From Purposeless Police Officer and Public Relations Prisoner to Creating Meaningful Communities Worldwide: Leah and Naz Transformation Story
Leah and Naz speaking on main stage World Domination Summit 2016
Have you ever had that sneaking suspicion that you have more to offer the world? Maybe you don’t know exactly what that offering looks like yet, but there’s this niggle that just won’t go away, this wondering (often very late at night): “Is this really it? Is this all there is?”
Five years ago, two perfect strangers—Leah Hynes and Nazrin Murphie—were having these exact sames thoughts and asking these same questions about their lives.
And on top of that, they we were both completely bankrupt. Not financially bankrupt—bankrupt in way that they weren’t even consciously aware of: empty, alone, isolated, depressed, stressed out and—as mothers to small children—completely exhausted.
“I had hit rock bottom. Here I was, 30-years old with a successful 12-year career as a Police Officer in Sydney, Australia, except I was waking up each day feeling like I was completely dead inside,” says Naz.
Meanwhile, Leah Hynes was working an equally successful career as a PR Executive in Brisbane, Australia.
“I had been working for more than 10 years in Public Relations. The job was good, the people were great, and the pay was awesome! But I just felt so flat and uninspired with the day-to-day role and it was really getting on top of me,” shares Leah.
While they both had “good” lives, they were searching for more. Neither of them knew exactly why—they both seemingly had it all—but they both knew they wanted to be an example to their kids. Except they were both facing one massive roadblock: at the time they knew no one else in Australia who also felt the same way. None of their friends really understood where they were at and they felt like total freaks. They felt like they should just be happy with what they have…
But instead of settling, they did what most people do—they searched Google for an answer and the answer they found was not at all what they had expected.
They found each other…
Leah and Naz’s worlds collided five years ago, despite:
– living 12 hours drive apart in different States in Australia
– having never seen each other in person
– having zero clue what their passions where, and
– being complete entrepreneurial amateurs…
They had both just signed up to the How to Connect With Anyone Course hoping to connect with some Americans (they for some reason thought the Americans had this passion stuff nailed!), but were placed in a mastermind group with 3 other amazing Australians.
And even more miraculous, and just one week after being placed in a this group together, Naz called Leah up and asked her out of the blue: “Hey I was wondering, would you like to start a business together?”
And before her brain could even engage with the question at hand Leah found herself opening her mouth and saying “Yeah, sure.”
From Feeling Lost and Isolated to Making an Impact
Leah and Naz presenting their World Domination Summit 2016 Academy “How to Create & Build a Hyper-Engaged Community”
Fast forward to the present day, and you certainly would never guess that either of them have been through immense challenges and struggles along the way, even to the point of nearly throwing it all away and going back to their desk jobs.
Today, they are extremely passionate about helping purpose-driven entrepreneurs create hyper-engaged communities that last and have built a tight-knit, hyper-engaged community called The Connection Effect. And even cooler…they say their business has only one rule: “If it’s not fun, we don’t do it!”
So how did this turn around happen?
Find out as I chat to Leah and Naz chat about how they’ve used their own “connection effect” to overcome the many challenges and roadblocks along the way to living a life that truly matters. We laugh (a lot), we get real and we tell you like it is—because, well, that’s what the LYL ladies do!
Their story is one of the real deal, hands-on, actionable, and damn inspiring. It’s not to be missed!
Leah & Naz Transformational Interview from Live Your Legend on Vimeo.
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So how exactly did Leah and Naz overcome some of the many challenges almost all of us will experience along the way, from having zero idea what your passion is, to running a successful business that you love, and with a community you adore?
As well as their awesome interview, Leah and Naz have agreed to answer first-hand how they dealt with these challenges and we would love to hear any of your own challenges in the comments!
Challenge #1 – We were feeling unsupported and isolated
Community is EVERYTHING! Once we found each other, suddenly we had a cheer squad and someone to bounce ideas off. It kills us to see people try and go this journey alone. It’s not sustainable because making a change from doing something you hate to living a life you love takes persistence, courage, effort, determination, and support.
