Episode 47: Creative Ways to Help Ukrainian Women with Anastasia Vladychynska
Anastasia is a customer experience consultant and founder of Vladychynska Consulting. She is helping 100+ women who have fled Ukraine.
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Emily: Welcome back to the Em Makes Money Show. I have such a special guest here today who has an incredible mission in her heart. So I have Anastasia Vladychynska. And she has an incredible business as a certified customer experience consultant. And she founded her own consultancy. She's had incredible experience with working at big brands like McDonald's and such to revolutionise their company's customer and employee experience.
However, the reason that Anastasia is here today is because she's helping 100 of her girlfriends who had to flee the Ukraine that are stranded in Europe. They need help with accommodations, jobs and support. So she has this big mission on her heart, and I knew that I wanted to have her on the show. So we could talk more about that and find out how we can help.
So, Anastasia, thank you so much for being here.
Anastasia: Oh, thank you, Emily. For inviting me. I do appreciate it that.
Emily: So talk to me a little bit about this mission of yours, what the current situation is with these Ukrainian women who are some dear friends to you?
Anastasia: It's funny how it all started because I think two months ago I was sitting down with my husband complaining.
I was telling him, I wish I had more girlfriends and because of the work I never had time. So I actually, no go sit down for coffee and all that stuff. So, When I fled Ukraine, some of my friends started calling me saying, "Anastasia, I'm in Croatia, Bulgaria", all those countries close to the Ukrainian border. And they would say, "do you know anybody in this country, the city where I could stay"? And because of the work I've done and I'm still doing, the international context has always been something that I would have. So I said, I actually know someone in Croatia that you can contact and that that person connected them with somebody else.
So that's how it all started. It was only 10 girls in the beginning, but now it's actually 130 and I'm afraid that number is going to only increase. So, that's how it started. And then I decided just, it's impossible to connect everybody one by one, it's still 24 to seven, but then it was even more. So what I did, I got them all together into one Facebook group and I know everybody has a Facebook group now.
That's why I never wanted a Facebook group, but I had needed a place for them to kind of communicate with each other as well, because somebody would be in Poland and that person would be, it was kids and they already find a place to live and then somebody will be just coming in. So they also can help each other right now.
So it's much better, much better, but commendations, jobs and support. That's what they need. Sometimes they do need, like when they're in an emergency, they would need paying money, but that's not that often, mostly they just need it for commendation and some work.
Emily: I love that. And I think, like the service that you're providing is so incredible. Sometimes we forget the power of just our network and human connection.
Anastasia: Exactly. And I am so much rethinking the whole notion of networking now because when you are an entrepreneur, you almost think of networking as, even the word itself, it has a net and then work. Right? So it's almost like you're going to spend your net to use it for work, sometime.
I guess. So we have it on the back of our minds that we are expanding so that in the future we could, but now I have realised in a very hard way that once you lose everything, your apartment, your job, clothes, stuff, everything network is the only thing that stays like the only thing. So it's not about networking to get something out of the person, it's about building real connections with people you like. And not with people who called the right positions.
Emily: So true. I feel like my best networking connections work was not what I was thinking of.
Emily: We connected because of our kids or another mutual interest or volunteering for the same thing. And then it just so happens that there's a work connection or a way that we can help each other.
Anastasia: True. But that was the first goal. Right?
Emily: Right. And that's so true. And anytime I've thought about it as the first ball, like there's always resistance because it just feels kind of icky. It's like, I'm connecting with you, but secretly I want to get something from you.
Anastasia: Exactly. That's why we are having those high. Let me see how we can support each other. Please join my Facebook group or by my webinar. Or seminar or something like right away, straight away. That's why it's not working anymore because we just want to hide from that and then block those people. We want to be viewed as a person and not a wallet. Right? So, I think that now it's even more, you want to know that this is a real interest in you and not just.
Emily: Totally. So did you grow up in Ukraine?
Anastasia: I did. Yes.
Emily: You had already left before the war started. Am I correct with that?
