Unknown Speaker 0:00
I just remember the loneliness and solitude I felt when I got sick. All this gaslighting has to stop so that the girls in the younger generations either don't get sick or when they do get sick their beliefs
Welcome back to the pyjama and to be high and so excited. We're talking with Dara, from bison time designs. Dara has opened her very beautiful shop. Three months in from being diagnosed with MS. And she has learned to not only navigate that experience, but she has also taken upon herself, the joy and really the mission to connect other chronic illness entrepreneurs in a way that works for us and our bodies. Dar I'm so excited. Thank you so much for you know, sharing your time with us. And what I know is going to be a really exciting conversation.
Unknown Speaker 1:05
Thank you so much for having me on the show. I can't wait. This conversation.
What I'm Firstly, I'm so curious about is can you share with us your health journey conditions and your pathway to diagnosis first?
Unknown Speaker 1:20
Sure, like everyone, it was a long journey. And I think in hindsight, I was probably sick for about 10 years before diagnosis. So I was diagnosed with MS in 2013. After falling, so it was I opened my shop, I was under immense stress. And I had all these really weird things that were going on, like my underarms went numb, and I had a bath. And I remember saying to my flatmate, we don't have hot water, the water is not hot enough. And I had just kept putting the water up really hot. Which is Luckily I didn't burn myself but I actually couldn't feel it. And just a few other things. And I was like I just was like, my heart was all hunched. And like I was so stressed with everything I had just moved to Melbourne in the year beforehand. We'd also had some other like family issues, and just the stress levels were next level. I was sort of smoking and drinking and just trying to numb everything. And I went up to Sydney for a funeral. And I was walking in a shopping centre I had you know, ankle boots on like just a five centimetre heel. And my foot went out from under me and I fell. And I kind of didn't really think anything of it. It wasn't the first time it had happened. But the whole day like, my legs started going numb. And I started I remember the flight back home because I plan up to Sydney. And things just felt weird. I couldn't sleep that night. And over the next week or so. My leg went numb and I just had weird sensations. And that went over to the other side of my body. And I went to my GP and I think she thought it was Ms. So she sent me to a neurologist. And he did some tests and told me that it was stress. So put me on antidepressant.
No way. I went to an RA just and that was the outcome of that.
Unknown Speaker 3:20
Yeah, he's like you're stressed and I've been pushed back. And I said to him, I was like, I know stress like, this is something else. And I had actually gone to my GP probably three months before and just said things aren't right. I don't know what it is. And we did some tests and you know, but the fall was the catalyst. So that was six weeks into opening and it took me another six weeks. So he just brushed me off. And what my doctor had wanted was a referral from him to get an MRI. And he didn't give that to me because I was stressed. gaslighting at its finest. And in that six weeks I'd fallen over again. I had to walk with a walking stick. I've got optic neuritis in one eye and it had then transferred started going into the other eyes so what optic neuritis is, the way I describe it is you know when you look through smudgy sunglasses and colour and colour wasn't as bright wasn't crisp and that's my whole job. Like I own a tile store I you know colours my thing. And so I was freaking out and I just opened the shop and I was sitting there with my pirate eyepatch. Just luckily we I wasn't busy so I could just turn up to work every day. And then just exist just sit there and wait for people to come in and watch Game of Thrones or whatever I could but I showed up to work every day. Eventually I got my MRI and this lovely neurologist called Man, he's like you need to come in. And I'm like, Well, I'm at work. And so I booked an appointment went in and he's like okay, well you've got more spool sclerosis, you need to go to the hospital and you need to go on a steroid drip straightaway.
Well, so like it's taken out like that. Just bang.
Unknown Speaker 5:10
Yeah. And I was like, hang on. Six weeks ago, you told me I had stress. And he's just kind of covered it, and then kind of was like, okay, radio, well, you need to go the hospital. And that was it like literally three minutes. And I said, no, no. Like, I can't go, I've got to work. I'll go tomorrow. And he goes, Okay, well, I'll call them and tell them that you're coming. And then he's, we walked to the reception. I said, Hang on, who you've just like, can you give me some literature? Can you, you know, you've given me this life altering diagnosis. And I kind of knew it was coming like I had done my research. So give me some paperwork or give me something to so he gave me three drug pamphlet.
