It’s been more than six months since I’ve published. It feels like a lot longer. I’ve changed the direction of my life and my business. I’m no longer actively coaching, I will again, but for the time being, Coach Cazzie is on pause. The lessons I’ve learned in the past six months have been transformative in how clarity and manifestation are one and the same; the results I’ve experienced have been powerful.
The three values that guide my life are Care, Communicate and Collaborate; essentially, give a shit, make an effort to communicate actively and effectively, do things together. These values or principles help me make decisions. They give me a framework upon which to evaluate the opinions, judgements and choices that I, and others around me, make. With these values, I am able to discern who I want in my life and why. I am able to determine which direction to move.
I used them to shape the triple somersault, 180-degree backflip that got me to where I am today.
December last year was a really hard time for me. I was feeling broken, exhausted, depleted, dispassionate and deep, unshakeable stress. It wasn’t until I went on a long interstate road trip over Christmas that I got a chance to breathe.
I learned, firstly, that I hate road trips but secondly, and far more importantly, that I was burned out from running my own business. I had spent years pushing shit up a hill trying to establish a coaching brand and a business (two, actually) only to get continuously covered in the effluent of the effort.
That road trip gave me a chance to acknowledge what I’d feared the most: I ceased growing, developing and learning as a person, as a coach and as a woman in business. There were many signs throughout the year so in many unconscious ways, I already knew it but didn’t have any energy or space to acknowledge it, let alone resolve it. I had worked too long and too hard that making the decision to stop running my coaching business felt like I had failed. I knew I needed to make the decision but I was so incredibly scared for what the alternative would look like.
For the last 4 years, since my first-born was six months old, my husband and I have been trying to have a second child. We began thinking it wouldn’t happen without the medical intervention of IVF. We began the tests and assessments and they “diagnosed” me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
I put the word diagnosis in quotation marks because I do not accept a diagnosis label to be placed upon me. My NLP training has taught me that labels of any kind are dangerous. If you let them, they become part of your identity; your mind and body begin to own the diagnosis. It is yours. You have PCOS. It’s like you’re saying, “I am PCOS.” No. Rather than “I have PCOS,” I would say, “I have symptoms of PCOS.” In this way, I never associated myself, my mind or my body with the label. The symptoms were never mine to own and therefore, something I didn’t have to keep. I have always believed my body can heal itself.
I began to learn more about PCOS. Its name is a misnomer in that it suggests that your ovaries get cysts, which isn’t quite accurate. I was making the eggs, but my body wasn’t letting them go.
Learning this opened my eyes to what I was doing to my body. Unconsciously, I had been telling my body, “you can’t have a second child, yet.” My body listened and didn’t release the eggs. I began looking at the choices I was making and why I was telling my body to not release the eggs when my heart desired it so very much.
On that road trip, it became clear. I was under profound stress – predominantly financial but also from the pressure of a severe lack of growth and development in myself and my business. In order for me to have a second child, I needed to remove the things causing the stress.
Once home, I started with social media by disabling all platforms except LinkedIn (and once COVID19 hit I was even more grateful for doing so!). I then began the difficult and confronting appraisal of my business and came to the conclusion it no longer made my heart sing. I will always love coaching. I will always be a coach. But, I’ve never really enjoyed running my own business.
I had plateaued in what I could offer as services because I had stopped growing and developing myself. I couldn’t stick to anything because I had become a textbook coach and not one who has lived and breathed what I coached from the experience of having been there and done that.
It was time to get my hands dirty again.
Personal Branding 101
Making the decision to find a job hit my ego and self-confidence hard. It wasn’t just the sense of failure from not being successful in the growth of my company, it was that I felt like the only thing I could do was revert back to being an executive assistant.
The story I was telling myself was that there were no jobs that would suit someone who was returning to work after seven years of running her own business. I told myself that I wasn’t qualified or experienced enough for an executive leadership position. I did what so many people do: I reduced myself down to a believable, digestible level.
I couldn’t say publicly what I was really feeling. Instead, I took all my personal branding and marketing experience and I PR’d the shit out of it. I reframed becoming an Executive Assistant as not a step backwards, but with the right leader, a mutually beneficial, strategic partnership. The LinkedIn article, An unorthodox cover letter, was that process.
In a recruitment agency interview, the agent said to me, “Caz, I’m confused. What do you really want for your next role?” It was a fair question. As far as my employment nirvana – an ideal state – goes, it would be hard to decipher from my cv or LinkedIn profile. When Christy asked me, I didn’t know but then it occurred to me, what would I coach a client to do?
I decided to make public my process and its outcome in the article, Employment nirvana: Flipping the equation of hiring with transparency. In this article, I get crystal clear stating specifically who I want as my next employer and the type of company. I stated my intention very, very clearly. And girl-o-boy-o-girl, did it cut out the BS and white noise!
And here’s where the true freaky manifestation started – even though I didn’t know it at the time. I wrote at the bottom of that post:
P.s It’s worth reiterating that this article spoke specifically to getting an executive assistant role but clearly, that’s not all I’m good for. You may just need to make something up, create a new role to take full advantage of everything I can contribute. I’m down with that. I don’t care about titles. I care only about championing people to achieve awesomeness and solving problems. Pay me to do that full-time and we’ll all succeed.
