JOY!: Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life
Life is happening For me, not To me. Whether I understand it at the time or not, I choose to operate on this assumption, and to the greatest degree possible, I align my behavior and choices accordingly. It ALWAYS works out for me somehow because I’ve decided it already has — it just never looks the way I think it will, and sometimes it takes a few years till I can look back and say “So THAT’S why that happened!”
Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their lives. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50's.
How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?
In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.
As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing JOY.
At 24 JOY moved from New Zealand to Australia to advance her business. She was extremely successful, living the dream, defying the Old Boy’s Network, reveling in taking on Corporate Australia.
Four months later she was hit by a drunk driver. The doctor said she’d be dead or brain dead by 30 due to brain injuries.
At 30 she had co-created Australia’s first 3rd party end user software support organization and had become the 1st Individual to receive an IT&T Award for Excellence in Industry Development.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
My business back story is more pertinent. I learned early on that I am not employee material. Every place I worked I saw what needed to be done that wasn’t being done, and I just had to do something about it.
Sometimes that worked out, sometimes it didn’t. for example:
The only reason I took the job at Harding Signals in my early 20s was because the general manager interrupted the interview to say “I’m sorry we don’t hire women for this position.”
In those days the one way to make sure I did something was to tell me I couldn’t, and so I became Australasia’s first female security sales engineer.
They hired me, and set me up to fail, so they’d be able to point at me and say “We tried hiring a woman, it didn’t work”
So they refused to train me, and sent me out to cold call businesses to survey and quote for gigantic burglary systems.
As I talked to the businesses I found out they had more issues with shoplifters than burglars, and there was nothing under huge $30,000 door monitor systems to help them, certainly no economical system for small businesses.
So I went to our warehouse and talked to an engineer friend about my idea of a simple loop system that set off an alarm if any part of it was broken.
The SNITCH was born, I priced it at $99 and presented it to Harding Signals thinking they would see the error of their ways about hiring a woman. I was so naive I didn’t even patent my invention.
The manager scornfully told me they don’t sell anything under $50,000.
So I pitched a nationwide electronics store and brought him a $100,000 order.
He fired me and kept the SNITCH.
Moral of the story: Be wise, get stuff in writing. Bad things will happen, it’s an important part of how we learn. Accept it and move on, don’t let it take you down, they want you broken and ‘back in your place’. So use these experiences to grow stronger and smarter and better. It is delicious, productive revenge.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I can’t control what happens to me, but I can choose how I’ll feel about it. It’s this choice that matters because it determines what happens next.
Challenges arise, it’s the nature of things, it’s how we grow. Life isn’t getting any less interesting, we have to skill up and step up to meet it. I’ve learned the worst thing to do in a crisis is panic, worry or stress, so I armor myself with tools and skills to effectively manage these distracting unhelpful states.
For example I am very strict about the thoughts I allow myself and the language I choose in the face of challenge.
I know how thoughts create my reality, and how words manifest it.
If I decide ‘this is the worst thing that could happen to me’ then my life will turn in the direction of that thought, and proceed toward its inevitable undesirable result — unless I turn it around.
I turn it by remembering It’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed. I get to choose my thoughts, and I need to choose wisely because my life will proceed from those thoughts.
So I choose thoughts that will take me safely through the challenge and out the other side, and I refuse to indulge in thoughts that spiral me down into fear.
I shall give you my ‘Go To Thought’ when fear grips me.
“This is a Miracle I don’t understand yet.”
Hold tight to it in uncertain times, and observe what happens as your thoughts turn you to face in that direction.
All kinds of doors open as your focus draws you toward Miracles.
My life is far from easy but it is blessed with a constant flow of Miracles because I have this programmed as an automatic stress response.
You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
I have Consciously, Care Fully Created much success, Regardless of Circumstance, and it does indeed result in blessings. I’d like to share the first 3 things I do when confronted by a challenge — business or otherwise.
#1 Life is happening For me, not To me.
Whether I understand it at the time or not, I choose to operate on this assumption, and to the greatest degree possible, I align my behavior and choices accordingly.
