Overcomer Series with Helena Denley
What do you do?
First and most importantly (for me) I’m a Mum to my intelligent, funny and life loving son Daniel, he’s 8 and we’re unschooling, so we’re together every day.
Second, I run WP Website Coach with my husband Warren – we work mainly with solopreneurs, creating their website, helping them learn how to use it & taking care of their website either for one-off issues or ongoing proactive care.
And third, I have just started writing again on my personal blog (helenadenley.com) about unconventional topics like unschooling, alternates to mainstream health beliefs and parenting.
Growing up, did you always dream that you would be doing what you’re doing now?
The web stuff – no, there was no inkling of that, the health stuff – definitely yes.
When I was 11, my grandmother died of breast cancer and so I wanted to do cancer research to find a cure. Through high school, the idea of being a scientist turned into wanting to be a doctor. I didn’t get into medical school, so I started a science degree. It didn’t take long to realize being stuck in a lab on my own wasn’t the right path for me so I walked away from that study.
The desire to learn about healing came back again in 2003 and this time I studied Homeopathy. It wasn’t until I completed my Neuro Linguistic Programming & Business/Life coach training and needed a website of my own that I found a love for creating beautiful sites for solo biz owners like I was at the time.
What made you decide to “go for it” in terms of your career goals/ambitions?
I am multi-passionate – different passions in different areas, so over the years I’ve focussed for a while on one thing and then when I feel like I’ve had my fill, I gradually transition into something new. Right now, I’m just getting the courage up to write on my personal blog. The topics I want to write about aren’t mainstream and it’s challenging to put my voice out there – like, “who am I to write about this”. But funnily, the more I speak out about it to people, the more I find people who encourage me and have similar beliefs to me and it fuels me to keep going.
Did you face adversity? How did you overcome that?
In 2002 my first child, my daughter, died when she was 13.5 months old. For years after that I was in a deep, deep dark haze. The only way I knew to try and get out of it was to keep my mind busy. I studied Homeopathy, a multitude of personal development courses and finished with Neuro Linguistic Programming. I finally had my fill of the deep introspection of personal development and web design was a welcome relief.
At that time (when I started designing websites), my second child, my son, was born and he has been the biggest healing factor in my life – we are both each other’s life teachers – the greatest gift I could ever receive. The life we have together now (me, my son and my husband) and the way we view life, is a direct result of everything we learnt (the hard way) with my daughter in the short time she was here, and all the decisions we made to do things differently for our son.
A lot of women have these big goals & big ideas that they’d like to bring to life, what advice would you give them in terms of how they can make that happen?
Just start. Meet people in real life, talk about what drives you and what you’re passionate about. The more you talk about it, the more it starts to take on a life of it’s own. Switch off social media to avoid comparing yourself to others and don’t be afraid to stick solely within your zone of genius/passion. Don’t offer services just because you see other people doing them and it looks like an easy way to make money – it never works. Be a lifelong learner. And make time for creative, non business, non income producing activities – life is meant to be fun 🙂 (And I am by no means expertly implementing all of this – life is a journey after all 🙂 )
What’s the biggest regret you have when it comes to your blog/shop/business?
I regret putting my Homeopathy Diploma on hold 10 years ago – I only had 1/3 to go, I deferred to do my NLP training and by the time I was ready to go back the college had closed. But that’s ok, I’m planning to immerse myself in my studies again next year and I’ll be coming at it older and wiser and more understanding of the bigger picture.
What’s been your proudest moment so far?
Raising my son Daniel. He is such an incredible human being and if helping him achieve his full potential was all I did in my life, it would all be worth it.
And, just because we like our coffee around here, how do you take yours?
At home I have it with milk and sugar, but if I was having coffee with you at Starbucks, a caramel macchiato with whipped cream is my favourite.
I believe in the story of the overcomer. That has been my story and I believe that is your story too. We want your journey here on the blog to help encourage others just like you and me. If you’d like to share that with us, please come over and share your story with us!
Thank you so much for sharing my story Lauren – I hope it gives someone the little nudge they need to move forward with their dreams 🙂
You’re so very welcome! Thank you for sharing your story with us!