And that was it. No way.
Unknown Speaker 6:00
Go go to the hospital. Was it?
And it was the same guy,
Unknown Speaker 6:05
same guy that I'd seen six weeks before. Wow.
So one of the things in this process is like, even though you said you knew there's I can hear you sort of saying, but there was it was still a shock. Have I got that right?
Unknown Speaker 6:22
Well, you never want the label. Do you want to kind of think that maybe you're wrong. But I knew something was really wrong. Like I knew, like it wasn't getting better. I knew they did. When I went to the hospital. They did. They were testing for another disease called neuro political octagon. And I told my brother and he's like, don't google it. And I was like, okay, so I went to the hospital, and they did a lumbar puncture, which no one really spoke to me about, which gave me like a week long migraine, which I couldn't function. I was in bed for a week. So my shoulder was closed.
I just want to catch this, like we're talking 2003 2000 2013. So literally, eight, nine years ago, in Melbourne, which is a big capital city in Australia, and has one of the most, you know, it's very well serviced in terms of
Unknown Speaker 7:29
hospitals. Extraordinary. And just the one thing I learned through the whole process was you've got to be your own advocate, I went through two other neurologists until I found the one that I liked, because I didn't want to go with drugs initially. And no one wants to talk to you. If you don't want to go on drugs, because that's what they know. Yeah, it was. Yeah. And I had an ophthalmologist as well, this old guy who's still wrote everything on yellow cards, have a go at me, but I didn't want to go on the drugs. And like put me in tears. And I remember walking at the reception as well. And he said, radio Good luck, then put his hand on my shoulder.
Wow. Yeah. Can I just check with you? Tara, how old? Were you at this point? 39. Yeah. And that's what I actually am hearing with you is that you're mature, like you'd developed into the fullness of your maturity, you were running your own business, you had made these big risk decisions, and you knew yourself. And that gave you places to push back with as well.
Unknown Speaker 8:40
Plus, I did a lot of research, because I kind of figured I had another friend who had Ms. So I spoke to her a lot before I was actually diagnosed. But I just I just kind of felt that that's what was happening. And for the 10 years prior after stress, like I would get these vertigo bouts, which I thought was vertigo, and it would last about six weeks. What I now know is that they were lesions that were inflamed. So for me, I always get stuff after the stressful periods. Stress, I guess the cortisol you just keep going. And then it's once you actually stop. That's when my body goes ah.
And I just want to pop in him because I think this is interesting and we're having a conversation. We're both in the same city. I have a vertigo condition that's actually migraine based and instead of the headache, I now fall to the floor treated with medication. When I went to the emergency department with that no tests had been run nothing had been ordered. I think they did a CAT scan and went okay, it's normal. But the ER doctor looked at me and said I don't want to scare you neurologist hadn't come but I think you might have Ms. It's no, no medical evidence for it. So the opposite of that experience with you, but the same sort of. I always feel like there's at times a flippancy in this is their world. And in my case, it's like, well, we don't know. Therefore, it was just as dismissive. You could have MS as you getting it stress, like the dismissiveness was still in the same place.
Unknown Speaker 10:28
The gaslighting of the medical industry and I think women. So Scientific American just released an autoimmune study 80% of all autoimmune diagnoses are women. That makes it a women's problem.
Yeah. And I love that you brought that up, because in this series, we're also interviewing Eleanor click on who has just released her book on will women, which is, she's an amazing historian. She also lives with lupus. And it's the story of medicine and women and men, from the Greeks all the way through to the current, and then how that story has been told about women's bodies and how it's culturally been framed. It's an amazing book. And what I like about this conversation, the synchronicity that you and I are in, is this conversation is on now, these interviews, you know, we had the summit last year, we've got this ongoing conversation, but we are right in the moment where this conversation is up for debate. It's up for our voices, it's up for change. And it's up for not just advocacy, but actually fundamental visibility of what's going on.
