This interview is special to me, firstly because we know each other closely as friends, and secondly because your personality and energy is something unusual, arousing admiration and respect among many who know you. I would like this conversation to become an inspiring journey for our readers too.
Meg Turner – POWERFUL WOMAN – wife, teacher, employer, entrepreneur, mentor of women, owner of language schools Pro-Language LTD and Polak Mały, Polish-English translator, author of books and numerous articles for various magazines, and at the same time all makeup artist and stylist of plus size women, a wonderful speaker, a master of self-presentation and image on social media. She has an extraordinary gift in building reports with others, is full of charisma and a relentless desire for personal development. She leads a thriving Women of Abundance group that focuses on women's awareness, spirituality, and abundance in every area of life.
Let’s move on to your childhood. What kind of child were you and where is your business acumen is coming from? Have you already exhibited such qualities as a child?
I was an unruly child – one of those that teachers could not cope with, and parents were called to school regularly to be complained about. Showing my parents, a notebook full of teacher’s complaints regarding my behaviour, I stood there chewing my gum while trying to hide the smile. When I was told to take the gum out of my mouth, I took it out and glued it in the notebook, ostentatiously pressing the gum with my finger, and with my left hand closing the notebook and gluing the sheets with all those negative comments about me.
Now, looking back and taking into consideration all psychological knowledge gained, I already know that it was not pride in negative achievements, but the joy of being in the spotlight of my parents that drove me to become a rebel. Wild children often save families in this way – through bad behaviour they believe they are becoming a connecting factor. My parents ran their own businesses – my dad was a well-known cyclist and owner of a bike and service shop, and my mother was a tailor.
Business in Poland in the 1980s and 1990s was not as easy as running a business in 2020, especially in the UK, where I have lived for a dozen years. It was extremely stressful, problematic. My family had shops all over Poland and had to travel a lot to get stock or deliver goods.
There was no Internet or mobile phones. They travelled around Poland and instead of sat nav they were getting around with the help of paper maps, which was extremely stressful. There were sleepless nights, car accidents and my dad’s sports injuries. As a cyclist, dad also often went to bike races, was continuously training – as a rider and as a cycling coach. Running a shop and bike service, he did not have time for his family.
In addition, financial struggles, which were part of running a business were causing frequent family quarrels. By challenging parents to deal with their unruly child, I subconsciously had to see that they were starting to think about what unites them and look for solutions together. Instead of getting better I was causing them more worries.
As a teenager, I was probably every parent’s worst nightmare – inappropriate company, parties, concerts, ‘sex, drugs & Rock n’Roll’. I wore long black hair, black Martens, and black clothes. This grunge image was complemented by a military backpack with bottles of cheap wine, fags and weed. I don’t regret those times, they taught me a lot. The period of rebellion against school and parents made me learn how to talk to people, how to deal with problems and how to make money using the simplest principle of business: buy cheaply, sell for more, so I could afford what my parents would not give me money for. However, I definitely inherited my business acumen from my dad, who saw business everywhere!
Is it true that your passion with English started from watching Sesame Street?
So! I didn’t have English in primary school – I only had Russian, which was the only subject I loved. Polish television, on the other hand, every Sunday you could watch the Sesame Street in English. I watched this show with such fascination that nothing was able to distract me from the screen. I made my own notebook, in which I phonetically wrote English words, for
example “kuki manste” as a representation of cookie monster, “halaju”, which later I have learnt should be written as “how are you”, etc.
The passion with which I took these notes and repeated newly learned phrases all week made my mother discover that I probably have a predisposition to languages and enrolled me to English and German classes! Languages were the only subjects I got best marks. I put all my energy into learning German and English. Thanks to this, I was able to get to high
school with extended English, where I did the same thing again – I only learned what I was interested in and was able to skive for weeks, only appearing in English classes and asking the teacher not to mark my absences.
It was thanks to my mother’s wisdom that I got educated in languages and made a success out of it. She knew that it was not appropriate to invest at all costs in areas that I was not good at. She did her best to support my talents than focusing on what I lacked in other areas… So she said to me one day, “do whatever you want, but decide who you want to be in the future – a bum who will spend the rest of her life in the park on a bench listening to Nirvana and drinking wine, or a person who will focus on her talent in languages, go to college and do something with her life? After all, you can go to college and become an English teacher.”
Thank you very much for your conversation.
Author: Aneta Ciołek