Why I do the work I do
On the 12 August 2017, I was participating in an exercise at a workshop in London when the words “I will do whatever it takes to help people live their best life” came out of my mouth.
I knew the moment I said it that something had changed in me.
I was in my mid-forties at the time, had a great husband and kids, good friends, and time for my hobbies (hill running and sea swimming).
I'd run a very successful leadership development and executive coaching business for 17 years - working with fabulous clients like LinkedIn, YPO, Coca Cola, the European Central Bank and Google and was teaching on the MBA programme at Trinity College Dublin.
My work was all about helping people to grow and develop which I loved, it paid me really well and also allowed me to work a four-day week and take at least ten weeks off a year to spend time with my kids, travel and learn.
But deep down I knew that I wanted something more.
To help people more.
Although the executive coaching I’d been doing for the last 15 years helped people a lot – I knew I was spread too thin to help people in the way I knew I could.
I wanted to coach people the way I really wanted to - the way I knew was possible.
If I was really going to help people live their best lives, I needed the space and time to do it properly. Plus I had to live MY best life.
And this wasn’t going to happen without radical changes to my business and my life.
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Little did I know as I uttered those words that “whatever it takes” would mean selling the business I had created, loved and run for 17 years only 3 months later. No safety net. No playing it safe. I was all in.
Little did I know it would mean going through the uncertainty and self-doubt that I now know comes with any significant transition that is self-chosen (rather than a result of a crisis or an opportunity you can’t turn down).
Little did I know that I was starting to climb my “second mountain”. That I was going through what all my clients would go through as they choose a life of more meaning rather than staying on the safe but less fulfilling path of what they already know .
“Whatever it takes” would mean only coaching in the way I knew would get the best results for my clients.
It would mean never telling my clients what they wanted to hear if it wasn’t in their best interest. It would mean being willing to piss them off or be fired by them if necessary if they needed to hear the truth, be challenged or be held accountable to what they truly wanted for their lives.
It would mean coming out from behind the competent, professional façade and showing up as my whole, imperfect self as this work would be impossible without this level of authenticity.
It would mean risking failure (something challenging for the high achieving “good girl” in me).
And it would mean doing whatever it took again and again because this work was too important to do anything less.
I am driven by what I really believe in -
powerful coaching. The kind of coaching where magic happens. The kind that changes lives. The kind that can change yours"
The journey to here
Although that moment in London was when I committed fully to what I believe in, the reality is this is who I have always been.
What's most important to me has always been feeling like I’m really “living” my life (rather than just existing), and helping others do the same (whether that’s friends, family, clients or a random person I end up talking to).
The drive to challenge myself and grow as a person rather than take the easy or safe option started over 30 years ago when I gave up my place in Trinity College Dublin (where many of my friends and even my boyfriend was at the time), got on a boat aged 17 and left Ireland to study psychology in the UK.
It has since led me to jump out of planes, take two months off every summer (before having kids!) to backpack by myself round the world, sing out loud on my own on a busy street in London despite a lifelong fear of singing in public, do a fire walk, and take part in a Guinness Book of Records world’s largest skinny dip.
More importantly, it's led me on the inner journey to evolve from a hard working, high achieving "good girl", to someone who is working in a way that is true to who I really am, doing meaningful work and who prioritises fun and joy in my life as much as possible.
So I really do understand what you will go through when you take steps to live the life you REALLY want to live. And more importantly, I know how to help you get there.