Female Disruptors: Aliki Kostopoulou of Warriors4Elements On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry
An Interview with Candice Georgiadis
The only way to make people want to remain in an organization is by allowing them to see who you truly are, which many times is the scariest thing for a founder and the bravest action for a leader.
As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Aliki Ko.
Aliki Ko is a dreamer inside a doer’s skin. She believes in the infinite potential of human-kind and is dedicated to transforming business into a force for good. Aliki doesn’t get bored of exploring the deep connection between business and (our) wild nature as Warriors 4 elements.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
It came out of a personal quest about my own path in life. I remember back in 2016, being in a position that many people would have dreamed of at my age (I was 27 back then) as a bi-lingual architect in large construction for the Olympic Games and feeling my life so meaningless and empty to think: “This can not be all life has to offer…”. So one day I promised myself “I don’t know how, but I will make myself happy!”.
So the quest started like that. With a hope that happiness was more than a headlines’ title for movies and that I would find a way to make my existence purposeful I found myself doing a dozen of different energy and healing modalities, meditations, mind-altering techniques, and everything that was coming my way and made sense. Soon after I already started applying them all, growing into a person that I never believed I would be, meditating consistently, learning daily, shifting from inside out.
At some point friends started asking me my opinion about spirituality, questions of how to meditate, what is energy and how it works, etc. That was the moment I realized I might actually have something to say about all this. So, I decided to start the first mindfulness circles in Zurich to support the initiative of a dear friend from Costa Rica. That was the first circle I ever held but definitely not the last…
Since then life has been constantly bringing me new opportunities to grow myself and help others become more of who they are, personally and professionally. I am very grateful to have been brought to places as different as the World Economic Forum and the unexplored lands of Pakistan to share my wisdom and unlock the next steps of my own evolution and service to humanity.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
We work with promising entrepreneurs, allowing them to tap into their potential, as many accelerators do. We approach it though from a spiritual perspective, with a deep-rooted belief that entrepreneurship is a self-actualization path by itself as it constantly allows you to face yourself and grow if you wish to succeed. All our clients and collaborators are doing business to bring their life mission to the world. And so are we!
Our approach is highly disruptive as we don’t simply use mindfulness techniques to enhance professional efficiency as it is usually done nowadays but we induce spiritual structures and sacred geometry laws known from ancient civilizations into team structures and business operations for maximum flow with minimum friction.
Our first and foremost inspiration is nature and its expression in the material world through the 4 elements. Over many trials, we’ve realized that with the correct design of a team you can allow all members to express fully their human essence, which makes them capable of being the best version of themselves and activates a highly effective flat organization structure. Once systems like ours start being applied again on a large scale there will be an exponential energetic shift in business that can massively support the shift towards a better future, effortlessly.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Oh, many mistakes! Maybe the funniest was also one of the biggest. Last year I was convinced that I wanted to create a physical conscious community. We got so close as to negotiate the 40 rooms property in South France and talk to possible investors when a short 2-month trial showed me clearly that I am definitely not made to run a community myself! I don’t enjoy it and rather the others do…
Back then it felt more traumatic than funny but now I can burst into laughter at how sidetracked you can get believing in projects and opportunities that appear on the way!
The biggest lesson from this experience was to always try what you envision before scaling it. If you love it, it will scale on its own. If not, you will know that you didn’t truly want it!
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
I was telling this story yesterday to some friends…
I have had many beautiful people openly sharing their wisdom with me along the way and I am very grateful for their existence!
One of my friends and mentors is P. living close to Paris. It was a connection made from a friend at the time we were searching for inspiring owners of properties “chateau” type who believe in a conscious and better future. Little that I knew that this connection would change me personally more than my business…
Last year, just before the second lockdown in Europe, I spent one month in P.’s chateau outside of Paris. Through his guidance and presence, I had a fundamental shift in my worldview that has affected all my creations since then. My worldview changed from believing that we (or I) needed to save the whole world, into knowing that the world is and will remain in absolute balance and my true role is to find my own purpose that makes my life joyful and complete, and then (and only then) I will be in true service of the whole world.
This is one story only… All my mentors have been stepping stones to my personal and professional evolution!
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
I have to admit I prefer the word “innovation” rather than “disruption”. Innovation has the “new” as a driver, while “disruption” talks about the distraction of the old. I prefer the new to slowly become more beneficial and replace the old rather than take it down to exist upon its ashes. So let’s talk about innovation instead, if we may.
I feel that innovation is the only characteristic that is purely human! No machine can do it yet and probably never will, as it requires a combination of visible and invisible factors, a personal perspective, the secret recipe that we call “past experience” and a clear intention. It is a moment of pure creation from the source that’s making us humans such an incredible animal.
