Paulina tells us that, “As a CEO of Hiraya Branding, coach and mentor, I lead with a clear vision and a deep commitment to elevating women’s presence in business. With over 16 years of diverse experience, I bring a wealth of knowledge and insights to the table. My journey, marked by resilience and determination, has shaped my mission to help women discover their unique strengths, communicate their value effectively, and build thriving businesses.”
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
My early years of growing up were filled with curiosity and a deep interest in understanding people and their behaviour. At the age of 12, I began reading psychology books, which ignited my fascination with human nature and interpersonal dynamics. And do not get me wrong; it was not connected to having good grades 😉 I hated being at school and I preferred to walk my own paths. By the time I was 15, I had already designed and conducted my first training session on interpersonal communication for a group of volunteers at the Polish Red Cross. This early experience gave me a taste of teaching and coaching, and I realized the impact I could have on others through knowledge sharing. However, life wasn’t without its challenges. When I was 17, I faced personal difficulties and academic struggles, which resulted in the loss of friends and the repeating of a school year. It was during this tough period that I realized the importance of seeking opportunities beyond my small-town environment. In 2006, I took a significant step by moving to Krakow and finding my first job in a pet shop while continuing my education. This marked the beginning of my corporate journey. In 2008, I secured my first role as a training coordinator, allowing me to learn from experienced business trainers and delve deeper into the industry.
In 2010, I became a mother, which brought both joy and unforeseen challenges. I lost my job in sales and faced financial constraints, ultimately leading to leaving the university I only just started. These hardships, combined with the loss of my father in 2012, marked a period of profound personal growth and resilience. It was in 2012 that I took a bold step by successfully registering my first business and becoming the Regional Sales Director for Omega Kancelarie Company, breaking records as the youngest person to hold that position. This pivotal moment marked the start of my corporate journey and the beginning of my entrepreneurial ventures. Before embarking on my corporate path, I had already developed a strong foundation in psychology, teaching, and a deep understanding of human behavior. These early experiences laid the groundwork for my future as a business development strategist and mentor, as well as my commitment to empowering women in business through Hiraya Branding.
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”
One pivotal moment that motivated me to take action was when I observed the disparities and unique challenges that women often face in the business arena. I noticed that many talented women struggled with pricing their services, lacked confidence in communicating their value, and often received less recognition and compensation for their expertise. My motivation to say “YES, go for it!” stemmed from a deep sense of empathy and a desire to empower women in business. I wanted to use my experiences and knowledge to help women discover their unique strengths, confidently communicate their value, and build successful enterprises on their terms. There is still so much work to do in inequality…
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
I want to see a world where women have equal opportunities, unwavering confidence, and access to mentorship, funding, and support in entrepreneurship. Breaking gender stereotypes, recognizing women’s contributions, fostering collaboration, and empowering through education are crucial. I aspire for women entrepreneurs to make a global impact and leave a legacy of empowerment for future generations.
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?
I believe that women’s leadership brings a unique and valuable perspective to the workplace. Women leaders often exhibit qualities like empathy, collaboration, and effective communication, which are essential in today’s complex and interconnected world. They bring diverse viewpoints, creativity, and problem-solving skills to the table, enriching decision-making processes.
It’s inspiring to see women rising to top positions across various industries, proving that leadership knows no gender boundaries. Their achievements not only pave the way for future generations but also challenge and reshape traditional notions of leadership.
What’s the most important thing you have learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?
Throughout my personal life and professional journey, the most important lesson I’ve learned is the power of resilience and the ability to adapt to change. Life is filled with challenges, unexpected twists, and setbacks, but it’s how we respond to them that defines our path. I’ve discovered that every obstacle is an opportunity for growth and learning. The key is to remain flexible, maintain a positive mindset, and keep moving forward, even in the face of adversity. My personal motto is “persist with purpose, adapt with wisdom.”
This highlights the significance of persistence in pursuing goals while also recognizing the value of adaptability and wisdom in navigating change.
With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
I want to emphasize the importance of believing in yourselves and breaking free from limiting beliefs.
Believe in your unique strengths and talents. Challenge any self-doubt or external pressures that may hold you back. Have confidence in your journey. Limiting beliefs can hinder your progress. Recognize and replace them with empowering thoughts that propel you forward.
Surround yourself with mentors and supporters who believe in you. Embrace failures as opportunities for growth, and don’t be afraid to define success on your terms.