How many times have we said or at least thought "That would be the end of the world"? For many people this is followed by moments of panic, stress, thinking life is over as if we were getting into a tunnel and will never see the light again. Then life goes on and some people realise they'd rather like to take the opportunity to do something different, something they couldn't even imagine before. They may start a new career, change the way they are/think because they discover something new that they love and are passionate about. But there are other people who are so scared of change that they never embrace it: walking into the unknown sounds too dangerous to them.
Of course everything is relative and what is dangerous for some is interesting for others. So how do we find the right "world" for us? Well I can't claim to be an expert or to be discussing a unique topic, I would simply like to share my story and talk about how I got to be involved in a programme that allows me to help other people in following their dreams and creating their future worlds.
Two years ago, when I decided to leave my job as VP of Sales for a public company, many people told me "don't do it/that's the end of your career/such a risky move" because I didn't have another job lined up. They saw what I was doing as the end of my world, whilst for me it was the beginning of a new one. That was when I started developing this idea of your new world after the end of the world and started experimenting, first of all with myself.
Luckily I had never been too scared of change. Among my new experiences, I started high altitude trekking (my first trekking trip was a 13 day trek to Annapurna Base Camp), climbing and even tried the trapeze despite my fear of heights. During this time I also joined the Mentoring Women in Business Programme of the Cherie Blair Foundation: while I've always been a point of reference for friends, I never thought I could/would go as far as to becoming a Mentor, helping women entrepreneurs around the world with their businesses, being elected Mentor of the Year 2013 by the Foundation and being shortlisted for a Women of The future Award.
I was enjoying discovering a new side of myself, developing new skills and changing my opinion on many subjects. I was so excited that, typical me, I wanted to get more people involved: I wanted others who appeared to be "stuck" to start discovering their own world too. I tried to involve some of my girl-friends into this "experiment". However there wasn't much interest and my proposal of trying something new every week and sharing experiences on a blog didn't register much response and got put on the side. I thought I had failed...
Last week I was reading a post from Pinky Lilani on what makes a Woman of the Future on the Huffington Post. Pinky talks about how she developed her cooking skills, became an entrepreneur and created, among other things, the Women of the Future Awards. Her story reminded me of my experiment, which is nothing other than becoming the entrepreneur of your own life, as opposed to living it as an "employee" following someone else's rules and dreams. And I thought of my friends. While the blog I had in mind and the "weekly new experiments" ideas didn't happen, the changes are there: a couple of friends realised their dreams of starting their own business, another one recently gave notice because she wanted to work on her terms as opposed to keep following someone else's rules. They are all creating their own new world in their own terms. Amazing!
Back to the Women of The Future Awards: while I do hope and would be thrilled to win it, it won't be the end of the world if I don't. It will be part of my world whatever happens. Good luck to all those great Candidates.