Unknown Speaker 11:42
Absolutely. Activism, like it's people like us, because it's generally women in that kind of 40 ish age bracket to get diagnosed. So we've got to pass like make sure that we leave it like that all this gaslighting has to stop so that the girls in the younger generations either don't get sick, or when they do get sick their beliefs. And it's not years and years and years until they get a diagnosis.
Yeah, absolutely. And we're up for it. That's what I find so interesting. And we're up for it together. And I just am loving. You know, one of the great pleasures of running this work is meeting the women. And I want to segue a little because you have taken up this space, not just in your own self advocacy, but you are creating platforms for women as well to share this experience and be collectively together. Would you like to share with us your process and what you're up to Dara?
Unknown Speaker 12:44
Yes. So I when I was sick, I was like when I had that five day migraine. I was lying in bed. Having just got the diagnosis. Three months into my business going alright. Surely there's other people out here? Surely I can read stories of other people. So I would Google entrepreneur, heal chronic illness, Ms. Business Owner, nothing. I could not find that thing anywhere. So and it kept bugging me and it kept bugging me. And I got biosand time to buy some time designed to a really good level. And you know, as the things that you're calling, it kept bugging me. So I built the platform. And I went, Okay, it's a 12 month project. And we told 40 stories of people and it was all just, I would put a call out on source products, people from all over the world would be like it. I'm an I'm an entrepreneur with a chronic illness and tell me their amazing stories. So we would post the stories on the blog. And then I just kind of closed it for a little while because I had some business troubles and I had to just focus on that. And then last year, it just kept knocking on my door and knocking on the door. And I with my coach and I was kind of like okay, well I want to move into this space a bit more. Like how do I transition? How do I do both? And so we've turned it into a podcast. I'd also done to work with Simon cynics team. And my whole Why was about helping people tell stories. tell their story so that other people can learn from them. That's my whole wine. My whole reason for being. Yeah. And the podcast just fills me up so much like people are amazing. The people who want people have been through and I just remember the loneliness and solitude I felt when I got sick and still feel it's getting a lot better. But you know, I'm a single woman. I live alone. I go to all my appointments alone. I think I've been to one appointment with a friend. Now I go to the hospital every month for my infusion Do all my other side, it's all made.
Yeah. And it's lonely, let's just be honest, really more about there's a couple of things, I just want to grab hold of Israel conversation. Let's start with some of the loneliness. And then I want to talk about the intuition knocking.
Unknown Speaker 15:18
I was diagnosed 16 years ago. And there were most of it was on my own until there was a point where I couldn't walk at all, and literally needed people to come to the appointment with me to get there. And that was with an autoimmune condition first, and then the same happened with a migraine condition that was so vertigo. So I couldn't walk on this bed bound again for about nine months. I am partnered now. And that's one of the joys of my experience of really flourishing with chronic illness is the way that that really became real. And I navigated that. And I could actually only just walk around the corner to the coffee shop. And I could only be in a coffee shop for about 20 minutes when I partnered, like when I first met my partner. But the loneliness, even in partnership, it's lonely, when it's just you in the dark, it's lonely, when it's just you and the symptoms, the other person can't see it, they can't feel it, they can have empathy for you. But it's not the same as somebody getting it and feeling it and seeing you in it because their experience is so congruent with yours. And the loneliness is real in that sharing the stories is beautiful, and creating the community is beautiful and being visible. And there is an aspect of this illness, because it is an internal emotional journey that goes with the physical journey. There is an aspect of this experience that is lonely
Unknown Speaker 17:04
in it, and exhausting.
Yeah, and I'm curious about having navigated this way, like, what has been the emotional journey and the emotional experience for you, Dara?
