successful career, what are the guiding principles that drive your decision-making process, especially during challenging economic times?

My decision-making process is anchored in a set of guiding principles that have been instrumental in navigating both the highs and lows of my career, particularly during challenging economic times.

  1. Resilience and Adaptability: The ability to bounce back from setbacks and adapt to changing circumstances is crucial. In challenging economic times, I focus on remaining resilient, viewing obstacles as opportunities for growth, and adapting my strategies to the evolving business landscape.
  2. Client-Centric Approach: Putting the needs and well-being of my clients first has always been a priority. During economic challenges, this principle becomes even more critical. Understanding the evolving needs of my clients allows me to tailor my services to provide value and address their concerns effectively.
  3. Innovation and Continuous Learning: Embracing innovation and a commitment to continuous learning are key to staying ahead in any industry. During challenging economic periods, I prioritize staying informed about emerging trends, technologies, and best practices. This proactive approach helps me identify new opportunities and streamline operations for efficiency.
  4. Financial Prudence: Sound financial management is a cornerstone of any successful business. During economic downturns, I place a heightened emphasis on prudent financial practices, including budgeting, cost optimization, and strategic investment. This ensures the stability and sustainability of my businesses in the long run.
  5. Community Engagement and Social Responsibility: Contributing positively to the community has always been a fundamental value. In challenging economic times, I believe in the importance of community support and engagement. This involves not only providing valuable services but also actively participating in initiatives that uplift and strengthen the community.
  6. Team Collaboration and Empowerment: Recognizing the strength of a united team is vital. I prioritize open communication, collaboration, and empowerment within my team. In challenging economic climates, fostering a positive and supportive work environment becomes even more critical to overcoming obstacles together.
  7. Long-Term Vision: While short-term challenges may require quick decisions, I always keep a long-term vision in mind. This perspective helps me make decisions that align with the overarching goals and sustainability of my businesses, ensuring they remain resilient in the face of economic fluctuations.

By adhering to these guiding principles, I aim to navigate the complexities of the business world with integrity, resilience, and a forward-thinking mindset, even when economic conditions are challenging.

Iwona Michalska

As a single mother and businesswoman, what are your top strategies for balancing the demanding roles you play in your personal and professional life?

Balancing the roles of a single mother and a businesswoman is undoubtedly challenging, but over the years, I’ve developed strategies that have helped me find harmony between these demanding roles.

  1. Prioritization: Setting clear priorities is paramount. I assess tasks and responsibilities based on urgency and importance, ensuring that critical matters take precedence. This helps me allocate time and energy efficiently between my role as a mother and the demands of running a business.
  2. Effective Time Management: Time is a precious resource, and effective time management is key. I employ strategies such as creating daily schedules, setting realistic deadlines, and delegating tasks when necessary. This enables me to maximize productivity in both my personal and professional life.
  3. Work-Life Integration: Rather than viewing personal and professional life as separate entities, I strive for integration. This means finding ways to involve my children in aspects of my work when appropriate and, conversely, bringing a sense of family into the workplace. Blurring the lines between the two allows for a more seamless and balanced existence.
  4. Building a Support System: Surrounding myself with a strong support system is crucial. Whether it’s family, friends, or a reliable team at work, having a network that understands and supports both my personal and professional aspirations provides invaluable assistance during challenging times.
  5. Self-Care: Taking care of my own well-being is non-negotiable. I prioritize self-care, including regular exercise, sufficient rest, and moments of relaxation. By maintaining my physical and mental health, I am better equipped to handle the demands of both motherhood and business.
  6. Flexibility and Adaptability: Recognizing that flexibility is essential in both personal and professional spheres, I remain adaptable to changing circumstances. This includes being open to adjusting schedules, reevaluating goals, and embracing change when necessary.
  7. Setting Realistic Expectations: I’ve learned the importance of setting realistic expectations for myself. While I am ambitious and driven, acknowledging that I can’t do everything at once has been crucial. This involves accepting help when offered and understanding that perfection is not always attainable.
  8. Quality over Quantity: In both parenting and business, I prioritize quality over quantity. Whether spending time with my children or working on a project, I focus on making those moments meaningful and impactful rather than merely trying to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously.

