I often get asked how I got into coaching women entrepreneurs?
To answer that question, I’d like to take you back about 20 years…
At the time, I was happy married, had a beautiful nine-month-old baby daughter, lived in a lovely home and my career was absolutely flying.
I had recently qualified as an accountant and had four promotions in just five years of working with British Airways. So, when the company offered me voluntary severance, I snatched it up thinking this was a great opportunity to spend a year with my baby and then I would be able to get a job with any company.
So, you could say life was really good and I was feeling very confident, lucky and almost invincible. However, one night back in 2000, my almost perfect life was turned upside down when I discovered that my six-year marriage had been a complete and utter lie.
I was shaken to the core and that night I called my family to come and get me. I left with nothing more than my nine-month-old baby daughter in my arms.
In an instant, I had no marriage, no home of my own and no job following my severance from British Airways. Whilst this was perhaps the most difficult time of my life, this monumental shift led me down a completely different path and also shaped the very fibre of who I am today.
You see, there is always a blessing in a crisis, you just have to look for it. During my journey to re-build my life, I learnt many lessons along the way. However, there were two major discoveries that have helped me reach this point of coaching/mentoring women entrepreneurs.
After my initial ‘survival’ period, I found myself picking up some books on self-development. I wanted to rediscover who I was and move forward to a much happier and stable place.
It was only upon reading these books that I had a major revelation. I was reading nothing new. All the strategies and tools that were mentioned in these books were the things that I had already used myself to help me move into a much more confident, happier and successful state. Nobody had told me what to do.
It was then that I realised, whilst I was a great accountant, I was in fact a natural coach. I wanted to use these natural strengths to help other people and there, I started my journey to becoming a Qualified Coach.
During the ‘rebuilding’ period of my life, I found myself being very curious and asking so many questions…
Who was I really?
What was my purpose in life?
Why was I being given these challenges?
Why had I really been put on this earth?
The answers to these questions came as I continued my journey of deep probing, self-development and growing through the challenges of single-handedly raising my daughter and growing my business to help others.
One of the big challenges that helped me to unlock the answers resulted when I was diagnosed with a debilitating illness. My instinct was to hold on tight, to try to control the illness and the fear of losing my independence kicked in. In the end, I realised that all the tools that I had used to survive when I left my marriage with a small baby, were not going to work this time as I didn’t have my health to carry me through.
Sheer determination, positive thinking and powering through the storm wasn’t going to work this time. I was forced to learn a different way. I had to allow myself to be vulnerable, allow myself to let go, trust in myself and in my future. I had to surrender.
This different approach enabled me to coach and heal myself. It was what saved me from immediate surgery and what enabled me to get back to health, working and living my life again. This letting go and trusting, helped to answer some of the questions I was asking.
Firstly, it became very clear that my purpose in life was to lead a life full of love. And by that, I mean a real unconditional love for myself, to surround myself with people I love, and do the work that I love every day.
Secondly, it became clear just how much I related to and empathised with women’s suffering. From the moment, I was a child seeing women treated unfairly, to dealing with divorce in a culture that was not very accepting, to overcoming a debilitating illness, to growing my business in an unequal work environment.
So, this further cemented in my mind what I perhaps already knew. That I wanted to help other women also lead the life that they absolutely love. The best way that I could do that is to use my skills and experience to enable women to create the business that gives them ultimate freedom. So that they can work with who they want, when they want, on their terms and they can spend their time doing what they love most.
Working with women is what truly makes my ‘heart sing’. Because I know that I’m not only making a massive difference to that woman’s life but also impacting the lives of all the people she comes into contact with.
There have been many discoveries and many lessons learnt during my journey and now I want to share them with others.
“It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”