During my corporate career rise, I mistakenly believed that it was more important to DO well than to BE well, and I disastrously allowed stress and striving to crush my health. While I was achieving award after award at work, I was simultaneously diagnosed with moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis, and then a few years later, with chronic kidney disease. A few years after that, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. To say these illnesses caught my attention is an understatement. I immediately began a hero’s journey to turn around my health- while continuing to work. What I discovered was that well-being is not only the greatest asset we have, but also, is a tool that can increase your personal and professional success.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Megan McNealy. An impact entrepreneur motivated by a stress-induced, crushing health experience and triumphant revival, she founded Well-Being Drives Success, a multi-faceted platform designed to serve those in our workforce who strive for exceptional wellness AND extraordinary success. Her first book, Reinvent the Wheel: How Top Leaders Leverage Well-Being for Success (Nicholas Brealey/Hachette UK), shows exactly how we can BE well and DO well. Simultaneously, Megan is 22+ year, award-winning First Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor at one of the largest financial firms in the world, where she specializes in working with senior corporate executives. A graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University, she lives with her daughters in Northern California.
Thank you so much for joining us Megan! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?
During my corporate career rise, I mistakenly believed that it was more important to DO well than to BE well, and I disastrously allowed stress and striving to crush my health. While I was achieving award after award at work, I was simultaneously diagnosed with moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis, and then a few years later, with chronic kidney disease. A few years after that, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer.
To say these illnesses caught my attention is an understatement. I immediately began a hero’s journey to turn around my health- while continuing to work. What I discovered was that well-being is not only the greatest asset we have, but also, is a tool that can increase your personal and professional success.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
Some totally unexpected happened to me. When I started my well-being journey, I mistakenly thought that my behind-the-scenes well-being project would totally derail my career. I thought it would be time consuming, disruptive, and like an anchor on my former workaholism! What I discovered was the total opposite. From the time I was sickest (in 2010) to the time during which I totally came into vibrant health and healing (in 2018), I more than quadrupled my income. It was astonishing! What I discovered — one of the greatest discoveries of my life, in fact, was that total well-being drives, promotes and accelerates success.
I identified 18 different aspects of well-being (visually represented in a Well-Being Wheel) and was fascinated to find out that each of these action items that improves ones well-being also has a corresponding, positive outcome personally and professionally. What a game-changer.
What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a great writer? (i.e. perseverance, discipline, play, craft study) Can you share a story or example?
I have always had a number of side projects going in my free time, and to be honest, they always got the back-burner treatment, because procrastination would set in. Writing this book was different because I was motivated by a huge “WHY.” Way back when I was super sick, I promised myself that if I were ever to figure out how to heal, I would give back and help others.
Once landed my book deal (and was given this chance to give back in a big way), my publisher gave me 19 weeks to finish my book, and although I was worried I would procrastinate again and goof up my big moment, I didn’t. I lit a candle every afternoon, said a quick prayer that I would write clearly, truthfully and with power, and I was so planted in my chair, so inspired, and motivated, it was crazy- astonishing. I was a woman on a mission!
What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?
I am here to tell you that you can DO well and BE well simultaneously. In fact, well-being DRIVES personal and professional success.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming a bestselling author? How did you overcome it? Can you share a story about that that other aspiring writers can learn from?
I love a good story. I am inspired by the great storytellers of our time, including Elizabeth Gilbert, Cheryl Strayed, Isabel Allende, and business writer/storytellers like Tim Ferriss and Gopi Kallayil.
How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?
I aim to bring vibrancy, inspiration and impact to my readers- these are my three highest values. I don’t want them just to read the words, I hope that it uplifts them and inspires them to do things differently so that they rise to their potential. My goal is to impact 1 million people toward greater well-being and my marketing team and I are going to figure out a way to track this smartly on my website.
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?
Go for it!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for this. This was very inspiring!