Unknown Speaker 17:19
long have you got the real change for me happened when I started doing the emotional work. So my actual theory with a lot of the autoimmune is that it's emotions that are never expressed as a child, and they fester, and they fester. And then you have other life experiences and life choices that you make. And if the emotions are never expressed, and they're never dealt with, and they're never, they then become these autoimmune conditions. This is purely my theory.
Yeah. And I'm curious because we all find our different aspects. I started with that question in myself, but I've actually don't feel that's congruent for me now. And what's beautiful about these conversations I want to be really clear with everybody is that we are each speaking about our experience. And we are not in any way judging or saying anybody else, that you have created this for yourself, and that you are responsible for your experience of illness in this way.
Unknown Speaker 18:34
No, absolutely not. This is completely my theory. And I and I think that because I've watched other friends with chronic illnesses. And I know for myself, I get worse when I'm not expressing my thoughts. And I've had a couple of dark nights of the soul in the last pandemic and really dealt with. And I think the beauty of that pandemic was it gave us space to cut out all the noise, so that we could hear the things and deal with the things that needed to be dealt with. And I've had a few of those recently, and they're really hard. But
and I think collectively we're in this together, like, because the other aspect to this is, I definitely believe that some of the ways in which we navigate this emotionally, particularly because of the cultural pressure around this that doesn't serve us. And in fact, when we can actually ditch some of that cultural conversation about illness itself and find more connection with ourselves. Then we can find a way I think to free up some energy. But the other the other thing that goes with this for me is that and I in this conversation, I'm rambling 100 of Sara Rameez work, the ladies handbook for her mysterious illness, which is a beauty. Just
Unknown Speaker 20:05
look that up. Yeah, yeah, gonna buy it. So.
So I'm reminded in this moment of that book, and what Sarah really beautifully uncovers in this process is actually all of the things that have happened to our food chain, all of the toxicity that's actually come into the land all of the stress responses that we've got even. And I think about this quite deeply from an American perspective, the economic stress that goes with illness that is so high that you cannot help but actually have that go into your body. And you have to try and work out that your illness is not just you, there's a cultural layer to this conversation. In this conversation, then you just talked about the dark nights that you've been facing throughout the pandemic as well. I'm wondering if you would share with us then how you are navigating that for yourself, and I'm not expecting you to have the perfect answer of landed in it, I really want to have this conversation honestly, about this actually incredibly common experience.
Unknown Speaker 21:14
To be honest, the first thing I did was trying to numb it. Which is my actually I ate a lot of my emotions in the in the pandemic. And then I have some really good friends who I speak to. And I also have an amazing acupuncturist, who's kind of a bit of a therapist, as well. And she's amazing and really helps me It helped me to reframe a lot of what I was thinking, and I did a lot of journaling. And then I would just sit watch TV for a little while, I think, and it just, it was probably over a good four to six weeks each one and I would go to work. And it became a really difficult time. Because all we were doing was working. I was like, Yeah, I could go to work, and then come home, and just working through it. And I just had to work through it and reframe it and try and but at the time I lost my meditation, I lost, I couldn't be bothered to do a lot of things. Yeah.
Yeah. And this is, this is really important. And I really thank you for the honesty that you're sharing with us. Because that's the whole reason for having these conversations. For me, the experience of chronic illness is an underworld experience. And it's my experience. And it's my experience with my clients as well, that then that stripping down, which is what COVID is as well, it's a stripping down of everything that we were in relationship with in our status and our ways in which we were connecting, there's just this. And that's not there anymore, and then we're with ourselves. But for me, the important part of this is that it's not the end of the story. And that actually, there's a reemergence that as we put things back on, which is what we're actually navigating now like we're in year three of it, everybody else that's like, what this isn't fixed yet. And those of us who have chronic illness are like, Oh, okay, right. I see, this is where we're at, this is what's happening. I want to be really honest, I've had to go. I thought this was a two year game. And now it's like, okay, this is a three year game, a four year game, a five year game here. But it's not the end of the story, because now it's time to get on with things within the environment that we're in. And I'm curious about how that lands with you and how you're navigating that now, as you're sort of reemerging in a city that's open, but the pandemic isn't over.