All my conversations, articles, videos, interviews, they all spoke to becoming an Executive Assistant and yet, in this little paragraph hidden all the way down the bottom was the truth I was too scared to say in a loud, confident, ‘fuck-yeah’ voice.
The final article in the series, Unicorn employer: The business of being in business, continued the clarity through contrast exercise I started in the previous article. This time I spoke to why I was doing what I was doing and specifically which industries and companies I am best aligned to for my long-term goals in business.
I gave a completely honest and transparent picture of where I want my life to go and shared my big, hairy, audacious vision. And I defined the attributes of what I thought was a “unicorn” employer.
Manifestation or Clarity: Same-same with powerful results
What was this article-writing process then? At the time, I didn’t know this, but now I realise it was telling the Universe/God/whomever what I want. I was being super clear on the who, the what, the why, where, and when, but not the how.
The how was none of my business.
This, in woo-woo talk, is manifesting what you want for your life. The clearer you are, the more refined the energy you’re sending out to the world. Now, this isn’t woo-woo at all, this is quantum physics. When your head, heart and gut are aligned you create energy that you send out into the world in many different forms.
Once you make this connection, you begin to recognise how good for you clarity is. It’s addictive in its effectiveness and powerful when done for the right reasons. You must be aligned in your values for manifestation to work for you.
By getting clear on what I wanted, I was (unconsciously at the time) aligning my energy to send out the vibrations that would attract those same vibrations to me.
So, let’s backtrack to see how this plays out.
Around August 2019, I met a man named Andrew on LinkedIn. He was helping out a coaching platform business and wanted to interview me about my coaching, emotional intelligence, and in particular, men’s mental wellbeing because I was doing a lot of work in that space at the time.
It was a phenomenal 3-hour conversation, of which only an hour was the actual interview. He published the first part of the video series and then fell off the face of the LinkedIn planet. He didn’t publish another episode and truth be told, initially, I was miffed. I left it a few weeks and then thought about my integrity and values alignment in judging him a time-waster when we had talked at length about men’s mental health, suicide rates and also just how much he was working.
I began to worry.
About a month after that first episode aired, I found his WhatsApp phone number and sent him a message telling him I was concerned and asking if he was okay.
His genuine surprise and gratitude for my action cemented what would be a WhatsApp chat that would continue to evolve and deepen. I would reach out to him and check-in to make sure he was allocating me-time to his stupidly stretched days. He’s a poet and had told me he wanted out of the businesses he was in. “I just want to write,” he shared. My messages were gentle reminders to him about what was really important to him.
In one such chat session, which incidentally might go for days between timezone differences between Lithuania and Australia, I gave him an update on all that I listed above but I went one step further, I confided in him that I thought I was selling myself short and that I thought I was limiting myself and my capability. I wrote: “I’m made for something more.”
Andrew agreed wholeheartedly and in response, he proceeded to offer me a role in his company that didn’t yet exist and ticked every single criterion I had listed in each of my articles.
Andrew had not read one thing I had published on LinkedIn. Not one article, not one post. He’d not watched any of the video interview series I did with several people about being an Executive Assistant. He didn’t look at my profile. He didn’t download my resume. Nothing. Not a single thing. And yet, he offered me everything I had asked for, except one: a role as an Executive Assistant.
Rather, he offered me an entry-role as Operations Manager, with the view to train up to Chief Operating Officer (COO) within a year, to eventually take over from him as CEO within three years.
My response was: “Hell fucking yeah baby!”
What today looks like
I officially commenced on March 23rd, just as COVID19 was hitting Australia hard. It was bizarre. We were all in lockdown, friends and families began to feel the negative effects and I was feeling guilty because life was finally starting to look up for me. I felt unable to share the good news because too many people were hurting and so, I kept quiet. I don’t know if that was the right thing to do, but it felt like the respectful thing to do.
After just seven weeks in the role, I was promoted to COO. Now, between you, me and the lampshade, I know I am not really at COO-level yet, and that’s not selling myself short again, it’s just an honest appraisal of my competency, yet the business feels I’m ready and right for the role.
And this is where I find myself today: working with G2L-Unity, a global, UK-based, software development company, leading a small tight-knit management team with a large pool of development suppliers, associates and investors. I work afternoon/evenings because of the time difference and I’m getting what I’ve lacked for so long in terms of health, personal growth and development, financial remuneration, tangible leadership experience and connection with people who have hearts the size of Saturn.
Oh, and I look like this now.
I’m not sure what the future will bring in terms of what I publish herein but I’ll always coach in some form. Coaching is not just in my blood, it is my blood, it fuels me. It will now just be repurposed.
Thanks for being on the journey with me, my friend, I’m grateful to you!
With so much love, light and laughter,
P.s “What about Spain?” I hear you ask. It’s very much still on the cards. It will take us a bit longer than originally thought but it’s definitely part of the vision that’s being realised and manifested daily. Clarity baby, it’s powerful, eh?!