My journey to the worklife of my dreams

Here I am; sitting in the shadow by a pool in Bali, looking out over the ocean, doing work that feels truly meaningful. I still pinch myself sometimes when I realize that this is my work now. I’ve created the worklife of my dreams. I want to tell you my journey to here, because I now how much stories like these have inspired me. And yes, of course, it hasn’t all been shiny roses although all worth it.

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I've always been a high achiever. All throughout school and university I worked hard to get the best grades, at the same time being blessed with a passion for learning and quick to process information. When I’d finished my university degree in Human Resources I dove right into building my career. I thought that what you where supposed to do. I had promised myself that I would be an HR Director before 30 and I was. I told myself I would specialize and continue climbing and I did. For a couple of years I worked as a Career and Talent Manager in Copenhagen with 13 000 people in 7 different countries within my scope.

Having a lot of influence, working with the “hot-shots”, traveling almost 200 days a year with the salary, the car, the bonus, everything. I even got a coaching certificate and was career coaching people inside of the company. I thought I had made it. And in some ways I had, I had made it to the top of that career ladder at least. Even though everyone encouraged me to keep climbing, I was no longer feeling as if I was making enough of an impact, that my work really mattered as I was too far from the people I was trying to help.

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Meanwhile I had started blogging about my health struggles back in 2012. As I slowly healed myself my blog grew and I got some traction, was invited to a couple of podcasts and from them came a lot of people wanting my help, my first private coaching clients. I trained myself to become a “Balansinspiratör” helping people find daily balance through mindfulness and MediYoga. As I needed to get paid for my services I started my first company.

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My inner voice was getting louder and louder, telling me to take the leap, as I, in parallel, to my corporate job, spent all my lonely nights in hotel rooms helping people for real. I spent the time in transit, in taxis and on flights, learning more and diving deeper into the field of personal development, coaching and holistic health.

Still, I couldn’t vision my next step. I felt as if I was being pushed into a wall. I only saw two options; either I move into the woods writing books or I get another similar corporate job, but closer to home with less traveling. Neither option felt right. As my frustration grew I asked for a sign of where I should go, I asked for a door to open.

The door showed itself about a week later, after a particularly straining day in Oslo, with meetings and interactions, clearly showing me I was not supposed to be there anymore. I was no longer living my values, I was not being true to myself. In the taxi on my home, I got a phone call from a woman who’d heard about me and that I might be looking for something new. She worked for a small HR consultancy firm that were looking for new people to collaborate with.

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As soon as we hung up the phone my decision was made. I was going to combine HR consultancy with building my own business of coaching, writing, speaking and teaching. I still call her, the woman who called me in the taxi, “my door opener”. I waited until after Christmas break, out of consideration for my boss, to resign, and I prolonged my notice period to help the company out. But as soon as my decision was made my heart was so much lighter and I could use the extra time to build on my savings and continue building my own.

So in the beginning of summer of 2017 I was finally free and I decided to use the summer writing my first book. And as fall came I created my website, published the book and continued growing my company and coaching business. In the beginning of 2018 I started working as an HR consultant for real, working 40-60% on different HR projects.

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I now feel I have the perfect combination of HR consultancy, which I honestly really love, coaching and “the magic box”. The magic box contains all of my passion projects, that I dream of doing sometime; writing books, doing online courses, starting a Youtube channel, a podcast, more speaking gigs and a lot more teaching. I’ve learnt the hard way that I can’t do everything at once so for now I’m picking one big project at a time. First it was the book in English, then my website, then translating my book to Swedish and now I’m focused on creating my first online course here in Bali.

It hasn’t always been easy. And, I’ve for sure have had to work a lot with myself as I’m so integrated with my work nowadays. Finding things to share when I feel totally down and out. Taking breaks when I’m somehow always “on”. Finding the courage to follow my intuition in every business decision. Learning all the roles of a one-person business; finances, marketing, sales, tech… Finding collaborators and community as a solopreneur. Sometimes it’s been rough but I’ve never ever regretted taking the leap, and I honestly don’t see myself ever going back to having a boss other than myself again. But of course, I had no idea I would sit here, in Bali, working as a digital nomad, so I’m wise enough to stay open to the future being whatever it will be.

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From having had longterm career plans I now feel totally comfortable with having no idea what I’m going to do in two months time, if I will have an income or new clients coming in. I just trust. Intuition guided me here, and I now it will continue guiding me to the next right action when it’s time.

I wanted to tell you my story to give you inspiration for creating your own journey onward. No matter if that’s in studying, working for yourself or for someone else, having multiple project or focusing on one thing at a time. If it’s one thing that I’ve learned from all the people I’ve met on this trip it’s that; there’s no right or wrong way to live your life, only you know what’s right for you. You do you. I hope me doing me and sharing about my life empowers you to have a create the life of your dreams.

With all my love,

Helena

Helena ÖnnebyComment