Anastasia: No, no, no. I was actually on a business trip when it all started. I was in the hotel like usual life. You would go in and business trip. You went to the business trip. I don't know why I had the gut feeling that I had to leave earlier one day earlier, even though it was planned for an exact date, but I left here. It was the 23rd. And then the war started on the 24th.
Emily: Oh my God.
Anastasia: In the morning. We were in the hotel. Was my colleague all ready to do the workshop, all the materials, every single one ready. And we actually was the huge auto dealerships. So it's like, it's just you to normal life. And we woke up from the explosions. And again, when you're sleeping, your mind tells you this is not possible. So I thought it was fireworks.
And only then some, my dad called me and he said " Anastasia the war has started. You have to go, get in the car and come closer to the Polish border because it's safer there". And that's why now I have just one suitcase and that's it. Because I was on a business trip.
I can talk about this. It's been what? two weeks now. So today I can talk about this. Normally I don't feel that, like huge pain from loss. I think I don't know how trauma works, cause this is like the first time in my life to go through such a huge trauma. But at these, like right now, I can finally normally talk about that. Yes. I have a one suitcase and a back-burner lamp and a computer to get me going.
Emily: Wow! Wow! Wow! Does it feel a little surreal? Still.
Anastasia: It's beginning to feel. Okay. In the beginning it was just, I mean, it feels surreal that my beautiful city of Kia is now black and white or mostly black. And when I see pictures now, I almost feel like they're photoshopped, it's just, but if it feels like before I left Ukraine to where I am now. We would stay in the Western part of Ukraine, which is supposed to be safer.
But then again, every two hours, the sirens go off, you have to run either to the basement or to the bathroom and you sleep in your clothes constantly, you know, shaking like a leaf because you don't know if it's gonna, if they will drop the, the fractions will drop the bomb or they will not. So you're constantly, you're so scared.
I remember when I came here, I was like, I felt like a little animal in the forest. Taking out from the forest where the fire is really? And then, yes, you can't believe that those stories that your grandma will tell you about war, that you are now living sort of the same time, like the same time. And I'm lucky. Cause I flagged almost well, like two days after the war started or three, now my friends are still in horrible places in Ukraine, in basements for 10 to 15 days, 15, some of them don't have food with some of my clients. I still don't have any connections. They don't pick up their phones. There's no connection on Facebook anywhere.
I don't even know what's going on with them. Okay. And it's not like, you probably, I know that people, when they think about Ukraine, because it is a developing country, they probably think they was a poor country and we don't have anything to lose, but like Kia, Napro, Kharkiv used to be beautiful cities. We would have Tesla cars driving the streets. Third wave of coffee shops, barber shops. It's a beautiful cities. And now is just not all of it. It's ruins, but some cities are ruins and that's, you can't even process.
Emily: Thank you so much for your willingness to share, like what your experience has been so far, particularly because it is so fresh and so raw. I think being in the United States, Obviously, we're getting information from the news and it spills so far away. And yet because of modern technology, it's very bizarre. It feels a little bit like we're watching World War II, but somehow you can watch the live videos of it, which is it's hard to believe that in 2022, this is happening. And I'm so grateful that you're in a place where you're taking action and that you're offering the opportunity for people like me and in my network, I mean, I work with so many women that run agencies or consultancies or coaching practices, and many of them are hiring.
I'm running a program right now where I talk a lot about hiring and building your support team. And what does that look like and how do you get the right people? So I'd love to hear a little bit more about these 134 plus women that you're getting connected. So, I imagine that many of them were working for Ukrainian companies. And so therefore the jobs go poof, because either the people are gone or they're in survival mode or they're actively joining the war effort and trying to fight. And so there's now not a job to be had. Is that correct?
Anastasia: That's true. The only jobs that stayed would be for the women who are in IT. Because all the IT sectors in Ukraine, mostly worse for you, are open for the US. So that's, but out of 130, I'd say like 3% still have their jobs. And for all of the rest, it's just, boom, you know, one day you lose everything and so one of them is used to be a marketing director for Toyota and another one was a human resources director for Mary Kay.
