This Girl Is On Fire team: Our ten year flashback

With the start of a new decade comes a proliferation of ten year flashbacks on social media, so we thought we’d share what’s changed for us at This Girl Is On Fire in the last ten years. Enjoy!

Andrea McLean: CEO and Co-Founder This Girl Is On Fire

How old were you 10 years ago?

I was 40. 

What were you doing?

Personally: I was in an unhappy marriage, trying to make it work. Professionally: I was anchoring ITV’s daily lunchtime talk show Loose Women. 

 What have been your biggest challenges over the past 10 years?

Leaving an unhappy marriage with the fallout that brings. Trying to make positive changes to my life without really knowing how, both personally and professionally. Suffering burnout, exhaustion and depression, plus numerous physical health issues. 

What’s been your biggest achievement?

Overcoming all of these things! 

It’s incredible to look back and see how far I have come, and what I have managed to achieve. Professionally, in the past decade I have written a Sunday Times Number 1 Best-Selling book, an Amazon Number 1 Best-Selling book, started a female empowerment site that I passionately believe in, and have reached the milestone of continually working on two award-winning daytime TV shows on ITV for 23 years.

Personally, and most importantly of all, I have found love and happiness with a wonderful human, my husband Nick, who ‘sees me’, believes in me and is passionate about working with me to achieve my wildest dream – using all the experience, knowledge and contacts I have made over the past two decades to help women all around the world feel incredible about themselves, and give them the tools they need to live their best lives. If I can do it, so can they!

Are you where you thought you’d be 10 years ago?

No. I had no idea my life would turn out the way it has. I knew that I wanted to write, to help people feel good and feel content in myself. Ten years ago none of these things felt possible. 

Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

I would like my children to have grown into happy, healthy adults. I would like to continue to grow as a person; I believe that we should keep learning and finding new, wonderful ways to enjoy where we are while stretching towards where we want to be, whatever that means to us. 

In ten years time I want This Girl Is On Fire to be a global phenomenon, helping millions of women in hundreds of countries to believe in themselves, to feel empowered and emboldened to reach for their own dreams by giving them the encouragement and tools to get there.


Nick Feeney: COO and Co-Founder This Girl Is On Fire

How old were you 10 years ago?

37 

What were you doing?

Personally: Dressing really badly normally in golf gear and thinking I was rocking it… and having really bad hair.

Professionally: I was MD of an investment business.

What has been your biggest challenge over the past 10 years?

Getting divorced and not seeing my children every day, suffering from depression, losing everything and finding out I had a heart condition. 

What’s been your biggest achievement?

Working on my personal growth and self-care daily which enabled me to beat depression, be a better dad and marry my forever-after.

Are you where you thought you’d be 10 years ago?

In happiness and fulfilment yes – but how, who with and doing what I am, no. But I’m loving the twist the universe has delivered. 

Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

Splitting my work and personal life between California and London. Empowering 100+ million women across the world to be unstoppable and bringing great TV ideas to screens across the world with Mrs F and my family at my side. 


Jayne Cherrington-Cook: Head of Content, This Girl Is On Fire

How old were you 10 years ago?

I was 36.

What were you doing?

I was working as Head of Content for Westfield, interviewing stars like Mariah Carey and Jessie J, and pregnant with my first and only child, Milo!

What has been your biggest challenge over the past 10 years?

Juggling work and a family, especially as Milo has autism. I’m an ardent feminist but it’s been a real awakening to see that it’s difficult for women to truly have it all, even though I was told I could all through school. My husband’s life has pretty much carried on as normal, but I’ve made major changes, including going freelance, so I can look after my son more. 

What’s been your biggest achievement?

I always thought I would say my biggest achievement was something to do with work, but I have to say my son. He’s taught me more about myself than any job or relationship has. Being a parent is the hardest, most difficult job I’ve ever had – and when you’ve interviewed divas like Maria Carey, you think you’ve dealt with it all! Every day I learn something new, every day I see the world through his non-neurotypical brain and it’s pretty darn amazing!

Are you where you thought you’d be 10 years ago?

Nope! I really thought I’d advance up the career ladder, juggling children and career with ease, but it’s not been the case. That’s not to say I’m not happy with where I am, it’s just been a different pathway.

Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?

Aside from starring in a West End musical and being married to Hugh Jackman (both HIGHLY unlikely), I just want to be happy and healthy. When I was younger, I used to get my thrills from working hard and playing hard – and I had a definite schedule for that ambition – but as I’ve got older, I see the joy in those smaller things – early morning walks with my dog, mucking around with my son, gossiping with my close friends, holding hands with my husband. My goal for the next ten years is to stop trying to plan my next move and just enjoy the ride instead!


Emma Lazenby: Social Media Manager

How old were you 10 years ago?

30

What were you doing?

I really was living my best life in the job of my dreams. After YEARS of fighting hard for my big break in journalism with hundreds of job applications, working for free and then getting into much debt on a very low-paid reporting job on a local newspaper near London, I found myself at GMTV. I was a digital journalist and interviewed some incredible people. The live TV environment was AMAZING!! And oh, the wonderfully weird scenarios I often found myself in! I got to (briefly) work with fantastic people like Andrea too.

What has been your biggest challenge over the past 10 years?

It’s been a wonderful decade in many ways, but I’ve had three life-changing challenges that were incredibly difficult to overcome. Like Jayne, my lovely eldest son was diagnosed as autistic three years ago, when he’d just turned three. That was a heartbreakingly tough time. I was hit by Bell’s Palsy shortly after. It’s not medically-proven to be a stress-related condition, but I’m certain it is. One side of my face was completely paralysed and there was no telling if it would ever get better. But eventually it did. I was very lucky. Much facial acupuncture and yoga fixed me, I’m sure. The steroids, not so much! And my third challenge came this summer when my adorable little three-old fractured his femur. Seeing him in so much pain was one of the worst times of my life. It was such a bad injury. But he’s healed and back on his scooter now! And our relationship is closer than it ever was. He was so, so brave. He’s adored!

What’s been your biggest achievement?

It’s cliched but true; my children are the best things I’ve ever done. By a million miles! They’re beautiful. And my husband too. I adore my family of five! I’m ridiculously proud of them.

Are you where you thought you’d be 10 years ago?

Not at all. But not in a bad way. I’m really trying NOT to be cheesy here! But I honestly do have everything I’ve ever wanted. I had a difficult upbringing and all I ever dreamed of really (aside from being a world-famous journalist obviously) was a family of my own to love and look after. My life isn’t perfect, by any stretch! I find motherhood incredibly hard emotionally, and losing a big chunk of my work identity has been tough. I made the decision to be at home when I was pregnant with my second child. I really felt that my family needed me at that time and childcare costs for two kids in London is crazy. I was devastated to leave my career behind. But now I get to be a part of This Girl Is On Fire and it’s been awesome.

Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?

Oh gees, I’ll be 50! It’s always been an ambition of mine to write a book. My imagination’s often out of control, so it’d be amazing to manifest it all on paper. I’d just love that. I’d also adore a little business of my own. Making something, perhaps. Although I’m not sure what. It’d have to be a product that makes people happy. Floral frocks maybe! And finally, for my whole family to be mentally and physically healthy – that’d be wonderful too.  

Now it’s your turn – have a go at answering the questions and don’t forget to share with us!


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