Innovation will only accelerate in all industries. I believe that in 10 years’ time we might innovate as much as 2–5 times per day. Funnily enough, this is what humans are truly natural at doing. We are limited in holding information, slow in repetitive works, fragile in heavy duties, finite in understanding the universe. But we love to dream and make dreams reality! All the rest are just the tools that help us manifest these dreams. So how about focusing on that for a change?
There is always something that with a bit of care, thought and attempt can become better, that is what innovation does. Sometimes these buzz words can be scary, but practically it is as simple as identifying something that is not working well, is annoying, or inefficient, and find a way to change it. The bigger the alteration the bigger the innovation. There is no industry that wouldn’t like that!
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
1. “The only way to create true collaboration is by being more vulnerable with the people you want to collaborate with.” by J.H.
It was advised to me by one of our collaborators after our 10 days G-local activation in Portugal last February and I feel the depth of it is significant. The only way to make people want to remain in an organization is by allowing them to see who you truly are, which many times is the scariest thing for a founder and the bravest action for a leader.
2. “Who is to blame?” By Y.D (for a failure of a personal project)
We tend to blame others, the situation, the responsible, etc. for failures that came from our inability to stand behind what we wanted to create. This piece of very painful advice came to me after our co-created event during the World Economic Forum where I had spent almost all my time and energy helping the general organization of the event rather than my personal project. A great reminder for all next actions to focus on what is important for me first!
3. “Trust that the universe will provide for you to be able to bring your mission into life.” by T.M.
Advice that came recently from my business coach as a reminder that there are many ways that a specific action, project, or business can become true. The more we allow the higher forces to stand by us in the process of creation, the less we need to worry about the “how?” and can focus on the “what” and the “why”.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
We are starting new impact circles for spiritual entrepreneurs in September, and I am super excited to be applying our human geometry systems to activate even more entrepreneurs to their full potential!
We call the impact circles “warriors 4 elements” as they represent the 4 elements of nature (earth, air, water, and fire). The system is based on the ancient Egyptian wisdom of the 4 elements for stability and cosmic growth and the sacred geometry of the number 4 +1 for optimal flow of energy inside a human and nonhuman structure. Exactly as we see it in the pyramids. The 4 elements then connect to the 4 human bodies (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) for inner development anytime we need it and accelerate the process of sharing resources between our members in all 4 capitals that one needs to thrive: financial, intellectual, social, and spiritual.
The impact circles are available for solopreneurs, founders and organizations who wish to tackle their entrepreneurial challenges in a way that feels almost like magic (but is simply design, wisdom, and the power of nature, combined!).
I can’t explain to you how excited I am to start autumn with all the positive vibe of this inspiring tribe coming together to support each other!
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?
Despite the fact that some industries are still male-dominated, I see the deeper challenge between males and females of the underlying energies. These energies play out both in male and female bodies… Allow me to explain!
Our recent culture is exalting the male energy of “doing” much more than the female energy of “receiving”. Therefore most of the women in business are pushing away their magnetic female power for the more obvious male-driven electric action.
Many changes have started happening inside leading organizations for the balancing of these two energies but there’s still a long way to go.
Our role as female disruptors is to know first and to honor our female power through our words and actions so it slowly gets received with equal respect and excitement.
We need to understand that the female way of making things happen is also very effective yet different, enabling a natural progression with fewer side effects.
Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?
Two of the most impactful books I have read are “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza”. It analyzes the human brain, the tricks it can play to our reality and how to transform it into a valuable tool.
The second is “Women who run with the wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, a true anatomy of the soul of a woman through myths and legends, as she progresses in life to get initiated to her true power.
I have already recommended them a dozen times and will do so again and again!
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Once we trust each other enough to open our resources for the use of all we will realize that together we have everything. Literally! Easy, isn’t it!? ;)
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
What is more relevant for my life the last few years is a poem from Marianne Williamson rather than a single quote.
Allow me to share it with you and if you wish to keep only a part of it, the last two phrases say it all.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?”
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of the universe.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of existence that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.
And, as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
By Marianne Williamson
How can our readers follow you online?
You can find me on FB in my personal profile, I am pretty active there and I love to exchange with new people if they write me a personal message: https://www.facebook.com/aliki.maria.kostopoulou/
You can also follow our new Facebook page for the warriors 4 elements where we post (almost) daily inspiration and practical resources of diverse nature for entrepreneurs and followers of our initiative: https://www.facebook.com/warriors4elements
On Instagram we are as Mindful Experience: https://www.instagram.com/mindfulexperience.me/
On LinkedIn I present myself here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aliki-kostopoulou/
By far the best way is to get in contact with me is by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org I would gladly set an exploration call with everybody who contacts me and invite him/her to our open monthly calls to feel out the warriors 4 elements tribe and get in touch with his/her own elemental power.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!