Sue Ratcliffe

After 30+ years in a successful career in technology and management consulting, I was feeling I had gone about as far as far as I could go in this career; work was no longer a challenge, I was bored and tired of what I viewed as “day to day drudgery.” Every morning commuting to work on the commuter train, I felt like a small lemming in a sea of lemmings walking toward the mythological suicidal “hurdle off the cliff.”    

Throughout my career, I had “broken the glass ceiling” more than once and have had many successes, yet I felt stuck in a rut. Work had become a “routine” at best. For me, the corporate environment had become toxic.

I am not afraid of change but the rules were changing to benefit only the key executives and the large corporates. For the rest of the people who toil away daily, dedicated and loyal to their “masters”, the corporate world is becoming ever more challenging. For women in particular, opportunities are diminishing, the disparity in salaries to men is widening, hourly rates for consultants are dropping and the corporate world is becoming more desensitized.

An appropriate life and work balance no longer exists. The expectation with technology as advanced as it is today, is that we are expected to be available 24 hours a day at the beck and call of our managers and Clients.  

I wasn’t sure what to do but I knew it was time for me to think about getting out, time to change and time to change what I was doing. It was time to take that “step into the abyss” and see if I would and could land on my feet. I had literally taken that step into the abyss a couple of years ago in Morocco, Africa. I was at an ancient palace in the heart of the city which housed a prison in the bowels of the building. All the cells but one had a 6-inch step into a small oblong cell which had nothing but a platform for a bed in it. The exception was a cell at the end of a long row and as I approached that cell, I noticed there was a large hole in the wall. I had visions of prisoners tunneling their way out as they did in the movie “The Great Escape.” Without looking as I wanted to take pictures, thinking this cell was the same as all the others, I stepped into them and fell many, many feet to the bottom of the cell. Miraculously, I landed flat on my back with my camera and glasses intact. I was scraped and bleeding, and needed a hand getting out, but the Universe had answered my question: I could step into the abyss and land on my feet.     

Getting that question answered for me was a turning point. I knew it was time to reflect inward and start acting on my passions, and the knowledge and skills that I possess. It was time to take the leap, not the step, into the abyss.

I was finally understanding and starting to face the massive quandary I was facing …. “What do I do next?” For a past number of years, I had been tossing around ideas for creating a business, businesses really, but could not land on what business to start with….. I could not define what my “True North Business” was . For years, as a consultant, I had launched products and services and businesses for many of my Clients but was having difficulty applying what I did so well for my Clients for myself.  I have a passion for wildlife, horses, photography, adventure and for helping others find their path but was having difficulty how to “create the business that I love.” I knew I had to face my own resistance. Wake up every single day and take the steps forward through those resistances and trust that the Universe was right….. I could and would land on feet. I started to trust my intuition, my gut instincts and the path that the Universe was leading me down.   

I learned and discovered how to change my perspective, how to utilize and apply my skills, acknowledge my super power and I discovered how I can support others. I learned that I can start the businesses that I love….. One business at a time!

I am now launching photography workshops helping people capture the soul essence and spirit of all living beings through their lens.  Following the launch of the photography workshops, I will be launching a line of t-shirts and a centre for learning, rest and rejuvenation.

I am eagerly awaiting to see how they evolve over the next year!