If I was asked to identify the single most transformational event that has influenced my business, I could tell you the exact date and time it took place.
And the event didn’t even have anything to do with my business at all.
The event was the moment when my mom and uncle died in a fatal car accident on October 18, 2014.
Today marks the 5-year anniversary of what started as a horrific, traumatic experience and has transformed into a journey of exponential growth.
At that point in time, I would never have imagined how profoundly this event would impact my career and my business.
That accident was the forced stop that my mind and body had been begging for, for years.
It forced me, for once in my life, to focus entirely on my needs.
The pain I experienced was so profound and so raw, that I knew… I just knew deep in my gut that if I didn’t take care of my needs, I would never be able to dig myself out of the big, black hole that had become my life.
In the months that followed the accident, it became increasingly clear that I needed to take a step back from my (previous) business to allow myself time to heal.
I had just expanded my private speech therapy clinic a few months prior, hiring 3 new professionals to work with me.
Within months of their hiring, I found myself unexpectedly letting them go.
Making the decision to do so was incredibly difficult for me. It was accompanied by deep-seated guilt, as well as a fear that in choosing to take a step backwards, I might never be able to get back to where I was in my business.
I also feared that others would perceive this as a failure.
But my friends convinced me that I could always rebuild. So I took a leap of faith.
As it turns out, life took me down a different path…
So here I am, 5 years later. I’ve closed my speech therapy clinic permanently, let go of my professional license to practice and have closed the door on the profession that I spent 6 years in university to be qualified to practice.
I’ve brought everything I’ve learned in that career to a new passion. I now work with leaders and teams who want to unlock the secrets of stress-free communication for more invested employees. I give keynotes and workshops, and do ongoing consulting with teams who want to delve deep into cultivating conscious communication practices in their teams.
This is not a career that had even crossed my mind prior to the accident. In fact, I quite loved my previous profession. I truly attribute my career shift to the life lessons that came from that accident.
Loss brought me clarity in a way that nothing else ever has. I became more connected to who I am and with what I want out of life. The clearer I became about my personal needs, the more I was able to bring this clarity into my business.
If you’re someone who thinks that our personal and professional lives are two very separate beasts, think again. Our personal experiences shape who we are. Who we are is at the forefront of our business and drives our decisions daily.
So today, on the 5th anniversary of my mom and Uncle’s death, I wanted to share the top 10 personal life lessons learned over the past 5 years that have influenced my business decisions.
1. Let go of those who insist that you play life by their rules. You’ll find beauty in learning what you want your own rules to be.
2. You can’t be all things to all people and will die trying. So just stop now and create more space for living. Let “no” become your new best friend.
3. There is more beauty and happiness in being than in doing. Work towards moments of stillness. Even if today, it feels like torture.
4. Know that you are entitled to happiness, no matter what you’ve been through in life. It is ok to feel profound joy. Even if those around you are stuck feeling miserable.
5. It is not your job to make sure that those around you are happy. Period.
5. Focus your efforts on what you would want to be doing if you knew you were dying. This will help connect you to your true inner compass.
6. Instead of trying to mold yourself into what you think you should be, lean in to who you truly are. I promise you – this will attract people who accept and love you for you.
8. Stress-free communication starts with you. If your mental energy is spent dealing with difficult people, start by looking at how you can change that dynamic.
9. Showing your feelings is not weak. But bottling them up is toxic.
10. Wear sparkly eye shadow every day if you want to. Even in your 40s. Even to the gym. You only live once.
Although personal development has always been an area of interest for me, the past 5 years have brought about some serious transformations. If you’re interested in learning more, you can sign up to receive my weekly blog posts.
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