The 10 year photos that have been circulating social have intrigued me and so this week I thought why not. What an awesome way to reflect on the last 10 years.
The family photo was taken in January 2009. We had three children under 5 - all preschoolers - I was still on maternity leave but prepping to go back to my corporate job as Group Marketing Director. I was smack bang in the middle of crazy parenting, crazy juggling, trying to do it all and not doing much of it well at all. We were living in Sydney with no family help around but great friends to help. I was stressing big time about child care and what I was going to do.
10 years on and so much has happened and changed.
I experienced horrendous corporate bullying at a senior level. I left corporate and launched LBDGroup. 2 years later whilst running this boot strapped business hubby lost his job and we hit rock bottom financially. We had to sell up, move, live off credit cards, have conversations with mates about camping in their backyards (I’m serious!) but through it all my hubby believed in me, my vision and us as a family. I was determined to make things happen, to take back control and I worked, I dug deep, I hustled and I invested in the right people around me to keep me focused and on track, to push me and to believe in me.
8 years on and we have moved in to a beautiful home. The LBDGroup has grown and expanded, launching internationally this year. I have built a global speaking and training business working with some of the most amazing businesses and leaders all committed to driving change. I have written and published two books (one of which is a best seller) and I seriously disliked English at school.
I founded a non for profit - First Seeds Fund - and with an incredible board of equally committed women we helped so many parent and kids in disadvantaged areas in Australia and this ran for 5 years.
A couple of years ago I was given a Honorary Doctorate of Science from University of Aston in Birmingham and was privileged to be asked to speak to the year of students graduating. I became a partner at Thought Leaders Global.
We’ve invested financially for our family’s future and we have, together, created a business that has enabled my husband to also leave corporate.
The kids have grown, we have grown and together we will all continue to grow.
I have learnt so much about myself.
I know that I have to look after myself first and foremost to be the best I can be for others - the best mum, wife, friend, speaker, trainer and mentor.
I know that my life is mine to live - that doing what others expect of me or society expects of me does not allow me to be all I am supposed to be. I know that investing in my own health and well-being and taking care of me is critical. And I know that having people around me that believe and support is key.
I am clear on my personal values - fair without judgement, curious always about possibility and connect with intent.
I dislike seeing spirits squashed, dreams locked away and people not becoming all they are meant to be as a gift to themselves, each other and the businesses they work in. Helping and supporting others to actually live their dreams and ambitions, to become who they want to become and to lead themselves and others in the way they want to lead, unleashing individual brilliance - this is my work and what I love.
What fuels me is my family. My little unit of five and despite the teenage angst and curiosity of growing up, the bickering and the battles as we all grow, evolve and learn about each other - it is the unconditional love that fuels me and all I do. Because there is one thing that I know to be true - without them and their support and belief I couldn’t have had the last 10 years and I couldn’t be ready to take on the next 10.