Few stories inspire like that of my friend Donna, a prodigious copywriter and editor. Her journey, rife with unexpected revelations and defining moments, not only captivated me but became a source of inspiration for many. For those familiar with the double standards and gender-based barriers of the ’80s and ’90s, Donna’s story is particularly resonant. Once, she was deemed “too cute” to lead a division in her company, a patently absurd remark that only fueled her resolve.
Donna always radiated authenticity. An open-hearted, straightforward individual, she believed in showing up honestly in all aspects of life. That’s why the realization that she hadn’t been fully authentic in her professional life hit her hard.
A seasoned communications director in her early 60s, Donna decided to leave her role in a local nonprofit organization. This daunting move led her to question her identity – much of it was entwined with her job and the illustrious career she had painstakingly built. But, along with the fear, was an undercurrent of excitement. She yearned to find work she genuinely loved but couldn’t pinpoint what that might be.
An unexpected opportunity to freelance helped Donna transition from her full-time role and gave her space to visualize her “dream” business. Her past experience promoting women-centric career development programs and her love for writing began to shape her vision.
In her quest to define her path, she connected with women professionals, discussing their marketing challenges. Donna saw a pressing need – women required assistance in narrating their stories unapologetically. Drawing from her own experiences, she believed she was the one to meet this demand.
This epiphany marked a significant shift in Donna’s professional identity. She evolved from being a ‘chameleon’ who adjusted her behavior to fit her surroundings to a confident professional embracing her innate abilities.
A serendipitous sound healing session brought about Donna’s eureka moment. When the practitioner suggested that she was on a path to mentor women, everything fell into place. She realized that mentoring women was precisely what her new venture was about.
Donna’s story is a testament to the power of authenticity and the alignment it can bring to our professional and personal lives. Today, almost a decade into her journey, she thrives, never once fearing failure.
But Donna’s story is more than a career transformation. It’s a tale of how embracing your authentic self can lead to truly meaningful relationships and opportunities. As she aided other women in finding their authentic voices, Donna found her own. The real Donna, raw and unfiltered, is a beacon of inspiration for all of us.
Let Donna’s story encourage you to step into your own authenticity. Unapologetically embrace who you are and let the universe take care of the rest. You never know, by helping others, you might just find your own voice, too!
“Anything is possible if you have a plan and you have intention.” ~ Monique de Maio.
Let’s make 2024 the best year ever together!