Vix Anderton’s Story … #BossBabe Love Month Series

I’m back – and we are now halfway through my #BossBabe Love Month Series — to share with you another amazing story from yet another amazing #BossBabe who literally travelled the world to chase her dream.

Just to re-cap why I’m doing this (in case this is the first story of this series that’s you’re reading) …

During my entrepreneurial adventures, I have been connecting with empowering women from all over the world and one day realized there was a need for more storytelling. Stories just like theirs needed to be spread socially through my blog for many reasons … First, to show support to all the hardworking women hustling out there to building their dream empires! I wanted to connect with these women to have them dig deep … tell the raw truth behind how they built their empires, their personal successes, their struggles and how they got to where they are today. And secondly, I am hoping that these #BossBabe stories will empower and inspire other women to follow their passion and make their dreams a reality by kicking discrimination to the curb.

Now, here today, I’m over the moon excited to share the second (of the eight) #BossBabe stories in this series.

Here is Vix’s story …


It’s been a year since I launched The Practical Balance.

I could tell you this neat little story about how that happened. I could make it seem clean, linear and well-thought through. Because, as Steve Jobs famously pointed out, the dots always line up in hindsight.

But my story is anything but straightforward …!

Up until I was 31, it was pretty clear. As the daughter of a Royal Air Force (RAF) officer, I moved around a lot, went to boarding school early, worked hard and went to university. I don’t want to gloss over my childhood as I am just coming to realize some of the beliefs that I still hold from that time are no longer serving me, but as childhoods go, it was pretty predictable. I think even my decision to join the RAF myself would seem pretty obvious from the outside — it was a little more complicated than that but that’s probably a whole other story. For another day.

And so, life went on … Through my twenties, I had a great career which I loved. I was even awarded a scholarship to go to King’s College London and study for my master’s degree in international relations. And I suppose — in hindsight — that marks a bit of a turning point for me. Funny enough, in numerology, our lives work in nine-year cycles … and 2010 was the beginning of a new phase of my life, although I didn’t really recognize it at the time.

It was returning to the RAF after my year in London that I heard the whispering voice that maybe this was no longer the right place for me. It would take me three years to listen to that and explore what it meant. And then in the summer of 2014, I resigned my commission and became a civilian, really for the first time in my life.

And this is where it gets messy …

I ended up leaving the RAF with very little idea of what I wanted to do next. I mean, I had a few general ideas: I wanted to be in London (partly for the city’s energy, partly because I really wanted to find a good yoga studio again!); I wanted to help further women’s rights; and I wanted a life full of interesting experiences. Not much to go on, really! So, I did what anyone with a few months’ paid leave and a few thousand pounds in the bank: I packed my bags, jumped on a plane and spent a couple of months backpacking my way around south-east Asia.

Coming back to the UK, I moved back home with my parents. At the ripe old age of 31, that wasn’t without its challenges, but I really appreciated getting to know them as people and establishing a proper adult relationship with them, not to mention super-cheap rent for a few months! LOL!

I then did some work at the BBC and at a think tank. It was all enjoyable but just not quite what I was looking for. There were a couple of times when it seemed like everything was about to work out perfectly but then everything would fall apart at the last minute. Add in a bit of heartache for good measure and by the end of the Autumn, I was feeling pretty despondent. Rock bottom (and I use that loosely – I know how good my life still was) came when I found myself applying for a job at Goldman Sachs; there’s obviously nothing wrong with working in finance but it was so far away from what I had set out to do. Unfortunately, at the time, I couldn’t really see that; I felt low and desperate. But as it so often does, life through me a lifeline – the chance to go and lead a team of young volunteers in Bangladesh for nearly five months. Looking back, I feel like I made that decision instantly but, thinking about it properly, I remember being really torn. For the first time in my working life, since joining the military, I had really choice and freedom about what I did but, man, was that terrifying! What if I got it wrong?!

After consulting with some very good friends and mentors, I called up the HR woman at Goldman and had a conversation that she mustn’t have all that often: thanks very much but no thanks, I’m off to volunteer in a developing country for a few months! And, that was that.

One of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, living in a small rural community in the Bangladeshi countryside, learning to speak Bengali, living without any hot water and making a difference to the lives of the women and girls in our community.  

Once again, I came home with lots of ideas and enthusiasm but no real plan. I decided that unemployment meant that a house purchase was out of the picture for a while. So, I gave myself six months and a chunk of my savings to see what I could make happen. And I just did stuff. I went to festivals and hung out in parks. I taught on Hostile Environment courses, helping NGO workers prepare for trips overseas. I wrote articles for journals and for VSO on youth volunteering and women’s rights. I had so many conversations, not knowing where they would lead. I became part of an amazing community, thanks to Escape the City, and then, at the end of that summer, it happened. I got offered a short-term consultancy gig in Beirut (the fourth country I would work in in 18 months) with the possibility of a permanent job back in London. The same week I was due to sign the contract, I was contacted by someone on LinkedIn who had seen my profile – I had just updated my job title to Gender and Security Consultant – and invited me in to meet. Serendipity struck. They invited me in for an interview the following week for a post they just happened to be recruiting for and got offered the job!

And for 18 months, things were great. Good job, boyfriend, house purchase — all those external markers of success. I found myself signed off work with stress, experiencing depression, anxiety and occasionally suicidal thoughts. I went back to the drawing board — well, a blank piece of flipchart — and let myself dream with no limits about what I wanted to do.  The list was rather extensive! It made me realize that one of the most important things for me is being able to work on all my interests. So, I handed in my resignation and embarked on a new portfolio career.

