How I Used Tragedy To Become A Dreamer AND Doer
From devastation to a life with passion
When I was young, I had big dreams. I knew I was meant to be seen. I fearlessly sang alone on the church stage at age four, appeared on the radio when I won a contest, was interviewed for local tv, and would have adult conversations with anyone, but until 2015, I didn’t see the path for how my dreams of visibility and impact would come true.
There were glimpses of greatness along the way; I:
- Became a professor at age 23
- Achieved my lifelong goal of owning a horse the same year
- Grew my herd to 7 and created a business breeding rare Egyptian Arabian horses on a non-profit salary
- Quit my second job in career counseling to become a full-time entrepreneur
- Ran international online marketing campaigns for small businesses, generating millions of dollars in leads, in my 20s
- Worked at the Olympics 3 times (Salt Lake City, London & Sochi)
- Grew 2 6-figure businesses
…but inside, I knew I was capable of more, and I was frustrated that I didn’t have it.
Then, after a perfect pregnancy, my beautiful, first baby, Maeve Evalyn, inexplicably passed away at full-term, and I delivered her, stillborn, on March 4, 2015.
In the grief and devastation that followed, I questioned everything in my life and became determined to create a legacy for myself and for my daughter that would make us both proud. I decided to discover my Zone of Genius, as Gay Hendricks, PhD., calls it in his stellar book The Big Leap, and build a business around it.
For the first time, I invested in support in the form of a high-level coach, finally owning that this was the quickest and most strategic way to get where I wanted to be, and I worked with her to develop my business, Life With Passion.
I embraced my passion to help other high-achievers who were feeling stuck or overwhelmed, and I began teaching them how to build their own freedom-based businesses online, quit their jobs, and gain confidence in themselves for the first time since they were children. It is my life’s work, the thing I was searching for, and my true calling.
That doesn’t mean it’s all been easy, though.
It was terrifying to put myself out there the first time. When I announced my new business, I almost threw up. Literally. I had so much nervous energy that it had to come out in some way, and I told my coach, “I’m either going to throw up or work out.” I did the latter, and it got easier each time.
If you’re thinking about leaving your job, my biggest piece of advice is to be strategic about it.
When I first quit, I was enjoying my work, but I very quickly replaced my income and re-created the feeling and income ceiling I had in my 9–5. If I’d had a mentor to hold my hand and walk me through the process of growth, change, and overcoming my significant self-doubt & fear from the beginning, not only would I have quit my job much sooner, I believe I would have arrived here, to doing this work and impacting thousands around the world, much sooner.
I know now that part of my journey was to do these things “the hard way” so that I could speak to the difference, once I’d learned to do them the more strategic (and faster) way, but my desire is to save other women from experiencing that same, years-long struggle. It can be simple.
Find someone who you feel can help you, and ask yourself how you can hire that person. Use their skills, their confidence, their knowledge, to gain your own, and the world you’re dreaming of will open up before you.
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Originally published at magazine.vunela.com on March 3, 2017.