9to9 Girls: meet Siri, Founder, public speaker and author
9to9 Girls is a collection of interviews with strong and creative women who have all, in their own rights and on their own terms defined what a successful life is to them.
Meet Siri Abrahamsen! Writer of four books, founder of Gleding, public speaker all over Norway, and mother of three - Siri is the ultimate juggler from 9am to 9pm. Once consultant manager, Siri did a 180 to become an empathy advocate and entrepreneur. And there is so much to unpack from her journey. I first heard Siri on Yrja's podcast (must listen if you understand Norwegian), and was lucky to hear her speak at a networking event recently, and gosh what a true supporter of other women she is! Her words on empathy, self-acceptance and gentleness really resonated with me. Her genuine positivity and reflection on life inspired me that night. Always authentic, never cheesy - the few examples she gave us on the ups and downs of life and of the process of starting a business definitely carried through and helped me recently. So I wanted to get some of her nuggets of wisdom onto 9to9 and share this with you. You will love to read this, and I cannot recommend you enough to look up more about Siri.
Where can we find you on Instagram?
We’re curious! What can we find in your bag from 9 to 9?
My Mac, agenda, a book, business card, postcards, keys, lipstick, wallet, phone, chargers.
We love entrepreneurs. Tell us a little bit about your side-hustle!
I am building a world of empathy, through my public speaking and my books. I help people to connect better at work, in schools and at home. I have written and published four books, “Historien om deg” which is a gratitude journal that contributes to awareness and conscious living. “Gleding”, “Feiling” and “Undring” are the three children’s books – focusing on emotional and social competence in a fun way.
I want to inspire people to live life to the fullest, let go of other peoples expectations and be the best you can be for yourself and the people around you. I believe in those small face to face meetings – that we can make people feel well or we can make people feel less worthy, I always try to give.
My life purpose (and hustle) is to make this world a friendlier more loving place.
How did you start with this?
I think it started when I was a child – I always like to make other people laugh and others to be happy. I felt lonely often – and I didn’t want others to experience that. So it has always been with me. But formally it started when I was 28, I worked as a management consultant – and I loved it. But I needed to be free to create and to challenge. So I had a big opening – with red carpet, balloons, photographer – the venue was packed on a late November dark and cold evening. I wanted to show – I am here, and I will do great things. I have the courage to stand out. I knew I needed attention for my business to start rolling.
What ambitions do you have for it in the next 6 months?
My ambition is to take better care of myself in this process and to work deeper and more focused. I have two new concepts coming out soon and I am super excited. I really want to spread my ideas globally, so I am working towards that and I want to change what we perceive as success – I basically want to change the corporate world and make parenting great again (cause our children needs us, and they will rule the world in few decades).
Tell us about the most decisive career decision you made and that shaped your life?
That was when I quit my job at age 28 (then a mother of three boys), with no extra savings, no safety – just passion and willingness to work smart and hard. I would do it again – it’s the most liberating, energy sparking decision!
What advice would you give your 23 year old self?
Be kind, save money, respect yourself and find friends who lift you up.
We love positivity. What is the thing you love most about yourself?
I love my courage to be open, authentic and genuine. And I love my smile.
What qualities do you appreciate most in a woman?
Integrity, authenticity and generosity.
3 women who have marked your life and why.
Mom and sisters – for obvious reasons, + they are all hard workers and ambitious, and also nice people. I believe they sparked motivation to believe in myself.
One teacher at school named Åse, she told me I could be the prime minister if I want to. I will never forget that. And her statement has helped me in difficult times.
Ewy B. Myrhaugen – my first boss and great friend. She inspires me to be a better person every day.
And I would like to name many others – there has been many women helping me. I am lucky to have so many great people in my life.
What is women empowerment to you?
To genuinely help each other succeed in whatever hopes and dreams we have. To listen carefully to each other and figure what can I do for you. That’s empowerment.
What holds you back in life?
To be honest, not much. Of course sometimes I am lucky sometimes I am not. But I have learned to let go of the things I can not change, and the things I can – well then its just up to me. No excuses.
How do you handle setbacks or failures?
I observe, analyze and ask myself what can I learn from this? Then I move on, hopefully a bit wiser.
Do you celebrate successes?
Sometimes I buy myself sushi when I had a good day at work. But mostly I think long term – what do I want my life to be about. And then I celebrate life everyday, I always have fresh flowers at the table, I eat with the silver cutlery – I look up to see the moon, I try to find magic everyday and that is success to me.
Does any type of 'spirituality' play a part in your life?
I believe in the power of love, and love is too good to be a coincidence. So yes I believe there is a power, name it God if you want – that is the source of love and peace. I pray when I am scared and I practise daily gratitude.
1 podcast you'd recommend?
Where should we begin? With Esther Perel. I find relationships very interesting. How we as human react and this is fascinating stories.
Interview by Evodie