I was adopted at birth by two scientists. Growing up was wonderful, until I went to school and realized that I was not like my parents at all. I did not have an intellectual bone in my body. Back then they did not know what learning disabilities were. My parents just thought I was lazy. I thought I was stupid.
In any case, living under the pressure of what seemed like impossible expectations, I made a life-altering decision to get pregnant and leave home at the age of sixteen. Not surprisingly, determination to recover from poor decisions became a recurring theme for me for years to come.
In school, my belly bump made me a clear target for bullying, so I quit school. It did not take long for me to realize that I had made a couple of HUGE mistakes. Knowing I was responsible for a child, I summoned the courage and determination to re-enroll in high school and graduate.
After graduation I refused to go to college because I did not BELIEVE I was ‘college material’. Instead I went to a 2-year junior college for secretarial science. Yes, that was a degree! Just before graduation, I needed one more class that was only offered at the local 4-year college. I was forced to enter the kingdom of the intelligent, affluent, and gifted, and I was petrified.
I likely would not have passed my class at the 4-year college if it were not for a sweet girl named Colleen who took me under her wing and taught me how to study. In her, I found a best friend who convinced me that I could make it through college. This was the first time I experienced the power of a stranger’s belief in me before I had enough wins to believe in myself. When asked what I wanted to do when I graduated college, all I knew was that I wanted to help people. I had no clue or line-of-sight into how or where I would do this.
By the Grace of God and my precious friend Colleen, I graduated from college with a BS in public relations and a minor in business; a feat today I still say is the hardest thing I have ever done!
Ripe with hope for a bright future, I moved from my small Georgia town with my son to the big city of Atlanta where I got a job working in a staffing agency.
Being a single mom in a big city was a hard transition. I missed my college friends and my Mom who was my son’s second mother, so I jumped at the first opportunity to find true love with a man who, unbeknownst to me, suffered from a mental illness called bi-polar disorder. He was a WONDERFUL man who became my son’s father, and we loved him dearly for 14 years. Until his disease became unbearable and he took his life.
In a tailspin of grief and despair, my son tumbled into addiction and I became a workaholic. While I was very successful in my job as a profit-center manager, I was hugely unhappy. Little did I know until years later, 1) my WorkStyle was completely misaligned with my job, and 2) my self-destructive commitment to succeed was born out of my BELIEF that it was only through hard work that I could succeed. I still had no idea what my true gifts to the workplace were, but I sure looked successful from the outside looking in.
After 12 years of sheer misery in a job that almost killed me, I finally broke away from my golden handcuffs and moved into the training industry where the bar for high performance could not have been higher. My job was to sell sales training! At first it seemed I had made another grave mistake, but once again my determination kicked in and I found my way past the vertical learning curve in front of me and I succeeded wildly in a profession that I loved!
During this time, I was introduced to a human data analytics technology called the WorkStyle Patterns® Process where I discovered that I have an Independent Worker with Specialist WorkStyle. This explained EVERYTHING about why I loved the parts of work that I loved, and why I struggled deeply in other aspects of work.
You see, our WorkStyles NEVER change from childhood onward. And when we discover our WorkStyle, we feel it in our bones and will never question where our stress is coming from again. Moreover, we have a clear line-of-sight into the types of jobs and environments where we will thrive!
For the first time in my life I had confidence in something; that I could help people through developmental coaching!
At the age of 38, I finally found my SweetSpot™: To help others’ find their SweetSpot™!
In nutshell, for the last 23 years I have leveraged 1) my passion for helping others and 2) my Independent Worker w/Specialist WorkStyle to effortlessly create and deliver transformational career discovery and planning services which I call my ‘Heart Work’.
Today, as a Family Career and Mindset Coach I guide teens, young adults and their parents to discover their innate strengths and vulnerabilities (including WorkStyle) so that each family member can 1) thrive in education and/or the workplace, and 2) support each other as individuals and as a cohesive family unit.
Today, when I wake up each morning I am filled with immense joy that I found my SweetSpot™ and that I am SO incredibly blessed to guide others to find their's.