Fiora Touliatou

Fiora Touliatou is a holistic wellbeing coach and founder of BNS Wellbeing.

For her, wellbeing is not just a trendy profession but part of a healthy lifestyle that she has been following since she was a teenager. Having suffered from anxiety and depression from an early age, she discovered holistic practices and therapies in order to heal herself, find inner peace, balance and a greater purpose. 

She tells us that, “It all started with meditation, gym, martial arts, creative arts, and later dance, yoga, mindfulness and life coaching. My initial curiosity turned into passion which then turned into a profession. 

My niche is holistic wellbeing coaching, as holistic lifestyle has been part of my life. I deeply believe that wellbeing and happiness start from within, therefore taking holistic care of ourselves is essential in order to retain our mind-body-spirit balance.”

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your professional journey/venture/initiative and what inspired you to choose this career.

My life has been a journey of self discovery, self healing, innovation and transformation. I grew up in a conservative family and a narrow minded culture, which caused me to feel isolated and out of place. I suffered from anxiety and depression from an early age, which led me to question everything around me as I was suffocating. As a teenager, I rebelled and started living my life in my own terms which caused a conflict with my surroundings. However, my breakthrough led me to a transformation and since then I am constantly learning, exploring and evolving. Because of my experiences, I am very empathetic and I’m on a mission to help others live a happy, healthy and meaningful life.

Was there any turning point in your life that changed your journey? If so, what was it? Please tell us the backstory behind it.

Growing up in a conservative family and narrow minded culture made me rebel against everything as a teenager. I had to go through anxiety and depression, questioning everything. I started looking for ways to heal, feel better and find a purpose in life. That is where I discovered different activities and practices from yoga, martial arts and holistic therapies that changed my life. Being the black sheep was a heavy burden to carry as a young girl, but it was also a blessing in disguise. It was the turning point which led me to take risks, try new ways, discover my potential, do innovative things, not having the need of approval or external validation, walk a solitary path and build resilience.

Tell us about your goals, interests, and role models.

My interests are already part of my profession, so I would say that my goal is to deepen my knowledge and my expertise in all those fields. We never stop learning and I am always keen to expand my horizons. 

Moreover, my general goal is to keep doing what I am doing for the rest of my life. This is not about money, but about purpose, fulfilment and happiness. I would also like to travel around the world and have a positive impact by sharing my knowledge with more people.

My role models are my teachers and tutors.  I take inspiration from them and I aim to inspire my clients too.

Everyone has their own set of challenges when starting an entrepreneurial journey. Still, the most essential part for others to learn is how you deal with those. Would you like to share with us your challenges and your coping mechanisms?

The entrepreneurial journey is a constant learning experience with both highs and lows. My main challenges are my perfectionism and my impatience. As a perfectionist, I tend to compare myself to others and also I want to have fast results. It is true that we are our worst critics! My way of dealing with these are these are to remind myself:

Self doubt and impatience are human and normal

I need to be compassionate with myself 

I am unique and I have my own path and journey in life

Where I came from, why I started, what is my passion and my vision. 

No one in life is like you and that’s the beauty of it. The world needs to know your vision to unfold your potential. Life can be tough and unfair, but you need to be brave, have faith in yourself and your highest purpose. Keep going and as Rumi said “start walking and the path will appear”.

What impact do you feel you have been able to create with your work so far and how would you want to grow in the next few years?

Within the years, I have had very positive feedback from clients. Some of them were even sceptical about my holistic approach, but they afterwards saw the effectiveness. This has given me job satisfaction and the confidence to believe that I can help people improve their lives with more meaning, joy and quality. 

For the future, I would like to teach wellness retreats both nationwide and abroad. And also to have international clients while working online with my holistic wellbeing coaching.

While the global pandemic of COVID-19 is associated primarily with adversities, it has also brought about a true boom in startups, with successful entrepreneurship in many countries. The pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. Would you like to share your experience on a personal and professional level?

The pandemic was a transformational period for me; it was what the shaman’s call “the dark night of the soul”. I reached rock bottom which gave me the momentum to bounce back and discover my power.  As I’m self employed, the beginning of the pandemic was a disaster which affected me financially, mentally and emotionally. I lost all my clients and income very abruptly plus I had to use all my savings and stay in temporary accommodation. But although I had moments of anxiety and uncertainty, that didn’t stop me from moving forward. I built more resilience and tried to see the bigger picture in everything. I used online platforms and kept myself busy by making new connections with community groups, offered free coaching and received free psychology and business coaching. By learning to work online, I discovered new opportunities and expanded my services and clientele. Moreover, I used the lockdown as a time to totally focus on my new perspective, start my blog, renew my website, improve my social media platforms. The most important was that  I discovered my coaching niche, which then led to creating my holistic wellbeing coaching packages.

Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?

I have been self employed for 17 years and I have to say that it is a constant learning journey, both challenging but also very fulfilling. I am constantly learning new skills, applying them in my life and expanding my business. Regarding achievements and accomplishments, I would say that I am proud of having endured very tough times but it made me resilient and humble. Moreover, from the hobbies and activities that helped me heal and gave me purpose, I created business and income that gave me freedom, purpose, happiness and recognition.

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?

My vision is to see a better world where women will be empowered, where people will have higher values and solidarity. As women, we are creators and we can achieve anything we want. The main and most important is to believe in ourselves and our value. By expanding our mindset and perspectives on everything, we discover your unlimited potential. We can create a better world both as individuals and as a community-society. We have the power and the charisma to do everything. Change yourself, progress your life and then everyone and everything around you will change and transform.

What’s the most important thing you have learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?

In my personal life, I have learned to walk a solitary path, take risks and always question everything. These traits have helped me explore new things, new ways, discover my potential, do innovative things without having the need of approval or external validation. All these have given me clarity and focus, which also built the foundations for being an entrepreneur.

My personal motto is “be humble and stay humble” because life is unpredictable. From your lowest you can go to your highest and vice versa. By staying humble, grounded and in your centre, you stay balanced. It is in that inner balance that you can find peace, clarity and create everything in your life.

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’s leadership today?

It is inspiring and very optimistic to see women in leadership positions. I am up for female empowerment and women leading the world, because it is what society needs to progress. However, I believe we can do even better by having solidarity between us, as women. Being competitive is a male trait and it doesn’t serve our highest purpose. It is better to be inspired and have role models, as it helps our growth. Each one of us has unique talents. We should try to be better than who we were yesterday, instead of being better than each other in a competitive selfish way. By uniting our forces, we can achieve miracles. So let’s empower each other!

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?

Believe in your worth and your potential. Work on yourself on all levels. Stay humble and also centered on your core values!