Don't be steered by a life you 'have' to live….but by the one you 'want' to!
Hello there, my name is Lesley Hornsby and I’d like to welcome you to Chart a Better Life!
Did you ever stop and wonder where all those big dreams you had, when you first started out in life disappeared to? Ever wake in the morning and wonder if this is all there is to life?
Are you fed up to the back teeth pouring over ‘special’ deals in a supermarket just to ease the strain on your pocket? Ever wished you could throw off the dreary nine to five and stop slogging away to make somebody else’s dream come true? Has the thought ever crossed your mind that there might be some way to make every day of your life have meaning and pleasure?
Yeah? Me too!!
After a lifetime of conformity, it took me until I reached my 50s and a personal crisis, to finally muster enough courage to shake off my ‘living by someone else’s rules‘ upbringing and silence the oh so sensible and cautious, but frankly fearful, inner voice, that had up to then always constrained me. But not anymore!
And if you feel the same, you’ve come to the right place. You know, getting where you want to be and breaking free takes courage, determination and complete commitment…but anyone who can harness those things can change their life beyond recognition.
Chart a Better Life is about taking your life back! Grabbing it by the scruff of the neck and shouting “dream bigger!” Here, I share my own personal experiences of a journey that led me to aspire to a laptop lifestyle, transformed my attitude and life, so that whatever hurdles I faced and will surely face in the future, as long as I have a computer and an internet connection I can make a living far beyond just ‘getting by’. It really doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced entrepreneur or just starting out. If you want it badly enough and apply yourself wholeheartedly, you can have the freedom to work anywhere, chart your own course and be accountable to no one but yourself.
To find out where it all began for me go take a look at Start Here
It’s only been a short time since my mum died and I miss her like crazy. I knew I would; we were pretty tight as mothers and daughters go. I mean, at 52 this amazing woman donated her kidney to save me from a life on dialysis! That alone, I imagine, gives you some idea of our relationship.
So why am I telling you this? Well when I sat down to write this, I thought if I was going to tell you ‘about me’ then it should be the uncensored truth about who I am and what I value and believe in. To understand that you need to understand my life; where I’ve been and where I’m going.
To begin with, from the age of fifteen, I’ve spent my life battling ill health. Though a naturally resilient person, I doubt I’d have made it through without my Mum; a quiet, steadying force that anchored me through a lot of pretty stormy years.
I was lucky to survive Wegener’s granulomatosis (yes, I’d never heard of it either) but as a consequence, my schooling was cut short. Aged seventeen, I emerged from the worst effects of the disease with sod all in the way of qualifications and physically a total mess. I’d lost all my hair; my face was bloated like a football from steroids and the Wegener’s had not only mashed my kidneys, but destroyed the cartilage in my nose so I looked like a prize fighter who’d taken on one too many fights, if you know what I mean. Mmm, I wasn’t going to be winning any beauty competitions any time soon.
When I went back to my school to say hello to fellow students and teachers, my form teacher, who’d known me for over five years, didn’t even recognise me. That’s when it dawned on me the enormity of what had happened to me.
By nineteen, I’d had an op to repair my face and my hair had regrown. However, I freely admit my self-esteem was basically buggered. But did I mention resilience?
Over the next 15 years, in between hospital visits and taking enough meds to start my own pharmacy, I dug in, studied my backside off and eventually got some basic qualifications; then gained a 2.1 Honours degree in English with the Open University (and yes I am going to brag like hell about that one), ‘cos it was tough to self-motivate for 4 years. By the age of thirty I was doing pretty well working as a CIPD qualified learning and development professional.
I weathered a couple of redundancies and eventually started my own business. By then a skilled IT and soft skills trainer I found work relatively easily, the only drawback was that it was almost entirely through 3rd party training providers.
Any good trainer offers a wealth of knowledge and skill always striving to give people the best learning experience they can. We work long hours either training, self-educating or researching material that will enrich and inspire our clients. But if you do that as an ‘associate’ trainer you basically watch someone else take a percentage of your fee so large, that it’s difficult to make a living. Why would anyone put up with that you might ask?! Good question. Because I was just crap at marketing myself in order to get my clients directly. Zero self-belief; no experience of doing it and no idea how to get it. Because of this unreasoned fear about pretty much everything to do with selling my ‘brand’, I ‘literally’ paid the price.
You know I’m thinking whilst writing this; I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here? It sucks doesn’t it? You slog away at a job you hate or maybe as in my case, suffer the indignity of constantly being undervalued by people with usually half your ability or talent, but who don’t let fear get in their way.
Of course nobody has a trouble free life, so before long I was facing yet another challenge. Having just survived an extremely difficult divorce, I was thirty-five when my first transplant began to fail. The next decade was spent on renal dialysis. Determined not to be beaten by this setback, I found a way to dialyse over-night, so I could still continue to work, but I won’t lie, it was hard, both physically and mentally. From that point on I never got a good foothold on my career. My earnings were heavily curtailed and eventually I had to sell my house and return to my parents. Thank G-d for them right?
