Cigdem Kobu is a story strategist and thought partner for women creators with big ideas and bold projects.

Hello, I'm Cigdem Kobu.

INFP, Libra sun, Capricorn rising, polymath, multilingual, bibliophile, award-winning literary translator of 33 books, Turkish-born American, Oma to Noah. I run on straight Earl Grey, dance like Elaine and imagineer like the devil.

"Cigdem is extraordinary. You cannot be anywhere in her sphere of influence without being compelled and propelled into action and transformation."

RONNA DETRICK, Writer & Speaker
ronnadetrick.com

I write. I mentor. I teach.

I left the corporate world after more than twenty rigorous years in the publishing and education industries and founded my NJ-based company to serve introverted women coaches, creatives and changemakers around the globe, who have important stories to tell and who are ready to do what it takes to create what matters. 

"Cigdem creates a vibrant space for women’s voices in a world that feels increasingly hostile to those voices."

BRIDGETT MCKINNEY JENSEN, Writer
the49thyear.com

I dream of a world where...

  • Every woman—regardless of her age, color, background, education, or location—is free, safe and brave to share her ideas, dreams and stories with no holding back. 
  • Every woman is able to hold her many identities while simultaneously—and singularly—being herself.
  • Every woman has the resources and tools to live up to her potential and bring her ideas into the world in a way that is aligned with who she is.
  • Every woman makes a great living doing work that makes her come alive and is acknowledged for her contribution to the world.
  • Every woman leads rich, healing conversations on issues she cares about and has access to the best support and championship to bring her wisdom, values and projects to the global marketplace. 
  • Every woman has the power to cultivate freedom, well-being, wealth, meaning, and joy for herself, her community, and the people and causes that matter to her.
  • Every woman finds the opportunity, time and space to enjoy a respite from the busyness of the world for a while to rest, reset and recharge so that she can tend to her true work with new energy.

"After participating in Cigdem’s programs, my thinking about the challenges and obstacles in my life and career has shifted. I developed a new mental approach and attitude."

LEERAY COSTA, Cultural Anthropologist & Professor

What Matters to Me

  • Sovereignty (in life and business)
  • Justice (without it, we're not human)
  • Depth (wholehearted, intelligent, profound dialogues)
  • Truth (clarity creates courage)
  • Connection (truer, deeper, lasting)
  • Curiosity (living to learn, explore, iterate)
  • Simplicity (simple always wins)
  • Beauty (in everything)
  • Service (people first, business later)

"Cigdem is the bees-knees of project design. She’s biz savvy, super creative and makes commerce fun. Her work empowers women to live their most fulfilling life."

ANGELA MAXWELL, Writer & Activist
shewalkstheearth.com

Education and Career

After graduating from Uskudar American Academy in Istanbul, I first studied Media & Advertising and then completed my Film Studies with a concentration in Scriptwriting & Directing. Then, I moved to Berlin, Germany, where I lived for three years. After returning to my hometown, I served in various key positions in the news/media, education, and publishing industries in established institutions such as Hürriyet Media, the American Board, and Redhouse Publishing for almost two and a half decades.

I coordinated a yearlong conference series for the Istanbul Municipality to explore various aspects of life, culture, the arts, politics, and business in Turkey with the overarching theme of “Toward the New Millennium”; organized annual leadership conferences for high-school students and in-service seminars for more than three-hundred K-12 teachers each year; steered cultural orientation programs for North American and British expat educators in Turkey; assisted the Board’s education department in the recruitment and assessment processes of hundreds of school administrators and teachers each year; organized international leadership conferences and camps for high-school students; and, conducted the design, development, editing, production, and marketing processes for the publication of three major nonfiction book series.

In the meantime, I continued to work as an independent literary and nonfiction translator in my free time (as a labor of love) and translated 33 fiction and nonfiction books into English and Turkish, helping Turkish authors get known and read in Europe and the USA, and American and British authors reach a new audience in a foreign language.

"I’m in the strategist’s chair everyday in my own business, and what I really needed was someone who could give me what I give to my clients: wise, supportive strategy. Working with Cigdem has been one of the smartest investments I’ve made."