Our top tips:
- Find yourself a community with a common set of beliefs and values to you
- Create yourself a peer-level support group/mastermind
- Find an accountability partner at the same “level” as you and meet consistently
- Seek out a mentor or coach who is a few steps ahead of where you are (whether that’s a blog/podcast/etc. you follow, or a paid person) to help you through the roadblocks.
Challenge #2 – Having zero clue what our passions were
“I thought I was one of those people who was simply not born with a passion. I never grew up thinking ‘I want to change the world’ or ‘I want to make a difference’—I just followed the ‘normal’ path and never questioned it. But after I had my son five years ago, I wanted to be an example to him of what’s possible. So once I found Live Your Legend I didn’t hesitate to sign up for the Live Off Your Passion course. My favourite time of the day/weekend was having 30 minutes to escape to a cafe and go through the course content. One of the most powerful exercises was to ask other people what they thought I was passionate about—the answers were eye-opening and a real breakthrough moment for me,” says Leah.
Our top tips:
- Do the work—your passion isn’t just lying under your bed waiting to be discovered. You have to go through a thorough process of inquiry and get clear on your values and strengths
- Outsource it! Ask others what they think—send an email for a handful of people you trust and ask them what they always thought you’d be great at doing and why
- Experiment—we are currently up to the third iteration of our business and “passion,” and the only reason that we’ve gained more and more clarity in what we do is through trial and error. Same applies for finding your passion.
Challenge #3 – The need to have it all worked out before taking the first step
Before our paths crossed in How to Connect With Anyone we were separately working individually and getting a bit stuck in the theory of what our best lives could look like. And even when we decided to create a business, we didn’t share our ideas with anyone until we have the business name, a website, and a blog all set up and established.
The first version of our business only lasted about 8 months until we changed tracks. Looking back, there was no need to pump money into creating a website or getting so hung up on our business name because as we took action and shared what we were doing, the view changed, the business changed, and it was the momentum, not the clarity-seeking that helped us work things out.
Our top tips:
- As we covered in one of our most popular blog posts, clarity does NOT come before momentum. Momentum comes before clarity. Have you noticed that the more you pursue clarity, the more it eludes you, and the further away you seem from living a life you love? That’s because the magic happens during momentum.
- Let go of the need to have a project name and website set up in the early days. Just start simple, with a free blog. Embrace the idea that this is version 1.0—and it’s highly likely it will change.
- Seek feedback regularly along the way from peers, friends, and potential community members/clients.
Challenge #4 – Having low self-belief while wanting to make a big life change
“When I first started the journey to doing work that matters, I had very low self-belief. I did not believe I was any kind of leader and had a lot of trouble making decisions for fear of them being the ‘wrong’ ones. I had a lot of internal work to do during this time (and it’s a never-ending process)!” says Leah.
“When Naz and I attended our very first World Domination Summit I remember looking at here and thinking ‘I wish I could be more like Naz. More decisive and just not give a sh*t about what other people thought of me’—but as a lifelong people-pleaser that was easier said than done!”
Breaking the mould requires a great deal of courage and self-belief, but it’s okay if you don’t have that on board as much as you’d like right now. Continue to take action alongside working on yourself. Because as you take more actions, you will slowly start to believe new positive things about yourself. And then as you start to believe new positive things about yourself, you will start to take even more new actions!
Our top tips:
- Find a course or community where you can share your internal struggles and work on them in a supportive environment
- Remember that self-belief is an ongoing process of discovery and each time you face a new challenge, that feeling of “I’m not good enough” is likely to come up again—it’s totally normal!
- Hire a personal coach to help you work through your own internal battles.
Challenge #5 – Wanting to change jobs/careers while still needing to pay the bills
One of the most important things we did while we worked out what we were going to do with our lives was make moves to transition our existing roles at our day jobs.
“Before I resigned I was ‘Capability Coordinator’ for the Major Events and Incidents Group in the Police Force. Which means I ran training and facilitation to increase and improve leadership at all levels as well as employee engagement. This role didn’t previously exist. It was specifically created for me after I worked with my boss to create a training program to improve internal relating between Police Officers. At the end of the day the bureaucratic system moved too slowly for the change I wanted to make, so I left—but those skills and the confidence I gained from transitioning within was absolutely priceless,” says Naz.
Our top tips:
- Avoid black-and-white thinking (e.g., “Either I stay in my current role or I quit”) and take a look at how you could add value in a different way to your current organisation.