Unknown Speaker 23:54
Yeah, and I think it's interesting, I'm kind of ignoring the pandemic, a little bit. But parts of my life, I feel like I've just come to accept it, I guess, rather than ignore it. I accept the mask wearing I accept that. Yeah, you know, and that things change constantly, even for me, to have my meds once a month. They used to be we get to get a PCR test, and we have to isolate. And it just every month it changes and now it's just a rapid test. The morning, if you can, yeah. But for me, I feel like I'm emerging as this new activist, this new person with a mission and a passion. And I really want to build chronic into a space where it's safe for people and people can learn and people don't feel so alone. Because there's other people's stories, and they can see themselves in those. And that really fires me up.
Yeah. And I think that there's a moment we're all having about this like what And I started years ago, there was no such thing as a chronic illness coach, there was just nothing in this space. And then as I've spoken to so many women and leaders in this space, and I really want to hold that, that there is a leadership in this space who have been around in this space for longer than a minute. But as this is exploding, certainly on Instagram, there's a lot of chronic illness coaching, there's a lot of entrepreneurship coaching. And what I really want to encourage with all of us is, we need to talk about this as well. And one of the reasons we want to talk about this is the wellness space started, you know, years ago, and then it's an explosion. And it's a billion dollar industry. And let's be very clear, the pharmaceutical industry has been the billion dollar industry of chronic illness. But there is a billion dollar industry coming around chronic illness. And I know this from your heart, and then my hardest, well, we want this to be a navigation that is empowering, that is enriching. And that is life sustaining and life giving, not a sphere or a place where you are in the market. And people are marketing to you some sort of cure all or do this or think this and that will fix it. And I'm curious about you know, you're working with entrepreneurs all the time in this space. Now, what have you noticed around this star,
Unknown Speaker 26:35
the journey between chronic illness and entrepreneurism is quite similar. So I think people with chronic illness can make really good entrepreneurs, purely because you have to have boundaries, and you have to manage your health. So you actually have to say no to a lot of things so that you can say yes to other things. And you can actually build a really sustainable business. And then most of the time, it's because people have to, because you can't work a nine to five job. I mean, the pandemics changed a lot of that now, now with people being able to work from home. And that's huge for people with illness with disability, people who were never seen before.
So you make a really good point, Dara about the that were made for us, like that's the beauty of chronic illness is that we have this underlying resilience. And we can pivot really quickly. And we can adapt and that. But also that if we can create businesses for ourselves that have flexibility, then we're on that upward tick. But I'm curious, you know, you're in the heart of this, this is your jam. What is it that you're seeing around chronic illness businesses at the moment,
Unknown Speaker 27:49
the businesses are quite varied. There's a lot of coaching, and a lot of speaking. And a lot of authors, like people want to write their story down, and they people want to share story. I mean, story is so important now, and people it's like Brene Brown like this, she talks about story, Simon Sinek talks about story. And it's how people learn, and how people identify it. You may hear one person's story, but you might just one bit. I've also noticed a lot of virtual assistants, you know, find that one thing you're good at, and monetize it. And do it. You know, you don't have to work if you can only work three hours a day, you can do that. Yeah,
yeah. And it's changed, I think in this COVID time as well to make it more acceptable. And as you say, certainly in my space, I'm seeing corporate starting to come along because that big barrier about working from home, which we need lots of us need if we've got chronic illness and have corporate work. That is the hugest barrier that has been there towards Korea. And that shift is starting to shift the whole culture around what's possible.
Unknown Speaker 29:02
Yep. Absolutely. And a lot of people coming in and doing workshops for corporates, yes. Because people want to learn about resilience, and they want to know how their teams can build resilience and work better together. Yeah. Which is really interesting. Like it's yeah, it's almost like they wanting the lessons of the chronic illness to take into corporate. Correct.
Yeah. And so I'm curious what's happening. What's your next thing? Like? What's your project? Where are you at? What's the things that you're working on now?
