How Her Luck Changed With Getting Caught Up In One National Disaster
Do you ever have people come up to you and say: ‘Aren’t you the one who…??? I have a hundred questions for you!’ Or ‘I want what you have, how can I get it?’
I get that a lot.
Don’t get me wrong. I ain’t braggin’. I’m just a regular kinda girl. I’ve had my ups and downs. Challenges aplenty. But all in all it’s all worked out just fine. No. BETTER than fine. I am 42 years old and I have never felt better. I am happy with my life and I know that there is so much more to come. I have travelled the world and lived seven lives (or more). And still – I have only touched the surface.
Today I live the life of my dreams, a life, where I am in control of my time. Most (business) people live by the adage: ‘Time is Money.’ To me ‘Money is Time.’ It’s a simple equation: if you need $4000 to make a living and make $20 an hour you have to work 200h to get by. If you make $200 an hour, you need to work…you got it!
Simple maths – different life!
Working 200h a month you have NO time. No time to hang out with your kids, your partner. No time to look after yourself. No time to spend with family and friends. No time to work on and develop your business. No time to dream. No time to make a difference in this world. In short: No time to do the things that you love with the people you love.
Working 20h however…a totally different story!
So how does a German veterinarian, who earned her veterinary degree in Berlin, met her English husband in New Zealand, worked 7 years in the UK, then 2 years in Germany, end up a Web Developer, Marketer, Coach, Mentor and Inspiration to other women in business or who want a business and life they love too?
It is the 7th of February 2009 around midnight. We (hubby and I) are in a pub in a tiny village called Molesworth near Marysville (Victoria). The area is surrounded by fire and I am on the phone with my Dad.
There is no electricity and we have no idea about the extend of the fires that will make front page news all over the world and create a dark chapter in Australia’s history. They will call it Black Saturday. But we don’t know that yet. All I know is that I can’t breathe. That the heat is unbearable. That my eyes are streaming non-stop from the biting smoke, the smoke which is everywhere.
Outside fire engines are racing past. One minute they head one way, just to turn around a minute later and head back the way they came. People are rushing in and out of the pub. Many are talking on the phone, trying to warn their family and friends or just trying to get in touch. Babies are crying. It’s utter confusion.
I almost say: ‘Dad, if we don’t come home, will you look after the kids for me?’ In the end, all I say is ‘We’re ok, and I’ll see you tomorrow.’ Maybe that saved us, not allowing that thought to materialise, who knows?
The Fork in the Road
That exact moment was my Snap Point, my point of no return, the fork in the road…whatever you want to call it. The second that thought entered my head that I might never hug my kids again…in that moment I understood, really understood, for the first time how precious life is. I saw in all clarity all the things that I HAVE – my children, my family and friends, a roof over my head and no real problems (like where is our next meal going to come from).
From that day on, I started to get pro-active about changing my life. I did heaps of things I had never done before, not even thought of doing. Scary things. I spent a lot of money on myself, but not on clothes or make-up but on books and courses. I started a coaching course. I enrolled with Toastmasters. I started speaking in front of people (probably the scariest thing of all). I got my feet wet in business. And I loved it.
I’m not here to tell you it was easy. That there were no bumps in the road. That there are not still many bumps in my road. That it didn’t get harder before it got better. I’m not going to lie to you.
But I will tell you that it’s been exciting. Wonderful. Exhilarating. That I met amazing people who have inspired me. That I learned lots, about myself and about other people.
And I am definitely here to tell you it’s worth it. Even more – you have a responsibility towards yourself and the people around you (your children, your family, your friends) to be happier, more joyful, more fulfilled and simply have heaps more fun!
Because when you do more of that good, fun stuff, and ONLY then will you be able to give some of that joy to others. You MUST, simply must, work on shining yourself so that will be able to hold the torch for others, be the spark that sends them rocketing into space.
The world needs you right now. Your people need you. They need you to be happy. To be radiant. To love your life and whatever it is that you do. They need you to be passionate and upstanding. To be an example.
Self-responsibility is the new black, baby!
And enjoying every minute of your life is the new rich.
Before Black Saturday
I had a pretty good life at the time by most standards: a husband, two beautiful kids, a lovely house in walking distance from the beach. I should have been happy! And what I really felt a lot of the time was: is this it? Is this really all there is? What I was really feeling was far away from home, stuck in a rut, with no career prospects and just enough money to get by.
It’s a fact that every human being is yearning and striving for happiness, security, adventure, growth, contribution and for comfort (and the personal development savvy amongst you have probably recognised Tony Roberts 6 Core Needs in there).
Every human being no matter who or where they are is striving for something better, something different, something larger than themselves.
And the best way to get all of that is to fully live…and give. And that’s not an entirely new idea either. 🙂
The mission: to get control of my time.
