In the lead up, I'd been hearing lines like "perhaps you should let the males speak" in my male dominated sales team or "when will you get the housework done" when accepted into Australia's Top Business School.
Now I want to be clear, I did have some great male allies, and whilst I would address this issue...
the reality was I had built this belief that in order to succeed, it had to be done "their way."
So here I was sitting in what I thought would be another “professional development” day.
You know, where you tick the box and continue on the hamster wheel - chasing someone else’s definition of success because you are supposed to fit the current corporate flavour of the month.
Not necessarily play to your own talents and strengths.
And I was preparing my run - yes a literal run - to breastfeed my son between the session breaks at a daycare 4 kilometres away.
Yet a man stands up on that PD day (who has also been on that corporate wheel) tells his story of how he had brain cancer, and here he is 10 years on doing what he is passionate about. He has kids. He has a mortgage.
Not long after, I discovered my strengths.
This day really was my ignition day.
and a sister on the other side of the country.
Is earning a good income in a job that ticks some of your values boxes (but not all) your legacy?
What happened to the 17 year old who wanted to “change the world” even though she was never going to win a Miss World contest?
Do you need to lose another sister to change your life?
Hasn’t God spoken loud enough?
What did I really want to teach my kids about having the confidence and courage to go live with purpose and do things in a way that works?
Did I really want the 9 - 5 (or 10pm) life that saw my kids in after school care trying to do homework tired with a mummy who was wired?
With a resounding ok God, I get it, I was gifted a mentor and started mapping out the next five years, which included me resigning from my lovely corporate life.
And I can tell you right now - it felt nothing like jumping off a moving bus.
It felt like I jumped off a freaking plane with a parachute that my kid had made in daycare. Yaaaaay! Watch mummy fly!
So with a cross country move, I cut off my spending, kissed my share plan, fuel card and awesome network of friends good bye to go after the real me.
How did I know I could do this?
Underdog with no eye hand coordination.
I can’t catch a ball for carrot sticks - and that’s a fact.
Now one thing I have always been consciously aware of is that I could make a choice.
I could choose to be a victim or a superhero.
I could choose to give over my power to cruddy experiences and people or I could choose to rise above them.
Like the time when I wore a charity jumper to school that had been donated by another kid the week before and I was teased about it.
Like working out how to cook for your little sister at 11 when your mother is holed up in the thicks of depression before organisations like Beyond Blue existed.
Or when your little sister tells you to “run from the worst kind of innocence thief and you finally know what freedom feels like.
Or you apply and get accepted by Australia’s top business school to do a post grad in change.
You discover triumph.
You discover what you can do (like work, set up a business do a post grad and be there for school pick up).
The facts are my family was dysfunctional.
The facts are life is not always easy and does not always look like the photostock images.
The facts are that organisations and communities and people go through change.
Change is inevitable.
It can rock your confidence, it can silence your story. And it can build you back up -if you allow.
The facts are there are people in the world who have better stories than me - where it’s all sunshine and lollipops from the outside and people in the world who have worse stories than me where you are grateful for the big-arse dose of courage that you somehow amassed.
You don’t need all the details here.
You do need to know that tuning into self talk and working out what I believed about myself - and that is that I have drive and am ok with failing is ok.
You do need to know that like me, you have talent - regardless of what any one else has and fear will do its best to hold you back.
Go for the life that you want with the same joyful abandon as when my son was two and streaking in a supermarket.
You’ll feel alive.
You do need to know that sometimes the best decisions are the hardest ones (said when I became a newly single mother).
And that your pain points are your biggest pathways to purpose.
Well, I turned my story into a best seller book in the personal development space.
I redefined brave, went back into dateland and became a mum in a blended family.
I became the first Gallup Certified Strengths Coach in Australia.
And I use this with my professional and academic knowledge on change to help communities, teams and individuals discover their strengths and ignite their confidence, courage and dreams.
I have coached and worked with over a thousand women to gain confidence to speak up when they are faced with self doubt or overwhelm.
I have worked with organisations to tick that strategic objective off that sits there looming as a non deliverable.
I have worked with teams and individuals to find their talents and confidently apply them to a change that they need to make.
I have developed and delivered customised entrepreneurship programs for communities that foster changes in mindset, connect the disconnected and see people go from being in the red to being in the black, and generate 100's of jobs and millions of new revenue.
At the risk of sounding a bit “Miss World”, hand on heart I care about helping people find out what’s right about themselves, and overcome barriers to better.
I have learned how to find talent, find voices and create value giving change.
Navigating change has been a big part of my life - professionally and personally.
I now have simple ways to help others do the same.
And achieve instead of feeling like you are just investing more time and money into another “plan” or another “professional development” deal?
I understand change and creating confidence. I have lived and worked the highs and lows. It takes work and collaboration and customisation are key.
Even my DIY programs are designed so you can customise.
There are no right paths or answers. Only yours.
Yet unlocking the talent within your self will get you a long way to the goal post.
This is not about perfection.
This is about lifting the lid on untapped talents and enabling you to stretch like a cat, focus like an eagle, and ignite courage like you are on hot summer sand without flip flops and you want to hit the water with relief.
So come on, come use my skills and talents.
Pick my brain on creating change and overcoming hurdles with your authenticity both intact and adaptive.
If that door to opportunity is locked, let's go find the keys.
Let's start with virtual value & coffee.
For Newbie Speakers, Authors & Coaches. Pick my brain to make an IMPACT & INCOME
For women who've been through storms that are destined to speak and write stories of impact.
For women in business creating positive change through valuable & powerful conversations with themselves and others.