Although, that’s not how I described it at the time. I figured I could probably pull in enough consultancy work for 3 to 4 days a week, then I would have more time for writing and maybe teach some yoga classes. The portfolio stuff really only started to come when I basically just started saying “yes” to every consultancy opportunity that came up that I felt I was remotely capable of doing. I kept following my heart and my gut and it seemed to be taking me in a really, really exciting direction that I’m enjoying, and I feel passionate about.

I used to think of myself as a controlled, organized kind of person until I stepped into this portfolio career. And over the past 18 months, I’ve really been learning to it’s like take my hands off the steering wheel a little bit. To start to trust the universe that when you work hard, and put this good energy out there, it comes back.

The Practical Balance was born out of a London-based incubator program which was based on the core principles of self-awareness, self-worth and self-leadership. My business helps founders and freelancers manage their energy, rhythms and emotions. My own journey into self-employment and ultimately entrepreneurship has let me experiment with managing my energy and attention, rather than my time, in a way that works with my natural rhythms. I’ve worked hard on my mindset and my emotional agility. And I’m still learning so much.

I want to help people reset their own lives as founders and entrepreneurs. To find those rhythms and that right balance of work and rest for them. Over time, I would love to take that out into working with founding teams and how to help them set up their own start-up culture around those principles. Ultimately, I would love this to be influencing the social narrative around the balance of work and rest, and masculine and feminine energies and gender norms.

I would love to live in a world where people can live in tune with their natural rhythms and are working in a way that feels good and energizing for them. In a way that people can show up as their whole selves, without these constrictive gender norms and stereotypes.

I don’t think feminine is any better than masculine. I think it’s a balance.

What I’ve really seen in society is that we are out of balance. You see it. You see it in the way that we treat the planet. It’s been about growth for 200 years no matter the cost and yet we are literally sucking the life out of Mother Earth in order to do that. Now, I am not saying we should abandon that entirely, because inertia, boredom and doing nothing are no good for us, either as individuals or as a species.

But, how do you value both sides of the yin and yang, and recognize that there’s yang in the yin, yin in the yang?

The intricate web of life.

And so that’s what I’m working on …!

A year in and it has been hard. It’s growing slowly — slower than I would like, if I’m being honest. I have such high expectations of myself and yet I have never done anything like this before. I feel like I am always on the edge of my comfort zone, at best; at worst, I am so far outside of my comfort zone, I can’t even see it in the rearview mirror anymore! I struggle with being patient and with not being good at something.

There’s been a part of me recently that has wanted to run away. To reinvent myself again, because that feels like the easier option right now.

Sticking to this, seeing it through, means I must face the risk it will fail. That I can’t make it work. And yet, the only way it will succeed is for me to commit and show up every day and to keep going. But maybe it doesn’t work. Maybe I give it everything I have, and it still doesn’t work. Maybe I don’t have what it takes. Maybe I’m not enough.

My commitment is to surrender control of the results. To know that I did my best and enjoyed the ride. My commitment is to the process. My commitment is to show up and learn and get in alignment and do my part. My commitment is to be curious and open-minded. To evolution and expansion. To turn “I don’t know how to do that” into “I wonder how I can find out how to do that”. To treat this as a self-directed MBA — this process is less about building a really successful business, although I would love that, and more about learning about building a business. Learning about the kind of person I need to become to create something that impacts lots – you know what, I’m going to say it – millions of people. F**k, that’s hard to put on paper!

My commitment is to that dream, to that power I feel right at the core of my being, to the part of me that believes anything is possible. My commitment is to be compassionate to the part of me that is scared, vulnerable and delicate. My commitment is to share this journey with others, to support and to be supported, to inspire and to be inspired. To love and be loved. To give and to receive. To not just balance those energies me, but to integrate them so their power is multiplied beyond imagination.

To keep up with Vix’s ever-growing #BossBabe adventure, here are her online handles … 


If today’s #BossBabe story resonated with you … empowered you … and you found it to be exactly the inspiration were looking for, I would be very grateful (and so would the storyteller) if you would help it spread by sharing it on social media or emailing it to a friend. You never know whose life a passionate story, just like this one might change.

Would you like to world to hear your story? Want to shout it from the rooftop? Do you want to inspire other women to follow their passion and make their dreams a reality?

Feel free to drop me a line, connect with me on LinkedIn or post your comments on Virtually Untangled’s Facebook page so we can make it happen. Together, let’s share the raw truth behind how you built your empire …!

Thank you!

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Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal is an artist, a writer, an organizer, a dreamer, a doer, and down-right proud of it NERD!.

Struck with a love for #AllThings creative at a very young age, Crystal dreamed of a life fueled by her passion for creating and bringing the stories and images in her mind into reality.

As she worked toward her dreams, she earned a diploma as a Computer Applications Specialist then another in Graphic Design and from there began to develop her extensive background in multimedia and the arts. She began her worked in the magazine industry as a layout designer and had a succession of design jobs thereafter. It was her role as a graphic/web designer that gave her the first real glimpse of her future. Soon she began a side job as a freelance designer while keeping one foot in the corporate world. A spark was lit! She turned her freelance gig into a full-time business combining design work with her other passion: creating organization from virtual chaos.

Crystal is one of the most organized individuals on the planet. She is by all means a Zen master of her crafts. She excels at helping others become “untangled” and provides her clients with tools to run their businesses smoothly while she takes care of the details behind the scenes. Thus Virtually Untangled was born. A successful business where her work as a top notch creative in graphic and web — with a twist of virtual assistant — married into one amazing place where clients can come with their virtual messes and become magically untangled. Crystal can always make sense of even the most unorganized chaos and offers a virtual detox of order and peace, so her clients can get busy doing the work that they love the most.

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