Eventually my number finally came up (I mean in a good way) and I was lucky enough to get a second transplant. I won’t bore you with the details, but it works well enough at the moment so that I don’t have to dialyse. The truth of it is however, that it will fail eventually (they don’t last a lifetime I’m afraid). Anyway, during the last few of years of my parents’ lives, they became increasingly dependent on me for help with the normal day to day stuff and my working life became even more precarious, to the point where they were more or less supporting me, so I could be around to take care of them.
I hadn’t been idle during this time though and continued to invest in my education, studying life coaching with a Level 5 Diploma in Performance Coaching with NLP, accredited by the National Council of Psychotherapists. Fancy eh? Yeah baby! Inspirational; exciting and turned me into an NLP nut. Just loved it! But whilst it dovetailed beautifully into all my communication skills training, I still felt trapped by my own inadequacy when it came to self-promotion.
In 2017 my dear old dad died, then less than two years later, mum developed terminal lung cancer. Diagnosed in February 2019, she died 2 months later and I found myself adrift and alone. No one to care for. No one needed me. I was without direction and very little income. Perhaps unsurprisingly, things really snapped into focus for me. If I didn’t start taking my life back, I’d be facing a very uncertain financial future. No parents to fall back on and limited choices with regards to earning a living. I won’t lie to you, I was pretty panicked. I had visions of ending up in social care, totally reliant on the state, not something I ever envisaged would figure in my future.
I thought, right Lesley, you’d better get your sh*t together here. You’ve got to get a handle on marketing yourself online. I’d already gone to the expense, and frankly torture, of designing my own website for my business a couple of years before and then sat like a numpty waiting for the phone to start ringing. Guess what; didn’t happen!
My training and coaching skills give me plenty of opportunity to support and help other people, something that brings me untold reward and fulfilment. I coach and train all kinds of behavioural related things, be it finding greater confidence in public speaking to positively managing your emotions. Apparently however, when it comes to helping myself I just can’t quite manage it alone.
It was time yet again to take action. Which brings me to a business called Six Figure Mentors (SFM). Trawling through t’internet one rather dull summer’s afternoon, I stumbled across a YouTube video of Dan, a young guy who was talking about internet marketing and how SFM had catapulted his life into one of success and financial independence. Now let me be quite clear here. I’m the most sceptical, suspicious, cynical audience any would-be marketer is likely to encounter. Had my fingers burnt more times than I care to admit. One thing I will always do however, is listen. Give everyone a fair shake as my dad used to say. Then if they haven’t lost me to boredom or disbelief in the first couple of minutes, I’ll listen some more…
It was just something in the way he described his belief in this company and what they offered. Something indefatigable but entirely genuine. So you know what? Cautiously I took the next step and frankly there was no real jeopardy at this stage ‘cos the training they were offering was FREE! Yep, you heard me folks, absolutely zero outlay! Grudgingly I admit, I got a bit inspired. So, I took another step and then another. Then I got annoyed. The other shoe just refused to drop. I’d stare at videos of this guy Stuart Ross and mumble at the screen ‘come on then, let’s have it…what’s the catch?’ On he’d go. ‘Are you prepared to work hard because that’s what it’s going to take?’ Yep, no problem. ‘Can you be dedicated to the process?’ Sure, I can do that. ‘Are you capable of single-minded focus?’ Don’t you know me at all?!
By the time I’d reached Module 4 in their training program, my heart was literally pounding out of my chest with the possibility of it all. That I…I could actually make this work for me. It was no longer just about being able to market myself and my business, if I really harnessed what SFM was offering, I could actually make enough money, not just to live on, but to open my world up in a way I had NEVER even dared to imagine for myself.
The journey with SFM has been exciting, scary, exhausting and thrilling in equal measure. But more importantly for me, you know what I don’t think about anymore? Some bleak rather pathetic existence where just getting by is good enough. I feel like someone just nuked that image right out of my future and a mad crowd of happy, successful people are waving at me from a not too distant horizon, beckoning me to join them; inviting me to dive into a life that can be whatever I want it to be. Doesn’t matter if I have to hook up to a dialysis machine now does it? Not if I’ve got this thing nailed down. A laptop lifestyle isn’t just for people who want to travel the world, it can be a salvation for people like me, who might not have that kind of choice, but still want to be able to take care of themselves and live the best life possible, no matter what!
Honestly, if you don’t think any of this sounds right for you, then you don’t have to do a thing. But when someone is standing right in front of you and saying, ‘come with me, I’ve got your back, I’ll show you how, if you do the work.’ Then isn’t it worth it?
If your answer is ‘yes’ then you can go to the Start Here menu above and there you’ll see where my first steps began. You’ll given be some insight into what SFM can offer, as well as valuable information, plus access to the free training I told you about.
You know, Phillip Brooks an American Episcopal clergyman, said, “We are haunted by an ideal life…because we have within us the beginning and the possibility of it.”
I think he’s probably right, don’t you?
————————- About the Author —————————
I qualified as a CIPD qualified learning and development professional some 20 years ago, I now also provide face to face or online life coaching with NLP as well as run my own personal development business. I enjoy sharing tips and advice with people to enhance their own life experience and learn new ways of positively navigate their lives.
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If you’re ready for a new horizon then just contact me by filling in your details below. Isn’t it time you took back your life!
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