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A photo of miserable pub dog

Are You Living The Life You Love?

In this podcast, I ask, are you living the life you love?Do you know what your purpose is?

I share a little of my own life and how I am now living the life I love as I have discovered my purpose.

Are you confused about what you are meant to do?

Are you stuck in an unfulfilling job either because you don’t know what else to do, or you’re too afraid to take the steps necessary to change jobs?

Are you stuck in some other area of life, and are not sure what to do next?

Please comment and let me know, as I passionately want to help you find out what you’d love to do and gain the courage to do it!

Photo of Amanda Heal on stage

Who am I?

“Transition

I thought it was time to let you know a bit about me.

I m totally blind, and have been since birth. I was borne 14 weeks earlier than I should have been, and weight just 750 g (that’s 1 pound 9 ounces on the old scale). They didn’t know about the effects of too much oxygen on the eyes back then, and thought you could never have too much of a good thing. But as we all know, you can. The oxygen saved my life, but caused a condition called Retinopathy of Prematurity, which caused abnormal formation of blood vessels at the back of my eyes, which bled, scarred, and caused my retinas to detach.

Thanks to the determination of my parents, I was not sent interstate to a blind school, but had all my education here in the ACT. I studied Commerce and Law at the ANU, and worked for 17 years in the Public Service as a Government Lawyer.

Then, it was announced that the agency I was working for would be downsized, and we would all have to reapply for our jobs. The top 7 applicants would keep their jobs, and the rest wouldn’t. I wasn’t in the top 7, and so was offered a voluntary redundancy, which I took.

I decided to start a business selling skin care products. I had to completely reinvent myself, from being an employee, doing what i was told, to being a completely independent business owner, finding customers, selling products, keeping business records, and maintaining lasting relationships with customers. If I didn’t do the work, it didn’t get done, and I didn’t get paid.

This was a very lonely and difficult time for me. I’d been so used to being an expert, that I hated having to admit that I didn’t know what I was doing, and found it very difficult to ask for help when I needed it. I also felt, that as a blind person, I had to prove that I could do this all by myself, which was completely wrong.

That’s when I met my good friend and colleague, Wendy. She was running personal development training for skin care consultants, to help us grow our businesses. So I signed up.

Over the next year or so, I learned about leadership and personal growth, and how I had to be able to grow myself, and lead myself, before I could expect others to join my business. I learnt that personal growth didn’t just happen like physical growth does, and that I would actually have to do the work to grow. I loved the principles so much, that I started to apply them to my life, and that’s when things really started to change for me.

There was a skin care conference in Las Vegas that I wanted to go to, but no one else I knew was flying there at the time I wanted to go. So, if I wanted to go, I’d have to put all the planning in place to go on my own, which I did. I had to make sure that staff at the airports I’d be passing through were booked and ready to help me get from aircraft to aircraft, and from aircraft to hotel, and that hotel staff were able to assist me once I got there.

My guide dog, at that time, had become unwell and was no longer able to work. Rather than making the easy decision and depending on others to get me around while I waited for a new dog, I decided to make the right decision, and relearn to use a long cane, something I hadn’t done for over 25 years. I had to overcome my fear of getting lost, and learn the skills I needed to travel safely. Finally, I decided it was time to learn to catch busses on my own, and which terrified me. Now I travel all over canberra. I was taking control of my life and independence.

Wendy asked if I’d like to train to be a speaker and coach, and I jumped at the opportunity. What a contrast! I was finally using skills that I had already, rather than trying to take on a completely new set of skills as I had in my previous business. I could just be me, and do what I am good at- listening, talking, writing, and helping others. I suddenly felt that it was OK to ask for help if I needed it, and that I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone.

And how much I’ve learned! If you had told me 12 months ago that I would design and build my own website, I would have laughed at you and said “a blind person can’t do that!” Well, I’ve done it.

If you had told me 12 months ago that I’d be recording the third episode of my new podcast, I certainly wouldn’t have believed you.

And, if you had told me 12 months ago that people would actually pay me their hard earned cash to coach them and to speak to their organisations, I certainly wouldn’t have believed you!

So, why work with me? Well, I’ve survived the redundancy process, and have come out the other side, having transformed myself from disillusioned Government employee to happy business owner. Ive searched until I discovered my dream, and I’ve done what was necessary to gain the skills and the courage to follow my dream and make it a reality!

I’m a career transition coach who passionately believes that no one should be stuck in an unfulfilling job simply because they don’t know what their options are, or are too afraid to follow their dreams. Let me work with you to help you discover what you’d love to do and gain the courage to do it.

