Before launching off into the world of entrepreneurship, I had a long and what many would describe, successful career as a global executive, having lived in 4 countries in 20 years with a big job c-suite job that I thought would define my career success. In hindsight, I recognize that the job and experience have been very valuable parts of the journey, but that is all they were – a part of the journey. I’m not minimizing the decision that others might take to have a goal that reaches the pinnacle of corporate success but instead, that wasn’t the path to be for me.
One of the biggest drivers in my decision to leave corporate life other than having achieved what I set out to do was I hadn’t set an example for how I expected others to treat me, resulting in me compromising my health both physically and emotionally. This is not about any specific abuse that I experienced. It is about me not looking after myself which set the example for how others treated me. We each have to own our parts we play in toxic and challenging relationships. The message that I was sending by being the workhorse and always taking on more than I could possibly deliver ended in a continuous cycle of chasing the next thing to prove my value. At that time I didn’t understand that determining my value was something that should have been reserved for me and me alone.
So, I kept doing more and more and was asked to do more and more as a result. I didn’t celebrate my successes but instead considered each rung on the ladder akin to resting on my laurels. I didn’t learn my lesson there, in my first career as an entrepreneur I essentially did the same thing. When I had trouble fundraising, I sunk all of my possessions into my business. It failed. I don’t regret the risk, only that I didn’t value myself enough to throw in the towel. I was so busy trying to prove my products’s value, which was by extension a measure of my own, that I was blinded and went well beyond the initial loss threshold I set going in.
I’ve learned some big life lessons along the way but mostly that you have to treat yourself, the way that you want others to treat you. I affirm the amazing woman that I am everyday. These days I rest, set boundaries, eat well and live by my own expectations. Now, I’m experiencing how much the way I show up influences the way others show up and how they treat me. I am valuable and because I believe it and own it, others treat me as though I am valuable too.