But let’s start at the beginning…
It’s the 2nd of Novemer 2006, I’m in a hospital bed in Mitcham, Melbourne, Australia. It’s raining cats and dogs outside and I am watching the rain stream down the window pane. I’m happy, because in the cot beside my bed is our new baby girl, Zara, she is all but 14 hours old and sleeping peacefully.
It’s not like when I had my son, back in Germany two years ago, when friends and family were flocking to our city apartment in Cologne to come see the new baby. I don’t get a room full of flowers (like the girl in the bed next to me), and no visitors apart from my husband and son. We’ve only just arrived in Australia after all. But I don’t fret about that, because I have a new baby girl and she’s healthy and beautiful and that’s all that matters.
All in all I will spend almost exactly 6 years in Australia. They will be some of the most fun, exciting, challenging and instructive years of my life. I will spend time in some of the most beautiful places on earth. I will nearly die in Black Saturday’s bushfires. I will be forced to spend 2 years at home with my kids which is one of the best things that will ever happen to me. I will grow a tumour. I will make some amazing friends and business connections. I will be mentored by some of the most successful people I have ever met. I will hear some of the most successful people on earth speak. I will inspire others through my own speaking.
Australia will change our lives completely and irrevocably…
When we came to Australia, we were just like ‘everybody else’. We had jobs and depended on other people for our financial well-being. Today, I work in my Pjs most of the time (I’m kinda lazy that way). And we have heaps of time to be with our kids, travel and enjoy our lives.
Girls just wanna have fun!
But let’s go back a little bit further, because I think there’s more to the story yet.
See I am one of the people who knew what they were going to be from before they could walk. My father is a vet and I spent all my childhood around ‘all creatures great and small’.
When I was little, my Dad still had the kind of practice where one would be in the practice looking after cats, dogs and guinea pigs one minute and be out castrating horses or calving the next.
Super idyllic. Super picturesque. And I loved it.
I started diagnosing animals’ problems when I was about 4, and by the time I was 6 I would operate with my Dad after hours when the nurses were already home. I earned my veterinary degree from Berlin Uni. And then the sh.. started hitting the fan. To this day, I cannot explain it. It just didn’t feel right. And it didn’t work out.
My first boss was a complete plonker. Three months into the job I got attacked by a massive American Staffi who tried to kill me (and I’m not kidding) and put me in hospital for a week.
I’ll never forget sitting on a step in the ops room with my right arm ripped open and my left hand bleeding in several places shaking from head to toe and waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Suddenly my boss walks around the corner – with the dog. My blood was dripping from his teeth and his whole chest was soaked in it and my boss just turned to me and said: “Get over it. I’ve seen worse.”
Being a vet never felt the same again. I lost that ‘ur’-trust that I used to have in dogs and from this day forth I never went to work without a sick feeling in my stomach again. But I stuck with it, mainly because I didn’t know what else to do. Even after I had my first child, I started working again after about a year.
When I was pregnant with my little girl, my husband (who’s English) was getting antsy in Germany and decided he wanted to live down under for a couple of years…so we went. I knew that my German veterinary degree wouldn’t be accepted there, and my plan was to stay at home with the kids for a couple of years.
A couple of years went by. We had a ball and I loved being in Australia. It was all like a VERY long holiday. Then I started getting bored and I decided it was time to go ‘home’, but my husband wanted to stay and wouldn’t be moved.So here I was, stranded at the other end of the world, no family, no career, most of the friends I had made were actually German and had gone back by then…well, it was a bit of a lowpoint in my life to be honest.
I started to get quite depressed. I felt trapped. Trapped in a life that I didn’t want, far away from the people I loved and without a career or the chance of finding a job. And I tried, hell, did I try. I applied for every job you can think of including waiting in cafes and restaurants, pharmaceutical sales, even in a pet food company.
I got nothing. Most times not even an interview. Whilst my self-confidence was spiralling downwards, my so called ‘depression’ was reaching unexpected highs.
And then…Black Saturday happened
Getting fairly close to death changed everything for me. I knew things had to change (today I would probably rephrase that to ‘I had to change’). I started to study success. First I read books and did heaps of research online. I started with Robert Kiyosaki’s ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ and went from there. I read everything from Paul Mckenna to Dr Demartini, Cialdini, Dale Beaumont, Brad Sugars etc.
I enrolled in a coaching course, then NLP, then Trainer’s Training. I learnt everything I could about the online space. First Websites and Web design, then SEO, then Marketing…I got involved with a Network Marketing company and enjoyed that for a while but it was to restrictive for me (and although I learnt heaps and met some amazing and inspiring people, there was a LOT of BS going on as well).
In short: I got myself a whole new education. I completely reprogrammed myself. Within 8 months I changed so much that people who had met me ‘before’ didn’t recognize me ‘after’.
My business was almost a natural evolution as my best mate was an IT genius…so we started developing websites. I still do that and I enjoy it a lot.
But really it was never about websites for me. It was always about ‘being in business’ and helping others who are also ‘in business’. It was about the internet which is just the most amazing invention of mankind yet and it has changed EVERYTHING.