Balancing the roles of a single mother and a businesswoman is an ongoing journey of learning and adaptation. These strategies have served me well, allowing me to navigate the complexities of both worlds while fostering a sense of fulfilment in both my personal and professional life.

Could you describe a turning point in your journey when you realized that your hardships could empower not just you but also others around you?

One pivotal turning point in my journey came during a period of deep reflection following a series of life-threatening operations. It was a time of immense personal struggle, but within that struggle, I discovered a profound realization that would shape the course of my life and career.

As I confronted the challenges posed by my health, I began to recognize the transformative power of resilience and the strength that adversity could cultivate. Instead of viewing my hardships solely as obstacles, I saw them as opportunities for growth and a platform to inspire others facing similar trials.

This revelation became especially clear when I received messages of encouragement and inspiration from individuals who had learned about my journey. People reached out to share their own struggles and express how my story had motivated them to persevere. It was at that moment that I understood the potential impact of my experiences on a broader scale.

This turning point prompted me to shift my perspective. Rather than seeing my hardships as a personal burden, I realized they could serve as a source of empowerment for others. I embraced the responsibility to share my story openly, recognizing the potential to instil hope, resilience, and a belief that challenges can be overcome.

The decision to establish TRTrehab and Coaching was, in many ways, a manifestation of this realization. Through these ventures, I sought to create a supportive space where individuals could not only address their physical health but also find inspiration to overcome life’s obstacles, both mentally and emotionally.

Speaking on platforms like TEDx became another avenue to amplify this message. The positive reception and the impact of my words on diverse audiences reinforced the idea that my journey had the potential to inspire change and empower individuals to face their hardships with courage and determination.

In essence, this turning point in my journey was a profound shift from viewing my hardships as personal struggles to recognizing them as a source of strength that could uplift and empower others. It marked the beginning of a mission to not only rebuild my own life but to also contribute to the empowerment and transformation of individuals around me, proving that adversity can be a catalyst for positive change.

What does ‘resilience’ mean to you personally, and how have you woven this concept into the fabric of your businesses and your role as a mentor?

Personally, ‘resilience’ is more than just a word; it’s a guiding principle that has shaped my outlook on life. Resilience, to me, means the ability to face adversity, setbacks, and challenges with unwavering determination and the belief that, no matter how difficult the circumstances, one can overcome and emerge stronger.

In the fabric of my businesses, TRTrehab and Coaching, resilience is a foundational element. The holistic approach we take in addressing physical, mental, and financial well-being is inherently tied to the concept of resilience. Our programs are designed not only to build physical strength but also to foster mental resilience, teaching individuals how to navigate life’s challenges with grace and fortitude.

For example, in TRTrehab, the rehabilitation process often involves overcoming physical obstacles. We instil a mindset of resilience in our clients, encouraging them to view setbacks as temporary and to approach their journey to recovery with a spirit of tenacity.

In the realm of Coaching, resilience takes on a broader meaning. We focus on equipping individuals with the tools and strategies to bounce back from setbacks, manage stress effectively, and cultivate a mindset that sees challenges as opportunities for growth. This mental resilience, in turn, has a positive impact on various aspects of their lives, including relationships, career, and personal development.

As a mentor, I weave the concept of resilience into my guidance and support for individuals seeking to navigate their own paths. I share my personal experiences of overcoming adversity, emphasizing the transformative power of resilience. Through mentorship, I aim to instil in others the belief that challenges are not insurmountable barriers but stepping stones to personal and professional growth.

Moreover, in my role as a mentor, I encourage individuals to embrace failures and setbacks as opportunities for learning and development. This perspective aligns with the idea that true resilience involves not just bouncing back but using challenges as catalysts for positive change.

