About Gillian Fox
These days, I’m a business owner, author, keynote speaker, executive coach and women’s career expert.
I’m also what you might call a ‘serial entrepreneur’, having founded and built several successful businesses throughout my career. As Managing Director of the Gillian Fox Group, I’m a leadership development consultant for some of the largest organisations in Australia.
Before any of that happened, I started my career in media with a huge dose of ambition and quickly rose through the ranks. When I moved into a senior executive role in magazine publishing, I worked with many incredible people and fell in love with the buzz and glamour of working in magazines.
But I won’t pretend that those early years weren’t rough. There were many long hours spent at my desk. Dealing with difficult stakeholders. Office politics that would make your eyes water. Think of The Devil Wears Prada and take it up a hundred notches.
Looking back now, I can see that those years are when I learnt some of my most important career lessons.
By the time I was 31, I was leading a team of more than 100 people and a portfolio of publications
There was a lot expected of me in this role. I was driving leadership strategy and development, and dealing with mergers and acquisitions. I had to really hone my management skills to look after such a huge number of employees.
I loved what I was doing, and I’m very proud of everything I achieved in this role, but the pressure and demands were huge. As a perfectionist, I set incredibly high standards for myself. My biggest fear was that people would think I was too young for the job and wouldn’t be able to perform in the role.
During that time, I had a baby. By the time he was two, we had acquired another publishing house and the workload increased yet again. Even though I had terrific support from my family, I felt like I barely survived some days.
I’ll never forget the horror of crossing my legs in a meeting and realising they were covered in sand. I’d just returned from a secret rendezvous with my mum and baby boy at playgroup, under the pretence of attending a client appointment, and I was terrified of getting caught. I thought everyone would think I wasn’t committed enough to do such a senior role.
In retrospect, all that worrying was a waste of time and energy. Like so many women, I created limitations for myself by building up imagined stories about what other people thought of me.
When I became an Executive Board member, I gained new insights into leadership and how to influence people
The Board members and senior executives I worked with were predominantly male. I knew I deserved my place at the table and I’d worked long enough and hard enough to know that I had something valuable to contribute.
Life became a lot easier once I decided to trust my abilities and stop letting fear and perfectionism rule my life. I used all the lessons I’d learnt to make sure I was noticed and respected. That my opinions were heard and considered. I had the confidence to seek out opportunities and create ones for myself.
I discovered that I was a far better version of myself with less fear in the tank. All that hustling, pushing, relentless high standards and working so hard to maintain them had been exhausting and I knew it wasn’t who I wanted to be anymore.
It’s an amazing feeling when you give yourself permission to finally be the person you want to be – instead of who you think other people want you to be.
And then, I was offered my dream publishing job that should have made me dance all the way home
But something didn’t feel right about it. I knew I should have been incredibly excited, but the passion wasn’t there.
I’d been flirting with the idea of starting my own business. Suddenly it all became clear and I knew what I wanted to do.
I realised that all the experiences I’d had in my career, and everything I’d learnt, had given me this huge amount of knowledge that I could share with other women who were following the same kind of path I had. And that by sharing what I knew, I could help these women have a much easier time of it.
I resigned the next Monday and threw myself into my business.
I realised there are a bunch of unwritten rules about career success that no-one tells you about
During my years of working in a corporate environment, I learnt:
- The importance of building relationships with mentors and sponsors
- How to be more assertive and decisive in the workplace
- How important it is to influence other people
- The best ways to create my own opportunities
- Why making mistakes can be the best way to learn
- How to command more respect in the workplace
- How to successfully navigate office politics without getting dragged down
By drawing on my own experiences, and the experiences of other women I’d worked with, I discovered common pain points and obstacles that were stopping women from becoming more successful.
What’s more, I realised I had the solutions to help other women have a brilliant career.
Over the years, I’ve developed a reputation for teaching in a way that’s practical, relevant and accessible
Looking back on the early days of my career, I’m proud of how much effort I put in. I may not have always made the best decisions, but I worked really, really hard and fought for my success.
And that’s what I find with the women I coach through the RISE program. They are smart, tenacious, curious and have a great appetite for their career. To watch what they create from RISE, both during and after the program, is truly mind blowing.
I’ve now coached more than 1,000 women. I understand the challenges you are facing at this stage in your career, because I faced them too. Most importantly, I know how to help you overcome them.
From my early days finding my feet in a corporate environment, to becoming a senior executive managing over 100 employees, and now running my own coaching and leadership business, I’ve learnt the tactics and strategies to make yourself stand out and cultivate a fulfilling career.
That’s what I want to share with you.
Are you ready to take control of your future?
My mission is to help women succeed in their career and life – to be the best they can and to be proud of their achievements.
In the four-month RISE program, I’ll teach you how to overcome obstacles, create opportunities and reach new heights in your career.
I know you’re ready to do the hard work. You wouldn’t be here otherwise.
Whatever you want from your career and your future, RISE can show you how to get there.
Are you ready to RISE?