Napoleon Hill said in his book, Think and Grow Rich:

“Opportunity has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and often it comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat. Perhaps this is why so many fail to recognize opportunity”

This is a story of finding the most incredible opportunity while in the middle of a crisis. After this past year of 2020, many of you may find hope and courage in this story. At least, I hope you do!

As I prepared to head to bed that Sunday night, I felt at peace and ready for the new year. We had a pretty good year given the way it started with all the changes. I was confident to do even better with experience we had just gathered.

Little did I know that this moment of peace and confidence would be swept away within few seconds of checking my email before sleeping.

My moment of truth was there in my calendar. A meeting invite I was dreading since the beginning!

Somehow, I get through the night, and surely enough the next day arrives.

As I walk through the door of this meeting room, I was nervous, but I knew exactly what was going to be said, and where that will leave me (Secretly, I still had some hope). The meeting went on and very soon it was over.

I was pleased with the composure I showed and the way I handled things despite it being of the most vulnerable moment in my life. I was even complimented on the way showed up later on.

In that room, we were two people physically and three others through conference call. One of which was from the HR department. So, yes, you guessed it, I lost my job in that room. My role was being made redundant and centralized in another location.

This was one of the toughest times in my life because I loved working at the tech giant, Microsoft. It not only provided me with an environment of growth where I was constantly challenged to think outside the box and to push myself, but it also made me very comfortable financially. And needless to mention the other perks like travelling the world as part of my job.

I was losing it all.

Yes, it hurt. Yes, I was frustrated specially because of the way I was treated (this is a whole other story). Yes, I had to fight back. Yes, I had to do things I never thought I would have to do.

But here is the thing, I was not starting from scratch. I was not starting over. I was not loss and confused. I was not wondering what will happen to me now. Least of all, I was not thinking I should get another job as soon as possible so I can keep my living standard.

Amidst all this chaos, I saw my next step clearly.

It was time for me to do what I love.

The question of finding another job and defaulting to what I SHOULD do rather that what I WANT and LOVE doing was not even in my mind.

There in the middle of the fight was my opportunity to say yes to my passion and take the next step to making that come true.

Within a couple of months after settling the chaos & enjoying some free time, I was officially registered to become a certified Speaker, Trainer & Coach from the John Maxwell Team. The first step towards living my passion.

Everything that had happened in my life up until then had been the direct cause of the investment I made I personal development. Through that, I grew fast in my career, taking roles I did not have the experience for and succeeding (and much more! Like winning a worldwide top performance award one week after losing my job – yes that happened).

As I started to discover that there was more to me than what I was aware of, this turned into a passion of mine and I knew it is what I wanted to do eventually. I wanted to help others get that same awareness, experience the same changes and grab their fresh start.

It was this investment in my growth and mindset that prepared for the moment I will have the opportunity to shift while facing adversity. Without all the trainings and courses, I had been through, I can confidently say that I would not have seen this challenge as a chance for a fresh start for myself.

This is what personal development does – it allows you to spot the opportunities around you. I’ll share more on how to do that at the end.

My story is still being written from this fresh start. It has been 2 years now since I made the switch and here are the blessings I have experienced since:

  • I had the opportunity to move to Canada
  • Within a few months, I got my dream job as corporate coach and trainer
  • I was also traveling for work and loved the experience I was getting there
  • I lost my job due to COVID (yes again and yes, it is blessing)
  • This was my fresh start “part 2” – the opportunity to start my own business and I did, in the middle of COVID
  • I ended the year making 93% of my income back (not too bad for a COVID first year in business)
  • Today I continue to build my business doing what I love

It has not been all sunshine and rainbows (we all know how 2020 was). There were multiple struggles and many times where I could have easily said, “I’m quitting and getting a job”. But my vision for myself was way stronger. My personal development journey had taught me that I could achieve whatever I wanted, and I am.

So, I want to end with a few tips for you who may be facing the similar challenges and for those who want to equip themselves to better face adversity so they can spot the opportunities.

As one of my favorite quote by Wayne Dyer says:

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Here are 3 ways to grow into the person who can spot and choose a fresh start towards a happier more fulfilling life:

  1. Self-help

Through books that inspires you but also triggers action within you. Only reading and not acting is pointless. Here are some of my top self-help books:

  • The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  • The Gifts of Imperfections by Brene Brown
  • The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

These will give you a mix of growth in different areas of your life from your finance to mindset, to your relationships and more. I will caution your though that self-help should not turn into ‘shelf-help’. Just buying the books enriches the author not you. It only looks good on the shelf but it does not serve you from there.

2. Personal development trainings and masterminds

The biggest growth I have experience so far in my life has been thanks to personal development trainings. I was attending them religiously every month for a few years. They were sometimes in person (prior to COVID) and sometimes online. I invested in speaker training to improve my speaking skills and be able to convey the message I want to with the world: There is a better you and it is time to let her/him shine. I have created a membership designed after my own journey to extend support to other called Unleash Your Genius Blueprint. There are so many other programs online. The key is to find someone who inspires you and make sure you stay tunes with their content. For me it was Paul Martinelli and Roddy Galbraith along with John Maxwell.

3. One to One coaching

Coaching is by far the most powerful process to unlock your potential and expand your perspective. What I love the most about coaching is that it allows you to find your answer from within leaving you to feel empowered and confident. Sadly, the word coaching has been used mistakenly by many confusing is with mentoring, teaching or training. Coaching has nothing to do with experience or knowledge in a specific field. It has everything to do with the coach’s ability to trigger your thoughts and action during the coaching process. The coach fully believes in you and that you have all the answers within. Their role is to help you find those answers through the coaching process. It usually comes at a higher price, but worth every bit of it if done correctly. It is a true honor to observe the change that my coaching clients go through from low confidence to becoming the strong and empowered person they are.

I highly recommend Personal Development Trainings and Masterminds for those who are in the process of getting a fresh start and of course 1:1 coaching if they can afford it. Having that extra level of support in an environment that is conducive to growth expels your growth when dealing with change. 

Personal development really has changed my life and has been the key to my fresh starts allowing me to stay focus, persistent and inspired in my journey despite the challenges. And this is what I have the honor to help others do now through my individual trainings and corporate workshops.

It’s magic if you ask me.

This quote really puts it perfectly:

‘Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.’  George Bernard Shaw.

A fresh start is an opportunity to start over fully embracing who you are & do what you love. A chance for a better life full of joy and peace. No matter how hard it may seem, you deserve it.

Be courageous and know that you do not have to do it all alone. With personal development, your fresh start will feel effortless and empowering.

I believe in you.

Nausheen Saumtally