I have had the most amazing week! I had the pleasure of speaking at the LeadX where we had 8 remarkable women speaking on innovation, productivity and performance in a TED style event at QUT Business School. What a fantastic event with over 160 attendees who were inspired and empowered to be the best they can be!
I had never seen myself as an entrepreneur. I knew I was great at my job but I pictured myself working for large, global organisations for a long time, or at least until I wanted to make a change.
Although I didn’t know it at the time, my journey as an entrepreneur began when I found myself as a single mum, alone and penniless in a foreign country. I had given up my corporate job to support my husband’s career progression, which had taken us all the way to China.
When I returned to Australia, I was determined to rebuild our lives and provide a secure future for myself and my daughter. What I didn’t realise was that out of the crumpled wreck had emerged a new woman; one who wanted something different, and one who wanted to give other women the ability to stand on their own two feet, no matter what happened to them.
It took my world falling apart before I realized how passionate I was about leadership and gave myself permission to reach for it as a career. Once I’d done that, I was unstoppable. I found that I had an insatiable curiosity about the role of the leader, the skills they needed and what actually happened in their brains to make one a great leader and the other just average.
I didn’t want to stop learning. I became a flip chart and journal queen for a year and wrote down every insight and idea that I had.
When you discover your passion, everything else seems to fall into place. It sparks a desire to learn and keep on learning, but it also makes you question what you’re finding, too. I found myself asking “But why…?” or “If we just changed this…?”
Innovation springs out of questioning the status quo, and I certainly did that. I questioned myself and I questioned my mentors and experts in the field. The more I asked, the more questions I realised I had. It’s as though my thinking processes were accelerated by the learning.
I had so many ideas that it was inevitable that I wanted to act on them, and that’s when my leadership blog morphed into a business. I knew that I had the ability to use all this information to change lives – I had a career record to prove it. Still, it’s a very different proposition to go out on your own and start the business of your dreams.
Sometimes you just have to believe you can fly. I had my daughter to inspire me, and some wonderful friends and mentors who kept telling me that I could do it. One day I simply chose to believe them. If they believed in me, who was I to say they were wrong?
Today I am CEO of my own business and every day I am making a difference, creating great leaders, teams and organisations, and empowering women to believe in themselves and take the lead. I might be an unlikely entrepreneur, but it turns out that I’m a good one.
I know that LeadershipHQ will keep evolving and growing because I’m still asking those “what if..?” questions. That’s something I will do until the day I die, and I’ll be happy doing it. After all, that’s where all the new ideas are found, and there’s nothing I like more than a great idea.
Phone 1300 719 665 www.soniamcdonald.com.au