About Cigdem Kobu

Cigdem Kobu is a story coach and creative strategist who helps visionary women creatives, coaches and entrepreneurs across the globe up their impact and income by becoming prolific, powerful storytellers captivating minds and transforming hearts.

INFP, Libra sun, Capricorn rising, polymath, multilingual, bibliophile, veteran literary translator (33 books and counting), Turkish-born American, Oma to Noah. Runs on straight Earl Grey and drives a red Roadster. 

Education and Career

After graduating from Uskudar American Academy in Istanbul, Cigdem first studied Media & Advertising and then completed her Film Studies with a concentration in Scriptwriting & Directing. Then, she moved to Berlin, Germany, where she resided for three years. Upon her return to her hometown, she 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 two and a half decades.

“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

Professional Experience

She 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, Cigdem continued to work as an independent literary and nonfiction translator in her spare 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.

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

MONICKA CLIO SAKKI, Artist & Creativity Guide, monickacliosakki.com

Business Expertise

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

Since 2011, she has helped almost one thousand women creatives, coaches, leaders, and entrepreneurs across the globe write, create, and tell their personal and business stories and create their signature work with more ease and impact through her online classes, writing groups, consulting/coaching services, and membership community.

The work Cigdem does with her 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.

“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

Personal Details

Cigdem is an INFP, incurable bookaholic, Earl Grey drinker, fledgling textile and collage artist, Mama to G.D. and Oma to Noah. She lives with Mr. Right and Mochi-the-Cat close to her beloved Delaware River in Central New Jersey, surrounded by beautiful forests, picturesque farmland, and quaint Victorian towns.

Creed

  • 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) 
  • 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)
  • Work is love made visible. (Kahlil Gibran)
  • Women’s work is always toward wholeness. (May Sarton)
  • When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. (Rumi)
  • There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place. (J.K. Rowling)
  • 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)
  • Pare down to the essence, but don’t remove the poetry. (Leonard Koren)
  • It’s not a competition; it’s a doorway. (Mary Oliver)
  • We’re all walking each other home. (Ram Dass)

Values

  • Freedom (in life and business)
  • Depth (wholehearted, intelligent, profound dialogues)
  • Truth (clarity creates courage)
  • Curiosity (living to learn, explore, iterate)
  • Simplicity (simple always wins)
  • Connection (truer, deeper, lasting)
  • Beauty (in everything)
  • Service (people first, business later)

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

LEERAY COSTA, Cultural Anthropologist & Professor

Some Trivia and a Few Secrets

  • A magpie who collects books, vintage paper, and textiles, fossils, kaleidoscopes, Andersen Design Studio birds. 
  • A geek at heart and a self-taught web designer.
  • A Turkish-born American citizen and a first-generation immigrant. 
  • Incurable bookaholic who reads at least six books each month.
  • An inexperienced driver, who got her driver’s license in Istanbul at the age of 19, but never drove in actual traffic until she moved to the U.S. in 2010. Instead, she learned to fly two-seater Cessnas during college.
  • Childhood dream #1: to become a writer.
  • Childhood dream #2: to join a traveling circus and see the world (even though clowns scare her beyond belief.)
  • Likes tiny everything—cars, houses, miniatures.
  • A vegetarian who loves cheese too much to become a vegan. She could live on a French baguette layered with fresh tomatoes and cheddar (or feta) cheese. Don’t forget the fresh mint leaves!
  • Favorite flowers: hydrangeas and geraniums.
  • Got married twice—the second time with the love of her life, who found her again after 18 long years. The first time, it was a German man from Spandau, Berlin—the father of her only child.
  • Unlike her Mom, she doesn’t have a green thumb.
  • Speaks English, Turkish, German, and some Italian. Started learning English at the age of 11 in an American school in Istanbul, which was build by Protestant missionaries from the U.S. during the Ottoman Empire.
  • Translated 33 books—18 of them from Turkish to English.
  • Loves red everything: red shoes, red glasses, red cars, but is often dressed in black.
  • Drives a red Mini Roadster.
  • Keeps a copy of Shakespeare’s Sonnet LXIV in her wallet—a weird habit she picked after her father had a heart attack while driving one distant summer day from the summer house to their home in the city and died. Cigdem’s Mom and son (10 at the time) were also in the car. Nothing happened to them. If you don’t count the trauma.
  • Is writing a memoir about her childhood and the women in her family.
  • Favorite auteurs: Agnes Varda, Ingmar Bergman, Claude Lelouch, Krzysztof Kieślowski, John Cassavetes.
  • Favorite authors: Annie Dillard, Marguerite Duras, Joseph Kessel, Lawrence Durrell, Elena Ferrante, Emmanuele Bernheim, Virginia Woolf, Stephen Cope, Robert Fritz, Jean-Claude Toussaint, Karl Ove Knausgård, Raymond Jean, James Hollis, Siri Hustvedt, Marie-Louise von Franz, A.S. Byatt, J.K. Rowling.
  • Favorite poems: “No, Love Is Not Dead” & “This Is Just to Say.”
  • Guilty TV pleasure: BBC’s Escape to the Country series and Channel 4’s Grand Designs with Kevin McCloud. Also keeps watching all Seinfeld seasons—unapologetically.
  • Is said to sometimes dance like Elaine.
  • Is not too crazy about stand up comedy, except for Margaret Cho, Trevor Noah, John Mulaney, and Craig Ferguson.
  • Favorite cuisine: Japanese (#1), Greek (#2), Mexican (#3).
  • Dreams of living in Devon, Shropshire, Cornwall, or Dublin one day.
  • Has a 26-year-old son (G.D.) and a four-year-old grandson (Noah). They’re her everything alongside Mr. Right.
  • In 2018, she and Mr. Right adopted a two-year-old cat that they named Mochi from Tabby’s, a local animal shelter—Mochi has become their second child.

“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