Stacey is an incredible woman, who despite the odds, started her journey of entrepreneurship after ending a relationship, going back to school, traveling the world, and sadly losing her younger cousin. The team at Designed Life are incredibly happy to share her story as a woman who found her voice, found herself, and decided to live her dreams.
Who inspired you to start your business AND your WHY:
I remember barely being a flickering spark of myself, after getting out of that relationship – at age 38! I felt so alone, and lost, after being torn apart by his parents because of my nationality and age, dating in secret, and after he eventually told me I’m easy to manipulate. I didn’t see the double life he was living. I wanted someone to stick up for me, to fight for me- blinded by wanting to prove myself and find my worth in him and his family. It all goes back to that time I was 12 years old, and that horrible grade; it was the first time I did poorly on a test. I was used to getting 90% or higher, my own disappointment was no match for how I thought my mom felt about it. I figured she must’ve thought I was stupid; unknowingly, I set out to spend the rest of my years proving I’m not stupid, proving I’m good enough, trying to live up to high standards. Quitting my job to travel around the world to 19 countries for a year, wasn’t enough to prove I’m enough. Nor was graduating from my second bachelor’s degree at the top of my class.
So there I was, picking up, and carefully placing my broken pieces back together. For two years, I rebuilt, reshaped, and relearned who I am. I delved into personal growth, took in all the teachings I could find, attended events, connected with like-minded people, took on a new position at work, and before you know it, I found me again. I realized I don’t need a relationship to give me worth, I don’t need to prove myself to anyone, I am capable, courageous, strong and imperfectly perfect the way I am. But I still longed for more in my life. I knew I had a calling to serve humanity, and didn’t know how or where to start.
It was there – in the dark conference room, in 2017, thousands of miles from home, on the first day, in the second row, right in front of the main speaker, and founder of the organization, in my glory, soaking in every word he said, where my answer came to me. My phone was vibrating off the hook, and when I finally picked it up, and read the words that almost stopped my heart, made me want to burst out crying, and closed in the room around me, I had an instant to make a choice, a choice I had to live with for the rest of my life. Would I stay or would I go? My younger cousin Casey back home had died, she had taken her own life.
It was that moment I decided to stay at the conference, to learn, grow, and become the best version of me! I saw my younger cousin struggle, I saw the darkness she lived in;
I thought, that could’ve been me! I remember those days I was diminished to nothing – I remember thinking I didn’t want to be here anymore. I decided at that moment I was going to go out there and shine my light, so others did not have to live in the darkness Casey lived in!
We don’t have to wait until we get into despair before we change our lives before we see the beauty and importance and possibility in life! That is when I made it my mission to work with women, to empower them, uplift them, help them build confidence, and instill limitless possibility! An empowered woman can change the world!
What mantra do you live by?
“If they can do it, I can do it”
What mindsets made you successful?
a) I don’t allow myself to believe that anyone is above me, and that I can’t accomplish what others have accomplished. I don’t think there are superpowers that only a chosen few have. I believe we’re all equals and have the same ability to create our dream life, IF we are committed, dedicated, and work for it. I view the accomplishments of others as proof that it can be done!
b) Also, remembering, from my trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, that one baby step at a time will get me there! Slow and steady progress can move us up mountains!
Where does your passion come from?
Dancing, traveling, and people! My passion for traveling has taught me so much about people, perspective, what really matters in life, and seeing the big picture. The majority of this world lives without – are living in poverty, but have the most beautiful outlook on life. They have so little, but are so happy! I’ve learned so much from locals in developing countries I’ve traveled to. It’s so fulfilling and enriching for me to learn about people from all cultures, backgrounds, races, etc., what matters to them, what causes them to behave the way they do, and to understand them. My passion is learning about others, which is a vehicle for me to express and spread compassion and kindness.
What is your superpower/ how do you use it?
Asking really good questions! Most of my life I’ve been told I ask too many questions, and now I can see it as my superpower because I ask questions for a very specific reason – to gain understanding or to help others gain insight. When my clients tell me I’ve asked a question they’ve never been asked before, I take such delight, because, I know it will start the wheels turning, and bring them closer to a breakthrough. We all have the answers inside, we just need some help finding them – and that’s what a well thought out question does!
Stacey MacKinnon; (Online Program: Confidently You)