It’s easy. Just click here, to book a free 30 minute appointment on my calendar, so we can discuss your goals and needs, and decide whether we’d like to work together.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to accomplish your life’s dream alone

Personal Development for Career Professionals

In my last few posts, I’ve been covering the questions you need to ask about your dream to see if it is worth following. My question for this post is, have you included the people you need to realise your dream?

“It marks a big step in your development when you come to realise that other people can help you do a better job than you can do alone” – Andrew Carnegie

“A dream is a compelling vision you see in your heart that’s too big to accomplish without the help of others” – Chris Hodges.

I think that, one of the hardest things for some people to do is ask for help in achieving their dreams. It’s certainly the case with me.

When I started my first business, I was surrounded by a wonderful community of people who were very ready and willing to help me. But I rarely called on them, and only asked for help when I was really stuck. For some reason, I felt that I had to build my business all by myself.

When I started my current business, there were a number of things that I had to do which I found difficult, including dealing with the visual side of social media, and building a website. Being totally blind, pictures pose quite a challenge for me. I’d waste hours trying to get a picture the right size for a particular purpose, such as for use in a twitter or Facebook header, and then find out that I’d posted it sideways or upside-down!

I decided I needed some coaching on this with a good friend and mentor. She helped me realise that there was no shame in asking for help, particularly in an area in which I didn’t have the skill required for the task. After some discussion, I realised that many people, both blind and sighted, call upon others to help them do things that they may not have the skill or the time to do themselves. My friend pointed out that I had no trouble having a cleaner clean my house, as I’m not good at it, and it takes me a long time. So what was the difference in asking someone to help me with the visual side of my website, or resize pictures for posting on twitter?

This invaluable coaching session has now saved me much wasted time, which is much better used on doing things that I am good at in my business. I still occasionally fall into the trap of wanting to do picture-related things by myself, as the problem solving part of my brain kicks in and says “surely, there must be a way”. However, I’m only wasting minutes now, instead of hours, before I realise that I need to ask for help.

I am blessed to have wonderful friends and mentors who are willing to help me in achieving my dream, and am so grateful that I was open to learning the lesson of asking for help. Who do you need to include in realising your dream? Please let me know in the comments section, or if you prefer, please contact me directly.

I will be running a mastermind on “Put Your Dream To the Test” at the end of August. Participants will have the chance to exchange thoughts and ideas, learn from each other’s experiences, and put their dreams to the test.

If you are interested in participating in this mastermind, or would like more information, please contact me. Places are limited, and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis, so please act now to avoid disappointment.

Can You See Your Dream Clearly?

Moving from Corporate to Business

In recent posts, I’ve been covering questions that you can aske to see whether a dream is worth pursuing. This post will cover the clarity question i.e. do you see your dream clearly?

Mike Hyatt, the president and CEO of Thomas Nelson, Inc., once said:

“What you need is a vision that is so big that it is compelling, not only to others, but to you. If it’s not compelling, you won’t have the motivation to stay the course, and you won’t be able to recruit others to help you. … If you have a clear vision, you will eventually attract the right strategy. If you don’t have a clear vision, no strategy will save you.”

When I first joined the John Maxwell team, I didn’t have a clear vision. It was very broad. I knew I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives through coaching, training and speaking, but that was all I knew.

It wasn’t until some time later that I got a clear vision of what I wanted to do. I was thinking back to when I was going through the redundancy process, and how lost i felt. I didn’t know what to do first, or who to turn to for advice. I also felt unwanted and devalued.

As I was thinking about this, I realised what I wanted to do. I wanted to help people who were going through a similar situation to the one I had gone through. I also wanted to help people who had decided that they wanted to change their job, but weren’t sure what to do next.

As my thoughts became clear, I got this feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was a mixture of excitement and expectation, and I wanted to run out and tell someone that I knew what I wanted to do!

While I didn’t immediately have a complete start to finish strategy, I knew what I had to start with. I had to find the people who I wanted to help, and let them know what I could do for them.

Every time I took a new step towards my dream, the next step would become clear to me. I also found that I was able to more clearly articulate what I wanted to do to my friends, family and colleagues, who gave me a much more positive response than when I told them that I “wanted to make a difference”.

Can you see your dream clearly? Please let me know in the comments section, or if you prefer, please contact me directly.

I will be running a mastermind on “Put Your Dream To the Test” at the end of August. Participants will have the chance to exchange thoughts and ideas, learn from each other’s experiences, and put their dreams to the test.

If you are interested in participating in this mastermind, or would like more information, please contact me. Places are limited, and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis, so please act now to avoid disappointment.