So because of the work that I did and because of the, I also thought at the business school, so my bubble is consists of business women, either entrepreneurs or working for those huge corporations. So these women two, three degrees. English, Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, many languages, right? These women are, in a wonderful professionals right now.
They are in the place where they're ready to do whatever just to provide for their kids. Because remember, if you had kids, you left Ukraine with the kids and husbands are making Ukraine. So they have to not only care for themselves, but for the kids as well.
So my biggest pain and fear right now is that those educated women would have to go and do some unqualified job, just because they have to survive. That's my biggest fear because it's already enough humiliation. It's already announced, falling down. It's already enough losing everything, right? So least for them, what we tried to talk about in our call was that. We are still the same. So like, if I'm a consultant, I'm still a consultant. If she's a digital marketing person, she still is, but it's hard to keep your identity because he was connected to us, everything you knew, right? So, I be super extra happy if those women found themselves the same or even better jobs where they could sell user expertise and flourish.
Emily: And so do many of them, they have a laptop, they have access to the internet.
Emily: What is a good full-time salary in US dollars? I don't know what that would look like.
Anastasia: It depends on the full-time salary would be, I'd say starting from $2,000 per month to 10,000. It depends on the level if it was a huge company or whether it was a small company. So it depends on the level of the expertise, but, this would be them and again, I understand that they would be eager now, for the anything. Some of them have already started doing some VA jobs. Just because they have the skill for organizing. Yes, there are super extra over qualified for that job.
Emily: Exactly, but you take what you can get quickly and then go from there. Well, is there anything else that you wanna say on this topic obviously? For anyone that's listening that wants to help. Is there a certain, should we join your Facebook group or like what would be the next step?
Anastasia: Actually it was the Facebook group. I'm very protective. I only joined, I only accept the request only from women I know, because I know personally that's what I mean, because unfortunately we have some bad news from Germany where women have started to disappear.
So I am super extra protective. And if there's somebody who wants to have it. You can just write me a message on Facebook. I answer all of the requests. That is true. Yes. But then for the group, no, I'm feeling like I probably even sounds like, paranoid, but I am like, I have to tell you, I, all the time I would post them, never give password to anybody, like do this.
Don't get into a car with somebody who doesn't know because yes, unfortunately.
But at the same time, people were asking how to help. Okay. And they're direct things like jobs. Yes. Job opportunities then unfortunately we don't have anybody in Diaz that far yet neither US or Canada. So the majority of the women are in Europe. So if you can accommodate a woman for a longer time than several days, because right now we are facing this wave of some women, have already been in refugee camps. But that's only for seven to 10 days. Some women have already been hosted, but again for several weeks and now they need something, at least for like 1, 2, 3 months where they can just sit and relax.
So, when people started asking if they could help, I personally don't like accepting donations. Just like accepting donations. I feel like I have to wait for that. So I have decided to do webinars on my own expertise. So sharing everything, I've consulted those big companies, right? And everything on client retention, why we're experiences. Keeping your clients from dropping off. So I'm doing that and the proceeds from those webinars go to my girlfriends. Okay. So that's how I did now. I mean, I'm not trying to say that somebody who is accepting direct donations is doing something or not at all, but for me personally, I feel even some people I know, like they're paying for webinars, not coming it's their way of.
Anastasia: But then I still send them the recording. So I feel like I provided something. Yes, so that if you want to help, but also there is something that I try to talk about a lot these times, and that's a notion of the refugee. Okay. Because I know that right now we'll have so many refugees, Ukrainian refugees out there. And I don't know about you Emily. But I personally have always thought that the refugees, somebody. I don't know, fleeing their country for nothing. Maybe even lazy, don't want to work. They just want to use the social benefits and welfare. So I personally, being frank, I personally would look down at those people. Okay.
