Hola gorgeous hearts!
One of the things that really inspired me (+ still does) when I’m down in the salt mines of my business, trying to work out the next step, is listening to the stories of other business women who’ve been where I am + have had an insight that’s helped them along.
With that in mind, I’ve asked a number of gorgeous, inspired, soulful business women to share their sacred AHA! moment – of the thing that changed their business.
Today’s insight is for everyone who has wished to start over or felt like they were doing something that just didn’t “fit.”
Lots of love,
A Life-Changing Lesson from Leonie
March 2002 (Age 21)
Sitting cross legged on the floor I am surrounded by a sea of paper. Piles of scribbled lecture notes and books full of lesson ideas cover every inch of the cheap brown carpet of my rented student bedroom.
In a couple of weeks I’ll be starting my 3rd year teaching placement at a local infant school. I’ve been visiting them once a week for the last term. A class of thirty 5 year olds, bursting with energy, noise, excitement and spirit – they are full of life and promise.
And I’ve got to be their teacher. For 6 whole weeks.
Staring at the papers in front of me, I feel the familiar feeling of panic rise inside of me. I’ve lost count of the amount of times that I’ve found myself in this position. All I’ve got to do right now is plan the lessons. Planning’s the bit I’m good at! But once again, here I am. Clutching at my lecture notes and willing a moment of clarity and inspiration to appear and show me the way.
But that moment never comes. My brain has had enough. She doesn’t want to play along anymore.
I simply break down.
Sitting there, I feel my chest tighten and a sense of fear come over me as every inch of my body and soul feels lost, overwhelmed and confused. As if my heart is literally breaking in two, I start to cry. Uncontrollable tears and emotions pour out of my body as the realization hits me.
I can’t do this.
Within 24 hours I’m sitting in my tutor’s office with my loving and supportive parents at my side. After a half hour meeting I walk out of the office feeling like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders.
It has been agreed that I will take some time out and go back to teacher training a year later. But in my heart I know I won’t be returning. And I never do.
August 2013 – (Age 32)
As I’m writing this tale to you over 10 years on, I can remember the emotions as if they happened yesterday.
Teaching was the only option I’d ever really considered. The tiny bit of career guidance I received at school took place at the tender age of 14 and two years later I was handing in my application to University and committing myself to a 4 year degree that would never be right for me.
For the next few years after leaving the course I bounced from job to job. Never truly satisfied and never completely happy. Stuck in a world of mixed up career paths and wrong decisions.
I felt completely and utterly lost in the world.
But then one day I came across Leonie.
I’d already made the move to go self-employed and had started working as a Virtual Assistant for creative women. But when I came across Leonie Dawson it was like a whole other world was being opened up to me. Watching her videos, I felt empowered, inspired and energized. Her honesty and beaming smile made me feel like I could do anything if I put my mind to it. That I could create a life for myself that was 100% true to myself in every way possible and live my days the way I wanted.
And so, I started being honest with myself. I started a journey to investigate what lay beyond what I knew about myself. And most importantly I started to explore a side of myself that I’d always struggled with. My introversion.
These days I run two businesses. A sentence I never thought in my wildest dreams that I’d ever be able to say.
Part of my time is taken up working as a Virtual Assistant. But my most recent venture has been launching a brand new online support hub for introverts. A place where I have faced my struggles and connected with others who have experienced the same difficulties.
And I feel that finally, my life has transformed.
I get to work when I want, where I want, in a way that is true to my personality and dreams.
THAT is the lesson Leonie taught me. And, it will stay with me always.
Kathryn Hall wants all introverts to be able to follow their dreams and do what they love without fear or judgement. She set up The Business of Introverts as a place of support and guidance. Where introverts at the beginning of their journeys into the world of business can go to share experiences, find practical information, then bask in the glory of their quiet creations. When she’s not running the site you can find her working as a Virtual Assistant, browsing bookshops and getting muddy.