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Maree McPherson, Author: Worthy

Maree McPherson shares an excerpt from her fabulous new book Worthy: Stop mauling your mojo; straighten your self-talk and create an intentional life.

Andie (not her real name) sat with me at a dinner event in 2018. We had never met and we got talking. It wasn’t long before Andie described how she felt stuck and under-appreciated. The team who reported to her didn’t seem to listen to her directions. She thought her team wasn’t performing. Yet it was something else that was eating away at her. Andie had lost her love of work and she wanted more.

Everything about Andie’s language told me she regretted not having acted on this sooner. Andie felt it was too late. Her children were in their teens; her partner earned good money and her income was excellent. On the surface, Andie had a life other women would envy. Yet she felt shallow, bored and listless. She sighed a lot.

Andie told me her children came first in all her decisions. She had made a career out of putting her own needs last—even as far back as leaving school earlier than planned. Andie’s parents had owned a small business supplying the agricultural sector. Cash flow had been affected by years of drought and floods. So, to save her parents from any further financial stress, Andie got a job rather than going on to university.

Andie was concerned about the role model she was being for her teenage daughter. To quote Andie, ‘This is what women do, love. We put everyone else’s needs before our own. We put our dreams on hold while we get everyone else sorted’.

Andie knew this wasn’t what she wanted but didn’t know how to change it.

Andie told me how she imagined herself in her own business, finding her place as a community leader, and using some of her revenue to support a local charity. All this information came tumbling out in a 30-minute conversation with a perfect stranger who was willing to listen and not judge her.

Andie was embarrassed and tearful at having been so forthright and vulnerable. She excused herself, finished her meal and left the event. I knew then that I had to help Andie and the many women I had met who were just like her.

My mother, the most important female role model in my life, had a story similar to Andie’s.

Mum had wanted to become a mothercraft nurse. She attended a small rural school where students finished at the equivalent of today’s year eight. Mum tried correspondence education, but it was too tricky being so remote from all of her teachers.

Mum left school to start work as a bookkeeper, moving to retail sales before starting her family. By the age of 23, mum had three children under six. Her fourth child (me) arrived when the eldest was nine.

Mum stayed home to rear us because that was the firm expectation of society in her generation. Mum always knew she had more to give. She volunteered as a Cub Scout leader, then went back to full-time work at the local hospital, initially as a cleaner. Mum was then afforded the opportunity to become a theatre technician. It was a role that sparked her curiosity and made more of her talent at the end of her working life.

My mother didn’t have the options women have today. I want to honour her by ensuring as many women as possible capitalise on their choices.

If you are like Andie, if you identify with her story and if you are fearful of regrets, this book is for you.

I’ll show you how to decrease your boredom and increase your contentment, change your life balance and ensure you model your values to the people you love.

I’ll also show you how to increase your options by investing a percentage of your income in your growth each year, then leveraging that investment to position yourself for a better salary and increased benefits. Many of my clients have already done this.

I want you to know that you are worthy. You are worthy of investing time, effort and money in your development and your future contentment. You’re not only working to support your family or just to help your children meet their aspirations.

It is your life. I want you to have a lifestyle with latitude and to experience the freedom that comes from flexibility.


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Posted by Jade Collins - Femeconomy Director

Jade Collins has 20 years’ global experience in corporate executive Human Resources and management consulting roles in the Mining, Energy and Aerospace industries, leading large scale, complex multi-million-dollar change management programs. Jade finds the combination of her HR, Psychology and MBA qualifications and her leadership experience is invaluable for increasing gender equality in leadership across industries. Jade was a member of the Queensland Government's Strategic Advisory Group for the Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards Initiative and the 2019 CQU Alumni of the Year for Social Impact for her work with Femeconomy.