Have you ever been told to “get a real job”? Something probably almost everyone in business had heard at one point in time or another.
For me, however, it had more meaning as I had spent most of my earlier adult life working for a variety of organisations, never really feeling as though I fitted in always sensing there was something not quite as it should be, that there was more.
Having spent a childhood encompassed by verbal bullying that extended into my working life, I had no real idea, until a few years ago, that I was “good enough” at anything. So, I got jobs that paid money but generally not overly forthcoming in satisfaction beyond the immediate gratification any job can supply.
I spent my “working life” with so many questions and thoughts floating around in my head …
- Why do I get so emotional?
- Why do I always help others before I look after myself?
- Why do I say ‘yes’ to everyone and so eager to please?
- Why do I like to have ‘nice’ people around me most of the time?
- Why am I so loyal and others are not?
I wonder … do any of these thoughts sound familiar. Silly question, because I know they do. It’s something we all face from time to time. In my case, however, they became dominant.
And, this feeling of dissatisfaction was growing, probably unbeknown to me on the surface. But, about five years ago I started to gain the beginnings of hope, hope for what might be possible. You see, along with my partner we were introduced to something new, something different. For him it was a “no-brainer”. He had the skills, the experience, the business background. It was an easy decision. I went along with it, partly because of his belief, but also partly due to my growing need to discover what I had always been looking for … whatever that might actually be.
As I was exposed to new ways of thinking, one thing I was learning during this time started to shine so brightly. I was looking to find my WHY … my Purpose. I needed to learn my Identity … who I was, and could be. But how I was going to achieve this. While it never consciously occurred to me in the early stages, the how was right in front of me, just waiting for me to see it, accept it and live it.
We both launched “into business”. It wasn’t easy. It still isn’t easy. And, to make it even harder, even my own kids struggle to accept my decision with this, yet alone support it. Family … your hardest critics.
I have learned, over the past few years, so many things that I wish I had known and accepted long before. Despite numerous people telling me I was no good, or that I was “just a worker” and a “mum”, that living a good life was to go to work each day, go home at the end of hours of providing good service to others, come back the next day, and then do it again … all for a measly salary. No chance of real advancement, no chance of being valued for what I knew I could do and provide, no opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of others through my own talents, vision and drive.
My life has now turned around, but the more it turns, and the more the turn widens, even more doors open. Life in business is tough. I am still a mum, and a Nonna (grandma). How did that happen (don’t answer that)? But … I am female. I am smart. I have a business. I am beginning to live my ideal future.
As my partner and I grow, both personally and in business, we are travelling the country, and even across countries, delivering our message – that each and every one of us, male or female, is endowed with their own unique talents and gifts; that we all have natural (and learned) characteristics to put to as effective a use as our ambition, and belief, will allow us; that we have a right to become the best version of ourselves as possible, even when others try to dissuade us.
And, I am shouting my message to all the girls out there, young and mature. I don’t have all the answers … yet … but I am overcoming all the doubts and obstacles I thought were mine to own. Through the opportunity to work with so many people, I now actively encourage and support other women to realise, accept, and live their unique value.
Having spent too long working for others, and following their directions regardless of reason or effect, I now focus my attention on living authentically, exploring what I believe I can offer to myself as I continue to grow, and offering support and guidance to others seeking to reach out and grow their self-awareness, confidence and ability to engage in a positive manner within any work environment they choose, and at whatever level or position they choose to gravitate to.
Women in workplaces, and essentially women entrepreneurs, have the skills, the ambitions and more that give them the “right” to be employed for the good of themselves and those they connect with. They have a right to be both great mums and grandmums … and run a successful business.
And that is my purpose – to show, teach and lead other women in business (or wanting to be in business) towards their true potential … for their reason, for their own good, towards the accomplishment of their own dreams. It is a legacy that drives me. It teaches me every day to remember, and appreciate, where I have come from, and the people and events that conspired to keep me there … and how they have so powerfully propelled me forward.