It ALWAYS works out for me somehow because I’ve decided it already has — it just never looks the way I think it will, and sometimes it takes a few years till I can look back and say “So THAT’S why that happened!”
This is not Spiritual Bypassing or putting a bandaid or facade on it. I acknowledge whatever challenge is occurring, I respond- grieve, scream, do whatever I need to do to move through it.
I refuse to let it unnecessarily hurt or hinder me by thinking like a victim. I choose to see this challenge as part of my Shero’s Journey remembering I only have a piece of the puzzle, the jigsaw is not in my hands.
So to whatever degree I can, I invest my energy in learning whatever needs to be learned, and in finding out how to proceed from this new place.
Try Reverse Engineering whatever challenge you’re facing.
When you understand that this is happening For you not to you, you also know everything will ultimately work out.
So, imagine going forward in time to when this is the case…
How might that look? What steps did I take to get here? What was the first step?? Take that step now…
It’s my Passion and Super Power. Perspective enables the bigger picture to reveal itself in challenging situations.
Each new perspective holds the promise of new options and ways of looking at things.
It gets you unstuck.
Most people are so locked in stress and overwhelm, habitual and societal programming, that they don’t even know other options exist.
Take a breath. Pull back. Get some distance. Ask yourself If there were other options available what might they be?
Ask for Guidance then release the need to control how the answer comes, you’ve set it in motion, now leave it be.
Take a break, go on a hike, get out into nature and just RELAX for a few hours.
You’ll return with a fresh mind, better aligned with rightful resolution.
#3 Focus on Solutions NOT Problems.
Learn enough about the problem so you understand the risks and challenges.
Then turn ALL of your attention to the solutions.
Starve the problem of your attention, quit feeding it your energy.
Attend to what you want to have happen, not what you fear will happen.
You have a limited amount of energy and resources, this will help you invest them wisely.
This potent bit of common sense opens doors that simply aren’t visible or available if you’re facing the direction of the problem.
When you don’t like the direction you are headed, Turn Around!
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?
After Harding Signals I went to work for Quaife Kerr Marketing selling discount books door to door. It was a female owned and operated business whose ideas and integrity I respected.
I learned the ropes, established there was a need for an executive version of the books for traveling business people.
Within a year I had created and implemented a Gold Card for Executives.
I signed up all the establishments nationwide, hired and trained a team of sales people, acquired an office on The Terrace in Wellington (THE place to run high end companies) and was heading Aureum International.
Everyone benefited as we grew the company together, especially the executives. I was riding High.
And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter?
This reinvention was decided for me by a drunk driver, I literally had to recreate myself from the ground up.
Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?
I went from Living the Dream to being in a body that could no longer support any of my dreams or even thoughts.
I couldn’t speak without stuttering, walk or stand for more than a few minutes, lift a glass of water with my left hand — I lost 70% of the strength in the left side of my body.
But most terrifying of all, every time I became stressed, the soft tissue would swell at the base of my neck, blood would stop going to my forebrain, and I would have about 3 minutes before I blacked out.
…It was a VERY STRESSFUL time.
I never knew if I would wake up from a black out.
Each blackout caused oxygen deprivation which created an oxidative stress wall in my forebrain.
After a couple of years my frontal lobes scanned like an autistic child.
The doctor said I would be dead or brain dead by 30.
I’d spent my life defying the patriarchy, the medical system felt no different to the corporate system. Doctors don’t know everything and they certainly don’t know me.
I realized if I was going to live it would be up to me. After 18 months of seeing specialists with no end or resolution in sight I took my power back.
What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?
After the doctors gave up on me I started studying holistic modalities, on a literal do or die mission to clear stress in 3 minutes or less.
I became certified in more than a dozen different modalities, and never stopped learning new ones, why would I? I grow more personally powerful every time I tuck another skill under my belt.
As I journeyed through each modality, I uncovered amazing tools that enabled me to take back control of my life. With each new modality I grew stronger.
