“Chin up girlfriend…you’ve got this!” – Giovanna Lever
Giovanna Lever is an opportunity creator with a passion for creating a better workforce for the future – ensuring we do what we can to take care of people.
Married with with two children, Giovanna stepped back from the trajectory of a C-suite role to start her own business blending her corporate experience in marketing, leadership and development, with mentoring and networking.
Having children was a turning point for me. If I didn’t have kids, I would never have considered leaving corporate life. I was very happy. In fact, I do worry that we’re building people up to leave the corporate world when it’s not the only solution.
I also wasn’t one of those people who experienced corporate burnout. There were times when my family needed me, and eventually it got to that point where I was over-compensating for the time I had off. I felt guilty and would put in a lot more work than I really needed to.
In the end it became physically impossible for me to work in an executive role while juggling the needs of my kids, so I simply needed to find a solution that gave me the balance I needed.
I wanted the freedom to step out of work and go for a run, take care of my health and do what I needed for the family when I needed it.
While I realised I needed to change, I didn’t quite know how to break free. I had a lot of people saying “going out on your own”, but I just wasn’t sure I could do it. That was until we were away on holidays, when I had the chance to get some perspective, when I finally realised that the only thing that was holding me back was ‘believing in myself’.
We were in Ireland at the time, and I was having a conversation with one of my very good friends who says “you just gotta do it”. It was one of those ‘slap in the face moments’ where I thought “if this fiend says I can do it, I really can”.
That was the moment I decided to give it a go. I didn’t have a side hustle, I just left. Although my advice to anyone who decides to go out on their own, especially those who have a family to take care of, is to consider doing a side-hustle before you exit.
My children and family are most definitely the greatest source of inspiration in my life – I am in constant awe of my kids and the way they care for others, and I am very grateful for the opportunity it gave me in pursuing something I am really passionate about – which is also to help people thrive in their work and life.
So many of us are racing to be the next biggest entrepreneur, chasing the shiny bright things, that we lose sight of what really matters. I believe that a slow and steady approach is key to sustaining success, and that nothing is more important than having quality time with our loved ones.
Through all the challenges I’ve faced in my lifetime, I’ve came to recognise the importance of perspective and that “we can’t dwell on our problems, instead we need to focus on creating a new normal. Everyone has something going on, it’s whether we let it take over us or find new ways of living that really matters”
If I could wave a magic wand and grant everyone a superpower it would be people genuinely caring for themselves and others. There are plenty of people who spruiking it but not living it – we talk about being authentic and grateful but whether we’re walking the talk off social media is a matter I question.
As for what’s next, I’m committed to staying focussed on creating a better workplace by evoking the right change, bringing people together to initiate those changes, and of course balancing that with my family and raising too good human beings.
If you’re interested in connecting with Giovanna and finding out more about the Sparrow United networking groups you can connect on Linked In, visit their website Sparrowly or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
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