Somehow I’ve already hit my forties (where does time go), I’m married, mum to 3 gorgeous kids, an ex career driven corporate girl who had a moment of ‘I want more out of life’ and acted on it. I now spend my days doing really cool family stuff like the school run, helping with home work, taking the kids to the park, organising our family life and building my very exciting home based business. Life is full on, crazy, challenging, and rewarding yet the pace of our life is slower, we focus on the really important things and I love every single day. Oh, and I also suffer from ME (Myalgic encephalomyelitis).
My husband, Greg, and I met in October 1999 in Cardiff, which is an interesting place for an English girl and an Australian to meet. I put it down to fate and the Quarter finals of the Rugby World Cup! We married in April 2003 but one day simply wasn’t enough for us; we made it last five whole weeks! I always like to push things beyond their perceived limit. Firstly the ceremony on the gorgeous Beachcomber Island in Fiji. then a stunning reception at L’Aqua overlooking Sydney’s Darling Harbour, a short honeymoon on Hamilton Island before heading home for our third and final reception at Nailcote Hall. An incredible few weeks making the most amazing memories.
Our lives were changed completely and irrevocably in 2005 with the birth of our first child, Mitchell. In 2007, our second child Lachlan was born. Somehow having two kids more than doubles the work, and to add to that in November that year, at just 12 weeks old, Lachlan had open heart surgery to fix a congenital heart defect called aortic stenosis. It was a traumatic time but we got through it and went on to have our third (and final!) child in December 2010. With the birth of Elliza, our little family was complete. Although it’s chaos most of the time I am amazed and grateful every day for the precious family we have created.
Career-wise, my background is standard corporate working for the same company for almost 25 years. But it’s not as standard or as boring as that may seem, for me being in a large company meant that I was able to change my career on several occasions while continuing to climb the pay structure, not very easy to do these days! I joined Rover Group in July 1989 on a sort of apprentice scheme, and yes part of my job was to make the tea and fetch breakfast! It wouldn’t be allowed these days, and it didn’t exactly stretch me, but it was definitely character building. I initially worked in the Finance department progressing quite quickly and enjoying the work, but the company hit hard times and I lost my job. Luckily I was put on the bench and given time to find a new job. That was the start of me looking for more out of my career and just 4 weeks later I got myself a role in Purchasing. I didn’t really enjoy it though so a few months after that I jumped two grades to get take a role in International Sales and made manager at just 25 years old. I remember excitedly picking up my first management car, a white Rover 216 SLI, it was such a proud day!
International sales was a fun job, I scored Africa and the Caribbean as my region and got to travel there quite a few times, happy days! From there I moved into project management in IT then finally into internal comms. I discovered a real passion for internal comms and it turned out to be the perfect launch board for my next big career move. Not long after I moved into internal comms I ordered our dream car – a Jaguar XKR. Actually it was my husband’s dream car and I’d finally been able to get my hands one one. Our boys were old enough to not need big car seats any more, but still small enough to fit into the ‘plus two’ seats in the back. Sadly we only had the car for a few months, I discovered just after I ordered it that I was pregnant with our third child so we held onto it until I could physically no longer fit in behind the steering wheel then we had to replace it with a more practical 4×4.
I learnt so much from each of the roles I had the company which, after quite a few name and ownership changes is now called Jaguar Land Rover. Each of the departments, I worked in, the people I worked with, managing my teams plus the continual change of ownership, management and direction all taught me valuable lessons. So after almost 25 years, you may ask why I made such a big change to my life and left the corporate world behind? There were quite a few factors involved in that decision, the kids, our lifestyle, my health were all in there, and my growing interest in what my friend Debbie was up to!
What Debbie was up to was opening my eyes to the world of network marketing. The cynic in me had dismissed it without really taking a look, and to be honest I only really looked after trying the products and finding out how good they were. I then spent hours on the internet finding out about network marketing, the company and the reality of working in the sector. When I was finally satisfied I rang Debbie and asked to join her team, without ever being approached by her, without viewing any of the company presentations and without attending any of the events open to prospects looking at the business. I could see it was legit, I understood how it worked, I understood why people failed in the industry, I understood how people succeeded and I had a good idea about how I wanted to use my corporate skills to run my business. From there it was a few key things that saw me leave my corporate job; my eldest child crying on the doorstep one morning as he wanted to come home after school, not go to after school club until I’d finished work; my frustration at the daily impossible choices I was being forced to make between work and family, I never wanted to let my team or work down and yet how could I not be there for my sick child, to watch their school play, to attend their award ceremony; the lack of future prospects in my corporate world, a promotion would satisfy my need to progress but it would bring with it less family time and so more impossible choices; my health wasn’t good with the lifestyle we were living; and finally the reality hit that eery day was a monumental task of getting through the day, ticking off tasks at work attending meetings, dealing with issues then home to spend a precious couple of hours with the kids which was often quite factious with us all being tired and needing to do so much in such a short space of time, before falling into bed exhausted and trying to get enough sleep to wake up early enough to do it over again…….so there it was, there had to be more to life and I realised I’d already found the answer!
I can’t really finish ‘my story’ without mentioning my ME, but it’s at the end for a reason. It doesn’t define me. I have learnt ways to deal with it. I have almost accepted that I have it, although not quite as i fully intend to get my health back on track. It is a rubbish illness to have, end of! Yes, it affects my daily life, but I try to not let it define each day. Look at what I have done with my life so far, from single corporate girl to married mum of 3 at home, running my own business with a very bright future. I work with great people, I love what I do, I love my family and I appreciate each and every day for what it is.