Beata Drzazga, a woman who created the largest company in Poland providing long-term care services with a human face – BetaMed S.A. talks about empathy, fear, the elderly, love and rebellious nature.
What are the values of a successful woman like Beata Drzazga?
Love for people, but also for nature – for flowers, birds, animals. I can’t imagine watching someone hurt an animal or destroy nature. It always causes me pain and opposition. I teach my children to be truthful, noble, and my sons to be gentlemen. It is also valuable for me to remain myself, to see other people, to be honest and authentic to them, regardless of the situation. The opportunity to help people in various life situations gives me great joy. I can basically sum it up in one word – empathy.
Have you thought about her motivations?
One of the strongest is the ability to improve the world. Since I started working in the hospital, I was motivated by the desire to show that even in healthcare there can be more humanity and sensitivity to human suffering. I really wanted to prove that an approach to a patient can be cordial and human. That’s why I quit my job at the hospital and started building my company BetaMed S.A. on my own. Today, what motivates me the most to live and act is the opportunity to inspire and share my experiences with people. The possibility of encouraging them to live a better life is also my motivator, because I am generally motivated by improving the reality around me. I get great satisfaction from helping people. So I can say that empathy is not only my value, but also an important motivator.
How does fear affect you? Is it motivating or rather demotivating?
Fear doesn’t really work for me. I rarely act out of fear because I am rarely afraid. I’m more rebellious than scared. As soon as someone tells me that something can’t be done or that something has to be this way, I immediately rebel and have to prove, mainly to myself, that I can change it. Once I realized that we have what we allow. So when there is something I disagree with, I immediately feel motivated to change. I am motivated by the possibility of change, of course for the better. I love changes. I can live somewhere else anytime. I am constantly redecorating my house. I also like to feel that I have not settled on my laurels, so the opportunity to learn and gain experience is also a strong motivator for me.
Are you aware of your mental barriers or have you already overcome them all?
I had barriers when I was still a young girl. I listened to people around me telling me that it’s already necessary to live so poorly and accept everything. I remember when I was 15 when I said to myself – NO! And basically since then I have been breaking all barriers and stereotypes. I left Kamienna Góra as a thirteen-year-old and then I decided that everything depends only on me. No one was able to discourage me from what I had planned. I used to walk with my little children in front of a house where a beautiful gate opened and we were so cold and admired how it opens electrically without anyone’s help. I told them then, “Look, I promise you, we’ll have a beautiful house like this one day too, with an automatic gate. I promise you this. I was 32 years old at the time and it came true because I believed that everything depends only on me and my determination. I overcame all prejudices about the possibilities that life presents to us while still living in Kamienna Góra. Today I don’t even think about them. I know that we can start something better all our lives until we finish it. To this day, I am still doing something new, thanks to which a new stage of life is constantly beginning in front of me.
Looking at the lady, an obvious thought comes to mind: “a beautiful and well-groomed woman, probably doing nothing but lying and smelling”. Does it worry you that you make such a first impression before people know what’s behind you, or do you care?
I used to worry that beautiful women were not seen as businesswomen. But I grew stronger over time. I remember a journalist interviewing me for the first time and approaching me in such an unprofessional way. I then told him very sharply: – Either you are interviewing me like an entrepreneur, or we have nothing to talk about because I’m not a dumb blonde. By doing so, I earned his respect and appreciation. Now he doesn’t care about it at all. The world has also changed a lot, I know who I am, what I did, what I am, and what other people think about me doesn’t affect me anymore. Although I must admit that until recently, before I opened Drzazga Clinic, I was worried that if I opened this place, I would say that I looked good because I was there all the time. But later I waved my hand at it, saying to myself: – Ah, it’s hard, I’m the showcase of my enterprise.
Does old age scare you? What is your attitude to the passing of time today?
I’m not afraid of old age at all, I’m just sorry that life is so short. Today I am a conscious woman, I have life wisdom and peace, I can be above everything, because my emotional intelligence is much higher than before. Although I do not know how much longer I will live, maybe as long as possible, I think that old age did not work out for God. Life teaches us too long for us to enjoy the effects of these teachings enough.
What made you choose geriatrics as your specialty as a young girl?
Even as a child, I looked at older people and was concerned that no one thinks about how they feel at the end of their lives. I was 7 years old and I wanted to hug older people, talk to them. I felt a lot of sympathy for them and I wasn’t even aware that I should be. I really cared about older people. When I listened to the neighbors telling each other who died where, I was terrified and felt sorry for them, because I saw them as old and imagined that they would die soon, and no one cares, and even considers it normal. That is why I chose geriatrics as my specialty. I wanted to bring comfort and help, especially to the elderly. I wanted to hug them, talk to them, and show them that I cared that their lives were ending.
What guided you when building BetaMed S.A.? The possibility of achieving business success or the realization of empathy that is evidently seething in you?
By building BetaMed S.A. I didn’t expect to build a big company. My goal was to create a place for suffering people, especially the elderly, where care is human, even better than at home. I wanted to show that health care can look different, that I will employ as many people as possible who have a lot of empathy and will approach patients with respect and love. Today I am the dean of the Medical Faculty of the University of Upper Silesia in Katowice. I have lectures there for future nurses in terms of empathy and proper communication with the patient. That’s why I have the ability to have some influence over these people. I encourage them to consider whether they are fit for the job. I make them aware of what nursing is and whether they really want to serve people and give them love while caring for a patient.
You have already done a lot not only for patients, but also for business. You advise all over the world, represent the interests of Poland, help, give philanthropy. When will you decide that you’ve done your job and will indulge in “lying to smell” with a clear conscience?
Never. I will always want to do something. I have a lot of energy and willingness to act.
What I wish you and all the people around you.