I often tell clients the importance of letting people in, of sharing their human side with their audience as it helps build trust and rapport. I’m not saying you have to share all the teeny details, but it is vital that you show people the real you.
Inspired by an article I read about Yahoo’s Marissa Maher I decided to let you into my world that little bit more. Here’s a few things I’ve done that have absolutely no relevance to your business, however I hope they give you insight into who I am.
1. I’ve climbed Mt Kinabalu
Mt Kinabalu is in Borneo and at 4095m is the 20th highest peak in the world. In Feb 2012 with only a month to prepare I set off with a group from Wagga Wagga to climb the mountain. It was one of the toughest yet most rewarding things I have ever done.
Fatigue, altitude sickness and extreme temperatures didn’t stop my determination to get to the top. We headed for the summit in darkness after a 1.30am wake up call. Looking up above, what I thought were the stars turned out to be the head lamps of the climbers in front of me. Surely we’re not going that high….
We made it to the summit before sunrise. Watching a new day dawn on top of the world is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. That trip made me realise that I can do anything I set my heart and mind to.
I couldn’t walk properly for a week afterward but felt so proud showing my kids what I had achieved when I returned home. I plan to take them back to climb it with me when they are old enough, and often go back to the photos to remind myself that when I have my heart set on something I can achieve it.
(Check out the photo at the top, that’s me on the right next to my little sister Emma.) You can learn more about the trip here
2. I forgot to how speak English
January 1991 saw me turn 18 and leave Australia for the first time, off to Sweden for a year on a Rotary Exchange Program. I left a balmy 40oc in Wagga Wagga and arrived to -20oc in Sweden – it was a little brisk.
It was a student exchange program so my first priority was to learn the language. I figured it would be tricky to study if I couldn’t understand anything. Mission accomplished! Within a few months I was fluent in Swedish, had picked up the local dialect and was fitting right in.
I’m also a bit of a pastry lover so the fact that they make it so well over there meant I soon stacked on 20kg, but hey, it kept me warm.
I had an amazing year with an amazing family. I lived in Växjö in the south of Sweden. My host family also had a winter house in the North where the bedroom cottages were over 200 years old and I could see Norway from the ski slopes. I even got to hike over the arctic circle.
We went ice skating and ice fishing, swam in frozen lakes and you guessed it – ate pastry.
They also had a summer house on the beach further south. The water was freezing and a hot day over there (20oc) had them heading down into the cellar to cool off.
I was so comfortable with life over there that I actually forgot a lot of my English. Grammar in my letters home (this was pre Facebook and email) was all over the place and when I arrived back in Wagga Wagga I couldn’t understand anyone. English had become my second language and the Wagga twang was just way too much.
My English has returned but unfortunately my Swedish is now a little rusty. If you speak Swedish feel free to call me so I can practice again.
3. I cry all the time
Now this may seem like an odd thing to admit to, but those that know me well, know it’s true. I’m not a sad person and believe I am rather blessed with what life has dealt, but I find that tears can appear at any time.
It could be a song lyric that catches my heart, a Huggies nappies ad, a kids movie, a TED video or a book. I remember watching ‘Up’ with my kids one day and was a blubbering mess in the first few minutes. Now if there’s a sad part in a movie the kids are throwing me tissues and telling me ‘it’s OK’.
If I go to the movies with my friends they know that chances are I’ll cry at something, even when it’s a comedy. My family also know that if they see me crying it’s not always bad news.
I even cry when I’m tired. When I am overtired I get the giggles that soon turn to tears as I’m trying to catch my breath and stop laughing. Yes it would be much easier to just get some sleep, but that’s just how I roll. It seems I am an emotional being and I’m totally fine with that.
4. My horse had better hair than me
My mum recently sent me some negatives she found and when I got them developed I was a little embarrassed. Firstly I’m sure I was much happier back then, I obviously didn’t want my photo taken that day. Secondly check out the hair, what was I thinking???
I grew up in country NSW and fashion was not high on my agenda. I was more interested in riding my horse or my friends motorbikes than doing my hair – obviously!
I actually love taking my kids back to my Nana’s to let them enjoy the country lifestyle I was lucky enough to grow up with. No agenda, no stress and plenty of cake.
5. I was a qualified Financial Adviser
I studied and qualified as a Financial Adviser and worked in the Financial Services Industry for 15 years. At first it seemed like a good fit, I loved dealing with the people and I was good at it. However, once my children came along I realised that working in Corporate Financial Services was not where I wanted to spend my time.
The further I progressed in my career the further I was away from the end clients, the people I wanted to be working with. I’d lost my spark. I wanted to be working on something that excited me, something that allowed me to follow my ideas and work with people on a much deeper level.
Now I get to create the type of work I’m doing. I get to share my lessons with others and help them grow and develop doing something they love.
Phew, now what?
My ultimate goal for my clients is to make their business emotionally and financially sustainable. My passion is in helping them unlock what makes them tick, what lights them up and how they can bring that magic into the world.