There are a quadrillion different clichés out there about how you should live your best life, how the next gal should live her best life, how we should think, feel and even act. I happen to love clichés and sayings. They can be just plain funny or they can hit you right smack between the eyes. But what they always are is truthful. Can we really dispute the pearls of wisdom garnered from Oprah’s “Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time.” Or Donald Trump’s “If you’re going to be thinking, you may as well think big.”
And of course Bill Gates’ “Life is not fair; get used to it.” And last but not least, the inspirational legend, Gandhi “Man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” Well high achievers and successful people, they live by these words. There is a basic reality to these little sayings that keep us motivated, inspired and focused. As you can tell, I’m a big fan of catchy names. When I first decided to become a coach I wanted a business name that stood out from all the rest.
I was taking a course called ‘Self Expression and Leadership’ and the group was trying to help me out with a name for my business, one that reflected me as a person. Nothing really grabbed me until I sat down and the woman beside me leaned into me and said; ‘Women On Top’. I said; ‘Pardon?’, and she said; ‘Women On Top…that should be the name of your business. You are a Woman who gets what she wants, stops at nothing to get it, and is determined, motivated and audacious as hell’.
I thought to myself; ‘Wow, she really thinks that about me? That’s pretty cool.’ I can tell you, it instantly set the tone for my business, for my life. Hey, when it feels right, you gotta roll with it. Ladies, we spend more time looking back at our reflection in the mirror checking out our butt, our rear end, than we do looking past our physical imperfections, to the person we truly are.
Yup, you know you do it too. In other words, we focus on the negative, our “But”, aka, our excuses, justifications, and foolish reasoning for not becoming, doing or having what we really want in life. And we hoard these excuses and justifications until they become our reality. How many times have you said to yourself; Yeah “But” I can’t, Yeah “But” I am not good enough, Yeah “But” I don’t have enough time, Yeah “But” I don’t have enough money. How many times have you compared yourself to others? How many times have you had this great idea, only to talk yourself out of it?
“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time.”
- OPRAH WINFREY
How many times have you made excuses for not getting to the gym, sticking to that diet or starting that business you daydream about at your employer’s office? If this is the reality you have built for yourself, the future’s not looking too good.
Over the years I have worked with women from all walks of life. I have been a woman from all walks of life: I have been a teenager, a young woman, a mother (still am actually), a wife, a divorcee, a business owner, an employer, an employee, a student, a daughter, a caretaker, a step mom, a friend, a confidante, a survivor, a coach, a mentor.
Life hasn’t always been easy. But it was the low points in my life that gave me the strength and courage to carry on, to move forward. I am your poster child of ‘been there, done that’. At 18 I left home with $950 in my pocket (inflation!) and bounced around Europe…for a year and a half. I was politely asked to leave… a country… for not having working papers. The other option was jail, and that wasn’t quite what I had in mind for my future. Tsk, tsk. I was bold. I was audacious. I finagled my way into University on the strong advice of my equally audacious father; ‘go anywhere, but just go’.
So I did…to England, leveraging my Dutch ancestry to avoid foreigner fees. Did I mention I am also resourceful? I did return home, 5 years later. I floundered between jobs, not quite professionally satisfied. Personally I had a ball. A highlight of my 20’s was sparring my way to a Black Belt in the martial arts. Then one day, a light bulb went off in my head and a business was born.
I worked that business and lived life like most; marriage, kids, travelling and stopping at all the milestones along the way. A decade later, both personal and professional partnerships dissolved and the reinvention of Odette Peek began. I survived the trials and tribulations of single motherhood and full time studies at College. I embarked on a new journey in health care while my own health took a serious down turn.
Friends and family have often asked me; ‘How do you do it, how do you keep going’? My only answer is that it comes down to choice. You can choose to give up or you can choose to keep going. I identified what I wanted in life. I learned from my mistakes and every time I hit a brick wall I would change my perspective, my way of thinking. I was unstoppable because giving up was not a viable option.
I often get asked why did I become a Coach? Well I have many answers to that question. I used to think that the reasons why we’re all separate from each other but I have come to realize that my life experiences are all intertwined and have resulted in me having to be a Coach. I remember when I was 17 and backpacking through Europe, I wrote in a journal. I found this journal a few years ago.
In it, I wrote; ‘What do you want to be when you grow up’? I had written, ‘I want to help people’. I wasn’t all that surprised by this answer, seeing as I was in a career that was doing just that, helping people by
sharing my life and business experiences. What I was surprised at was how obvious it was to me, at the age
of 17, that I was destined to ‘help people’.
I am the super model of ‘been there, done that’ and I couldn’t be happier. I am your beacon of hope. I want to show you how your experiences, the highs and lows, will enrich your life. I will show you how you can be a Woman On Top. Let’s see just how big YOUR “But” is and what we can do about it!
If you are that one exceptional Woman (cause there’s only one of you) whose big “But” does not get the better of you, then stop reading. I am not talking to you. I am talking to the other 99.9% of you out there. That’s right, YOU! I know who you are! And I want you to leave your ego at the door because a great many of you don’t know how big your “But” actually is.