Laura and Nancy IWD Event

Laura and Nancy speak at International Women’s Day Event

It’s time for us to share a part of our journey of growth through struggle. How did we get where we are today? Although we were born the same year, raised in the same city and had daughters born in the same hospital only months apart, we did not meet until our daughters took dance together at three years old. Yes, that’s right… ballet class.

We believe that nothing is by chance.

While chatting during one of the classes, we discovered that we had similar educational career paths; both of us senior health care leaders in the Human Resources field, both ambitious women pursuing our Executive MBAs after children… and both, at times, wondering what we were thinking. After several years without much contact we reconnected after reaching out to each other for advice on the same problem.

We both lost our jobs.

Although it’s not easy for anyone to lose their job, the high profile nature of our work only compounded the painful feelings of failure, helplessness and confusion about our abilities and what motivated us. The impact of our job loss affected all aspects of our lives from financial to relationships and confidence in ourselves. Were we still passionate about our work? Could we survive without the security of a regular paycheque as we’d been used to? What were people thinking about us and what would they think if we didn’t get back on the same horse? The unknown was scary and some of the closest people around us fed our fears because they too felt the anxiety that change can bring. We were discovering who we really were and what that meant to the world as we knew it.

It didn’t take long for us to realize we wanted to do something different than we’d ever done before. At several points throughout our careers, we’d thought about starting our own business, but fear kept us working in jobs that created the mirage of security and happiness.

Together we took the leap and began giving back to the community, slowly moving in the direction that called us.

This led to more insight into the things we loved to do – the things that brought the passion back! The journey wasn’t just about self-employment, it was about growth through self discovery and struggle.

It wasn’t easy, but after ‘failing often’ and ‘failing fast’ we had found our stride and ourselves again. There were days, particularly when a door was shut on us, when we would wonder if we knew what we were doing. “What are you thinking, you don’t know enough about this?” we would say to ourselves, “you’re crazy to go down this road, just go back to what you used to do.” But every day we’d get up and support each other as we wiped off the dust to face another day of what we knew deep down was where we were being called. The struggle was necessary in order to become the people we wanted to be.

It’s this struggle that has helped us uncover our desire to help others who have lost passion in their work or have never found it at all.

Today, we are both in the best place we have ever been. We have the freedom and courage to follow our passions and although there are days we feel like the ground is shifting again, we’ve learned to trust our intuition and world again.

We can tell you from experience, playing it ‘safe’ doesn’t guarantee anything. In fact, nothing is for sure in life. If you really want to be happy and live the life that’s meant for you, you have to embrace the struggle as part of the journey of life. Fear got you where you are now, but it won’t get you where you want to go. Listen to yourself and know when a change is the best thing that can happen to you.