Born in South Africa, Hanneke Antonelli is an author and award-winning certified life coach with 16 years of experience growing businesses in various industries. Now based in Boston, Mass., Hanneke draws on her business degree, Wall Street sales experience, and her decade as an entrepreneur to help business owners upgrade their leadership skills. With her help, they are able to focus on the path to sustainable growth that will reap higher profits and more freedom.
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m originally from South Africa. I’m an author and certified award-winning life coach with over 16 years of experience growing businesses in various industries in the U.S and internationally. I used to work on Wall Street and traded in my cushy sales job to start my first business in health and wellness. I have since built two award-winning businesses. Today I help entrepreneurs transform from doers into leaders who scale their businesses in sustainable ways with higher profits and freedom. When I’m not coaching, I love tending to my garden, traveling, and strolling with my hubby and 7lb Maltipoo Khaleesi.
How did you get to where you are today?
When I was in my early twenties, I suffered from depression that landed me in a psychiatric ward. Whilst in that ward, I made a promise to myself that I was going to do whatever I could to get better, and so I got to work. I did a lot of personal development and worked with many therapists and coaches over the years. I moved to London right after college and got a job in the financial markets there, leading me to Wall Street in NYC. Around that time, I realized I wanted more freedom and flexibility and that I wasn’t utilizing all my talents and personality strengths. So I quit and started my first business in health and wellness. While running that business, I realized I wanted to pay forward all the amazing benefits I had received from being coached. By this point, I had assembled a wealth of business knowledge and experience, so I coupled my love and knack for business and numbers with my coaching expertise to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses, ensuring that their mental health and mindset stay in tip-top shape.
What do you think has helped you the most with your success?
I’m a little stubborn and never take no for an answer when I want something – I make it happen. I live by the motto “Where there is a will, there is a way.” And I always find a way. I’ve also always been a tenacious and driven person. These qualities and making my mental health and mindset work a priority has helped me stay focused and overcome challenges.
What has been the biggest challenge you have overcome in order to achieve your goals?
Overcoming depression has definitely been my biggest life challenge. And then the other one has been adapting to different cultures as an immigrant. Building new relationships, figuring out a new country, and navigating it all in my second language – it’s a challenge. You have to learn everything from scratch while hearing, “Sorry, I can’t understand your accent.” My tenacious, can’t fail attitude, along with the support of my husband, definitely helped me keep going and reach my goals.
What are you most proud of?
Publishing my book, The Up Level Project: Your Guide to Unlocking Higher Profits While Creating More Freedom. It hit the number 1 new release in three categories on Amazon within 24-hours of launching. It’s a business and leadership book with a memoir flair. Before releasing my book, I didn’t see myself as a good writer, and I definitely never imagined writing a book in my second language. I’m very proud of this accomplishment and grateful for everyone who helped me produce it.
What are three pieces of advice you could give to our readers?
- Stop looking for validation or permission to go after what you want.
- Outsource EVERYTHING you are not good at or don’t like doing in your life and business.
- And when you really want something, never take no for an answer.
How do you reward yourself when you’ve reached a goal or a after a hard day of work?
I like buying myself jewelry – diamonds or sometimes something small that serves as future reminders of my accomplishments. It’s easy to forget how far you’ve come, and I find that my jewelry pieces both remind me and serve as future inspiration. I also love cheers-ing myself with a glass of bubbly and let my accomplishment and self-acknowledgment sink in.
What is one sassy saying or quote that inspires you? Why?
“Where there is a will, there is a way.” And “Gratitude turns what you have into enough.” Both of these work together: the first one keeps me moving forward and looking for solutions. The second helps me to release the pressure and frustration, acknowledging how far I’ve come. It all fuels me to keep going with more ease and joy.
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