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Anneli Blundell's Answers To Thriving Interview

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

Answers to Thriving with Anneli Blundell
Answers to Thriving with Anneli Blundell

Speaker, Author, Influencer and professional people whisperer

Anneli started her own business 13 years ago and is proud to have developed a practice based around her expertise in decoding people and performance dynamics. Anneli's business allows her to focus to her strengths, working with people to improve their communication, and in doing so, continues to make a phenomenal difference to the lives of leaders, teams and organisations alike.

Anneli says "the bonus is the ripple effect that occurs when people have the confidence and courage to step up into who they have always wanted to be – the confident leader, the bold business owner, the clear communicator, the compelling public speaker. Their wins affect their teams, their businesses and their families and this magnifier effect is something that really excites me."


The ‘Answers to Thriving' is an interview series that takes a look at the women who have created a life of self-success. We uncover key moments, lessons and habits that have influenced the life they lead today.


You can’t start the day without:

Brushing my teeth! I don’t feel human until my teeth are clean.

A favourite quote is:

"Real listening is the willingness to be changed by the other person." Alan Alda

One wellness ritual you do regularly:

Chi gong breathing and stretching exercises (it’s kind of like tai chi in that it's a moving and breathing meditation that focuses on the flow of energy through different meridians).

Oh and hugging! I’m a big hugger and it turns out that hugs have a positive effect on the immune system. Yay for healthy hugs. :)

The last podcast that inspired you?

I’m a massive podcast fan so this was very hard to choose. Two interesting podcasts I’ve listened to recently were;

1. The Doctors Farmacy with Dr Mark Hyman – interview with Author of Deep Work and Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport, “How social media may be ruining your life.”

A really important conversation about how to be mindful with how we use social media. Cal talks about the importance of having a digital strategy and ensuring social media and our use of devices serves us, rather than being led by our addiction to social media and the latest, loudest social media craze. Lots of sobering statistics about the impact of social media on our health, relationships and happiness.

2. The knowledge project with Shane Parrish – interview with Barbara Oakley on “Learning how to learn.As a life-long learner this is an important topic to me. Being able to learn for maximum retention and application (and not just knowledge alone) is right up there along with personal productivity habits as the cornerstone skills that help me do what I do.

A recommended read for personal growth:

As with the podcasts, books are another passion of mine. I give each of my coaching clients a book that most resonates with the work we are doing and where they are on their personal and professional journey. As such it’s hard to pick one book!

My latest favourite book to gift my clients is Brene Brown’s, Dare to lead; Brave work. Tough conversations. Whole hearts.

It’s a book about the essential actions to cultivate braver, more daring leadership and create a culture of courage and it’s a ripper. It gives people the tools and strategies to really show up at work. To be true to who they are, to balance leading boldly with vulnerability and grace and most of all to be real – with ourselves and with each other. We need these tools now more than ever.

How do you go about self development?

A bit obsessively truth be told! As an expert in communication and influence, I am my product and so the more I can understand myself, my habits, my strengths and weaknesses the better I can understand people in general, and ultimately the better I can serve my clients.

I’ve always been a life long learner and since I started my business, my hobby has become a tax write off! #Winning!

I am always listening to podcasts, webinars, book summaries, audible books, online summits, training programs, or Ted talks when I’m driving, cleaning or cooking. Outside of that I attend lots of training programs, conferences and conventions and have multiple coaches and mentors for different development needs. Yeah it’s a passion of mine, for sure.

Which business or person inspires you right now and why?

Brene Brown. She is the voice of a new generation – helping leaders let go of the need to wear professional ‘armour’ to get through the day. She is paving the way for real conversations, real people and the opportunity to build courageous cultures that do good in the world. We need more of what she brings to the business world.

And closer to home it’s Elizabeth Broderick – she is powerful force for change on the gender equity front and balances uncompromising resolve with a gentle strength in her mission. #girlcrush

What has been the most defining moment in your career to date?

The day I hired my first staff member (not including my mum!). Being responsible for another person’s livelihood was a huge mental leap for me. I levelled up in a big way, because my ability to generate income was no longer for myself and my mum alone, it was for other people and their whole families. When you are on your own there is always this sense that if things don't work out you can just get another job – a ‘proper’ job, but when you have permanent employees, it becomes a much bigger deal to just get another job. I suddenly felt like I owed it to my team to get out there and generate work! It was amazing for my motivation and commitment to my own team. 13 years on in my business and I’ve realised that I won’t ever need to get a ‘proper job’… Phew!

Who’s helped you progress the most in your career and what do they do to support you?

There are 3 key people in my life that have enabled me to become the business woman I am:

1. My mother. She has been with me full time in the business since 2010. Operationally she is my Practice Manager who takes care of the accounts, IT and general practice management. Beyond the formal roles though has been her most important role as coach, supporter, champion, life mentor and all round cheer-leader. She has my back, she has my heart and she has made this life possible for us both.

2. My colleague, dear friend and co-author Corrinne Armour. Corrinne has been a business and personal inspiration to me for many years. She has mentored me, collaborated with me, and supported me in the most selfless way. Our relationship and my success are a testament to both her amazing business acumen and her very generous spirit.

3. My husband. He is my rock and true life partner. We make a great team and I feel like I could take on the world with him by my side. He keeps me laughing and striving and he makes a mean risotto to boot!

A fear you've had to overcome to pursue your ambitions:

I’ve never been comfortable calling myself an expert. I’ve spent a long time comparing myself to amazing global thought leaders and never reconciled how we could both be ‘experts’. I’ve learnt over the years to get comfortable with the label by keeping focused on my own journey and my own work. I provide value to my clients, I get results with my clients, I’ve done the work and put in the yards. If my clients think I’m an expert then who am I to argue?

An achievement you're most proud of:

Professionally: Being voted one of Ymags’ Top 10 Women to Watch in 2019

Personally: Running a half marathon without collapsing!

Life/career advice you wish you'd been given in your early 20s:

Move before you are fully ready. If you think you’re almost ready, act as if you are and get cracking. Confidence for your next step doesn't come from sitting on the couch, it comes from the courage to act before you feel ready, so just get on with it and trust that you have all you need for where you want to go.

For women who want to make a positive change in their life but don't know where to start, what advice would you give them?

Start with your values. What’s most important to you? This will help you decide what to focus on first and ensure you are running your own race and not pleasing someone or something else.

Then, start small. Focus on habits. Create the right habitat. Small wins build momentum and create sustainable habits. Habits are what keep you on track toward achieving your goals. Habitat is the environment of support you create to set yourself up to win. A combination of all three principles will build a solid foundation for change.

And finally, stick at it! Perseverance is key for making a positive change. Things take time, you need to hang in there. If it’s worth pursuing, it’s worth persevering.

What does thriving mean to you?

Living life on my terms, in my own way, for the benefit of the people I hold dear and the people I serve.

Knowing how to be kind to myself and taking care of my emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well being while pursuing meaningful work that makes a difference.

I work at it everyday. I am a work in progress on all fronts.

Anything else you would like to share with the Thrivhers community?

I love to stay in touch with fabulous and interesting women so please reach out and connect with me on LinkedIn.


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