Why I climb another mountain?
I forgot how hard moving countries is. How much work moving in general is. And I remember, actually FEEL, why people don’t like like change and stay in their hometown their whole life. It’s just too hard to climb another mountain, not knowing whether it will actually be worth it. Still, there is this urge for adventure in me, it is not only about reaching the top, also appreciating the journey and taking a pause to enjoy new perspectives arising once you start the hike. So, after one month pause, read along my latest blog and update on becoming a female entrepreneur.
The last three months have been incredible in many ways, yet very „normal“ for us as well. My whole family of 5 loves traveling, discovering new places, good food, spending time with friends whom we hadn't seen for some times. Our kids (7, 5, 1) called out „chill“ days in between, meaning just hanging out in the airbnb, literally doing nothing. "YES, she's listening" - that's what my my close friends probably think who also know how hard this is for me. "Relax is to receive" is the key learning I take with me from my beloved yoga teacher Julie Jensen whose Sunday morning yoga class in Jersey City I do miss terribly. The greatest gift I received during our travel time was to find the true joy in my coaching work and just indulge in the moment. This is what we did with stops in Portugal, Canary Islands, Rhine-Main area, Mannheim, Bavaria, Italy and Hongkong.
We arrived in Katoomba, Australia, on January 22. This time we do not have the luxury of a corporate-paid white glove service. Another reminder of the life I chose and it’s trade-offs. No one says there is nothing to be missed. Still, we are lucky. We are getting picked up by family. They give us their car, an Australian lifestyle car for which I am not ready yet - a Landcruiser which can go 4WD in the Australian bush nearby, the Blue Mountains. Moving also means a very physical deconstruction of your life. Re-evaluating things that have a purpose for me and thus bring value.
Leaving the excessive consumption culture in the US and not having more stuff than one small suitcase per person for 3 months feels like a detox. And I know what I am talking about having done a strict one as part of a Yoga retreat some years ago. It is so hard while you do it. Gravings start to occur and yes you are hungry. Same with a detox from STUFF. It is a process to let go of things that you keep telling yourself you need. And more importantly, NOT adding new things. I like design. I like clothes. I would consider myself an esthetic person. And I like to make simple, fast decisions. So, not consuming doesn’t come naturally to me. Not having all our stuff for 3 months was much easier. And seeing it again when it arrived on a truck after 3 months made me realize that it is still too much. Being inspired by the „Minimalists“ I will further proceed with questioning anything we own regarding its purpose and value. Because it is so much easier. It is so simple to live with a minimum of stuff, especially when you move and travel a lot. It is a pleasure for the eye and makes cleaning up less of an effort. In my family, we fight mostly about household tasks. Who hasn’t put away their stuff, who’s turn is it cleaning, washing, all the unpaid work that needs to be done, yet is so much not appreciated by anyone. Melinda Gates’ book on this topic is on my reading list. Let’s see how I go with the implementation.
On the business and work side of things, beautiful events happen. I did my first LinkedIn live interview on the Talent Development Hot Seat by Andy Storch which was so scary, yet encouraging to just put myself out there. In the aftermath, watching it I feel proud and wowed that I dared to do it and a few people even learned something from my experience as an HR Business Partner. On the other hand, loving high-performance, I automatically see so may things that I would do better next time and get this funny gut feeling watching myself. Let's see what this experience will lead to.
A big mountain to climb when it comes to my own coaching business, is finding my value proposition as a Coach for my ideal clients. Talking about my experience as an HR Business Partner and what value I could bring to clients comes a lot easier to me because it builds on the jobs I held in the last 10 years. Yet, showing how I am a Life & Leadership Coach and how people could benefit from this is SOOOO HARD. I had to record 60 seconds about me as a Coach for one of my partners, Coachhub, and I found it the hardest thing to do. How many takes do you think it took me to record this? I tried to tackle the following questions:
What do I understand Coaching to be? Where do I see value for my clients? Who are my favorite clients? I soon realize besides drawing on my Coaching training in Germany and now through the ICF Mentor Coaching, I have to draw on my own experiences. What do I value in life? What comes easy to me? What am I known for by my friends and colleagues?
"We become courageous by performing acts of courage." Aristoteles
I have always been a doer, maybe even more than a thinker. Or is this just a story I keep telling myself? I love books and action, this is how I learn. People still say to me: you are so courageous, being the breadwinner, leaving your job, moving countries with your family. Well, it doesn’t happen over night. For us, it really was a subsequence of smaller steps and decisions, some of them I tried to lay out in my blog. And all the people I meet, be it friends, other Coaches or client, who dared to take courageous action, it has built up for them as well. Over time. Yet doing it is so much easier than just thinking it through. The other question I still get is: Did you have a plan? How do you feel about your finances?
"We find evidence that for wealthy Germans, and for the rich half of European nations, higher levels of per capita income don't buy greater happiness." RD Tella*
Well, apparently, 15 years of corporate life have instilled some business sense in me, so we did do our maths and worst-case scenarios. Also, we were fortunate to have invested in some properties early on which is now seeing to pay itself off. Yet, if my number one priority in life had been financial security, minimizing the risk to almost zero, then I should have never left the comfort of a big paycheck, 25% bonus pay almost legally guaranteed. Of course, I don’t have a plan that will make this happen again for SURE. Maybe it will, and I am working towards become an Executive Coach that is valued at the higher-end. Maybe it won’t and other opportunities are opening up. What I do know for sure that it is my number one goal is to be the 100% owner of my time and location. To be doing what I love to do. To get paid for my work. And to work something that the world actually needs. This makes me happy, nothing more.
"To do what I love to do - helping anyone move through their comfort zone into the life they want to life with courage, confidence and compassion."
So, does this resonate? Do you think you could benefit? Please, reach out any time. If you're female, join the upcoming w/sisters circle - an online peer coaching program that I am facilitating with my compassionate friend & amazing coach Sonja Kirschner. And to all the compassionate men and everyone out there, leading a big life, a loving family and a challenging life - try an online sample coaching session to get a taste and feel what your future could look like.
Love from the Blue Mountains,
*Di Tella, Rafael, and Robert MacCulloch. "Happiness Adaptation to Income beyond 'Basic Needs'." Chap. 8 in International Differences in Well-Being, edited by Ed Diener, John Helliwell, and Daniel Kahneman, 217–247. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.