My life has been complicated and at times messy but there’s a single theme that runs through all my greatest achievements, from overcoming a 10-year battle with depression to earning 6 figures within 12 months of being made redundant, and that theme is purpose. I always keep in sight the life that awaits me on the other side of the struggle.
To everyone else I probably looked like I had a pretty awesome life in my early 20s – I had a good job, lived in a nice flat and had great friends.
On the inside, however, I was struggling.
I found life overwhelming and never felt like I was good enough. I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders and found pretty much everything scary. I’d run out of food rather than go to the supermarket by myself and constructive feedback from a colleague would leave me crying in the toilets.
My coping strategies were lacking, to say the least, and one night a phone conversation with my dad sent me over the edge. I burst into tears, drank a bottle of wine in place of dinner and found myself holding a kitchen knife over my wrist. At that moment I realized I couldn’t do this on my own and I finally sought help. Initially resistant, I had no way of knowing if the therapy my doctor advised would actually work. But doing nothing no longer felt like an option either, so I took a leap of faith.
During therapy, I learned that I was more capable and resourceful than I’d ever realised and after overcoming depression I spent the next few years putting my new found energy and determination into building a successful career. Having been at rock bottom and got through it, I realised that fear couldn’t kill me and most of the good stuff in life sits on the other side of it. I discovered that by staying focused on why I was doing something, the purpose behind it, I was able to push through my fear and take action. I still got scared when I had big decisions to make but I made them anyway, doggedly chasing success. I moved companies, took promotions, got pay rises and discovered my strengths.
By my early 30s, I was working as a strategist helping businesses create amazing digital products to grow their audiences and increase their profits. I was able to buy a flat in London, ate in expensive restaurants, and surrounded myself with nice things. To most people, I had a successful life.
But success didn’t feel like I thought it would. After more than a decade of working hard, working late and ‘always being on’ my life had become a performance. I would push down my sensitivity, my introversion and my fear in the pursuit of the next goal, never satisfied with my previous achievements. Continually tired and stressed, at times I neglected my relationships and knew this wasn’t who I was deep down, I’d always prided myself on my caring nature. I began to question whether this idea of success was worth what it was costing me and my purpose became to eventually build a calmer life with space to truly feel like myself.
In March 2016, the company I worked for announced its closure and I was made redundant with 4 weeks notice.
It was exactly 12 months before my fiance and I were due to marry in an expensive London ceremony which was yet to be paid for and fears about having to cancel it and even fears about losing our flat raced through my mind. But as I had all those years ago, I leaned into the fear, used the wedding date as a deadline to earn as much as I could and began working for myself. Within 12 months I generated 6 figures in revenue, even more than when I’d been working a full-time job.
I was amazed. I hadn’t just survived, I’d thrived.
It hadn’t come easy though, I’d worked hard for it and now the excitement of the wedding and honeymoon were over I knew I didn’t want to continue to assimilate the same kind of pressure that I’d felt in my corporate career. The purpose of working for myself was to create a lifestyle that had freedom and flexibility not just money. I knew something needed to change and part of that was to redefine what success meant for me.
I wanted a career that meant I could finally embrace all of my personality. I wanted to control when, where and how I worked. And I wanted to have a positive impact on the world. In 2017 I trained as a transformational coach to help others appreciate and harness the power of their thoughts in determining their reality. This decision was heavily influenced by my own experience of receiving coaching during my career and the therapy that had been pivotal in helping me overcome depression.
I now combine my coaching skills with my business expertise to help purpose-driven female entrepreneurs build the mindset and business skills they need to fulfill their own definition of success.
Are you ready to take control of your life and business and want to live more purposely?
MY LIFE TODAY
- I live with my husband and our Shihpoo dog, Alfie, in London
- I run several times a week and my dream is to run the London Marathon
- I drink a lot of tea but mostly decaffeinated as I need a lot of sleep
- I try to eat healthily but I can always be tempted by a crisp sandwich
- I am addicted to tv shows about people moving house, even better if its abroad
- One of my goals is to build a micro-office in our garden as my introvert den