I learned things like how to dissolve emotional trauma easily and painlessly. How to understand my body and the messages it sends, and that treating my brain like a bio-organic super computer gets a lot more mileage out of it.
In IQ tests I tested as autistic in tests considered easy.
After reconfiguring my brain I also tested as a genius in tests considered hard.
How are things going with this new initiative? We would love to hear some specific examples or stories.
Instead of basket weaving at 30 — which is what the court appointed psychiatrist suggested I might still be able to do, I learned to treat my brain like a supercomputer, and reprogrammed the neurological pathways to bypass the injuries to access different parts of my brain.
I did this by Thinking New Thoughts.
At 30 I was the first woman to be elected to the Queensland branch of the Australian Information Industry Association.
I’d developed four government-funded, nationally accredited traineeships that introduced an entirely new career path into the IT industry, creating thousands of jobs.
I’d also created a strategy that saved more than 45% of end-user computing costs for every 1000 P.C.s. in Australia.
My formal education ended at 15 when I flew off a cliff on a motorbike. I’ve only ever set foot in a college to lecture. I know nothing about computers to this day, everything I suggested and implemented was common sense.
But common sense isn’t very common, and most people are afraid of change. Those old boys were so busy trying to make sure that nothing changed they didn’t see the system had long outdated itself, and was causing more harm than good.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
ME! I’m grateful to ME for never giving up… for long…
I walked with Death as my companion for 18 months. He taught me how to live, and about priorities, and the difference between Urgent and Important — try asking “How will this matter at the end of my life?”
Every morning I awoke not knowing if I’d see the end of the day.
I had a lot of time to ponder what I’d take to God if I died that day, what was the sum total of my life? How did I want to be remembered? What did I want as my legacy?
I’m grateful to Me for making choices that focused my life on JOY instead of pain and loss.
Other people help of course, but ultimately it comes down to what You are willing to do to align with what you want, knowing you will likely stand in the full face of opposition, from any and all directions, regardless of what you choose.
This testing is important, it’s how you find out Just How Much You Want what you say you want.
Consider how willing you are, to release the need to control how what you’ve asked for appears…
It’s never looked the way I thought it would! It almost always ended up as a bigger blessing than I could have conceived.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
This all happened in the mid 90s. These days I teach people how to reprogram their brains for optimal levels of Productivity and JOY. How to live more JOYfully and less stressfully in 3 minutes or less. How to experience JOY regardless of circumstance.
It’s how I make everything that happened to me make sense. It’s my legacy.
When I finally go Home I’ll be able to say to God “I made every life that I touched more JOYful”
Meantime I’m on a mission to share all I learned on my long journeys to recreating myself anew over and over and over again.
Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?
Of course! The butterfly has to struggle in order to break free of the cocoon, if it doesn’t then its wings won’t be strong enough to support it. It will never get off the ground.
Transformation requires us to build our muscles to break out of our comfort zones and spread our wings.
I’ve found Limiting beliefs are usually societal programs instilled in childhood, accepted as truth and never examined.
Beliefs are just thoughts we accepted as true. We know our thoughts change but how often do we check our beliefs?
Most people are running buggy old DOS programs, riddled with sabotaging viruses that make it very difficult to achieve their dreams.
Try this as a ‘Virus Detector’ using Money as the belief to examine.
Write down all the beliefs you learned about money as a child, good bad or otherwise.
Go back and circle the ones that are still active in your life.
Focus on the beliefs you want to upgrade eg: “Money doesn’t grow on trees, you have to work hard for it”
Feel how that belief feels in your body when you think about it.
Notice how it might be impacting your current financial situation.
Now let yourself really look at the belief.
Is it something you still want in your base operating system?
Does it take you anywhere you want to go in life?
Is it even true any more?
Money is actually made of PAPER it does grow on trees.
If working hard was the secret to making money, every hard working, long suffering, over burdened person in the world would be rich.
These beliefs were true, back in the 50s. But it’s a whole new world now, and we need a whole new operating system to thrive in it.
Decades old software doesn’t match the new system we find ourselves in.