But now my self being a refugee, my girlfriend's being a refugee, like, okay, number one, I did not like that word. I like something. And it's the legal notion for us here that is temporarily displaced. Well, I like it more because everybody wants to go back. And second, if you would see a kid of, someone Ukrainian and Ukrainian kid joining the school where your kids are or Ukrainian woman. You see her somewhere and don't look at her as if she's a refugee and she just wants the governmental money. All of them want to work. I'm telling you all of them. I'll give you one. So, which is so far, it's been like, well, actually thinking of collecting those stories in publishing a book.
Cause it's just, those stories are just. So, one friend, long ago friend, she's a financial expert. She texts me and says "Anastasia I'm in the country, when Europe somewhere in the country, that's what she said. And she says, "I came here with two kids. My husband is back in Ukraine and I just gave birth to the third kid". So I'm thinking she's going to text for help, right? Or for money, for something? No, she says, "Anastasia, can you give me some remote job? I think I can start in two days".
So that's for you to understand what Ukrainian women are. We are hard workers. Okay. We don't, it's even hard for us to accept help, we were talking was my girlfriend's. She was at the gas station and an older man came up and he said, "are you from Ukraine? Because the plate on the car was Ukraine". And she was like, he gave her the money.
She would not want to accept it because like, we are not comfortable accepting help. We're used to working hard and that's the way we get help and we get the money from. So, I am just rethinking the word refugee, immigrants, all of those notions that the media has told us that these are people that need to prove their worship something until we accept them into society.
Emily: No, I appreciate you sharing that. It is interesting how we often can't put ourselves in another's shoes and tell, we're there. And as soon as we are, it's like, oh, I get it now. And it's so different than the way that I thought it was. And I've always really believed that most people want to work. We actually, we get a lot of joy out of having purpose out of having something. And there is a time for receiving and I don't proclaim to understand the metaphysical reasons why all of this is happening. But I do believe that as women in general, learning how to be in our receiving is something that's really important for us.
We've grown up in patriarchies in masculine cultures. So we've learned how to be hard. We've learned how to be tough. We've learned how to work for everything. And yet it's important. There has to be a balancing, because if you enjoy giving, the only reason giving is enjoyable is because there's someone on the other side that's willing to receive it joyously, right?
Anastasia: No. So true Emily, like. So many things I have been revisiting for these days, really, especially these times are hard for strong women because it's almost like, we've become proud of being strong and proud of being able to.You're a professional. you're tough, you're strong, you're about to earn for yourself cause, right? It all works together. And now you have none of that.
Anastasia: So, and you, I even told somebody that all the feminists talk, stop strike one, the worst starts. Cause Danny just wanted to be a little girl and you want all those, like man, go and fight and protect you. It's easy to be a feminist sitting somewhere and sipping wine or coffee. And how all those conversations, but believe me, when that time comes, you just.
Emily: I believe that that gives me chills. But in that sort of those more traditional roles, right? Where the men are providing the protection, it's like, what are the women bringing to that equation? We bring hope. We bring vision. We bring love, feeling like connection to the earth, connection to our lineage. And so can we still do that? Right? Maybe it's an opportunity to like, reconnect with that part of your feminine essence.
Anastasia: It's almost like you're revisiting all your beliefs right now and you are forced to like, what does it mean to let it go, like really letting go, because I'll be frank with you. I miss my stilettos in the queue. Okay. And I'm thinking, why didn't I take them? And then you've realized how totally unimportant that is. And again, I'm not trying to say that now. I would be like, this is my friend's place. She's so nice of hosting us. And she has all this collects art. I'm not trying to say that now she has to stop collecting art because it's material and no, like we need those beautiful things around us.
But then one day you realize that your life is just a folder, was documents that said, no, your password and that's it. That's you? Where, how do you find your worst? Once again, the worst, which is not at that, neither to your work, nor to things that you used to own to nothing but to yourself. And so, too many things.
