Patti’s Story

1. Ending, Losing, Letting Go

Patti Gwynne

Patti Gwynne

At 47 years old, I was co-owner of a very successful primary health software business in New Zealand.    We had 40 staff and over 700 clients throughout New Zealand and Australia.  Life was good!  We then had an opportunity to sell the business to international investors, so after some prolonged due diligence, we took the chance and handed over the ‘keys’ in December 2000.

I was genuinely surprised at how my status as a successful business owner and employer had effected my own sense of self and how the loss of this ‘status’ then effected my confidence.  I had been in my own business for ten years, so was used to making all the decisions and not answering to anyone…other than the tax man!  I had built up a great team of staff who I was able to support and nurture to be the best they could be and all of this supported my sense of self and my achievements.  And…if the emotional rollercoaster wasn’t enough, I also went from a six figure income to zero, overnight!!

2. The Neutral Zone

SO… what does one do in these circumstances..walk on the beach?   Well that’s what I did..walked and walked on the sand and thought and thought about the next steps in my life.  I started to look at what I didn’t want in my future life to help me attract what I did want.  I called this my Life Design©.

What I didn’t want in my Life Design©:

  • I didn’t want to live only in the city
  • I didn’t want to work for anyone else
  • I didn’t want to have staff.
  • I didn’t want to be tied to a business 7 days a week
  • I didn’t want to be tied to an office
  • ..there were many others

Doing this exercise, enabled me to define some crucial Needs that would be the guiding principles of my future Life Design©:

  • Flexibility
  • Mobility
  • Freedom

In my personal and work life these were the three needs that became my guiding principles in all the decisions that I made about where and how I would live, who I would share my life with and what my Encore Career might look like .

3. The New Beginning

I focused on my Personal Life Design© first.

  • An apartment in town
  • A beach house
  • A ‘single’ life (for the time being!)
  • Travel

I then focussed on my Work Life Design© to fit with my personal life design

  • Consulting
  • Work from a service office / home office / beach office
  • Deliver service by Face to Face/Phone /Email
  • Flexible hours and days of work
  • Work three days a week

And so my new beginnings emerged!  I brought a beach house after selling the family home.  I then brought an apartment to give me the freedom and flexibility of city and beach life.  I started consulting for a recruitment company which then lead to my discovering ‘Coaching’ and the rest is history thirteen years on!  Both my Personal Life Design© and my Work Life Design© have changed and grown as I have over the last thirteen years.   I now look forward to the next ten years as being full of possibilities, delightful experiences and shared with my wonderful husband in our joint Life Design© in Clevedon, New Zealand.

Patti Gwynne 
June 2014
Note – the model I have used to tell my story comes from ‘the way of transition’ by William Bridges – a wonderful read!

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