In the first month of 2010, I stood in front of a classroom in Kiti, Uganda. I had flown 30 hours to teach 10 illiterate village women how to launch and succeed in a small business. In the United States, I teach technology salespeople how to sell to executives. These two parts of my life are completely different; yet, they utilize the same gift — equipping people with skills to expand their potential.
My reinvention is the result of a zigzag path that ultimately came full circle. Five years earlier I faced career burnout combined with the end of a difficult relationship. I had been a big shot with a four-page Google, but now I felt like a has-been with limited options. Since I couldn’t pay my bills and nothing was working in my life, I leased my home and moved to Africa.
At first my self-pity increased as I dealt with limited electricity and ate starchy foods cooked over charcoal one foot off the ground. Did I mention I hate dirt in my food and had lived in Orange County, California, where everyone is on a low-carb diet?
However, as I focused on service, feelings of well-being and joy took the place of despair and regret. I found myself singing a new song as I walked to town each day on a red-dirt path surrounded by banana grooves.
I lived in Uganda for eight months and established three tailoring projects, one piggery, and enrolled one hundred orphans in school through the generosity of my friends.
Today my life is balanced and fulfilling. I spend a portion of my time doing highly lucrative sales training. This funds my passion to be a small part of the restoration of a nation by helping Ugandan women earn an income.