• Jessica Pecush

Are You Designing Your Next Chapter?

Entrepreneurship...my own "Next Chapter". A rollercoaster of UPS...and DOWNS. Nonetheless, the ultimate ride and the ultimate reward!

Why did I venture into being an entrepreneur? Several years of full-time school teaching (including being highly involved in each of the school communities I worked in), coupled with the reduced immunity and daily fatigue (to varying degrees) that comes with managing autoimmunity, led to the fact that I. WAS. STRUGGLING.

I was struggling to maintain any sort of this so-called "Life Balance", especially when simultaneously trying to manage my health. A ever-demanding profession can be all-consuming at times, and, from the beginning, it was very challenging to set boundaries that drew the line between work and play.

As an over-achieving, "Type A" personality, that line between work and play was constantly being blurred. Time spent enjoying down time, neglecting the pile of work waiting for me, left me feeling overwhelmed and anxious for each new work week ahead. Too much time spent on my teaching craft outside of the work day had me feeling guilty over not taking the downtime I needed and deserved, leaving me inadequately refreshed by the end of the weekend. This catch 22 would come to plague me for years, to come! Eleven years, to be more exact!

Fast forward from 2004 (when I started teaching), to 2015, when I returned to post-secondary education. At that time, I was BURNT OUT; I knew something had to finally give. Given I had spent the few years prior completely taking charge of my health by researching new dietary approaches and therapeutic foods, visiting health food stores and markets more often and getting into my kitchen with new cookbooks and recipe inspiration, I had been living and breathing nutrition every minute of every day I was not working.

Cue my return to post-secondary education in the fields of Culinary & Holistic Nutrition. By dialling back the full-time teaching to part-time, with a more flexible schedule, I was able to teach with a greater degree of contentment (and reduced anxiety), while still pursuing my studies. I knew that uprooting the type of work schedule and demands I had ever known, in favour of a newfound schedule I had never known, was the answer.

This was the start of setting my "Plan B" into motion, and there was no turning back! What I knew for sure was that as much as I loved education (it's in my blood!) and the deep rewards of educating children, a Plan B would allow me to gradually and oh-so-persistently building something alongside career #1 that would serve me in multiple ways to come, for years to come. A leap of faith into the unknown, which, while exciting, also comes with its fair share of discomfort.

Fast forward to 2019: I'm on a part-time teaching contract specializing in my two areas of greatest passion and expertise - Physical Education & Health, as I persistently continue to build my client base and income streams as a Culinary & Holistic Nutrition Practitioner. The sacrifices I have made (i.e. both fixed and variable income as opposed to strictly fixed income, extended work days, passing on social plans in favour of working on my business, etc.) are all in the face of empowering, dynamic change - the type of change that will teach you everything you need to know about yourself (trust me!) and challenge you in new ways EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. The type of change that is allowing me to grow both an offline and online business, more greatly design my days, work from home more often, and work remotely, as well. Now THAT is something I can handle!

Debbie Travis' "Design Your Next Chapter" is a read that I LOVED. I have known of Debbie for many years, and learned about this book after seeing her guest appearance on The Marilyn Denis Show on one particular occasion. On the episode, she was providing the viewers a sneak peek of her Tuscan villa in Italy (her "Next Chapter"). Of course, after seeing it, I knew I needed to get my hands on the book, and it did not disappoint.

Debbie opens this book by taking the time to paint the picture of her own journey, from her school-age years, to owning a Tuscan villa and running retreats for women ready to take the leap into their next chapters. She also outlines "Seven Ways to Find Your Passion", her "Ten Commandments" and 7 steps to designing your next chapter. This book/workbook is the perfect tool to INSPIRE you!

I love a book that will allow you physically reflect on what you are reading and what you are thinking in the moments that you are reading it, by being able to jot down your thoughts and ideas about the content within the book. It was well-designed and is so visually-appealing; it was a read treat to read!

Learn more about Debbie's "Tuscan Getaway", here! It looks like a DREAM of an experience!

*You may learn more about my journey to health here.


#lifestyleresources #literature

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