So, ask “What IS true for me now? What is aligned with what I want in my life?”
It’s interesting how often the exact opposite belief is true.
The richest people I know don’t work hard. They work smart, they’re flexible, focused and attentive to the changing times.
Have you noticed that’s true as well?
Begin to load the new program by acknowledging the upgraded belief, and overwrite the old program by having your imagination play a new movie of how your life feels with the updated belief as a foundation.
How does it make you feel to think these new thoughts?
Who are you with this new belief in place?
Begin to be that person now, in every way possible, with what you have from where you are right now.
In my own work I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new. How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?
We’d moved away from ALL of our support, and everything familiar four months before the accident. We were on our own.
I went from being the primary breadwinner to unable to function.
The person I was could not live in the body I had left, so, not knowing what else to do, I ‘killed off’ that person and created a new me from scratch.
We left Sydney’s bright lights and disappeared into the country so I could recreate myself in a very different, very quiet environment. We took over a handmade paper mill on the edge of a village of 300 people.
I decided if I was starting again I might as well create someone I really like. I knew that programs could be overwritten and new habits could be created in a month of dedicated practice.
So I wrote down all the traits I didn’t like about myself, and the opposing, desirable trait I wanted to download instead, and tackled them one by one:
Lie vs Truth was the first one, the truth had become a bit slippery and I didn’t like that about myself, so for a month, every time I caught myself in a lie I would STOP, say “Cancel Clear” wipe the words off an imaginary whiteboard in my mind and continue
“What I meant to say was…” and then speak the truth.
It was so embarrassing at first but it worked! Now I never lie, and not just because I don’t have the capacity or memory for it. I learned life is WAY better, simpler and cleaner when you are upfront and honest about everything.
I kept going down the list and eventually became someone I really like.
I learned that NOTHING about us is set in concrete. At Any moment we can start being a better person… ah but which moment to choose…
Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?
I don’t even think I have a comfort zone any more. I take comfort in knowing that God aka Upstairs Management, totally has my back.
I’ve learned my job is to submit the Invoice for what I want, and release the need to control how it’s delivered. I don’t always agree with the Guidance I get, but I’ve learned to trust it.
People boggle at my faith, but the truth is I don’t need faith, I have EVIDENCE that as long as I am aligned with my Highest Truth, clear on what I want, moving toward it even in baby steps, somehow or other I always have just what I need when I need it.
It just rarely looks the way I think it will because God knows how I like surprises.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
I made a 5 things video for you https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLc_CrG0LWOtWKRtcZpIMVEoWDIOm8JlOE
You don’t have to pay for advertising if you can make yourself newsworthy enough.
I managed to have at least one article about our company in at least one major computer magazine every month. Sometimes I wrote it myself, sometimes it was written about me.
Here’s the trick: Make yourself an expert, and share your expertise.
You’re good at what you do, so what tips do you have for others?
Share those tips with the media, in their approved format, hooked somehow to a current event.
Make it interesting and make it easy for them to print you.
They will LOVE you for doing all the work for them. They are Always looking for stories. They NEED YOU!
Make sure you write with an emphasis on genuine service to the reader, selling yourself is tacky and won’t get you published. Let your expertise and authenticity sell you.
1. Encourage regular Solutions Orientated Creative Brainstorming
I threw office parties once a month, bought pizza and beer, cracked open the Suggestion Box and went through the contents with my team, voting on which to implement. Everyone looked forward to these events.
All Implemented Suggestions won Prizes ranging from fabulous to hilarious.
Many of our challenges were hashed out and overcome in environments like this.
Keep it FUN as you keep your business growing.
2. Treat your people REALLY WELL! They represent your business! Get them invested in your company.
We didn’t have a lot of money in those startup days, sometimes we couldn’t pay wages. Our staff showed up regardless because they KNEW we were all in the same boat, that we truly cared about them and we were in this together. Because this was their business too, they went the extra mile.
We instituted a profit share when we were able.
Your business has a much greater chance of Flourishing if you respect and support your people and pay them an honorable wage.