- Create a timeframe for when you want to make the change a reality
- Get clear on exactly how much money you need to support yourself while making the change
Challenge #6 – Getting comfortable with charging money in a new industry/role
For about the first year in business, it was very challenging thought to charge money for anything we had on offer. I mean who the hell are we to ask for money for something we have little to no experience in?! Plus, both of us were coming from a background of being employees and we had never had to ask people for money directly and asking for payment was a real challenge.
Although it wasn’t necessarily intentional, one of the first real “gigs” we got was coaching on Scott Dinsmore’s third release of the How to Connect With Anyone Course. This was great news for us in many ways—one being that we didn’t have to directly sell anything to anyone!
Our top tips:
- If you’re super uncomfortable asking for payment, ask your first few clients for either a “pay what you want” contribution or for a testimonial at the end
- Find a community that you love and adore and figure out where you can add value and/or offer to provide services
- Build up to it—start at a lower price for products/services until you get more comfortable and you have more testimonials.
Challenge #7 – Feeling like we had nothing of value to offer
When you change trajectory into a new space or industry or role, it can be an easy trap to fall into to think that you are starting from scratch. As we look back over the past few years since we both left our jobs, it’s clear that in fact we had a huge list of transferable skills that we are using today, like: leadership, communication, employee engagement, writing, public relations, facilitation, presenting, conflict resolution, etc.
Often the things you have of value, your natural talents, aren’t easy for you to spot because they come so easily and so you don’t see them as valuable.
“When I asked my trusted friends what value they thought I had to offer the world it was things out of my awareness because they were second nature, like writing, listening, being organised, etc. I had no idea other people valued these qualities so highly, especially if it was much harder for them to implement,” says Leah.
“When I started coaching on the How to Connect With Anyone program people would say ‘I wish I could coach like that and ask such powerful questions.’ In fact at the end of most sessions I would feel like a total fraud because it was just so easy and natural from my perspective… Shouldn’t this ‘adding value stuff’ be really hard work?!? Apparently not!” shares Naz.
Our top tips:
- Join a course that helps you look for the value you already have sitting in your corner. How to Connect With Anyone was huge for us in that regard!
- Ask others what they feel you’re naturally talented at. Ask them “What are the things you feel I do well that you have appreciated in the past?”
- Take the time to write down all of the things you do that put you in a state of flow—what are the personal qualities you are bringing to that activity that create the flow?
Legendary Wins & Living Our Legend Today
Overcoming these 7 roadblocks (plus plenty more!) has been a crucial part of Naz and Leah’s success along the way. But it certainly didn’t happen overnight and took a huge amount of determination, persistence and support to get where they are today.
Speaking of today… as well as being an important part of the Live Your Legend team, Leah and Naz have over the past three years created a movement called The Connection Effect. After experiencing first-hand the difference the “right” community has made to their own journey, they are passionate about putting the human back in connection, the aliveness and energy back into online and in-person communities, and joining with others to steer the hell away from turning people into faceless numbers and “lists.”
“Because although on one hand it seems our world is more connected than ever before, the truth is we’ve never felt more isolated, alone and disconnected than we have today. And we are not prepared to stand by and let this continue. We are ready to create a new synthesis of what it means to be connected with people,” says Leah.
“Put simply: human beings flourish with a sense of community and connectedness. When we feel like we belong we function at our best and we thrive. We are much more likely to become the fullest expression of our greatest potential. And when you focus on connection: with peers, mentors, your community, industry or even your family, it also means you can make ripple effects in the world far bigger than if you were plugging away in isolation.
“We are forever grateful to Scott and Live Your Legend for being that sanctuary for us all those years ago. Now we are so pumped to help others create their own precious sanctuaries,” says Naz.
A huge thanks to Leah and Naz for sharing their challenges and for all that they have done for the Live Your Legend movement and community.
And for the comments… Leah and Naz would love to hear what some of the biggest challenges you have come up against as you strive to make your impact, so please post them below!
–Chelsea & the Live Your Legend Team
P.S. We will be opening the doors to the How to Connect With Anyone course again in September 2016! Make sure you join our waitlist to be the first to find out when the doors officially open!