In essence, resilience is a thread that runs through the fabric of my personal philosophy, my businesses, and my mentorship role. It is the force that propels individuals forward, enabling them to overcome obstacles and emerge not just intact but stronger and more capable than before.

With your roots in the small city of Zary, Poland, what message do you have for entrepreneurs from humble beginnings who aspire to make a global impact?

My message to entrepreneurs from humble beginnings is one of hope, resilience, and the unwavering belief that your roots should be a source of strength, not limitation. Coming from a small city like Zary in Poland, I understand the unique challenges that entrepreneurs from humble beginnings face, but I also recognize the incredible potential that lies within those challenges.

First and foremost, embrace your roots. Your background, no matter how humble, shapes your unique perspective and can be a powerful asset. It instils values such as hard work, perseverance, and a deep appreciation for the journey. Rather than seeing your humble beginnings as a hindrance, view them as the foundation upon which you can build something extraordinary.

Resilience will be your greatest ally. The road to success is rarely smooth, and setbacks are inevitable. However, it’s in overcoming these challenges that you’ll discover your true strength. Understand that adversity is not a roadblock but a stepping stone to growth. Each setback is an opportunity to learn, adapt, and emerge stronger.

Seek knowledge and never stop learning. Regardless of your background, education is a powerful equalizer. Continuously invest in expanding your knowledge, whether through formal education, mentorship, or self-directed learning. This knowledge will not only empower you but also provide the tools needed to compete on a global scale.

Build a strong network and seek mentorship. Surround yourself with individuals who inspire and challenge you. Networking with like-minded entrepreneurs and seeking guidance from mentors who have walked a similar path can provide invaluable insights and support. The journey is challenging, but you don’t have to navigate it alone.

Lastly, dream big and set audacious goals. Your humble beginnings should never limit the scope of your aspirations. Believe in the global impact you can make. With determination, strategic planning, and a commitment to your vision, you have the potential to transcend geographical boundaries and make a lasting mark on the world.

Remember, every successful entrepreneur started with a vision and faced their own set of challenges. Your background is not a limitation but a unique foundation that can propel you forward. Stay true to your roots, stay resilient, and know that your journey from a small city can be the launchpad for a global impact.

Reflecting on your journey from a near-death experience through to global recognition, what would you say has been your most profound learning about life and success?

The profound learning from my journey, spanning a near-death experience to global recognition, centers around the transformative power of resilience and the interconnectedness of life and success. Through the highs and lows, I’ve come to understand that success is not just about achieving external milestones but is deeply rooted in one’s internal journey.

Life is inherently unpredictable, and challenges are inevitable. My near-death experience served as a wake-up call, highlighting the fragility of life and the importance of living authentically and purposefully. It taught me that success, in its truest sense, is a holistic concept that goes beyond professional achievements. It encompasses the quality of our relationships, our mental and physical well-being, and our contribution to the world.

Resilience has been the driving force behind my ability to overcome obstacles. It’s not just about bouncing back from adversity but about using challenges as opportunities for personal and professional growth. Each setback has been a lesson, and each triumph a testament to the strength that adversity can cultivate.

Moreover, success is not a solitary journey. It is intertwined with the impact we have on others and the connections we build along the way. The global recognition I’ve received is not just a personal accolade but a validation of the positive influence I’ve been able to have on individuals worldwide. It underscores the idea that true success involves lifting others as you climb, fostering a sense of community and shared growth.

Another profound realization is the importance of staying true to one’s values and vision. Amidst the noise of external expectations and societal pressures, holding onto a clear sense of purpose has been my compass. Success is not a one-size-fits-all concept; it is deeply personal and should align with one’s authentic self.

In essence, my journey has taught me that life and success are intertwined, and both are dynamic, ever-evolving processes. The key lies in embracing the journey with an open heart, learning from every experience, and understanding that success, when grounded in resilience, authenticity, and a commitment to making a positive impact, becomes a meaningful and fulfilling pursuit.

Iwona Michalska

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