No going back…

3 years ago, I received an email from an old colleague of mine from our days at Accenture telling me she had started a new business and would love to tell me about it…

 

At the time, I was working full time, but being paid part time in a role that I loved, working with team I had utmost respect for and for a role model leader who empowered her team to realize a common goal. I didn’t mind working the long hours as the satisfaction was fantastic, pioneering a new way of developing code and delivering huge benefits for the mothership company…

 

We tried several times to meet but it wasn’t to be for 6 months – life got in the way – a work trip to Silicone Valley for one… and one son’s broken arm another…

 

In that 6 months, life had changed. My line manager had changed … and rather than an empowering style, it was belittling, un-genuine… Working left an ugly taste in my mouth and the school events I missed with my children, the evenings with my husband I sacrificed on conference calls to the US were no longer worth it…. especially when I was getting an average sleep of 4 hours a night with my non-sleeping little son!

 

It was actually the Big Man who wrote my resignation letter and asked whether I would like to hit the send button, or whether he should…

 

It was liberating!

 

And I was liberated the next day rather quickly from the office to be put on gardening leave…   It was the summer of 2013 and it was the summer of a long heatwave!

 

I lay on my garden steamer, in my shorts, with a pencil and a blank sheet of paper…

 

At the top, I wrote ‘the world is my oyster… what do I want to do?’…

 

And I wrote.

 

And I wrote…

 

I wrote how I wanted my life to look like, the type of work I wanted to do, with what kind of people, the hours I wanted to work… and who I wanted to spend time with.

 

On the other side of the blank sheet of paper, I wrote ‘Why would people want to work with me?….’ And I wrote a long list of all my qualities, experiences…

 

I put my pencil down… and I turned my head to the sun and I daydreamed… and I breathed…   It was so good to be outside. Outside in the daytime. And for the first time in a long time, I was actually excited. I hadn’t a clue what was going to happen next… but I felt excited and in control of my destiny.

 

I had written my blue print.

 

I had written down my list of criteria to benchmark all future opportunities against. A checklist… (a bit like the ones you do when looking for a house – what you want, what is non-negotiable and what you could compromise on… Unless you are the big man… and then there is no compromising! On houses anyway… )

 

At the time, I hadn’t heard of ‘The Secret’ or ‘The Law of Attraction’… but it wasn’t long after that afternoon, that my friend got back in touch again suggesting we meet.

 

We did meet! And it was wonderful rekindling a strong friendship that we had had in previous years… but I was also intrigued by the business she shared with me.

 

I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t heard of it before, or why everyone didn’t have a business like it…

 

She gave me a book. I read it cover to cover in the garden that afternoon… I said I would love to go into business with her, even though I had no idea what I was doing… And then she suggested that I come along with her to a Business Training meeting that week in Manchester.

 

I started the business because it was simple and would make me a little bit of extra cash on the side and because I had quite a few months off, no new baby to look after and felt a bit of a fraud doing nothing! To this point, I had never not had a job or summer job since the age of 14 (my first job – watering plants in the local garden centre).

 

I distinctly remember the Business Training meeting.

 

I distinctly remember the Business Training meeting because it was unlike any other training I had been on.

 

There was a lot of light.. . a lot of white… (hot June summer’s day)… it was noisy! It was JOLLY! A lot of laughter… Everyone said hi! And Welcome! Everyone was polite, moved seats to make room…

 

There wasn’t a blackberry, a grey suit or a dull face in sight….

 

And when it was time to listen… everyone listened. They hung on every word…

 

And when I left, I realized that while I had started a new business in a profession I had no clue about, in an industry I had only just head of… to make a bit of shoe money, that 90 minutes had changed my life forever.

 

Shoe money didn’t interest me any more… but the opportunity to leave a legacy did. To earn enough money to ensure I had no financial worries and if I had no financial worries, then neither did my family… And if my family didn’t have any financial worries, then I could help others who did…

 

Shoe money didn’t interest me anymore… but the opportunity to invite other people who weren’t happy to join others who were happy and let their light, their passion, their positivity rub off on them, just as it had me.

 

Shoe money didn’t interest me anymore… but giving hope to others did.

 

Today I spent the day in a Training Academy… and each time I attend any trainings, I am always reminded of that first training… and it fuels my desire and vision for the future.

 

Shoe money is nice… but giving (giving shoes if you will) is far more fulfilling…

 

3 years ago I was a pioneer in code development.

Now I see myself as a pioneer in an industry that develops people…

There’s no going back.

 

eagles-and-chickens

 

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