For over twenty years I’ve been self-employed and have had the freedom to utilise all my skills and play my part in making the world a better place.
But it has come at a cost.
I’ve had many years of working so much that I seriously neglected myself. Achieving, striving, pushing to do my best – has been my way of life as a business owner for over two decades.
The thing is, I was so obsessed with helping others that it fuelled me to create multiple companies that could help as many people in as many ways as possible. I was operating in so many different roles that one moment I was sending a magazine to print, the next; having a strategy session with a coaching client, writing stories, presenting to camera for a travel blog, then singing or presenting on stage. Not to mention making dinner and all of the other mundane life admin tasks we have to fit into our days. I loved how much variety I could squeeze into a day.
I literally wore pants most days because I didn’t have time to shave my legs. I was overdue for medical check-ups, and to top it off – I didn’t have time to see my hairdresser and keep my hair in check (which is kind of an essential for on-camera work). So, my team and I thought the best strategy would be to buy a wig for filming, thinking I could pop it on and have perfect studio-ready hair. The wig arrived, and I did some filming with it – thinking that it wasn’t too noticeable. I look back now and realise how ridiculous I looked.
I was too busy at the time to realise how out of control my life had gotten. I never sat still – I was always doing, or asleep. If I stopped, I literally fell asleep. I was running on adrenaline and felt uncomfortable not maximising every minute of my day. I was working 10 to 20 hour days, trying to grow multiple businesses, create a great place for my team, whilst trying my best to be a great mum, wife, daughter and friend. Some days I did a great job, others I felt like an absolute failure, and my family certainly got what was left of me, not the best of me.
Then Covid hit.
I thought I was going to lose everything I had worked so hard to achieve. During those lockdown months I was forced to slow down, and a range of health issues reared their head (that’s for another day) – the world has a funny way of delivering messages to us. During this time of reflection, I realised that although work is important, having time at home with my kids, husband, and friends, and room for spontaneity was actually very liberating.
I decided that things needed to change, I needed to change, my businesses needed to change.
It’s taken me two years to make and implement massive changes to my life. It hasn’t been easy. It’s been a time where I have judged, doubted, and challenged myself more than any other period in my life (and of course I’ve had others judge, doubt, and challenge me too). It’s like being a caterpillar in a cocoon, hiding away whilst I morph into my next phase of my life.
Thanks to all of those in my life that have patiently waited for me to re-emerge, and held my hand throughout the journey. I am truly grateful for my family, my friends, and my ever-supportive team.
Wigs and unshaved legs are now replaced with walks, talks, and being ok with not having to be all things to all people – I can be me, and live my best life, and you can too.