I got in the elevator and knew, I just knew. Whether it is a break up, a termination, a confession … when it’s coming at you, you just KNOW.
At 58 I had a decision to make and quick … how was I going to handle this? And as the elevator slowed to approach the chosen floor, the voice of my grandmother – long ago deceased – popped into my head and answered, “with grace, you are going to handle this with grace.”
Less than 10 minutes later I was back in the elevator with a package and an NDA. That was two years ago.
The days and weeks of embarrassment, humiliation, loneliness (where did everyone go?) and self pity that followed, were painful. I reran the past 6 months over and over in my head: recalling the accolades, the ‘exceeds expectation’ review, the CEO roundtable appointment, the honour of hosting a global event, the salary raise and the promise over dinner a mere 9 weeks prior that there was in no way my role, my team was in jeopardy.
Then one day, I started writing. I began with a letter to the individual who I felt betrayed me. Then I wrote him another letter …
A thank you letter. And today if I ran into him I would thank him (after coaching him on what NOT to say during a termination🤦🏼♀️).
Fast forward to today, having launched two businesses that feed my passion to champion, support, lift and amplify the voices and status of women. Businesses that set my soul on fire.
When I founded my first business The Glassford Group I focused on what I had always done corporately – Real Estate, Development, Operations & Construction.
Two weeks before going to the Vegas ICSC convention, my coach asked me the question that would turn my work upside down:
“Who are you when you aren’t being who everyone needs or expects you to be?”
I began rhyming off things like mother, friend, partner, executive … she wasn’t having any of it and pushed harder, “you are not answering the question, ‘who are YOU, what sets your soul on fire?’”
And it just came spewing out: “I am a woman who wants women to be seen heard and valued. I want to dedicate myself to championing women.”
Her response: “Yes. Yes you are and you have been motivating and leading women for years – I am one of them.” Then she proceeded to tell me about the industry chatter that happened when I was let go, actual tears she was witness to “If it can happen to LA” And the group of C level women who would pay me whatever I needed to rip up the NDA and speak openly (🤯)!
She was in Nosara Costa Rica at the time and I said “I need to see you and talk this through.”
Days later, I landed in Nosara and at 59 years old got reintroduced to ME, the one I had abandoned to fit in, who I had let go, who I had cloaked in corporate bullshit chasing the $ and titles … yeah, I met ME.
I’d you are still reading, let me share this: There is nothing more powerful than committing to you, learning about you, caring for you. Putting your partner your kids and your obligations aside for YOU. For one week. I mean, we HAVE to.
And when everyone around you is saying things like “what the hell is she doing?” Or one of my favourite fuels “yeah I knew she couldn’t cut it in Real Estate.”
Ohhh that last one makes me smile, really smile. Like I can’t stop smiling right now – because I am now in a place where I actually know that those kinds of judgements have nothing to do with me, zero, zilch, nada. But in the moment, knives, they felt like knives to a woman who had always put the needs of others first. I’m a chameleon, a Gemini, an HD 5:1 tri split MG, happy to chat about it anytime
When I returned from Vegas, I said to my husband- what if I blew it all up? “What if I started over, took more $$ out of our severely depleted savings, left it all and focused solely on women? I really think this is what I was meant to do but what if it doesn’t work?“
“What if I does?” He responded ✨ four words, he said nothing else. HE also sets my soul on fire.
Indeed. What if it does. And that was the beginning of the rebrand of The Glassford Group focused on Women in Leadership & 1:1 Coaching AND the creation of Unlocking HER a women’s only Retreat held in Nosara Costa Rica.
There is so much learning and story to share on what happened next … how it all transpired. And when I feel called to share that part of the story I will friend here.
Having completed 4 retreats, leading the CRE8 Retreat later this month, hosting my long awaited VIP on Nosara CR February 20-27 (50% sold out already) and my Northern Canadian International Women’s Day Leadership weekend scheduled for March 7-10, all while committed to my clients across North America (hello Chicago!) I am able to now live and breathe my passion for women every damn day.
I’m Lorianne, most call me L.A., and having turned 60 this past May, I’ve never been healthier and I am confidently living my true and best life. If you think we would work well together or you would like to talk more about the retreat, reach out, I would love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading ✨💫⭐️🌙