Verona is one of the most experienced media professionals in South Africa, having worked in the broadcasting industry for almost 30 years. She has held various senior positions including Group Executive of SABC Television as well as CEO of Urban Brew Studios, one of the largest TV production studios on the continent. After leaving the corporate space during 2018, she currently provides services as a Board Member, Media Consultant, Advisor and Life Coach to various individuals and organisations including Urban Brew and The Maharishi Institute.
Verona’s dream has always been to provide services in the Wellness space. She is passionate about personal development and transformation and has also written her first book called Sacred Simplicity on the subject. She has studied courses in Reiki, Crystal Healing, Meditation, is a Certified Life Coach (including Neuro Linguistic Programming – NLP techniques) and attended numerous personal development seminars to enable her to achieve this dream. She founded the Blue Topaz Wellness Centre – a space that will be dedicated to the Healing of the Soul (the construction of the Centre is in progress). One of the services she offers is NLP & Life Coaching – a skill that she has mastered through the years of business experience as well as academic certification. She already provides coaching services to actors, producers, writers and business leaders.
How did your company come about?
The “Heartspace” has always intrigued me – looking for answers within one’s self. My journey in personal development and transformation began in 2004 after my brother’s passing. It started out as a way of healing from the heartbreak, but I soon found that I loved how I felt and what I learnt during these seminars, workshops etc. I knew then that this is where my passion was and in 2005, I bought a property that I would ‘one day’ build a healing space on. Blue Topaz Wellness Centre was formed in December 2018 (Blue Topaz is my birthstone which represents peacefulness, calming of the emotions and is ideal for meditation and connecting with Higher Powers) The building is currently under construction and is scheduled for launch in the latter part of 2020 with a focus on healing of the soul – the inner you.
Please tell us a little more about yourself and your journey thus far.
I began my corporate career in 1991 and was very focused on ‘climbing up the corporate ladder’. I did accomplish this but not without many sacrifices. Being a bit of a workaholic, my work always came first so my personal life suffered as a result. In 2016, I found myself in a situation that had me dreading going to the office. It was at this point that I left that job – my belief has always been that my job must fun and challenging – it was neither. This turned out to be a blessing as I then had time with my family without having the stress of work calls any time of the day, any day of the week. After a year’s break, I went back to corporate life but soon realized that my heart was no longer there – I resigned in 2018 and began my journey in the wellness space.
You are busy with some very interesting projects. Please tell us a little more about that.
I am busy with a few initiatives such as writing my second book, enhancing my coaching skills as well as assisting the Maharishi Institute with marketing initiatives – this is a passion project for me. The Maharishi Invincibility Institute (MII) is a non-profit private college and self-development organization, which provides bursary loans and self-development programmes for bright, deserving youth to further their studies and assists them to find employment opportunities when they graduate. MII focuses on Consciousness Based Education including Transcendental Meditation to develop the full potential of every student – this means greater ability to concentrate and focus and achieve greater academic success and enhanced performance. This initiative is very close to my heart as the organisation resonates closely with my personal values and changes the lives of many thousands of young people.
Please tell us a little more about your book, Sacred Simplicity, and what inspired you to write it.
The writing of my book, Sacred Simplicity (Mastering the Art of Knowing the Difference between What You Can Control and What You Must Let Go), was inspired by the loss of my brother who passed away as a result of a car accident at the tender age of 27. He was the personification of laughter, forgiveness, free spirit and love. His passing triggered a desire within me to live life differently, to do the things that fueled my passions instead of ‘just earning a living’. Life is just too precious to hold onto past experiences that deny you leading your best life – why live a mediocre life? I made a conscious decision that I would live a life that has more happy moments than sad ones.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
My advice to aspiring authors is: Write whatever comes to mind. Writing for me is a very emotional experience and can be challenging sometimes. Remember that this is your story, whether fiction or non-fiction so write, obtain the opinions from people that will provide you with an objective view, correct and publish. The content will never be ‘perfect’ and no matter how many times you change it, the essence will stay the same. So, don’t delay with publishing – somebody needs to read or hear what you have to say!
Where can our readers obtain a copy of your book?
The book (hard and soft copy) can be obtained directly from me for now. The eBook is also on sale via Amazon and the Audio-book is in the process of being finalized. You can purchase a copy directly from Verona as per her contact details below.
Who or What has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
I have many role models, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Mother Theresa, Robin Sharma – the list is long. The biggest influence/experience that drives me is the fear of poverty. When I was 14, our home burnt down leaving our family with nothing but what we were wearing. We lived in a rural community and things like insurance was unheard of to us, so within a few minutes, we went from having a reasonably good home to living in a little room (all 9 of us). I was amazed as to how people looked down on us, ridiculed us etc. I promised myself that I would work really hard and give my best in whatever I do so that my family would never be treated like that again.
Who or what is your inspiration and why?
My inspiration is drawn from all kinds of people that do Good for other people – not just in terms of material things but by sharing knowledge, emotional support, giving up their time to bring a smile to someone’s face. The ones that inspire me the most are those that generally don’t have much for themselves but will easily give it up to help someone they think needs it more any time. For example: A person who is heartbroken over a personal loss but offers comfort to someone else in a similar situation so that they feel better.
What is your personal “motto”?
Always give more than you receive.
What is it that you are passionate about?
Using my talents and skills to assist people to find solutions to their problems that make them smile and lighten their burdens – Happy Hearts.
What advice would you give a woman wanting to follow her dreams?
Most of us start out with jobs we think can fund our lifestyles. If you are in a job that you are passionate about and you totally love it, then you are definitely one of the very few lucky ones. Most of us pursue careers that drain our souls and we keep at it because of the bills that we have to pay. At some point in our lives we must endeavor to find our purpose, i.e. what is that activity which makes you so happy when you do it that it doesn’t feel like work? Once you find it, create a plan of action that will enable you to spend your time doing this activity while still paying your bills. This is by no means an easy exercise – so Persevere no matter how hard it gets, take little steps each day – there will be moments when you feel like giving up but remember that a Winner Never Quits and a Quitter Never Wins. Keep Going…
What advice would you give your younger self?
Read, meditate, laugh and love more. Rest and relax more often – not all tasks need to be completed today!
Your favourite daily affirmation:
I am worthy – I can achieve anything that I am passionate about!
Your favourite quote:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” ~Mark Twain
What are your top business tips?
- Attitude is Everything.
- Do the best you can do in whatever you do with the knowledge you have but always be innovative in creating better ways of doing it.
- Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.
What would you say is the secret to your success?
A ‘never give up’ attitude: no matter how tough things get: I pray, meditate, breathe, reflect on possible failures to identify learnings, ask for advice, educate myself and move ahead.
Which book are you reading now?
Listening to Audio-book: The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill.
Which book can you read over and over again?
The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill.
One general piece of advice you would like to share:
One of the quotes from my book, Sacred Simplicity reads as follows: “The wealthiest place in the world is not the gold mines of South America or the oil fields of Iraq or Iran. They are not the diamond mines of South Africa or the banks of the world. The wealthiest place on the planet is just down the road. It is the cemetery. There lie buried companies that were never started, inventions that were never made, bestselling books that were never written, and masterpieces that were never painted. In the cemetery is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential.” ~Myles Monroe.
Be Brave and have the Courage to Live Your Best Life – start today!