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Saving the World

Day Two of Veronica Pullen’s ‘Authentic Visibility Challenge’ and Day Ten of the SARK EMedia Blogging Challenge. I must be bonkers but this is proving to be a lot more fun and much easier than I thought it would be before I started.

You see one of the things about having the courage to do what you love is that there is absolutely no evidence that points towards you failing. Even if you tried before and things didn’t work out, you will have learned what not to do, and can take a different course of action this time around.

The key word in that last sentence is ACTION. I know that some people look at me today and think I’ve had a charmed life. They have absolutely no clue – which is why today I want to tell you a bit more about me so that you understand my WHY. Why do I want you to love working with your team; why do I want you to do what you love and love what you do.

Why do I do what I do?

Because my birthday is in August I was always one of the youngest in the school year and when I left, I got one of those school reports that said something along the lines of ‘could do better if she tried’. Better at what? Better at all those subjects that had made me miserable for almost 12 years?

A lot of my class mates had decided what they wanted to do; some went to college and some went straight out to work. Because of my love for music I had assumed that I would go to college and then university, and that soon thereafter I would become a music teacher. My family probably thought the same.

By then though what I really wanted to do was to go and work for the United Nations and save the world. And the Universe heard my wish.

A friend of my Mum’s had another friend who had another friend who was looking for an Au-Pair girl. The family was in Austria which suited me perfectly because there were UN Offices in Vienna and a move there fitted in with my grand plan.

When we met the family for my interview I learned that there was a child – but he was already 18 – and my main responsibilities were to look after Gustav, a beautiful ‘Pointer’ dog, and to help the lady of the household with cooking. I couldn’t believe my luck!

So here I was in a similar situation to that which I had been in years earlier when I knew that I didn’t want to learn to play the violin. Except that this time around my heart was talking a lot more loudly and I said ‘no’ to the life that everyone, me included, had assumed would be mine.

My Grandfather was furious that I had chosen to be an Au-Pair girl instead of going to college. He offered me money to stay in England, then told me that I would never make anything out of my life because no-one would employ someone without qualifications, and then he didn’t speak to me for a very long time.

The year spent with Gustav and his family in Vienna represented learning more valuable and relevant than school had ever offered (ok I’m grateful that I learned how to read and write and add and subtract but that’s pretty much it!).

During this time I had visited the United Nations to find out how I could apply, but was told very kindly that I was too young and would need some skills (note: no university degree required).

My career as an Au-Pair girl came to an end and I returned to England. By then my family was living in Winchester and we discovered the fabulous ‘Miss Sprules’ Secretarial College’. It was a cross between a lady’s finishing school, the type that was popular over a 100 years ago, and something out of a St. Trinian’s film.

I loved every minute and found that my true vocation lay in doing ‘shorthand’. After eight months of enjoyable slog and receiving my secretarial diploma, I got on a train with two suitcases and made my way to Austria.

Once more I visited the United Nations, and once more they told me I was too young (by then I was 18) and needed some work experience. I began doing odd jobs such as baby-sitting, cleaning and ironing, translation jobs, basically anything that would pay for a couple of cheese sandwiches and a bar of chocolate.

A Slight Diversion

I met loads of interesting people and after about six months a friend’s boyfriend told me that PolyGram – a record company bought up by Universal several years ago – had moved to a new building, and that they would probably be looking for new people. I had nothing to lose.

My letter was addressed to the Managing Director, diplomatically asking whether he had a job for me. I was invited for interview and became the first non-Austrian international promotion manager, working with rock and pop groups from all over the world.

I persuaded my boss to begin with the distribution of 12” singles (who remembers what they are?!) to discos and clubs; we were the first in Austria to successfully reach out and tap into that market. For a while it was exciting.

But all the time I was looking towards the United Nations until one day in 1989 a senior secretarial job was advertised. My friends told me I had no chance, and that there would undoubtedly be an internal candidate for the position. I applied anyway, and got the job, because I was the only candidate who could do shorthand!

That was another turning point in my life because I had achieved my goal of helping others with a view to saving the world. It was the beginning of a new adventure and for a while I was one of the happiest people on the planet.

So you got to my ‘why’, right?

I do what I do because I know that you are capable of so much more than you believe. I know that with some thought and reflection you would find the answer to the question of what it is you want to do. I also know that you may already have the answer, but that you’re scared of failure and what others might say.

I do what I do because when I started out on my own I felt like a complete fake and wondered why on earth anyone would listen to what I had to say – and now I know different because those who work with me have achieved great things.

I do what I do because I know that if you take action you can do anything you want to.

Someone once told me that if you have a skill that will help other people but you don’t want to offer it because you’re not sure if you're good enough, it’s the same as standing on one side of a table full of food, and telling the starving people on the other side of the table that they can’t eat anything because you didn’t put enough seasoning on the vegetables.

If I can choose my dreams and make them come true, so can you, and that’s why I do what I do.

Do you dream of doing something different? I’m giving you the opportunity to invest in my online programme ‘New Job New You’ at the Authentic Visibility Challenge’ offer of just EUR 90 (plus VAT) instead of its usual EUR 295. This offer will be available to you until the end of this challenge.

Take action right now by going to the sign up page for ‘New Job New You’ :

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