Unknown Speaker 29:35
So I want to build the podcast a lot more. I just want to keep talking to people. So I've just put buys and time designers appointment only, which is a game changer for that retail model where we're just used to people coming in all the time. So now we've made it a lot more purpose LED which is freeing me up for that kind of thing. So I can work work on chronic, I really want to run some retreats for people with chronic illness, just nurturing and lovely spaces and where people can be seen and heard, and got a small project that I'd really like to change the medical industry.
They're all in on that.
Unknown Speaker 30:19
Just build a space where they all talk to each other. Yep, communicate, and can, you know, that's my big dream?
And so, if you were somebody who's listening with us, and they're like, Well, I've got an idea for a business, I live with chronic illness. But that seems risky. Or how do I do it? Like, what would be the top three lessons that you would tell them about working, being an entrepreneur, and living with chronic illness? What are your top three takeaways, Darren,
Unknown Speaker 30:54
do a little bit each, like if starting is a big, it's a big process, and you're currently working and you want to build that life that you love, and that you can manage, start small, start doing it on the side as a side hustle. And then gradually build that. Second one would be just keep going. And don't listen to anyone else. Anyone else's opinions? Because I know a lot of my friends were like, What are you doing? Why are you you just got if you know, in your heart, and you know, it's the best thing for you follow that lead. And if it takes you a couple of years to do it, that's okay. Do it at your, at your speed. And the third is, even with chronic illness advocate for yourself, you are your best advocate in business and in illness. And use both of those skills to ask the questions, build the folder, build the knowledge, build the to just create that dream. And write lists. Lists are good, I love lists.
Yeah, and I think one of the things that I would offer in that
Unknown Speaker 32:09
is that you don't have
to get a great business mentor. You can have great business mentors who don't have chronic illness, but are really good business mentors. And this, you can get great online business mentors, that's certainly how I found my way, I enrolled in what I thought was, you know, I was gonna do this course. And I was like, I won't, I'm not really going to do online, I'm going to run workshops in hospitals, but this woman really knows business. But she was an online business, mentor, and then turned out, it was the best decision possible. And it's because it was knocking at my door. And I just couldn't put down I knew this woman was the place to go. But she had no idea about chronic illness, but she really knew how to build people's confidence. And she knew about the vulnerability of business. And I think that's something I want to really share with us is that there is vulnerability in business and chronic illness might feel like there's more vulnerability, but my experience is business is just vulnerability. That's actually just what it is. So you're made for it. And you don't need to go out and get a whole lot of credentials, or try and fit into a chronic illness box to be an entrepreneur, even if you want to be in the business of helping other women living with chronic illness. You can expand and learn with people. And you can take it one step at a time in ways that work for you. But you don't have to put in 10 years of credentialing. You want to find the people that really helps you bring out your genius, and then you want to work your genius and that's the important thing.
Unknown Speaker 33:54
That's a good way of putting it. It's yeah, yeah, find that genius and just keep going. And I think with business, it's never what you think it's gonna be. Oh, so
good. So true. Just like chronic illness, think's gonna happen. And it
Unknown Speaker 34:11
always takes longer than you think. It's like getting better renovating a house, or building a business always takes longer than you think.
