On paper, I had all the boxes checked. The apartment in the world’s most thrilling city. Exquisite dinners at restaurants. A closet full of clothes, the designer handbags, the shoes. Yet even with a life so full of invitations and important things, something lingered, leaving me feeling drab and lacking. Up until four years ago I had a full-time office job working at a nonprofit with young people in London preventing them from becoming homeless, and before that I worked in sales. It was an ultra fast-paced city life filled with jetsetting, parties, and fashion shows, and against all measures, it seemed like I should be happy. But instead, I felt uninspired and stuck.
I needed inspiration. I needed...Paris.
It was then I made a decision that changed my life and my business forever. And I’m sharing this with you because I believe—from the bottom of my heart—that this shift in thinking will change your life and business as well.
Today, everything is different. I’m a business coach who works with entrepreneurs to build the thriving businesses they’ve always wanted, but that they didn’t think they could have. I share my story in hopes that you find something within it that ignites something inside of you—and that you learn to use inspiration to create the life you’ve always wanted.
Do you ever find yourself wondering what it would be like to live the life of your dreams?
Do you feel like there’s something more waiting for you—a life of filled with passion, adventure and fulfillment, free from the worries of how you’re going to pay for it?
This is the life I live now. I’m my own boss. My business has not only transformed my life, but my clients lives and even benefits my hometown. I quadrupled my income in the past three years, and am a sought-after speaker who travels internationally several times a year.
But as I begin to explain, it wasn’t always this way. My whole life changed only four short years ago, and I am so glad it did.
The year I turned 36, my life felt like a display window of a closed store—it all looked nice on the outside, but it felt empty. The indecision of what to do next and where to go built up inside me until there was nothing I could do but something dramatic to escape.
So right after my birthday I hopped on the Eurostar to Paris, the city of lights and romance to sort out where to go next. I left everyone and everything I had built in London behind, and jumped into the freshness of a Paris, alive with possibility. As I sat at a Parisian cafe, sipping cafe au lait and making lists—of jobs, of places to move to, of new possibilities. Nothing felt right, or like what I needed. Until I heard a small voice in the back of my mind whispering, “Donegal”.
Until I was 18, I lived in Donegal, in Northwest Ireland, and as soon as I could I began traveling the world, building homes in Budapest, Madrid, and New York before settling in London where I had been living for the past six years. Honestly, I had never entertained the thought of moving home. Growing up, I couldn’t wait to leave. But here I was, croissant crumbs and my journal, and the thought of going back to Ireland flooded me with a feeling of peace. Clearly, my heart was on board.
I came back to London from my Parisian adventure, and left my 9-5 job. I bought a car and began to pack the most essential belongings of my life into it. Over the next two weeks I said goodbye to the roaring London city-life, and drove the 11 hours to my Irish countryside hometown.
As I drove to Donegal, I was immediately filled with an overwhelming sense of peace, excitement and freedom—and I’m so glad I was, because I still didn’t have any of the answers! The contrast of what would be my new pace of life settled in slowly as I drove, and I recalled the sense of appreciation I felt taking in my country’s natural landscapes. Once I arrived, things started falling into place. My grandmother’s cottage that had been vacant for 30 years became my new home. I'd never in a million years imagined this life for myself, but it felt so right.
I was struck with an overwhelming sense of love for the natural beauty of Donegal, the Gaeltacht region where I'm from is often nicknamed Ireland’s “cradle of culture”, and for good reason. I remember thinking omg I can speak Gaelige, I hadn't for almost 15 years, now it was so important to me. I was inspired by how wildly creative the place was —everyone's a singer, an artist, or a musician. Add that to the scenery of beautiful mountains, lush green valleys, and glistening lakes, golden beaches...naturally, I felt wildly inspired.
Yet, at the time, all around me, I saw under-appreciated potential, creativity, resources and beauty. People were struggling, businesses were closing, and many were moving away in search of something new—despite the level of beauty and potential in front of them. I just felt it was all so unnecessary.
The small-town authenticity was what made the place so special, but at the same time, was stuck. Not many tourists or visitors. Having just come out of this feeling of stagnancy in my own life, I felt a resonance with the struggles of the place and I decided to leverage my excitement for the place and attract people to the area with a tourism-based business, and grow a business I loved while inspiring others to visit and have their own adventures. My background in travel and sales provided me the skills, and the landscape filled in the details. My mission was to rekindle the local people’s passion for the place they live, and to bring in international travellers for fresh new energy.
I took my message to the people and businesses, getting a mixed response. Some locals were doubtful some were wildly supportive, and a lot of people asked me why I bothered trying. I heard reactions like “What happens if it doesn’t work?” There were many excuses why people thought tourists wouldn’t want to come here—the fact that we were in a deep recession, the weather, the location, and so on.
Amidst the doubt and skepticism, I had to stick to my intuition which told me to keep going. In truth, I knew something they didn’t—that when you can be an inspiration to others, obstacles don’t matter. I knew that I could tap into the power of inspiration to exponentially grow my sales, attract clients, and ultimately, grow a thriving business—and that is exactly what happened. My attitude of excitement drew in more and more business.
In only 3 short years, we brought over 1000 people to Donegal!
When other businesses saw how successful I was, they started to ask me for my help to grow theirs. I started coaching one, then another, and it just took off like that. I’ve gone from booking tours to coaching business owners worldwide on how to grow their businesses through inspiration-based sales, leading inspirational business retreats and and in the process, quadrupling my income. My life now, is filled with excitement, and I get to speak at events in Ireland, England, and the USA. I offer Ireland’s first inspirational business retreat for women I hold business retreats here in my hometown that are designed to empower entrepreneurs and showcase the hidden gems in this magical place. (Next one is February 2017, sign up for my list)
And the amazing thing is—it all came from inspiration. Not a script, not a formula, not something that felt awful or that I hated. But something that was perfect for me. And that’s exactly what I see as possible for you.
The best part of this story is that my success is not unique to me. Because when you use inspiration as your fuel, anything is possible. I have helped so many entrepreneurs achieve similar levels of success. I have made it my mission to empower entrepreneurs to create thriving businesses and lives they love, not through being pushy or salesy, but by naturally inspiring people and owning their own value too.
When anyone asks me what the backbone of my approach is, I share a few things that I wish I had known from the start. These are my touchstones to creating a solid client base, driving profit, and creating more freedom for you and your business.
Here are 3 of my powerful secrets — part of the curriculum I share at my women’s business retreats that I would love to share with you also. These steps will help you create more income in a natural way, based on inspiring clients to see a greater vision of what is possible. If you can inspire people to see a bigger vision for themselves than they do, nothing will stand in your way.
The important key is this: The fastest path to the business and life of your dreams does not go through some complicated outside formula. But from what you’re already good at, and what already makes your heart sing!
Belfast WIE - February 2017
Get up and Go Sligo - annual conference/event - April 2017 details TBC