This year, Martina Sheehan and Susan Pearse are celebrating 10 years in business together. They started their corporate consulting business reinvention in 2001 and have been successful in shaping the way businesses and leaders think over this time. They are sought after facilitators, advisers and change agents and have an impressive client list throughout Australia.
It was through reinvention’s involvement with the Mind and Life Institute and His Holiness the Dalai Lama that the pair became enthralled with the science of neuroplasticity – the concept that the human brain constantly adapts and changes over time and that individuals can cultivate their minds to improve performance, increase happiness levels and ultimately change their lives.
Through their latest joint entrepreneurial endeavor, Mind Gardener®, they translate emerging research from brain science into a series of step-by-step guides designed to help people through various stages of their lives. Mind Gardener Guides are sold throughout Australia and can be purchased online at www.mindgardener.com. There are 4 Guides – The Living Happy Guide, The Clear Mind Guide, The Great Relationships Guide and The Bump to Baby Guide.
Mind Gardener has taken their business to the next level. They have regular TV and radio appearances and guest speaking slots and continue to spread their word through regular columns.
Prior to working together, Martina enjoyed a varied career, spanning engineering, human resource management and strategic change consulting. Susan commenced her career as a Human Resource professional and after many years in the consulting environment joined partnerships with Sheehan. They have now made improving mindfulness and assisting others in harnessing the potential of their minds their life’s work.
What is your life motto? Live the life you would lead if you had no fear. This usually means you feel a sense of being out of your comfort zone every day but that’s just a sign that you are learning and evolving.
When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful? Very difficult question because I think I have always been on the journey to where I am now in some way or another and even if I didn’t know it at the time. I went into my own business (with Martina) 10 years ago and launched another business Mind Gardener 18 months ago. We were lucky in that with both businesses we felt successful pretty much straight away because success to us was about inspiring people and changing the way they think and we have been doing that from day one. The financial and other measures of success follow when you are doing something that really makes a difference in people’s lives.
How many hours did you dedicate to pursuing your dream? Probably a lot less than if I would have stayed in a corporate career working for someone else. I probably don’t “count” the hours now that my life purpose and business purpose are so closely aligned.
Describe how difficult the business really is? I don’t see it as difficult – it’s really enjoyable. Of course, there are times I feel too busy or am sick of travelling and being away from my family but overall I feel very, very grateful.
What is the mistake that taught you an extremely valuable lesson? I think I probably learn from mistakes I am making every day but the one that stands out is ‘never be complacent and lose sight of what’s important,’ which is connecting with other people – your clients, team, network, peers. They are the people who have contributed to your growth in the past and will continue to in the future.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date? Don’t worry about where the next job/client / opportunity is coming from. There will be peaks and troughs but if you have a good product or service that you believe in, you will be able to ride these waves. Use the troughs to innovate or simply have a rest!
In your mind, is formal training essential? A curious mind is essential and a desire to learn is essential. Whether you need to apply that to formal training – not sure about that one.
Do you think having a mentor is important? How would you go about getting one for this industry? Yes, I think it’s important to find people you relate to and can look up to. Most of my mentors probably don’t know they are mentors because it’s not a formal relationship. Some I don’t even know but I see them display characteristics I admire and this inspires me. I think it’s also important to be your own mentor – to constantly be observing yourself, challenging yourself and striving to be the best you can be.
What are some steps emerging talent can take to start/further their career? Firstly to think about their life purpose – What makes them excited to get up in the morning; the things they are passionate about and how they can use their strengths to make a difference in the world. If you choose a career that is based on this you will always be successful; It’s when we get distracted by money and status that we get off track.
What kept you going when you felt like giving up? A sense of higher purpose in what we are doing. The fact we are making a difference even though it may have not been obvious that day.
Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time? I believe it’s about being passionate, really good at what you do and then “luck” often places you in the right place at the right time!