Join columnist Vicky Ellison every month as she meets with inspiring women from the worlds of wellness, business, fashion and art to bring you a snapshot of their story and advice to take into your day.
The buzz of the Hearst office hummed away outside as Farrah and I sat in her glass corner space, tea in hand, focused on our chat despite her demanding schedule. I could see that this focus and ability to handle multiple projects have helped Farrah reach the impressive achievements she’s known for.
Award-winning editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, founding editor of Women’s Health UK, the most successful women’s magazine launch of its decade, releasing her first book this Autumn; Farrah Storr is a publishing powerhouse.
Inspired by her accolades I had to ask what continues to drive her forward after so much success? ‘I think I live by, and it’s the mantra for Hearst now but has always been one of my mantras – Never Settle’ she explains, ‘success looks like you’re never quite finished.’
Admitting that at first, her perfectionism could cause some anguish, she’s realised that sometimes 90% is enough. A lesson she has taken from her leisure time and a new found love of gardening. ‘Gardening is a constant struggle, you’re trying to build something but you can’t control it’ she admits, sharing a story of squirrels eating her newly planted tulips, Farrah has come to realise that in gardening as in life and work, ‘what will be will be’ and sometimes you have to be ok with less than 100%.
Farrah’s upcoming book focuses on the importance of being in your ‘Discomfort Zone’, a space she’s become familiar with, inspired by the feeling of overcoming a challenge.
‘Periods of feeling uncomfortable test who you are as a person. I think a lot of people go through life not quite understanding what their true potential is… you have to push yourself into your discomfort zone as that’s when you realise the horizon of your potential. There’s nothing nicer than going to bed having had quite a hard day and thinking do you know what, I’m amazing I didn’t realise I could do this.’
Is anything too far out of reach? ‘I don’t think you should think anything is outside of your discomfort zone’ she says thoughtfully, ‘Be realistic, but once you start encasing things in language like “that’s out of my limits”, it becomes a certainty that you can’t do it. I say yes to everything and then figure out how it can happen.’
This can-do approach, combined with hard work and a deep understanding of her personal motivations and need for time to recharge, have brought Farrah the successes she so clearly deserves.