Grammar Graduate—Téa Angelos (2013)

Upon graduation Téa Angelos (2013) studied Law and Commerce at UQ, then worked for a period of time as a consultant for Ernst & Young. She is currently the CEO and founder of Smart Women Society – an online education platform – and has recently had her book – Smart Moves – published by Wiley. Téa recently returned to Girls Grammar to speak with Year 11 students.

You hold both a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce, from the University of Queensland. Tell us about your career pathway since leaving Girls Grammar.

During university, I worked a variety of jobs including being a personal shopper and stylist, tutor, coach, event planner and legal clerk. I started a digital marketing agency with my best friend when I was 18, that I have since scaled and continue to run to this day. I also completed an overseas internship at a law firm in London and a consulting internship in Melbourne. Upon graduating from university, I accepted a graduate position as a Business Consultant at Ernst & Young. I stayed in this role for two years, before founding Smart Women Society in 2020.

Tell us about Smart Women Society (SWS) and how you came up with the idea.

SWS is an online education company and women’s community, providing innovative products and tools for women to grow their independence with money, career, wellbeing, and love. Our mission is to empower women worldwide to take control of their lives and have the knowledge and tools to achieve their goals.

I started SWS as a passion project. Ever since I was in secondary school, I was often teaching my friends and peers how to create budgets and write their resumés. I am incredibly passionate about simplifying complex topics into engaging, actionable, and easy-to-understand steps, and wanted to bring this to a larger scale.

Since founding the company in 2020, SWS’s popularity has since skyrocketed. We now have a thriving community of more than 450 000 women globally and we leverage social media to drive an active community of next-generation women sharing stories, motivation and actionable ideas.

What do you enjoy most about your role as CEO?

The best part of running SWS is connecting with our community and seeing how our products have impacted their life. It is always the highlight of my day reading an email or message from one of our community members.

We have had some incredible success stories. One community member paid off $30 000 worth of debt in a year after using our Ultimate Money Makeover Game Plan product and she was also featured in the media to share her journey. Another community member started a side hustle with our Side Hustles 101 Game Plan products and she grew to 50 000 followers on TikTok in a week and has been booked out for months.

Congratulations on releasing your first book Smart Moves: Simple Ways to Take Control of Your Life. This book gives a practical, no-nonsense approach to common challenges. What is the one question you are most asked?

A question I’m often asked is ‘What is one mantra you live by?’

My answer is simple: ‘Shoot your shot’

How many times have you talked yourself out of a potential opportunity because you didn’t feel worthy or experienced or qualified enough? But if you never go for what you want, you’ll never have it. If you never push yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll never grow. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.

Imagine how much you could achieve if you weren’t afraid of failure, or other people’s opinions, or feeling embarrassed. Stop creating roadblocks for yourself. Your potential is infinite. Feel that fear and hesitation and do it anyway. Write that email. Send that message. Make that phone call. Ask that question. Don’t sit and wait for opportunities to come your way. Take charge and create them for yourself.

If you can feel any self-doubt or self-sabotaging thoughts creep in, challenge them.

So what if they say no?

So what if it doesn’t work out this one time?

So what if you make mistakes and learn along the way?

Shooting your shot isn’t always easy. It will be scary, nerve-wracking, and uncomfortable. But don’t let the temporary discomfort override the possibility of a life-changing win. You might fail the first time or even the tenth time, but that 11th attempt will make it all worth it. Reframe failure as re-direction and trust that you are on the path to exactly what is meant for you. Keep backing yourself, no matter how many tries it takes.

Tea attending the Bi-Grammar Career Connect Event

You are a passionate advocate for women and a lot of your work centres around advice. What is some advice that you think young women should know about life after university?

There are three pieces of advice that I have learned that I wish someone had told me about life after university.

1. Your career path is not locked in

Our careers are long. Very, very long. We live in an era of constant change and evolution. Technological advancements continue to reshape industries, creating completely new roles that never existed and rendering other jobs obsolete. On top of this, our individual goals, passions and skills evolve over time too.

There’s a very good chance that what you think you will be doing for work today won’t be what you actually do in 10 or 20 years and that’s okay. Don’t stress too much about making the ‘wrong career choice’ or having to figure it all out today.

Stop asking yourself—’What do I want to do for the rest of my life?’

Instead, I want you to ask yourself this: ‘What do I feel excited or inspired to explore more at this point in my life?’

The power behind this question is that it removes the pressure to plan your whole life in one moment and it instead trains you to honour the ever-changing truth of who you are and the world around you.

2. The only person who can decide your career path is you

Do not let the opinions of others, the judgement of societal ‘norms’ or the pressures of your family or friends dictate the career choices you make.

There’s no one ‘right’ career path to follow. You are on your own path and what route you take, where you are headed, and when you will get there, is totally unique to you. The only rule in life is to pursue what makes you happy. To find and fulfil your purpose. And to wake up every day filled with gratitude for the life you have created for yourself.

3. Do not attach your identity, your worth or your happiness to your marks or your job.

Your career and your studies are simply one aspect of your life. It’s important to study and work hard, but it’s also important to have a well-balanced life. Maintain your hobbies, explore the world, spend more time with friends and family and try new things. Learn what you like and who you are as a person, not just as a student or employee.

Click here to purchase a copy of Smart Moves by Téa Angelos.