Today I turn 69. As I look back over my life I feel quite gratified that I have used what I was given to make this world a better place. But I was merely following directions. Let me explain.
By any objective standard, there was no path from where I started to being an authentic person and well-respected visionary/thought leader. I had one of those childhoods that would make a terrific movie (Friends say I was either going to be a saint or a serial killer). I had to get through unimaginable violence, Borderline Personality Disorder, and PTSD. The Asperger’s diagnosis didn’t come until I was 60.
GETTING FROM THERE TO HERE
I have always been aware that managing the hand I was dealt would shape who I became. I remember the moment I was given my marching orders. When I was 11, and slowly becoming conscious following an incident, I heard a voice in my head clearly say: “GET UP! You’ve got work to do! You need to get healthy! The world needs your ideas!” At that age I somehow knew enough to get up and start ‘getting healthy’ (whatever that meant), that failure was not an option.
I began running away to a friend’s house to get counselling from his mom. Over the next 40 years I had decades of psychotherapy to work through my rage, fear, safety and mistrust issues; mentoring and decades of training with Stan Grof (Holotropic Breathwork) to integrate my heart, mind and body (which had become dissociated); years of NLP certifications to code my systemic thinking; and still-continuing Vipassana silent retreats to open my heart.
I was scared and confused almost all the time – for decades. That never stopped me, even when it became clear that the way I think was so very different than the norm. Eventually I realized that I could code what I was learning to help others produce internal change and make congruent decisions: we could all serve each other if we could communicate authentically.
Looking back, I marvel at the risks I took, the relentless dedication I had to not letting anything stop me:
• With no funds or ability to get a scholarship, the Dean of Students got me work cleaning houses and a place to live as a nanny so I could attend Syracuse School of Journalism.
• With no knowledge of Wall Street I became a Stock Broker in 1979: I barged in to the CEO of Merrill Lynch (seriously – past the secretaries!) and told him to hire me. He did. “If you could do what you just did I’ll teach you the rest,” he said. I was rookie of the year, and one of the first women Brokers on Wall Street.
• I founded a non-profit for kids with my son’s rare neurological disease to fund wheelchairs and eating implements and get meds shared between countries. The foundation now helps kids all over Europe.
• In 1983 I started up a tech company in London. By 1987 we had a $4,000,000 revenue in three countries, and a 42% net profit – in a depression and before the internet, email, search engines or social media. With no knowledge of how to run a business, I had everyone (except the techies) pay themselves as profit centers (including the receptionist!). We doubled revenue every year.
• I ran my first “Helping Buyers Buy” program to KLM in 1985 after I developed Buying Facilitation® for my sales staff. Using the model, I went on to write 7 books (one NYTimes Bestseller Selling with Integrity), train 25,000 sales people globally, and language the thinking about the behind-the-scenes buying decision path (buy cycle, the buying patterns, etc.).
• A major publisher accepted my out-of-the-box book What? that codes how our brains cause us to mishear, bias and misunderstand, and how to rewire our listening to hear each other accurately. I pulled the book and self-published it as a free digital book so there would be no barriers to learning the material. 10,000 books were acquired the first 2 months.
• I am currently developing an advanced program for coaches to hear clients without bias and make appropriate interventions.
I cannot imagine how I had the courage to do what it took to get healthy, work through my myriad mistakes and keep going, gain the skills I needed to work in so many different industries, figure out how to code my unique ideas and get folks to use/buy them, or have the moxie to push so many conventional envelopes. I guess I always had that voice in my ear telling me to GET UP. And thankfully there have always been people to buy my original models.
So now I am officially an ‘old woman’ although I often grab my passport to travel somewhere intriguing (I’ve been to 63 countries) and date men decades younger. Life is easier now that I have found Me. I recognize problems before they happen or retreat immediately; know what I want and don’t want. I know to apologize and not let my ego get in the way. Gone is the confusion, the fear, the search for safety. I have more empathy and acceptance of human nature, fewer questions, more answers, more flexibility, and more curiosity. I acquire less and enjoy more. I am clearly a demanding pain in the ass. I carefully choose who I share my time with. And my clarity has given me the freedom to create and innovate: without drama, conflict, confusion, or difficult people, there is an ever-increasing slow burn of original ideas pouring out of my brain. That’s my life’s work. Different from most, I know. But I feel honored to have made a difference.
So what next? Who knows? A mystery. I’m healthy, authentic, deeply spiritual, have a voice and an audience, and have fulfilled my legacy. I’m now 69. And it’s exhilarating.
Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it. While written in the ‘sales’ genre, the material is generic, and systemically codes how to facilitate all decision making/change processes. www.dirtylittlesecretsbook.com
What? Did you really say what I think I heard?. This funny, practical book filled with original thinking, breaks down how our brains cause a gap between what’s said and what’s heard, and then offers a model to hear each other without bias. www.didihearyou.com Take a look at learning tools also.
Read any of 1300 articles about how buyers buy, Buying Facilitation®, how to ‘close’, and where/how/why sales fails. www.sharondrewmorgen.com. To see how to learn the material through products, go to www.buyingfacilitation.com.