Yeah, and I really want to grab that because we don't often talk about it. It's so important because, you know, this is podcasts and that like, well, they're all just Ram Ram and they're for the hero's journey. But actually if you're living with chronic illness, you're sort of a bit more navigating other things at the same time while building your business. But what you just said is the the industry that is out there telling you can do it like this, and you can make you know how to have your $50,000 month or how to have your $100,000 a year. Yeah, I really, I really want to grab this really gently with everybody, because we do need the hope. And we do need the optimism. And when you're going into business, there is this need for somebody to expand your vision. Like that's actually what a mentor is for in any space to expand what is possible for you is really important. However, you want to have discernment. And you want to know what runs on the board does this person have, and this is just flashing to me while we're in this conversation, I just want to put this out there. Last year, I interviewed Samantha Wills, and Samantha Wills as a fantastic entrepreneur. And she also lives with endometriosis. And so I had this opportunity to interview her for last year. And we talked about the entrepreneur journey. But most importantly, Samantha runs a masterclass that she opens a couple of times a year, it's very affordable. And it's everything that she knows about how to run a business. So not only has she lived with chronic illness, but she was undiagnosed. She didn't talk about it. She didn't know she was living with endometriosis. But she's really honest and real about actually what it takes. I mean, she's a superstar, what it takes, and how she the hard lessons, she's learned about how then to care for her body and how she does business now. And what I love about her is, she's very transparent with her community. And it's, it's free, you can go to her website, and you can join her community in terms of accessing some of her information about business for free. And then there's actual paid processes, which is very, very affordable. But what she does is show you the Carter of her income and how much goes to her staffing and how much goes to video production and how much goes to her agents who are actually getting her the gigs, and then how much is left, and then how much is taxed out of that. And she has given you the whole process of what it's really like to run a business. And she's all about expanding women and all about extending their wealth, but she's doing it in a way that is real. And I'm as tempted as everybody else by the shiny things, you know, may have your $100,000 day it's like, oh, what day is that? How do I get that I can get that in 10 weeks. But actually, I want to share with you, you want somebody who's going to expand you, but also give you the foundation steps to that. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 37:28
there's also do you know, a company of one, no Java. So it's all about, it's kind of the anti scale up mentality. So when you get into a business, and there's this whole, the whole scale up, scale up, become huge and do all this. And I tried that, and then almost lost everything. And then also realised I don't want to scale up, I want to be a company of one or two, like I want what I can manage. And you have to also know what you can manage. And if you can build a business that gives you and your if you've got a family and income, that's enough, you don't have to be earning a million dollars a young, you don't have to have the two houses like you can just build something that small that works around you and your family and your illness. And that's great. That's amazing.
And this really leads me back to the conversation where we started in some of these places about the knocking of intuition, just like you this whole series began last year because it would not stop knocking at me. And it's just, it's so loud. And you and I have the privilege and I want to really name this, we have the privilege of having found a way to listen to that. Because we actually have privilege where we can listen to that knocking voice. And what I would encourage everybody if you've got a loud voice trusted, it's there. It's knocking. But if you don't know what the next right step is, ask, ask the inner voice. What's the next right step? And instead of fretting about a quiet sleep, listen to the dreams wake up and see what the synchronicity is. It's knocking for a reason. There are dreams in your heart for a reason. And chronic illness is not the end and the death of your trains. In fact, it's just a different door into them. And you could end up in a place like Dyer and I well I again, this isn't what I thought, but this is really cool.
Unknown Speaker 39:35
Yeah. With me with the interview series like I because I have my business was six weeks old when I got sick. And a lot of people I spoke to that's been speaking to were like, you know, I took a year off. I took a year and a half off to get better and really think about what I wanted to do. And I was like, Oh, I never did that. So I took the time and thought about it. Yeah. Chronic is what I Wanna do chronic entrepreneur and help people and build that? So that's what I'm doing. But again, I've got the privilege to be able to do that.
And you've also actually got the exploitation skills you haven't been on the block two minutes, and you're like, now I'm going to be a chronic entrepreneur, Coach, you know, run, yeah, you actually have the rungs on the board. And I know that, you know, we are a beautiful community, and there's space for everybody in this community. And I also want us to be real about the vulnerability in this space. Running a business is vulnerable. It does line up beautifully with chronic illness. And you want to have the relationships that support you in the mentor for the people you work with, who actually have the courage and the sustainability, that they can share that with you because that's what will get you through the dark night as they come the foetal position in the floor about why can't
Unknown Speaker 40:59
I say the water bash? Yeah, yeah.
