Our guest today is Jane Duncan-Rogers of Wild Wisdom. Her husband passed away from cancer, and it completely turned her business upside down. The lesson she learned added a lot more meaning and depth to what she was doing, so her business actually increased. What she teaches now is how to do everything upside down and backwards. It’s a really interesting and informative interview and the great thing about it is Jane’s completely different attitude towards looking at the importance of money and the importance of enjoying what you do. It’s definitely well worth listening to.
Jane: I already had a coaching business, and it was going okay. I was just following people online, and it was working okay, relatively speaking, but not quite as fast as I would have liked. Then my husband was diagnosed with cancer, and within a year he had died. Everything turned upside down. While we were dealing with him having cancer and not knowing what that meant, my attention was not really on my work as much as it might have been. After he died, I couldn’t work any more in the same way that I had been working, so I just had to stop. I did carry on seeing a few individual clients, but I didn’t do any of my online programs or anything like that.
Within the space of about 15 months, though, a whole new re-brand happened. It happened as I sat beside the hospital bed with my husband when he died, in that moment, because when somebody’s dies, they’re alive until the very moment when they’re not. I know it sounds a bit obvious, but there I was, watching this happen. And in one moment — not even a minute — one moment, he was there as I’ve always known him in his body, not very well at all, of course… and the next moment he wasn’t there.
I’ve heard people say that before and I’d seen it happen before, but somehow with him he was suddenly not there any more. He was so much not there that I couldn’t look at his body any more. I had to address the ceiling and stare anywhere other than look at this empty bag, which is what it felt like. Anyway, a few weeks later it occurred to me that if that was an empty bag, then what is this body here that I’m in? You know, this is a filled bag, so what is it filled with? And that became a quest for me. I was quite obsessed with it, actually.
I thought I knew that I was not a body, you know, from the statements that we hear sometimes in spiritual circles: “You’re not your body. You’re not your mind. You’re not your emotions.” I knew it intellectually, but I didn’t really know it. And one of the things that happened in terms of my coaching was that I was awakened one morning at 4:00 a.m. and I heard these words in my head, “wild and cheeky wisdom”, and I just knew that I would be using these somehow in my work. I just didn’t know how. So that’s how it became Wild Wisdom Coaching. I didn’t use the word “cheeky” because I discovered that it means different things in different countries.
Wild Wisdom is really about looking at things very differently. For me personally, it meant bringing in the whole dimension of my creativity, my doodling drawing. All of the drawings that you see on my site are done by me. It’s about upside down thinking, back-to-front thinking, supposedly the wrong way round thinking, and being willing to do that. Maybe through making yourself a little bit uncomfortable in the process, you get a very different perspective on your situation. You take different actions as a result of that and, of course, you get different results. So that’s really how I’ve got to where Wild Wisdom is today.
Jasper: So what were you doing, and how did that change? Can you give us a couple of examples of how your approach just changed like that?
Jane: I had a lot more confidence because I was connected to the thing that really mattered to me, which was knowing who I really am. I know that sounds a little bit trite. I’m not talking about a personality. I’m talking about something much bigger than that. I had a very good coach at the time, and she was really encouraging me to step forward or out. As soon as I put up a new website, which took a long time, I also doubled my prices. I started to get far more high-end clients. I was able to start bringing in income again, which was really needed by this time because I still had the debts that we had from two incomes, but now it was only one of us — me.
I’m just now getting back into doing programs as well. Everything’s different. It has a different flavor to it. It’s really hard to talk about this because it looks the same, but the quality of it is different. I hope that explains it. Before, I was running Rich Thinkers Coaching and focusing with people on their mindset and money. Now, it looks similar at the moment, but I would say it’s coming much more from a spiritual place. And much more risky thinking. Not any of the usual law of attraction stuff. In fact, I went off the law of attraction completely. I could not understand how that could possibly apply in a situation where my husband got cancer and died. I just couldn’t work that one out at all, so I kind of went off all that kind of stuff and self-help books and things like that, which is pretty strong for somebody who’s been in this business for 25 years or so.
Meredith: If you were to talk to someone at the very beginning of their journey, what would be a first step to breaking free? You know, they’re in a business and it’s stalled, it isn’t going anywhere, or they’re in that corporate job and they feel really stuck.
Jane: I would encourage them to use my favorite mantra, which is, “Stop. Be still. Listen. And only then act.” Now. it sounds really simple. Putting it into practice is something else altogether, because mostly in our society we all want to go really fast. There’s a lot of emphasis on getting things now and getting it done so you have more time so then you can do this and then you can do that. Actually, I still have that sometimes, but I know now that when I feel like I’m buzzing and going fast (which is pretty addictive), what I need to do is stop and just pause, take a breath or two, still my body.
And when I say “listen” (the third part of the mantra), that is an inner listening. It could be that you hear something in your mind’s eye. It could be that you just tune into how your body’s feeling. It could be that you have an image come to mind or what happens in that moment is that there is space for a creative impulse to come through. And sometimes you don’t even know. Sometimes it’s not as clear as that. But when you then take the action that you were going to take, which might be exactly the same action as before, it’s imbued with a different quality. And when it’s imbued with a different quality, because it’s a more connected quality, then you start to get a different type of result. Usually the results are different. Sometimes they’re better than what you could ever in your wildest dreams have imagined, and you’ll experience the pleasure and joy of the satisfaction that comes from taking those actions, whatever they are…
Favorite Book: Busting Loose From the Business Game by Robert Sheinfeld
Want to get a free audiobook version of the book recommended by this week’s guest? Click here to download it
Wild Wisdom offers a different perspective on life for any small business owner who has been stopped by grief or loss of some kind.
Whatever the cause of your loss, it can have a dramatic impact on your working life. Suddenly, even if you knew it was coming, everything is different. But now, after a while, you know you need to move on but you just can’t do what you did before easily. Even though work requires it, your business demands your attention, or your family are insisting, somewhere you are different and know you need to show up in life differently.
You can do this by looking with wild wisdom at your situation. This means choosing to awaken to the gift that is awaiting you.
Wild Wisdom can help you do that – to find your gift, to use it in your work and business life, to be true to the new person you are now. That’s because you’ll meet your new life in a different way, with a changed perspective and much more intuitive kindness and compassion.
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