They say life happens when you’re making other plans. That adage rings true for me as I welcome the birth of Woman Rising – an organisation I established to inspire, support and celebrate professional women who are yearning to create a life and career they love.
Let me take you back.
In 2009, establishing a Lifestyle and Career Coaching business was not in my five-year plan. I was happily ensconced in my PR career as the Public Relations Manager for the Brisbane economic development agency, promoting the city as an international tourism destination.
It was the time of my life. I was being invited to grand openings of this and that, snorkelling off Moreton Island and enjoying helicopter rides over Ipswich and the Scenic Rim to gain a better understanding of the gorgeous land I was tasked with promoting to the world’s travel media.
Back then, my life was generally by the book. At 29 years of age, I had just returned from a year in London for the aforementioned positioned, which I couldn’t pass up. New clothes, red wine, working, exercise and going out were my priorities – but not necessarily in that order.
I thought I had all I ever wanted from my career, except for a feeling the bubbled away under the surface that was plaguing me.
“Is this it?”
“What happens now? Do I work here forever?”
Then 12 months in to the role at 30 years of age, my partner and I fell pregnant with our son. I guess I should’ve known then life was about to get very interesting but in truth, I didn’t expect the transformation that followed.
During maternity leave I did what any new Mother generally does to save her sanity. I spent hours online and soon became addicted to blogs. I discovered women around the world writing their own rules, establishing heart-felt careers and exploring their truths in a number of ways.
I was in a trance. I could see evidence of women choosing their path, following their hearts and deciding, ‘there is more for me’ and making it happen. My heart would surge each time I read another ‘About’ page, as if it was knocking on my head saying, “Hello. Take notice of this please.” I wanted – nope – needed to jump on the bandwagon.
Six months in to maternity leave, I started my own Mummy-blog titled This Beautiful Life to share the trials and tribulations I experienced as a head-strong Career Woman turned stay-at-home Mother.
I’ve always loved writing, so it was fun and gave me something to do everyday when the little man slept, but again, I felt disconnected to the content because it was about me and I would think, “Who really cares?”
After a year, I allowed This Beautiful Life to fade away like the rush I felt when publishing a post, but the impact of discovering the Blogosphere would remain.
As one click lead to another, I eventually discovered online magazines. Well, as an avid magazine reader (think: at least 3 glossy titles a month was average back then) I was hooked!
Everyday I poured through great feature interviews, how-to tips and helpful guides to living more fulfilled lives. I felt like they were written for me and I wanted that sense of achievement for myself. Rules didn’t seem to exist online and that excited me. I wanted to create something similar.
As layers and layers of the enterprising online life unfolded before me, I had subconsciously tapped in to my desire to create a heart-felt service for women.
Fast forward to October 2013 (just shy of three years post-maternity leave back in a full-time corporate gig and juggling parenthood) I combined my love for writing, dreams of working in a magazine and passion for supporting women to launch Here & Now – A Woman’s Guide To Everything.
I hired Interns and freelance Contributors to help me create a website for women. Its philosophy was to provide support and inspiration for women to follow their dreams and feature Q&A interviews with women in business, because it was what I loved reading.
Despite a initial small wave of success (i.e. people read it who weren’t related to me) and months of juggling two full-time jobs (one paid, one online), a family, staff and life in general, I had to admit to myself the novelty of producing a daily online mag was wearing thin. To be honest, my heart just wasn’t in it any more.
So I walked away.
Deciding to close Here & Now was a blessing because I gained back time. Time for myself, time for my family, time for my real day-to-day job and time to figure things out. I innately knew I wanted a career online, to be at home more and work less (who doesn’t?) as well as support and inspire women, but what did that look like? I needed a sign.
Then it came.
Three times in one week Marie Forleo was on my computer. Either in my Facebook feed, on a web ad, or in my ‘Recommended’ list on Youtube. I was immediately drawn to her and in four days of discovering this self-made dynamo, I had enrolled in B School. For the first time, in a very long time, it felt like I was taking a leap of faith for my career and despite not having a business plan or concrete idea, I believed if I jumped I would build my wings on the way down. And oh, what a thrill!
Discovering Marie Forleo then introduced me to Gabrielle Bernstein, which lead me to Dr Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Esther Hicks, Danielle La Porte, Dr Brene Brown, Kris Carr and many other inspiring people. I could feel the excitement of uncovering their world flow through every vein in my body. Why had I not found them before?!
Completing B School was not only life changing for me professionally, but my personal life had also undertaken a significant transformation. I started reading any self-help book I could get my hands on. I started journaling again. I discovered meditation and signed-up for a beginners Yoga course. Why? Because it felt right.
I watched thousands of motivational Tedx talks and subscribed to hundreds of websites to quench my thirst for knowledge: Why was I here? What was I looking for? What made me happy? What was my purpose? I was finally asking myself questions I had previously assumed others would answer for me.
As I went through this process, the one thing that kept coming back to me time and time again was the genuine inspiration and motivation I gained from seeing other successful heart-driven women lead their lives with passion, purpose and divine feminine energy.
Their stories of overcoming adversity and rising to challenges head-on sparked my own ‘ah-ha’ moments and I wanted to provide the same level of inspiration and support to women, which they had unknowingly given me.
In June 2014 I commenced training as a Life Coach with Julie Parker of Beautiful You Coaching Academy. Within one hour of starting and hearing Julie’s passion for Coaching I felt like I had landed home. All the pieces had finally fallen in to place.
There are many other life experiences I could share with you to show you how I came to establish Woman Rising, but for now, my intention for this site, my business and career, is to empower you as others have empowered me: with practical information, tools and resources to create radical changes in your personal and professional life; to show you that you can build a life you love free from fear, anxiety, judgement and self-sabotage as I have; and to shine a light on amazing women who are living their dreams and leading their life with authenticity, heart and real power.