I always like to say my signature programme Queen of the underworld when it dropped into me, I said to my business mentor, I can't run a programme called Queen of the underworld, there's no credibility. Nobody, like I can't put that out into the market. And she said, Yes, you can. Yes, you can. And I like thought with her for six weeks. And yet, I've had women say to me, if you called it anything else, I wouldn't have come. It's precisely because you called it that, that I came. And that's the most your people are there, and they're your people. And you said, you're not for everybody.
Unknown Speaker 41:39
That's good. Yep. Absolutely. And I know, being getting MS was the greatest gift of all, Ray, it turned me into a better human, a better person, a better business owner. I just Yeah, I think it's great. Yeah. But you know, it's, it was a gift.
And I think it's what we make out of it. And some years are just hard years, and you don't make lemonade you can't make some years are just hard years, and you don't make lemonade. Like let's, neither you and I are putting any pressure on anybody to make lemonade. But there is this alchemy of the process where you go, Yeah, but there's all of this beauty. And for me, it's actually been a doorway into my power. It hasn't been a disempowering process. It's like Firstly, because I've had to find my own power, that it actually has been a doorway into
Unknown Speaker 42:34
my power. And it took some time, like five years to make a profit. Five years of me sitting there every day in that shop. It's, it takes time. It's not that, you know, I've made six figures in a year, there's no way that happens. And also, the other thing I want to add is, friends and family, unless they're entrepreneurs, and business owners themselves will not mostly not understand. So you can't expect them to, if you want help ask another business owner or a coach.
Absolutely, I agree. And even the best of intention partners, I remember when I started this, more formally more structured in a way, what happened is that my partner was a TV and film editor. And I was clear about the work that I wanted to do. And I came out I did this year course it transformed it into an online business that looked at everybody else's, if I just come out, like all of a sudden out of the gate. But what happened in that is I had the grid and I had the experience and it was translating it into the online environment. And it was intuition, knocking and I had the space and I had the privilege of I had enough savings to give myself over a year to explore with it. But what happened in that process is that TV editing dried up for my partner, like there was no TV editing in COVID. And he watched me for nine months until he thought he would give it a go to do what he had always wanted to do in terms of online business. That was something he was scared of. And now we're two entrepreneurs in a house who understand online business, but everybody else is like, what what are you doing? And how does that work? And like, it's just completely confusing that I can have clients in the US to them, like they didn't even know what zoom was.
Unknown Speaker 44:33
And as any talk to people about you know, and they just like I've got a group of friends who all were in finance and they all had high paying jobs and then there's little me and they just was really hard to connect with them. Because they kind of go how's the business in the UK kind of talk about it and they just don't get it like their bonuses were like, what I took in a year I was lucky.
Yeah Yes, I have that the same. This bonus is like, okay. But this is a beautiful, honest discussion about it. And I'm so thrilled that you're creating that community for us to have it because, you know, we're multi dimensional beings, I always say, there's every, there's a community for the thing that you're looking for, there's a powerful, and there's a real community, a genuine community for you. And I'm just so thrilled that you have listened to your intuition, and you've taken this on, and you've got the grit, to not only create it and really shine in the activism of it. But also you've got the grit of the experience to be able to honestly help people.
Unknown Speaker 45:44
Thank you. And it's time. It is time. It's time.
So I want to thank you so much. We'll have all of your connections and all of your details in our show notes. And of course, links to your podcasts and your website as well. Because we want people to go and find you if this conversation spoke to you. Reach out and follow Dara reach out and follow me who ever speaks to you reach out and take that step. Because I know living with chronic illness, we can get really shy and our confidence can get eroded. But we are a safe space to connect to and this community is growing. And I'm so grateful Dara, that we've had the chance to meet together
Unknown Speaker 46:27
we're grateful for you to for creating this platform. Thank you.
It's my absolute pleasure. Thanks so much for joining us. If you want to explore connecting and working with me Michelle, you can chat to me at Michelle irving.com.au/cat. And we can book on a time to connect. And stay tuned for next week's episode where we have another gorgeous, magnificent woman sharing with us about how to navigate chronic illness in an empowered way.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai