Taking a Non-Traditional Path Towards Entrepreneurship: The Story of Workout Around My Day


Written Success supports and amplifies entrepreneurs like Cordelia who take the leap in creating their own business venture. Cordelia Gaffar is the founder of Workout Around My Day. She works with women with a mission and aspiring influencers to find themselves, understand who they are, and learn how to listen to and be true to themselves.

She had worked for several years as a controller for a start-up company while raising her two young children. When she was pregnant with her third child, she decided things had to change. Explains Cordelia, “At the time, my oldest one was four, and she was no longer in preschool. They told me that she had ADHD, but I wasn’t certain that was the case. I did my research and then spent some extra one-on-one time with her. I realized that the problem was more about the environment. Every child has a different personality, and a traditional school isn’t suitable for everyone. As a result, I decided to try homeschooling for a year or two and see what results it brought for my kids.”

Her journey in homeschooling educated Cordelia on different learning styles and systems. She began to see the connection between the ability to learn and emotional intelligence. 

Years later, this knowledge became incredibly valuable on her path to entrepreneurship.

From Homeschooler to Entrepreneur: Introducing Workout Around My Day

Cordelia spent over a decade of homeschooling and implementing the various techniques she had learned. She then began to consider how she could make a greater impact and help other women become influencers of change.

In 2015, Workout Around My Day was born. Cordelia became a transformational business consultant and coach, focused on helping female entrepreneurs replenish themselves. Her mission was to help women own their emotional story by being firm in valuing the power of their existence. This includes allowing in only what honors them and creating a sustainable system of self-nurturing.

Later that same year, she wrote and published her first book. 

“I didn’t do the traditional book launch. I wasn’t looking for a bestseller. The purpose of my book was for women to use the information because it’s about creating a system of self-nurturing. I did workshops in my community at the local mosque. Then one day, somebody asked me, “Do you coach people?’ I said yes, and my business began to grow from there, one client at a time.” 

As things with her business progressed, Cordelia moved on to writing another book. At the same time, she focused on how to refine her process into simpler steps. 

“Looking at my books published in 2015 and 2016, you can actually see that the process was many steps. But through my work with women and on my business, I was able to streamline it to five steps. This would make it much simpler for people to follow.”

Cordelia had finally found her groove, and her business was poised for growth.

Making an Even Bigger Impact

Written Success supports and amplifies entrepreneurs like Cordelia, the founder of Workout Around My Day, who take the leap in creating their own business venture.

More clients began coming to her for help. Cordelia’s next step would be to offer a program that would provide women with both one-on-one and group support. She created a 12-week program geared towards executive-level women and entrepreneurs, in addition to offering individual coaching. 

“If you really want to make a concerted effort to change your life and enhance what you’re doing in your world, you have to work on it for a while. You didn’t become the way you are overnight, and you’re constantly evolving, so that takes time. The most effective results I’ve achieved are from working with my clients for an extended period of time.”

From a practical standpoint, Cordelia quickly realized that a coaching business focusing on empowering females has its own set of unique hurdles. 

“Doing individual coaching isn’t practical or comfortable for everyone, so I’ve been transitioning to more speaking. I know that even if women aren’t ready to put themselves front and center, they’ll be okay with going to a conference and listening to people talk about it. It’s another way for me to reach people with my message.” 

Looking Back in Order to Move Forward

In looking back to her early days of running her business, Cordelia admits there are some things she wished she’d known at the outset. 

“Be really sure of what you’re seeking. Know what your practical ‘why’ is and be very clear on what you want the outcome to be. This is because, at some point, you’re going to want to give up. Those times I’ve wanted to give up, I’ve gone back to doing what I know I can get paid for. But then I lose steam really fast because I’m just doing it for the money. And, yes, money is great, but that’s not why I run my business. The why is what really matters.”

Cordelia understands that the journey to self-discovery is full of lessons — for both her and her clients. 

“The steps that you take, you have to take them; otherwise you wouldn’t be where you are today. I’m honest with my clients. The fact is, there are a lot of things in your own journey that aren’t always going to be fair or easy. You have to own that journey and be okay with where that takes you. I help women uplevel their emotional well-being. This includes experiencing some things that are uncomfortable right along with them.”

Cordelia knows that to help her clients take care of themselves, she also needs to walk the talk. This is a day-to-day challenge she faces in her business.

“I used to have a big problem with taking on my clients’ emotions. Since then, I’ve learned to put a container around it. I can look from the outside instead of being in there feeling the feelings with them. Now I’m not losing my intuitiveness or attentiveness because I’m not absorbing what’s going on for them. I can help and empathize while still protecting myself. It’s a delicate balance.”

Now, with business flourishing, multiple books under her belt, and more speaking opportunities than ever, Cordelia and her business are positioned for more exposure than she ever dreamed possible. 

“I have some exciting things coming up with my co-authors for a new book, America’s Leading Ladies. There’s 50 of us in there — including Oprah Winfrey and Melinda Gates. Plus, I have podcast guest spots, book signings, and some speaking engagements on the horizon. There’s a lot going on right now, and I couldn’t be more excited!”

Written Success honors Cordelia for dedicating herself to making entrepreneurship work for her own needs, as well as for her family and her clients.

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