From debilitating depression to finding my version 2.0

I know what it’s like to feel invisible.

A rusty, lesser version of yourself.

It can happen after a setback or when we take time off to care for children or aging parents.

You start to wonder if the real you will emerge again.

After being a goal-oriented go-getter, it’s terrifying when the lesser version becomes the status quo, and you can’t seem to shift into higher gear again. It’s easy to worry if today’s version of you is actually able to embrace change – when you’ve got so much on your plate, not enough money, you’re tired – or one of the many reasons we feel stuck.

Baby steps

I left an abusive relationship at the end of 2014, after being hospitalised with severe depression. Looking up from my hospital bed in a psych ward after months horizontal, I knew it was time. Even though I looked up at grey clouds on the other side of the world, I knew I could do it. I could get back on my feet again.

The slow climb

Landing back on Australian soil on New Year’s eve 2014, I knew I had a huge climb ahead of me.

I’d left a marriage. I needed to find a job and somewhere to live.

After 11 years away, I felt alone in the world and needed to find new friends!

I also needed to rebuild my brain.

I had to be patient as it would take time. Patience and I had never really gotten along…

Getting back into the workforce

In early 2015 I was thrilled to get back into the world of magazine publishing, the only industry I’d worked in since the beginning of my career, but I also knew it wasn’t a long-term strategy. The industry had changed a lot and that all too familiar feeling of not belonging had reared it’s head again.

I loved the 18 months I spent in the Australia magazine publishing industry, but when my contract ended it was time to move on. But to what?

Learning to reassess and listen to my intuition

If a year in bed battling depression and recognising I was in a toxic relationship didn’t teach me about intuition, quitting the magazine publishing industry and getting my first Australian Business Number (ABN) did.

There in my rented apartment (after leaving a beautiful home I owned with my ex only a couple of years before), it was suddenly me and an old laptop.

Putting the customer first

I turned my sights to small businesses as I felt that was where I could provide the most value. It was about listening and living off my savings while I built up a small customer base providing marketing support.

Larger consulting opportunities then landed, which I now see allowed me to hone my writing and communications strategy skills. It was a gift.

Invisibility

Surprisingly I got by in those early days of business without a solid website. I largely built my customer base from networking and referrals.

Fast forward to 2020.

After having a baby in January, 2019 and emerging to build my business again during the pandemic, I recognised just how invisible I’d become.

It’s not all about the customer

While I’d always been very customer-focused, and I think as a mum you tend to put others ahead of you. I asked for help.

While I had a business logo and website in development, I couldn’t seem to get the look and feel I wanted. My lacklustre website was reflecting my energy, and it was a bit disappointed and falling flat.

The absolute gift of personal branding

In order to become visible, I had to really take a deep dive – address some pretty rock solid blocks and work out how to rise above.

The blocks were like a wall around me, that had emerged as short term coping strategies following my split and during survival mode to get my health and life together back in the country of my birth.

Becoming intentional about my personal brand has meant:

  • Identifying what really mattered to me
  • Embracing the fire within
  • Envisioning who I wanted to become
  • Amplifying it for the world to see

 

I haven’t looked back. It’s been an absolute gamechanger.

I finally feel like the old, energetic go-getter me.

I’m back and I have flow!

I’ve been invited to appear on podcasts, to guest write on blogs and write a chapter in a book. I’m working with clients I love, earning a six-figure income as a solo business owner and now I want to give back.

Who is your version 2.0?

If you’d like to learn about how to elevate, from rusty to ravishing – let’s have a chat.

Keen to elevate right away? I’m running a small group Personal Branding with Confidence Program launching Friday, 6th May. Details here.

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