In March 2012 my highly paid executive role came to an abrupt end. It was almost exactly a year since my husband had taken his own life and I was suddenly no longer required to do the work that had kept me going. It was like a second bereavement with all the shock and loss that accompanies that state.
There are a number of ways this could have gone. I could have curled up into a ball and felt sorry for myself or do what the Doctor would have expected of me: dust myself down and start all over again. Fortunately, the Doc had unconditional belief in my abilities and this keeps me motivated and alive almost 5-years on. He used to say to friends & colleagues: “She could run the nation”. It’s not that he or I had any political ambitions, it’s the fact that he believed I was fearless and will always find the energy to start all over again! That depth of support is irreplaceable and priceless.
About 18-months later, I met a former senior colleague who said that I didn’t need much money to live on did I as there was now only me and the dog. Apparently, widows of the parish don’t need to have the same lifestyle to which they were accustomed. At the time, I was quite affronted. What right has anyone to tell me what level of lifestyle I should enjoy?
And then my really good friend in New York, Tammy, asked me what had I learnt from this person. I pulled a face and she persisted….so I started to think about that. What have I learnt from that person? And she’s absolutely right…I have learnt:
- I need space to think creatively in order to flourish.
- Market-making, innovation and bringing vision to life are my core skills
- I find operating the day-to-day stifling – others are much better at it
- Dealing with corporate politics and individuals’ agendas doesn’t interest me
- Working with people whom bring light into my life everyday is vital
- I need to be with people who share our passion, are fearless and excited about what might come next and avoid the naysayers at all costs
- I want a WHOLE LIFE rather than a work/life balance. And it’s definitely not about having lots of money for stuff!
Bringing my vision for Evermore to life has meant earning probably a 10th of my former salary with all income generated going to build the vision. Hector and I are as happy as we can be without the Doctor. We have a purpose (as well as plenty of cocktail sausages!).
And what’s most powerful about Evermore and its mission is our extended family across the UK, Australia and the US. The energy, enthusiasm and commitment we share is incredibly powerful. All underpinned by love. That’s why I know we’ll be successful, because we know WHY we do it.
So I’m no longer a Material Girl; I have learnt a great deal and now measure my personal wealth in meaningful relationships.
Happy New Year.
Sara McKee FRSA, Evermore Founder & Director of Market Innovation
Follow Sara on Twitter @SaraMcKeeFRSA