Emily: I believe it, in the work that I do with my clients. We do talk a lot about anything that you're seeking on the external. Can you create it internally? Right? I do a lot of work, money work with clients, and we often think, well, once I get to this level, I have got this much in the bank account, or I've got this much recurring revenue, then I'll feel safe, then I'll feel worthy, then I'll feel successful. And I've learned the hard way that doesn't happen because I've blown past those milestones. And not all of a sudden magically felt safe and worthy and successful and all of those things, but it's like that little girl inside of us that does just want to feel like it's taken care of and like she's safe. And like she matters and she means something we can temporarily get it from the externals, but now you're in a very real situation where all of that's been stripped from you. And it's like, can I give it to myself? It's not an easy practice. And yet that it is our life's work because once we can create the feelings of worthiness and safety within ourselves, it serves us forever. No one can take it. Well, as you were talking about the webinar, which I think is such a beautiful service by the way. And I would love to do that. It feels to me a bit like what I call the hard money wound my work.
Anastasia: Go ahead.
Emily: Which is, If I want to make more, I need to do more. In order for me to receive on behalf of someone else, I have to do something and yes.
Anastasia: Because you feel responsible for saving that money for someone else. That's why, probably, I don't know. That's how I feel.
Emily: Well, but why force yourself to do 10 cartwheels and a backhand spring in order to receive it? Just to give it to someone in need did not, because it's not a beautiful thing, but what we find with the hard money wound is that there's a pretty low ceiling on that.
It works to an extent. And then all of a sudden there aren't any more hours in the day, or it's like the math stops making sense, right? It's like, if you want a hundred X your business, you can't 100 X your effort. It's not possible. And so I'm, like inviting you into an unsolicited coaching session here.
Anastasia: That's funny.
Emily: What I would love to see and what I coach my clients on is really replacing that equation in your head with impact for income.
Emily: Because rather than it being an effort for income. And I'm always having to do more, do more, do more. It's like if you can do the same amount, but all of a sudden your work reaches a thousand women for each webinar or 10,000 women, right? Or you recorded the best webinar. And now you're providing the recordings for people. The impact is still there. Right? But now your time is freed up so that you can go impact more people either through your work, through your webinars, or through your philanthropy.
And we really, our brain likes this example because we can get behind it. So when you look at some of your favorite, like TV stars, I use an example like Ross from friends. He the guy, still makes $20 million a year every year, and he hasn't gone into the recording studio for friends in more than a decade. Why? because his work is still impacting people. That past effort is still reaching new people. They're still finding it valuable there where he still get paid for it. And so our brain is very willing to accept that. Okay. That makes sense, right?
Anastasia: Exactly. For him, you gotta, like, I'm not dressed as well.
Emily: But I would imagine that the replay of your webinars is still so powerful. Right? Does it have to be a fresh one every time? Or can we free up some of that time for you to do more podcast interviews, reach more people, help more women get connected to resources. So you don't have to answer that question by any chance.
Anastasia: It's true. You're right. And I have to think about that. You're very right. I come from the notion that I have to work hard. Okay. Even for myself and talking about helping somebody else, I'll be like two times harder. Cause you're responsible for all those girls. Right? But then again, it doesn't mean that the webinar is worse than, I mean, the recorded version. The impact doesn't go away. What goes away? It's just a possibility to ask a question, but you can always have a Q and A session, right? As much. Let me tell you this. It's much easier to think business wise when you are not in the position where you are right now. Okay.
Anastasia: So right now your business mind is no, it's almost like you feel guilty for thinking, business in this time. Does that make sense? So that's why I'm really grateful for you saying this because it's not about the business. It's about the impact right now. It might turn into business sometime, but that's not my first goal right now, at least. Cause I don't know, there's something urgent. Right? Thank you. I'm grateful for real.
Emily: You're welcome. And here's the thing Anastasia, like you're the kind of person that I want to be very wealthy, like more money in the hands of women like you. Is going to do very good things for this planet. And so when we feel guilty around receiving more money or having something good happen in our business, because there are other people that are struggling, it's like, well, the money's going to go somewhere.
