Laura Moore, 35, lost her first busi­ness – a gym – to a dev­as­tat­ing fire, but used the tragedy to start afresh as a life coach.

Collective Hub - - RESILIENCE -

I bounced around a lit­tle try­ing to work out what I wanted to do af­ter uni, and I did ev­ery­thing from cus­tomer ser­vice to pho­tog­ra­phy. It was while I was do­ing a fit­ness cer­tifi­cate that Vi­sion, a gym I was go­ing to, of­fered me a spon­sor­ship to stay in the coun­try (I’m orig­i­nally from Eng­land). Once I be­gan work­ing there as an in­struc­tor I had a re­ally strange dream about one day own­ing my own gym. I was with that par­tic­u­lar gym for three years be­fore an op­por­tu­nity came up in 2014 to buy a fran­chise and, remembering my dream, I ran with it.

I had to do an ex­ten­sive fit-out to turn a for­mer video store into my vi­sion – no small un­der­tak­ing when I also had to buy equip­ment and pay fran­chis­ing fees, which in to­tal left me with a bill of over $350,000. But within nine months, I’d built up a client base of 50 and em­ployed a team of four. The dream was a suc­cess... un­til I got a call one day to say a fire had bro­ken out at the Chi­nese noo­dle shop at­tached to the gym and to hurry on back. I ar­rived to find fire en­gines scream­ing past and the build­ing ut­terly de­stroyed. I col­lapsed on the street with tears stream­ing down my face as I watched ev­ery­thing I’d worked so hard for fall down around me.

When I THINK back to HOW I got WHERE I am to­day, I will gladly AD­MIT that I’m GRATE­FUL that it hap­pened.

Ini­tially I went into fight mode, search­ing for in­sur­ance pa­pers to deal with the lo­gis­tics and tak­ing my clients down to a nearby park for their classes, but, as the re­al­ity of the sit­u­a­tion dawned on me, what lit­tle fight I had left be­gan to wane. I dis­cov­ered I wasn’t in­sured any­where enough to re­cover what I put into the busi­ness, and it took seven months to ne­go­ti­ate my way out of the fran­chise. My body re­acted accordingly – I wasn’t sleep­ing or get­ting my pe­riod, I started gain­ing weight and I was ex­hausted all the time. Even­tu­ally I took some time off to go to South Aus­tralia for a few weeks to re­lax and dive, but ideas for a new busi­ness be­gan form­ing as soon as I left my mind free to wan­der.

Once I came back, I worked hard to re­store my mind and body back to what it was. I vis­ited a mil­lion dif­fer­ent health prac­ti­tion­ers, tried health sup­ple­ments, took up yoga and med­i­ta­tion and I started to ex­plore per­sonal de­vel­op­ment. My ‘aha’ mo­ment came when I re­alised ev­ery­one is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing what I was go­ing through to var­i­ous de­grees, and that I could help oth­ers with my ex­pe­ri­ence and life story.

My busi­ness, Uppy, a life-coach­ing busi­ness, launched last year and things are go­ing well. I work from home and I as­sist my clients, who are all busy peo­ple, over the phone, or through Skype, and I feel like I’ve fi­nally got the per­fect work-life bal­ance. When I think back to how I got where I am to­day, I will gladly ad­mit that I’m grate­ful that it hap­pened. Ob­vi­ously it was trau­matic when it all un­folded, but it pushed me in a new di­rec­tion that’s per­fect for me, and I’m lov­ing ev­ery minute of it. >

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