The Real 50 over 50 | Marybeth Gregg

About me

I know how difficult it can be to manage big life changes that rattle your routines and cause you to question your life. My challenges came in the form of early struggles with being the only woman manager in a chemical company, to personal loss and business downturns.   It was enough to make me dig deep and evaluate my life.

But the entire way was one of learning and growth and looking back, it was because I had a desire to change and reached out for the support to make it happen.

It was through these experiences that I realized that I wasn’t the only one. Many women are in transition, wanting more, struggling to find their way in the midst of new circumstances, and not knowing how to powerfully move toward a new fulfilling future.

That’s why I founded the International Center for Women’s Leadership, the ICWL .

Prior to starting my own business, I had a wonderfully successful career — first as a Human Resources (HR) executive with international consumer products, luxury goods, retail, pharmaceutical and financial services companies, and then later with my own HR consulting firm. Combined I have more than 25 years of experience providing HR consulting to companies in the US, UK, Europe, Sweden and China. I worked on acquisition teams, and helped companies expand internationally.

By all accounts, I was successful, but eventually, I wanted something different.  I knew it was time for a career shift in this next chapter of my life. That’s when I decided to start the ICWOL. This is my time, and the tools I’ve used to build this business are the same tools that will help you write your next chapter.

My focus on developing women as leaders has become very clear.

When I hear that projections show women won’t be equally represented in leadership until  2085, it spurs me to action!  My programs help companies and individuals realize their own leadership potential.

What do you do and why do you do it?

We have all heard “with age, comes wisdom” and I feel strongly that my work is to share my wisdom and learning and focus on coaching women by supporting them in their journey toward a change that will bring the happiness and joy they want and deserve. I primarily work with women leaders and business owners who want to stress less and play more, and break free from the tiresome schedule of everyday stress. In doing this, they get to discover the boundless joy that is within and around every person. My services include private and group coaching, retreats, and workshops for women. I also do coaching with select global companies and organizations.

It was many years before I found my purpose – and I do this work because I feel a profound responsibility to other women so we can lift each other up and be grateful and share our experiences, challenges, and solutions on our journey in life. And last year, I published my first book, “How to Soar with a Broken Wing – Finding Tiny Moments of Joy Every Day.” That was really outside my comfort zone, but something inside of me told me I needed to write this story.

The difference I am making and want to make more of is: to help women know deep down that they can gain control of their lives and stop giving up what they want in their lives to others: that they have a critical voice that needs to be heard. That they discover self-love so they can be the No Limits person we all have within. When I can bring this knowing and see how even small changes can light up their lives, I know that I am making a difference.

What changed for you after age 50?

As I mention in my book, there seems to be another biological clock (not just the physical one) ticking, and that is the need to do something meaningful in our lives. Suddenly we’re 50, 55, 60 and it hits us to ask – how much time do I really have to do what I really want? I found that I am so much more than I thought I was – I found my voice, that I had important things to share and do, and that I had the courage to be my ‘bestest’ self no matter what is going on around me. I found that the sorrows we go through teach us how to be better and use those experiences to be role models for others. I found that the knowing that my life is moving by so quickly has made me have a sense of urgency in living each day with intention and love and gratitude.

What would you tell the 20 or 30-year-old YOU?

I would tell my younger self to have super clear goals, to live each day with purpose and with eyes open, and to learn and love every day.

To make the best choices and if they don’t work out. Learn from them. I would tell her she is damn good! And that she has the courage within her to step up and not play small. And to have more FUN and not take work so seriously. That her life will be filled with joy and great love and that she is here to make a difference.

What impact do you think increased visibility can have on your business?

To be able to share my wisdom and love and learning with so many more women! That’s what excites me – to be able to get my message out and share my love in a more open and broader way. When I can give of myself to a wider community, that will be joyful for me! And in doing so, I can create more success, not just for me but for others. I would love my book to go more viral so the message of Joy really expands beyond my dreams.

Who or what inspires you and why?

Rosa Parks – she had such courage to do what she did – despite the society and culture of deep, deep discrimination. She found that capacity within her to do what she needed to do – to become what she felt, to be the role model no matter what the consequences, and she started a revolution of sorts. When I feel that my values are at odds, I think of her and ask myself very important questions about why I am here and what I am supposed to do.

Something else I’d like to share

I am always so amazed at this journey we are on and how we get to be connected with others. And I am grateful for it all and for now, being connected with you and The Real 50 over 50!

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