So if the money flows easily to someone, who's a good steward of it, amazing. Right? More money flowing to you is good for everyone. There's no doubt in my mind, you're going to help other people with it. So I really see that as like, an opportunity for you to really like own that. If more clients are coming your way, amazing.
If you're getting better contracts, amazing. If people want to send more money to you and you're connecting it to women that are in need, amazing, like that's good, that's what we need. And you don't have to do anything else for that. You're enough today as is.
Anastasia: That's the hardest concept to process. See, so I don't even know who needs when, when I do podcasts, I don't know who needs school more because you're teaching me right now, 100, 120%.
Emily: I know that's the beauty of these things, right? Is the connection and the exchange, because I feel the same way. I always tell people, don't do a podcast to try and build your business, but do a podcast because you love talking to people and connecting and hearing their stories. And I feel like I get so much out of it. And then actually this perfectly ties back to what we were talking about with your webinar, because I feel like I get so much out of it live, then I just so happened to take the recording and put it out so that it is available on apple podcasts and Spotify and YouTube. And then so many more people get value out of it. And I like, even forget the impact sometimes. That's like the funny thing about doing a podcast is all of a sudden someone will send me a message. I just listened to your episode on such and such. And it changed everything for me. And like, I forgot. I even recorded that.
Anastasia: I know. I know sometimes you don't even exactly. Or somebody tells you in the station, do you remember five years ago when you did a class on dah dah? And you said this, but like I saw that.
Emily: Right, exactly. We forgive, but the impact gets to have a life of its own. It's such a cool thing. So, okay. Well, I want to make sure that everyone that is interested in getting connected with you knows how to do that. So are you saying that like a DM on Facebook is the best way to connect with you.
Anastasia: The majority of the time I'm on Facebook as the group is on Facebook. That's why they keep asking questions and for help. So I'm there all the time. Facebook would be the best.
Emily: Okay, perfect. So we'll make sure that we put your Facebook link in the show notes. And if you're listening to this and you want to send Anastasia a message, whether it's to have her do a webinar for your company, your team, your audience. Or you want to offer some direct support or you have an open position at your company, send her a private message on Facebook. I would recommend sending a friend request also just because I know Facebook does that funny thing where if you're not friends, they put the messages in some special folder, which hopefully you're checking right now anyway, but send a friend request and Anastasia a private message and find out the best way to help support this cause. Anything else that you'd like to say or share.
Anastasia: Oh, Emily. I could go, like for days. So it's just, I think, I actually think that's already what we've talked about. That's already plenty for some people, seriously. And there are so many things to process and yes. Cause I think that all of us can become a refugee one day, not in terms of fleeing war, but when something major happens in your life. You move to a different country, you start a new job. You divorce, you get married. Once again, you almost feel like you're a refugee starting all over once again. So you could put this either way. You could put this, the feeling of, I have to start everything and right away come so many times to so many different people. But you still have yourself, you still have your knowledge. That's still there. You still have you experienced, you still have you as a person, the same skills, maybe even better now. Right?
Emily: I love that so much. And I'd love to have you back on the show and like six months or a year, a little more behind us, and we can sort of process and say like, where are you at now?
Anastasia: I'm going to tell you I've started a company for 130 girls. Because it wasn't able to find the debts for that. So I had nothing to do with that. The company was not there.
Emily: Maybe I would love it.
Anastasia: That was actually the thinking about that. I just can't find an idea that would unite everybody. Constantly thinking, you know what I could do for them.
Emily: I love your brain and I love your heart. And I'll say it again. You are the kind of person that I want to be so wealthy on this planet. So thank you so much for sharing this message and this mission with us today. And I am excited to connect on a practical level to find out how I can help all of these women. And I will also just be energetically, sending so much love and support and just holding the highest division. For all of these women and children to get settled into homes that feel like a fantastic fit for them. And to really start the process of rebuilding.
Anastasia: Thank you so much, Emily. I really sincerely appreciate the support.
Emily: You're welcome. All right. Thank you so much for listening and I'll see you soon. Bye.
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