Elisabetta is a dynamic and spirited Life & Wellness Coach, Counsellor, Trainer, Speaker and Social Activist with an immense fervour for inspiring and motivating individuals to re-engage with their authentic inner selves.
As a child Elisabetta suffered abuse and neglect, a viscous pattern which led her to explore her experience and set her on her journey to being a social activist and life coach.
Perhaps one of the most powerful truths about Elisabetta is that she has experienced life as both the abused and the abuser.
Elisabetta speaks openly and frankly about her relationship with her daughter Stella and how she found herself repeating the cycle of physical and emotional abuse on her four year old daughter and subsequently sought help. Elisabetta lives in Barcelona and treats patients all across the globe.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I am Elisabetta Franzoso, an Italian life and wellness Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Social Activist. I consider myself a global citizen – I lived for 24 years in South East Asia but I am now based in Barcelona, Spain. My work spans across four countries: Spain, England, Singapore and Italy. I am divorced and a mother to a 26 year old daughter who lives in London. My passion is to inspire people to get to know themselves, eventually finding their ‘groove’. Through my work as coach and trainer I promote wellbeing and communication in 4 dimensions. In 2008 I published my first book, Stella’s Mum Gets Her Groove Back – a true story. My second book will be published in 2019!
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
Not at all. My career started from a unique angle. I started my career as an English teacher and a tour leader, then progressed on to working in marketing and in the fashion world with Italian fashion brand – Max Mara. I later moved to Asia to live with my husband and daughter which was when I chose to transform my life. This spark came about through receiving counseling which was to try and resolve unresolved issues from my childhood. It was at this point when I started my mission to find my real purpose in life. My counselor from New Zealand suggested to me that I could become a great therapist one day and this is advice I followed. It was the best choice of my life.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Absolutely! Since the beginning. Throughout my journey I have had to find strength and courage to face the unknown and to take on board new values and ways of life. This strength led me to make the decision to divorce my husband at the age of 48 after 26 years together. On one hand I had all the support of the people who I had met in Asia, but on the other, I had no family around to support me when I needed them the most. When I divorced, I found myself returning to Europe, I was 52 at this age and completely alone and unknown in my profession. My daughter had gone to study in the UK, my family had completely disintegrated in 2011 and I had to restart from zero by myself – and at a mature age. This was my major challenge – finding confidence again and pushing past the fact that I was convinced it was too late for me to start
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I believe that when we all reach a certain age, we should mentor someone younger than us. This should be part of giving back and serving other people. I am currently mentoring somebody in Italy, somebody from Madrid, and two young girls from Brunei who I met recently during a training session I delivered there. I had a mentor myself in 2004 – I sought him out and asked him to mentor me. Nobody believed he would as he was very popular in Singapore at the time, but I dared myself to ask him. He said to me that he would, as long as I promised I would give back to somebody else one day what he was giving to me.He didn’t have a lot of time to mentor me but he gave me what was necessary. His insight and tips set my engine in motion and inspired me to progress with my life. He is the one who saw my ‘innate gift’ and told me to go for what I most had passion for – inspiring people.
What do you want to see happen within the next five years when it comes to diversity?
I am pro-inclusion, with my background as a social activist and my work as a coach and trainer. I would love to see barriers breaking down between men and women of any age, status or background. My dream is to inspire and see people coming together and embrace each other in the name of 2 values I believe very much in – love and responsibility. Is this too much of an utopia? Maybe. I strongly believe in miracles and I am crystal clear about wanting to contribute with my own small action to build a different world.
If you could change one thing for women in the workplace, what would it be?
I would love to see them ‘seen’ and ‘ respected’ as the powerful and resourceful human beings that they are.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
I have definitively a few of them, in work and in life: one is transforming my life at the age of 38 – going back to study and building a career in Asia. Another is relocating back to Europe on my own after I’d lived half of my life in Asia – having built a wonderful and stable relationship with my daughter Stella.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
My next challenge is to build my own NGO and work the majority of my time as a social activist. I want to support and foster the growing of self-awareness in people who cannot afford to hire a coach or go through training themselves. I also want to be able to give my time and share my skills with non-profit organisations who nurture awareness and education in the field of mental health, abuse and neglect in childhood as well as domestic violence.