JAC McNEIL, Co-Active Coach & Thought Partner
jacmcneil.com

Training and Expertise

I moved to the USA in 2010 where I founded my company Peaceful Triumphs LLC and completed various training programs furthering my skills on creativity coaching, storytelling, brand positioning, strategic consulting, course creation and online teaching, product licensing, membership development and community building, content marketing, self-publishing and author platforms with exceptional mentors including Pamela Slim, Sean D’Souza, Dr. Eric Maisel, Amy Hoy, Michael Margolis, Richard Millington, Jennifer Louden, Michael Hauge, Paul Jarvis, and Stu McLaren.

Since 2010, I've helped almost one thousand women artists, writers, coaches, consultants, leaders, and entrepreneurs across the globe tell their most important personal and business stories and create their signature work with ease and impact through my online classes, writing groups, consulting/coaching services, and signature masterminds. The work I do with my clients and students empowers and equips them to clarify their message, connect with a loyal audience and turn their ideas, gifts and expertise into unmistakable intellectual frameworks that are both transformational and commercially successful.

"Everything is thorough, well-crafted, and with a sense of completeness. As a facilitator, Cigdem complements her evoking ideas and writing with a gentle presence, fluff-free."

MONICKA CLIO SAKKI, Artist & Creativity Guide
monickacliosakki.com

Here 's what I know to be true:

  • Story is the umbilical cord that connects us to the past, present, and future. Story is an affirmation of our ties to one another. (Terry Tempest Williams) 
  • "Pigeonholes are for pigeons. (Jessye Norman)
  • Once in a while, it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to. (Alan Keightley)
  • Art urges voyages. (Gwendolyn Brooks)
  • Work is love made visible. (Kahlil Gibran)
  • Women’s work is always toward wholeness. (May Sarton)
  • Pare down to the essence, but don’t remove the poetry. (Leonard Koren)
  • When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. (Rumi)
  • There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.  (Maya Angelou)
  • Art happens when you intend it to happen. It happens when you leap with intention… The act is the point, more so than ever. (Anne Bogart)
  • Isolation is the dream killer. (Barbara Sher)
  • It’s not a competition; it’s a doorway. (Mary Oliver)
  • We’re all walking each other home. (Ram Dass)

"I would have never been able to do on my own all the deep digging that Cigdem guided me through. My business is now booming in all directions. Great new clients, speaking gigs, teaching, art!"

CYNTHIA MORRIS, Author, Artist & Creativity Coach
originalimpulse.com

A few things you probably don't know about me...

  • I'm a first-generation immigrant and a Turkish-born American. 
  • My company is called Peaceful Triumphs LLC.
  • I inherited my creative DNA from my mother, who was a dressmaker and craft artist, and my father, who was an entrepreneur, mapmaker and furniture designer.
  • I learned English when I was 12 and German when I was 15.
  • I'm the literary translator of 33 fiction and nonfiction books.
  • I'm a magpie—I collect books, vintage textiles, kaleidoscopes, and ceramic birds by Andersen Design Studio.
  • As a kid I often fantasized about running away from home to join a traveling circus.
  • I learned to fly a two-seater Cessna before I learned to drive a car.
  • I love tiny everything—cars, houses, miniatures. (I drive a Mini Roadster!)
  • I got married twice—the second time with the love of my life, who found me again after 18 long years. The first time, it was a German man from Berlin—my only child's father.
  • I've kept a handwritten copy of Shakespeare’s Sonnet LXIV in my wallet after that summer day my dad died unexpectedly. 
  • I'm obsessed with blue hydrangeas.
  • My guilty TV pleasures are BBC’s Escape to the Country series and Channel 4’s Grand Designs.
  • I have a 27-year-old son and a five-year-old grandson.
  • I live with Mr. Right and Mochi-the-Cat close to the Delaware River in Central New Jersey, surrounded by beautiful forests, picturesque farmland and quaint Victorian towns. 

"This is one of the best, most useful newsletters I’ve had in a long time. And now the only newsletter I’m subscribed to."

 JANICE HUNTER, Writer & Certified Homelife Coach