3. Celebrate the Wins!
Starting a new business is All Consuming, and it’s easy to focus on everything that Must Be Done and how much you still have to do.
Remember to acknowledge what you’ve already done and Celebrate the wins.
Take yourself out to dinner, or buy yourself a treat. Take time to nurture yourself. You’re setting your brain up to succeed by activating Dopamine and Serotonin responses = good work gets rewards.
Your brain will encourage you to do more things that will get a reward response.
Besides, with all the work you’re putting in, you NEED pampering and celebrations to balance it.
Trust me, you’ll return better able to do the never-ending next thing.
4. Use worry as a trigger to get Productive and Resourceful.
I created the De-Worrying Process a year in to my new business — a business we started with a $30 cheque that bounced. I worried myself into a near nervous breakdown too many times to count. I had to create a different system, one that eliminated worry at its source. So I did, and I put this De-Worrying Process in an ebook called ‘No Worries Mate!’ https://experiencejoy.com/no-worries-mate
It took me from struggling to keep our little home business afloat in an ocean of toxic corporate masculinity, to Single-handedly co-opting the written support of every major computer company in Australia to Change State and Federal Government policies.
Part of the De-Worrying Process makes worry work for you rather than against you, by using it as a trigger; for example:
5. Use worry as a trigger to check your resources: Make a list of the resources you have to help you with the things that are concerning you. Whenever you feel worried, check which resources will help you to a solution.
Include friends and family and your own internal strengths as well as material goods and services you have access to. Make it a point to add to your list regularly.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I have many ideas, so I’m going to say helping me keep my jaw so that I can share them.
I am the poster child for don’t get dental implants if you have a sensitivity to metal, I had them taken out but a bone infection ate away most of my bottom jaw, exposing my Trigeminal nerve. I need treatments like bone stem cell injections that are $10.000 each, I need at least a dozen.
These days I live a Joyful Missionary Life, largely free from possessions, going where I’m Guided, in complete service to Divine Will. My communities call me their Faery Godmother.
But I can’t continue with my jawbone the way it is. In March of this year I told God “Fix me or take me” and was vehemently reminded that I had not fulfilled my vow that the knowledge I literally died to acquire, be available to everyone who needs it.
I Never Break a Promise so here I still am.
I can do and see things many people can’t. But it comes at a price, I can’t do or see things many people can.
I can share my wisdom tools and knowledge, but that’s where my abilities end. I think from a different part of my brain, one that doesn’t readily grasp 3D things.
I was successful in business because my husband at the time put legs on my visions and made them run. I saw what needed to be done, and how to do it, and I was the face of the business, but that’s where my abilities end. He implemented it all.
Now I need someone to Help me make decades of knowledge available in seamless ways to all who want it, especially the up and coming generations, they need all the advantages they can get.
I’m known as the Shortcut Shaman because I’ve faced so many different challenges and I know so many great shortcuts out.
I give thanks for a wonderful mentor/business partner that is aligned with my Highest Good and the Greatest Good of All.
I give thanks for the perfect sponsor who wants to put their money where my mouth is so the world can experience JOY a while longer.
I give thanks for any donations anyone might feel moved to share so I can rebuild my jaw. https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-joys-jaw-miracle
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. :-)
I do not know, but perhaps you do dear reader?? Did someone pop into your head? Hook us up if so!
If it works out I’ll gladly gift you a Wish Granting session for connecting us.
Go with your first thought — that’s my last piece of advice for you today, if it’s the only thing you take from this interview it’ll rock your world.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
www.experiencejoy.com come on over and I’ll send you ‘No Worries, Mate’ or a 15 minute video that shows you how to Relax instantly, keep a clear head no matter what’s going on, and clear stress from your body.
When you find out how well these tools works, share them, everyone needs to know these things!
I recently became @Tiktoksfaerygodmother as a way of sharing skills and support with the youngins https://www.tiktok.com/@tiktoksfaerygodmother?lang=en&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1
I’m still figuring out social media
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!
We share the same wish! Thank you for this interview and the chance to make it come true.