I have made no secret that the last 2 years have been challenging.

I have been as open and transparent as possible. When I have been emotionally strong enough, and where I have been legally allowed to do so.

To simply survive has meant working hard, sometimes tirelessly. Pushing to the point of exhaustion. Punching through walls of fear that are beyond what I can articulate for you. Questioning whether I am actually insane.

And there’s a rhythm to it that’s relentless.

Because whilst Australian’s may love a comeback story, they hate the mess.

They hate the reminder they too are vulnerable.

And it shows up when you take someone aside who has just agreed to start working with me to let them know about my history, my big mistake, my questionable ability.

Even when you have never met me, even briefly, nor had a single conversation with me.

It shows up when you decide that someone in your world shouldn’t work with me, to do one of my workshops, because in spite of the evidence that what I have created works, you know my ‘background’.

Even when you have never met me, even briefly, or had a single conversation with me.

It shows up when you are at an event where someone mentions they have met me, and you take it upon yourself to chat to them about who I really am, when you caution them, and explain that it is only with care that you want them to know (your) truth about me.

Even when you have never met me, even briefly, or had a single conversation with me.

And even as it happens again, today, just before I sat down to write this, I am so very grateful.

Because this is not the first time I have run at life fully and been hurt.

This is not the first time when others have pushed their opinions into a space which both inadvertently and deliberately hurt me.

Because at the age of 16, I took myself off the rails, and stayed firmly there until the age of 23. When with a second chance to create a life, I moved to Melbourne and fell in love with a career I literally fell into.

At the age of 25, at home on an extended break, I met my first husband, and in choosing to stay where he lived, had to create a life where I had to face every single demon created by 7 years ‘off the rails’ every single day. And I did so. Beyond anyone’s expectations. Especially mine.

At the age of 29 I worked with my mother as her business got smashed by a contract with Kerry Packer which would ultimately cost her more than $1 million. The union interference and their determination to destroy everything she had built resulted in 24 hour security details for our senior staff, and 12 months of accelerated stress. We all not only survived, we became stronger.

At the age of 31, on taking over my mother’s business, we were caught in a change of jurisdiction industrial relations judgement, retrospective, ad-infinitum, which cost us more than half a million dollars in direct impact. We all not only survived, we became stronger, and I discovered smarts and tenacity I had not known existed.

At the age of 32 I would lose my 2IC and about to be business partner to the vortex that is Bi Polar; and when she finally succeeded in taking her own life her family in their distress and grief, blamed me publicly for her death and have in the 14 years since been relentless in their determination to destroy me; blame which logically I do not accept, but which is so vicious and powerful it can still slice through me and throw me to the floor when they find a way to reach me yet again. I survived. Barely. And then I didn’t just survive, I thrived.

And so much more between 32 and 44. The age when I took a monumental risk. Which started a global conversation. Which took on the momentum of a freight train, before it smashed me into a million pieces when it collapsed – surrounded by a cone of silence that I was not allowed to pierce. For anyone.

And why? Because I decided it was worth the risk. That it was important enough to step far beyond my comfort zone. Knowing that I may fall, and that if I fell, it would hurt.

And right now, today, I have that same fierce determination.

Because it is all coming together in what I have, until now, done almost behind closed doors with everything that happens in this new business I love, one that has strategies that work, and people who are flourishing.

And that is the ONLY reason you have got away with your b^llsh^t – because I’ve been quietly working behind closed doors to make sure this ‘thing’ ‘works’.

It is the only reason why you have got away with your willingness to discuss me as if you know me. When we have never met.

Your WILLINGNESS to take from someone else the opportunity to learn something new; to step up; and to learn it from someone who has not only fallen, been broken, and been able to rise again – but someone who has done it more than once.

And that is the bit that makes me furious.

Because the only reason I am still standing here now is because I had the courage to look beyond you.

But the person you’re pulling aside to make sure they know who they’re dealing with when they engage with me? They may not have the same.

And for that I am furious.

Because you have crossed the line.

You have made decisions about me and for others that you have no right to make.

And I don’t actually give a rip if they choose to work with me, or somebody else, or no-one at all.

What I do give a rip about is you. Deciding someone else’s future. And what opportunities are right for them.

And I am grateful that I had the courage to look beyond you. To see an alternate possibility. To gather the strength, the courage, and the tenacity, to raise my head and stand up again.

And I hope for the love of god that you don’t ever have to take a fall, in public, in the Australian business world.

Because I would not wish that experience, or your contribution to it, on anyone.

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Jacqueline Nagle