Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Debra O'Keefe, Founder of Life Path Consulting, located in Maybrook, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am an intuitive empath, speaker, and writer. I provide private and group services as well as online courses, individual sessions, online documents, and audio files. I also offer a podcast subscription and group membership for women.
Tell us about yourself
In 2015, my journey threw me into a complete tailspin, and my life came to a SCREECHING HALT! I hit rock bottom! Shortly after the birth of my second daughter, I contracted an infection which led to ongoing auto-immune issues. I was anxious, depressed, chronically ill and in pain, lacking confidence, struggling to see my own self-worth, afraid to pursue my dreams and passions, and terrified to live my life authentically in any way. I spent years going to doctors, having tests run, taking medications, trying different diets, and signing up for every program under the sun that promised me results, cures, and solutions. Each one failed to deliver and left me in more pain and with less and less hope.
I found myself tirelessly "swimming against the tide," trying to be someone and something I wasn't and trying to force my life in the direction it wasn't meant to go. In the end, I would always end up right back where I started. The only difference was that I would find myself feeling angrier, grief-stricken, exhausted, and discouraged than I was before. I was anxious, depressed, and consumed with shame and self-hatred. I felt completely helpless, couldn't figure out why I didn't seem to "fit in" anywhere, and wondered if my life had any purpose. It was through my own experiences on my life's journey that I found myself broken down, lost, and in need of some serious direction to get me back on track and on the right path. I surrendered all control and asked for a solution and purpose in my life. That's when I discovered my true calling and transformed my life forever.
Despite the fact that I was loved and supported by my incredible husband, beautiful daughters, wonderful family and friends, and had a truly great life, I felt as if I was completely alone in the world. I was stuck in the past and was the VIP of my own private perpetual pity party. I woke each day feeling helpless, hopeless, lost, confused, and scared out of my mind! I lived each day focusing on the "lack" in myself and my life rather than appreciating all the ways in which I was blessed and abundant. I was locked in a victim mindset, convinced that terrible things were "happening to me" and that "good things only happen for other people but would never happen for me." (Notice the repeated use of the word "I" in this story. You'll soon come to learn the importance of this as you get to know me more.)
Over the years, I have worked extensively learning, training, practicing, and growing in an effort to transform myself in ways that would enable me to become my best self, live in alignment with my highest good and the good of others, fulfill my life purpose, and truly love and be proud of myself and the life I live. I realized that the more I worked and the harder I tried, the more disconnected I felt from myself. I wondered, "Will I ever be done fixing myself?" I was on the right track but quickly realized I "missed the target but hit the tree."
At one time, I believed that my experiences with chronic illness, anxiety, and depression were the worst things imaginable. Little did I realize this challenging time was the "wake-up call" I desperately needed and would serve as the greatest gift in my life. These experiences led me on the journey to my new life path and would help me transform the lives of so many others. As I met and spoke with others, I realized that my needs and desires were very similar to theirs. So many would tell me about all their experiences, how they felt, what they longed for, all the things they had tried in the past, and the burdens they carried.
After twelve years as a special education teacher in the public school system, I found myself being called to not only continue my own healing journey but also to provide others with the guidance, safety, love, and support that is so clearly and strongly needed and desired. That was when I made the inspired choice to begin a new chapter in my life and serve as a light worker to bring peace, hope, and happiness into the hearts and lives of others.
It is my deepest passion and purpose to support and uplift others and to help them create and live a free and peaceful life that is aligned with who they truly are.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have successfully created and launched my podcast and run recurring weekly sessions with two large international corporations.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Marketing and client acquisition. Getting visibility and exposure to potential clients.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't try to do everything yourself.
- Keep it simple.
- Follow your intuition and do what feels right for you.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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