We had the good fortune of connecting with Adela Raffa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adela, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born and raised in Malmo, Sweden. My parents are originally from Croatia, so I experienced two fundamentally different cultures in my childhood. For example, Croatian culture values community over individualism. This means family and friends are more important than say ambition and work. In Sweden, individualism, equality and education take priority. In Croatia we say “polako” meaning slow; take it easy, take your time, no rush…while in Sweden we say “Lagom” meaning all things in moderation. Swedes are generally more private while my Croatian family can be “in your business” without thinking it’s invasive. It’s a love language…
Growing up in an immigrant household taught me life lessons and skills at an early age: work hard, help others and learn to network. I also learned to be responsible at a very young age, helping my parents translate because of language barriers.
Being multi cultural helped me adapt and integrate when I moved to the States by myself at 19 years old. I remember feeling “at home” and not so different for the first time when I landed at Miami airport. Everyone seemed to be from somewhere else and I loved the melting pot. People actually looked more like me here than at home in Sweden.
I believe my background has given me an edge in my coaching and training business. Having lived and experienced three different cultures, languages, customs and traditions is what sets me apart. I can relate with clients seeking to create powerful, positive change. I understand what it’s like to feel ‘different’, not fitting in, desiring acceptance, wanting to belong, figuring out values and traditions…and so many other challenges people face. I also have a broader understanding of how culture and language impacts our perspective on life.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
In my practice I help people create Powerful, Positive Change. I’m an awareness coach, speaker, trainer and currently working on my first book.
What sets me apart besides being multi-cultural is all the inner work I’ve done myself. I found myself stuck in a very dark and scary place post divorce. I immersed myself in therapy and other personal development modalities to figure out my life.
Getting unstuck, finding relief and hope again inspired me to share tools and techniques with others. I’m the first entrepreneur in my family with no background in business, so I figured things out -and still do! I draw on my childhood lessons on resilience, taking risks and having faith- life is in my favor.
In my Awareness Coaching & Training practice, I work with individuals, groups and small businesses. We focus on Confident Communication, Self-Awareness and Leadership skills for the most part, but also Inner Child work, Mindset & Relationships.
Fun fact: My logo is based on rose windows I took pictures of in Croatia. Rose windows are sacred geometry, as well as symbols of wholeness and unity- which is the Gestalt therapy connection. It also represents the “window to your soul,” which is the work we do together.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love having guests and sharing my beautiful city with them. I live in Roswell, a suburb north of Atlanta. I’ve lived there since 2000 and I adore the variety and diversity the city offers. We have amazing hiking trails along the Chattahoochee River, old historic sites, ghost tours that are no joke and some of the best restaurants in metro Atlanta. Canton Street offers a smorgosbord of culinary delights and live music.
In addition, Atlanta offers numerous fabulous festivals throughout the year. For the sports fan, I’d take them to The Battery for either a Braves Game or a drink/ meal. Other potential places to visit are World of Coca Cola, Ponce City Market for the shopper and Georgia Aquarium.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve been fortunate and blessed with many mentors and teachers along the way, as well as friends all over the world. When I decided to leave Corporate America, go back to school and start my own practice 11 years ago, it was scary!
Being a single parent with two teenagers, starting over at 40 felt overwhelming. I remember thinking if my parents could move to Sweden not speaking the language and build a good life for us, I could face and overcome any obstacles in this Land of the Free.
Having a solid support system made it possible and manageable. I have an amazing inner circle of good people. And a family that’s very proud and supportive, which is the icing on the cake.
@madeyoulookmedia and personal photos