Today I’ve decided to tell my story in order to motivate and inspire others.
Having worked in the House of Commons for many years, I took early retirement and switched off. I’m sure it’s something that many people do after a hectic lifestyle working in London or after a busy career.
I met someone who was charming and seemed to want to help me. Little did I know that he had an ulterior motive which was nothing to do with helping or supporting me! I got caught up in a domestic abuse situation which resulted in my dialling 999 one day followed by a restraining order and the police on speed dial. As you can probably imagine, life changed overnight and I became very withdrawn, scared of my own shadow and afraid to go out “just in case”. When I speak at events and tell my story, there are many people who resonate with it; I even had one lady in tears. She has since become a client.
I knew I needed to get out networking so pushed myself to attend some networking events locally. At first, I stood in the corner just watching everyone and anything that moved! Sound familiar? It’s a horrible feeling and I was never able to relax and just enjoy the meeting or talking to new people.
Gradually my confidence increased and one day, someone suggested that I use all my knowledge and experience from my House of Commons days, to work with businesses. When I thought about it, it was such a great idea. I’d worked on business plans, finance, performance and all the things that a small business needs to think about so it was a perfect opportunity to start getting into a more business environment. I set up my own business and began to look at how small businesses were operating and how I could help them.
Just as I got comfortable with one thing, something came along to push my comfort zone a little more. I was told that if I wanted to be a key personal of influence, I needed to write a book! My initial reaction was that “people like me don’t write books” but, I now have two business books on Amazon and I publish a business magazine.
I read a book which said it was so much easier to write a book if you have a signature programme first so I designed a programme called “Delegate to Elevate” and started writing. The second book is the story of how I was asked to design a balanced score card, what it is and how you use it. It’s based on my experience in the House of Commons so again, easier to write.
I know all of this sounds amazing but it’s been a long journey, challenging myself to do just a little bit more each time until I feel comfortable and then it’s time to try something else and so it’s gone on.
A couple of years ago my vision was to wake up to a view of the sea – which I now do in Whitstable – and to have a business which I could run from a coffee shop anywhere in the world. At the time I said it, I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve it but I now have exactly what I wanted which is just amazing.
The speaking journey has been the same. In the early days I struggled to stand up and say my name let alone anything about my business. Each time I’ve got comfortable, I’ve been offered the opportunity to speak for a little bit longer so I’ve gone from 60 seconds to 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes and now more but it doesn’t phase me any longer.
Initially I struggled to have my photo taken and a video was totally beyond me. Again, I’ve overcome my fears and I now have a chat show which is live streamed every month on social media and have no problem with photos or live videos. It’s been small steps like each of the other challenges until I’ve got comfortable in my own skin as they say.
No matter how difficult and challenging you think it is, there is always way. It takes time and one step at a time but it can be done. I’m proof of that. Little steps take you closer to your goal.
All of this has been possible because I’ve had a mentor, someone who believed in me and supported me along the way.
I’m now looking for people to mentor, who I can help and support on their journey. It’s so exciting when you watch someone grow, their business starts to do well and they need a mentor less and less. They become confident in what they are doing, believe in themselves and just get on with whatever life throws at them.
If you’d like to be considered for my programme, please book a FREE 15 minute call and let’s have a chat – www.bit.ly/talk-with-Sally