Gina's graduation photo.

Living a Lie

The Start of a “Famous Podcast”

I joined a world famous podcast group eight years ago and paid for my membership over many months, sure that it was going to pay off. I wanted to become an influencer and make enough money to quite my job. My podcast was called Active Entrepreneurs and shared the stories of how “Influencer Entrepreneurs'” accomplished health and “success” until… I had a heart attack.

I felt like I was living a lie, how could I be the host of a podcast interviewing entrepreneurs when I was in the hospital unsure if I would make it home every again? If only I knew that I would feel this way again, five years later.

A picture of a 34 year old woman wearing a heart monitor.
Gina in the hospital.

A New Podcast

I drafted a plan for a new podcast while I was in the hospital and started it soon after retuning home. I wanted to interview people that overcame death, and find out what had happened to me when I experienced something unexplainable during the incident I had experienced. The first major challenge I faced was when I became a Christian and my friends husband called me to angerly tell me that one of the interviews I had done was “wrong” and I had to delete it. I did delete it, and felt incredibly guilty for years after.

I pivoted the podcast to sharing inspiring stories from people that have overcome illness, accident and trauma and for quite a few years everything ran smoothly. I was becoming known and people began to contact me to request to be on my show. The more “success” I experienced, the worse I felt inside. The interviews that I was doing with the people that found me were different than the ones that I found. The deep sense of meaning I had felt was becoming distant.

A picture of a woman speaking into a microphone
Gina speaking into a microphone for my podcast.

Capitalism

I had not known what capitalism was yet, but looking back, that is what was causing me distress. I began to see that people shared their story to promote a book, or increase their status in the entrepreneur world and not simply to help someone else. I began to feel pressure to see the number of listeners and shares increase and knew that to make the kind of money that I had set as my goal, I was going to have to change how I was doing things. I could not continue to spend hours to search for the right guests, time to type the interviews and would need to hire people to do that for me. The cost to hire people in my country was so high that most of the people in my group hired people in other countries that either didn’t have minimum wage or a much lower one to work for them. I didn’t feel good about asking someone to work for dollars a day and I was not enjoying the podcast I had once loved so much.

In the beginning, an interview always began with chatter about what I was doing, where I wanted to go, and what they were hoping to accomplish. We became friends on social media and kept in touch after. It’s been 8 years since the first one’s and I am still friends with a few people that shared their story with me.

By the end of my podcast, the interview began with…… well the interview and ended with, when will this be live and how many people will hear it?

The final end began when I interviewed a well known entrepreneur, he had an inspiring story. He was raised by a parent on welfare and worked hard from a young age to get far from social assistance. He made millions and this happened to be at the same time my pension money ran out and I went on social assistance. My face flushed crimson red and I could hardly bring myself to look him in the eye. I recall feeling like an imposter and worried if anyone found out I would be finished. The few people I shared with told me to “fake it until I make it” or to keep working hard until I too made my big break, after all, “no one ever needs to know”. Remember when I said If only I knew that I would feel this way again, five years later, well her I was again.

Return to University

There was another problem happening at the same time. I had become a certified Life Coach and everyone that I coached had unresolved trauma. A Life Coach is not qualified to help someone that is experiencing suicidal ideations or severe depression and I kept referring my clients to therapy. I gave my first workshop, and was unprepared to help the staff with the effect that trauma has had on them. It felt terrible, I wanted to help.

The entrepreneur world told me to start charging a referral fee to send someone to therapy, and keep coaching. They said I would make more money with my podcast, speaking, and offering my Life Coaching services but the little voice that I had kept silencing was screaming louder and louder, I knew this was not my path, however, this is only clear looking back. I continued on for a couple of more months. When I finally stopped, I made the decision to take a break for my first year. I prayed on this decision, took many long walks, and believed that I was making the decision based on wanting to put my effort into study.

Living in Alignment

The study lasted for 2 1/2 years. I didn’t go back to doing my podcast but I did start to see things differently. I have written a bit about the process and will write a lot more, however, for this blog, I will not go into detail outside of saying that I feel like I am living my life in alignment now. I don’t worry about what will happen if someone finds out “my secret” because I don’t feel ashamed anymore. People still tell me that I should quit school and go back to the entrepreneur world because I will make more money. You may ask why I am still in the group or why I remain friends with people that tell me that, but I value everyone’s right to an opinion, even if I don’t agree.

Having a heart attack was my opportunity to become whole. I never realized it, but each time I was faced with the realization that I was living a lie was a blessing because it brought me closer to who I really am. I don’t care about making money or being “successful”. I understand that the world I live in requires that I make money, and I will, yet this will not be the source of all my work. I have started a new coaching business and it is founded on equity. I am so excited to start to forge a way that allows me to feed my family and ensure that everyone can access services if they want to.

Balance Between School and Entrepreneur Work

Gina's graduation photo.
Gina’s graduation photo. Credit to Artona.

This week I will complete my diploma of Social Work. I have been accepted into the Bachelor of Social Work so it is only a pit stop along my path. I have started my business coaching, and will slowly begin to blog and podcast again. This time, I will only do interviews that feel right and write what feels write. I will never again delete an interview because my friends husband, or anyone doesn’t like it or feel it fits with their understanding of religion. I will write what I feel called to and led to write. I hope and pray that the world can start to operate by less Capitalism and have more desire to serve all of our community. Until every person has a home, food to eat, and clean water to drink, we are not meeting “success” because we are only as strong as the weakest of us. You don’t have to agree with me, but if you want to continue to read my writing, I invite you to share your thoughts, vision, and how you are living your life in alignment with what is right to you.

Gratitude

Feeling like I was living an lie and living in fear that others would find out became the fuel that lit the fire of action to change. Leaning into the discomfort was how I figured out what I wanted. I have so much gratitude that my soul knew that path I was on was wrong for me. That my conscience knew that the feeling of broken integrity was a key to unlocking the door to my future. I feel called to become a trauma therapist and following the path has led me back to loving myself again. This is my hope for you, if you have read this far, I hope if you haven’t yet discovered that your heart yearns to do, that you start to listen deep within.

Thank you for reading,

Gina