Take Care: Resilient Bestselling Author Offers Keys To Well-Being
Setbacks do not set Megan Dalla-Camina back. At all. She always finds a way forward and knows you can, too.
Growing up in Sydney, Australia, bestselling author, leadership expert and entrepreneur Megan Dalla-Camina wanted to be a performer; she began singing, dancing and acting at age 3. Before she graduated from a performing arts college in Sydney, she was stricken with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
“Coming out of that, I was only able to do part-time work,” says Dalla-Camino, a featured guest on Take The Lead’s August Virtual Happy Hour. And then she was in a car accident at 24.
“I had six to seven months of rehabilitation and I was at a crossroads. I was planning to move to Los Angeles for acting and I had to take a different road,” says Dalla-Camina, whose new book, Simple Soulful Sacred: A Woman’s Guide to Clarity, Comfort and Coming Home to Herself, provides fresh insights for embracing the tenets of a simple, more meaningful life.
In the 90s, she worked for GE for five years, on electronic commerce with the responsibility for 13 countries across Asia. “I was working exceptionally hard,” Dalla-Camina says. “I was travelling the world.”
From GE, she went to Price Waterhouse Coopers, and had another crossroads moment she says. “I was coming up on 30 and I took a local job in PWC Consulting in Sydney. “Very quickly I became director of marketing for Asia Pacific,” she says.
Traveling often from Sydney to Tokyo to New York, Dalla-Camina says when she had her son, she was also working on her first masters degree, this one in business marketing. At the same time, IBM Consulting bought PWC Consulting.
She accepted the role of director of marketing for IBM Consulting for New Zealand and Australia, and she now was 34 with a 4-year-old son.
“At the end of that, I was completely burned out,” Dalla-Camina says. “Eighteen-hour days, on a plane three weeks a month.”
Back from a trip to New York and Tokyo, Dalla-Camina says she remembers “driving into the car park of my office building so exhausted. I walked in and said, ‘I’m done.’”
She took a few months off to re-energize and came back in a new role as creator of strategy. “I negotiated part time so I could get my health back,” Dalla-Camina says. She was in that role from 2006-2013. During that time, she earned her second masters degree in wellness and positive psychology.
So she wasn’t exactly slowing down.
“At IBM, I was an advocate for women at IBM and was working on a lot of gender diversity strategies across Australia,” Dalla-Camina says.
Looking ahead, she says, “the only thing that interested me was women’s careers, and women’s leadership.” And that prompted her to write her first book in 2012, “Getting Real About Having It All.”
Building a platform, Dalla-Camina says she specialized in positive leadership for women and founded Lead Like A Woman in 2015, partnering with The National Australia Bank.
Founding Sacred Living Company in 2018, she adds, “The evolution is through my own journey, but thousands of women go through this internal revolution. We can never step into our power from out there, it’s from in here.”
Dalla-Camina’s premise is that with a fast-paced life becoming a new normal, many women are struggling to find a balance between their personal and professional lives. Lost in the struggle is the time and clarity to pave a clear path to achieving their goals and vision of a better self.
Her new book, comprised of 200 short-form chapters, explores themes of simplicity, livelihood, wellbeing, comfort, soulfulness, consciousness, courage, sacredness, womanhood and sovereignty.
In her book, she writes, “Get in touch with what you really want and focus on moving towards that, instead of sitting in a story about how unhappy or dissatisfied you are with where you’re at. It will help you visualize, activate and enable the change you want to create in a positive way that will pull you forwards into your new future.”
Dalla-Camina continues, “We think that we’re going to get struck by our purpose, that the heavens will open and we’ll hear a booming voice declaring what work we should do in the world. But researchers tell us that it rarely happens like that. Instead, it happens by following the sparks of curiosity, seeing where they lead, and continually re-triggering this interest until it either dies out or blooms.”
In her speeches, workshops and consultation sessions, Dalla Camina says she wants people to consider, how does my power sit at the heart of my life, including my career? ”I do think it is an it’s not simple. It’s work. There is nothing in what I do that is glib. It is a process and commitment to self and I do believe anyone can find more meaning.”
In the book, Dalla-Camina writes, “Nobody has what you have. No-one else has your background, experiences, stories, perspectives, relationships, skills, energy, narrative, view on life, mindset, personality, attitude. Nobody else has had the jobs you have had, lived where you lived, met the people you have met, learnt the same knowledge in the same way, or sees life just the way you see it. Nobody else is you. Nobody else is here to do exactly what you came here for, in exactly the way you came here to do it. It hasn’t all been done before, because you haven’t done it yet. And no-one else can do it like you will do it. So if you don’t do it, guess what? It won’t get done.”
Prescriptives may seem daunting to many women who are attempting to accomplish so much in different arenas. Dalla-Camina gets that.
She adds, “Start where you are and use the time that you have. If it is 10 minutes on a weekend, start there. You have to fight for the space to find the time to get intentional. We’re talking evolution, not revolution.” Dalla-Camina says.
Identifying herself as an eternal optimist, Dalla-Camina says a lot has changed for women in leadership since she began her professional journey. “But it’s not going to change out there until it changes in here and we get clarity around what we are doing here.”