Lynn Harris

Previous life:

Regional Sales Manager Financial Services and then Partner in an Organizational Development Consultancy.

New life:

Independent Organizational Development Consultant, Executive Coach and Author.

Motivation for change:

I moved to Canada to start a new life with my son Josh and my husband Jeff. I felt burned out by the life I had been leading and I wanted to create something different – a life where I had more control over my time and my work. I love my husband and son more than anything and I wanted to spend as much time with them as possible, and at the same time continue to learn and grow through my work. I also had a desire to create something of my own, rather than work for others.

How she did it:

After taking several months to recover my health and get my son settled, I decided to create a consulting and coaching practice with my husband. I have spent the last seven years building networks and clients in Canada, the United States and the U.K. In addition to building my own practice I work with colleagues from the U.K. as an associate consultant in their practices. In that way I don’t have all my eggs in one basket and it enables me to work with colleagues  I respect and enjoy. When work was quiet at the beginning I took a Masters Degree  in Organizational Development – just to keep myself stimulated.

Challenges:

The first five years were pretty hard. I was in a new country and a new city where I knew no-one – I didn’t even speak the first language of the province. My previous work and reputation counted for very little and I had never run my own business before. I learned through many mistakes and at times I got disillusioned and questioned if the business would ever be viable. My income dropped dramatically and I had to use my savings to keep going. Once or twice I nearly gave up because the money was running out, but I was determined to give it the best shot possible. It feels like a great achievement to have moved to a new country and started a now successful business from nothing.

Advantages:

I have managed to create the life that I want – lots of time with my husband and son, and stimulating and challenging work. I don’t earn as much money as I used to, but I have a much happier and healthier life. In the last seven years I have moved to a new country, got married, started a successful business, achieved a masters degree, written and published a book and spent lots of time with the people I love most in the world. I am in control of what I do and what I create which feels really good.

Advice:

If you can take a break to think clearly and creatively before embarking on the next phase of your life, do it.

Build relationships where you can help others and they can help you.

Challenge yourself and take some risks – we don’t know what we are capable of until we try new things.

Don’t settle for anything less than creating the life that you want – or at least trying to create it.


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