I often talk about saying it how it is and being authentic. So, I think it’s time to share a little more about me that I haven’t shared before. I am a real person with real problems to work through just the same as you, and yet I have tried to push this down and not share, however this is the time to let it all out with the thought it may help some of you who read this.
I have shared a lot of my story in the past, here is a recap and much more….
I was very quiet and shy as a child and a tomboy, choosing the outdoors and to follow my father and help him around the farm and in his shed. He was a lot of fun to be with and we laughed often. My mother was also fun, but she continually told me I was stupid. Not in a nasty way, but it hurt me deep down. It was no wonder I was shy and lacking in confidence, because I didn’t believe I could do anything very special with my life. My parents told me I couldn’t continue my education because I would most likely just get married and have kids. I lived my life from day to day with no grand aspirations.
Having said that, I did believe my parents loved me, even though I cannot ever remember them telling me so.
I fell in love at 16 and married at 20 and was widowed at 21. As you can imagine this was a tough time to say the least, but I kept going. There was no counseling as there would be now, I went back to work and kept busy. I remarried a few years later, had two beautiful boys and was divorced soon after. Bringing up my boys on my own had a whole new set of challenges, but again I did my best and kept going.
Being a mother was one of the most wonderful things I had experienced in my life, I gave love and was loved in return, unconditionally.
I went to work as a part time Bank Teller when my youngest son started school. I still had no aspirations of doing any more with my life than having a small income and being a mum. The years past all too quickly and after working as a teller for about 10 years I was promoted to the position of Bank Manager. I was surprised to be given this position and believed the only reason I was promoted was because no one else wanted the job. I remember my Mother asking me how I got the job because she didn’t believe that I was intelligent enough. I then doubted myself even more.
My mother and father had both passed away before I reached a higher level of management. I was promoted to Collins Street Melbourne and then on to one of the largest Branches in Victoria, and I still didn’t feel confident even though I was meeting all my targets (yes Banks have sales targets!) and managed a large team. I was still very shy, even to the point of feeling nervous running the weekly team meeting.
Fast forward to 2009 and I was on the corporate scrap heap. I was retrenched after about 25 years in banking. I had feelings of confusion and of being too old to be re-employed, and not being valued or needed. After about 6 months of not doing much at all, I decided to go back to study, 40 years after leaving school, and becoming a qualified coach. I worked hard and gathered quite a few other qualifications as well. I had a whole new sense of confidence, self worth and self belief and that grew to the point of me taking the next step of beginning my own business. I had a burning desire to support others to feel the beautiful sensation of self worth, self belief and most of all self confidence. My dream was to inspire others to learn and grow and believe that they too can dream and plan a life that is worthwhile and more than they have now.
I found a whole new set of challenges in the start up phase of my business and I learnt to keep going even when I felt like giving up. I lost friends. Some of my closest friends didn’t understand what I was doing and no longer felt they understood me. I was confused and didn’t understand that they couldn’t see the smile on my face, even when the stresses of starting up a business were very palpable I was still happy.
I started Life with Purpose, coaching clients one-on-one and soon realised this was not a sustainable business model. The income was not enough to cover my outgoings. I then added Style with Purpose, and worked with women building their confidence and styling them to have them feeling amazing on the inside and out.
Still there was something missing and so I worked even more on building my confidence as a speaker to promote my business. Now I added Speaking with Purpose. At this point I was becoming confused about my niche and what I was offering in my business. I lacked clarity and didn’t plan near enough and didn’t set goals that could be met. I was scared to narrow my niche for fear of missing out on clients.
I over came my fear of speaking in public by being mentored and moved on to run workshops to build my business and was paid for keynote speeches.
Fast forward again to 2013 and I was three years into a business that was still not making ends meet. By this time I was living on the equity I had in my home and that was diminishing by the day. I decided 2013 was going to be my year in every sense of my business and my personal life.
This is the part of the story that prompted me to write this piece in the hope I will inspire even more ladies to keep going in their business.
My finances and my personal life went pear shaped. A relationship I had collapsed when another women came on the scene. I lost my closest friend and didn’t know how I could keep going. I recall a particular Friday when I had planned to be with friends working on a project I had been looking forward to for years and was now no longer welcome. I had a very small breakfast, no lunch and a couple of glasses of red wine instead of dinner at night. I had no energy to barely move let alone function to run my business. The next morning I couldn’t get out of bed because my energy levels were extremely low and I couldn’t stop crying. Late morning I phoned my son because I knew he wouldn’t want me to be in this position and not let him know. He came bearing fresh fruit and made me cups to tea with honey and cuddled me as I cried. It seemed as though it couldn’t get any worse. It did. I started dry reaching and then vomiting. My beautiful son stood next to me and handed me tissues and a glass of water. This is a vision I will never forget. As a mother I was there for my children, especially when they were ill, but this is not something I expected my 30 year old son to do for me.
I knew at that time I didn’t want to ever be in that position again as long as I lived. My son nursed me back to a place where I could look after myself again and checked in from time to time.
I had found within me the strength to build my business and prove to myself I was worthy of owning a very successful business. I was strong, determined and focused and I was no longer going to let my past hold me back. I had choices and I chose to keep going and move through the stress of my finances being at an all time low and feeling as though I was not good enough. I felt sad that I had to get to the point of desperation but I knew that I would never be there again. I started working with mentors who supported me and had my best interest and the interest of my business at heart and also gave me the missing pieces I needed to build the business of my dreams.
I trust this post will help women to believe in themselves and have the confidence to keep going and build the business of your dreams.
You are worthy and you can work through anything that comes your way.
You are strong.
You DO have choice.
Choose to be awesome every single day and follow your dreams.
Have a structure and work with a mentor.
You will be empowered and you will inspire and empower others.
Ignore the dream stealers.
Keep going even when you know it will be the challenge of your life.
** Please leave a comment below – I would love to hear your thoughts…