What Does Success Look Like To You?

One of the YTM Conversation Cards , utilised at our events, asks the question “What does Success look like to you?” Now success comes in many forms and is an individual driver. For some it may be financial wealth, for others it is earning a degree, spending time with family, achieiving a goal or focused on a business-related outcome. From the encounters with business owners and professionals, while running YTM we have learned success does not have to be constrained by other people’s definitions or aspirations.

Success may be to provide lunches to the elderly, to raise funds for research, to kick a football at the park with a child, or to cycle from Perth to Broome. YTM has been privileged to share inspiring stories that have touched the hearts of the YTM community over the past 5.5 years. We have been introduced to people who have had to face life-changing challenges and have somehow found a way to develop skills we all need: resilience, perseverance, commitment and the ability to overcome testing circumstances.

Kerryn Powell, founder of Your Time Matters and author of “Two Ears, One Mouth and a BIG Heart” shares many stories in her book, hope you enjoy reading this one.

The START foundation

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We first met Michelle Jelleff, one of the founding directors and Chair of the START Foundation, when YTM held a co-working day in Highett. Michelle told the group that had assembled to enjoy the co-working experience about the humble beginnings of the START Foundation and challenges faced along the way.

START was established in 2013 in response to a tragic incident. Michelle’s sister-in-law Kerryn Harvey contracted a life-threatening, flesh-eating bacteria as a result of a minor cycling accident. Radical surgery was required and a right forequarter amputation (arm and shoulder) was performed.

Cycling had been Kerryn’s passion so getting back on the bike was a really important part of her recovery. It cost $2,000 to have a bicycle modified so Kerryn could ride and participate again in triathlons. When her family and friends saw the difference it made to Kerryn's ability to reclaim her life, they knew there was an opportunity to empower other amputees in a similar situation.

In one of those coincidences that happen so often through networking, meeting Michelle was timely as I had recently met a young amputee who lost both his legs as a result of a meningococcal infection when he was 18 years old.

Michelle and Kerryn Harvey’s resilience in making sense of a devastating experience created a force and momentum for change. It was the catalyst for starting an inspiring organisation that combines Michelle’s two passions, sport and education, to make a difference. Both of these passions are enablers for empowerment and confidence—the very skills she uses to drive the START Foundation.

Michelle’s thirty-plus years of experience in education and sporting organisations in Australia and the United States, along with ten years working as a teacher and then administrator, have helped her adapt to unexpected circumstances. During the past five years, she has drawn on all her experience and networking capability to ensure the right people and skill sets are on the START team.

Michelle was the first speaker for YTM’s 2017 series of professional development and networking events. as we saw it as an opportunity to foster learning and create awareness by sharing the START Foundation’s inspirational story.

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When we hear first-hand stories of other people’s lives, we have the opportunity to reflect on our own life and consider how we might, even in a small way, enrich the lives of others. We can give time, money, or other forms of support. There are so many ways to make a difference.

The opportunity to meet many interesting and inspiring people and gain insight into the lives of people striving to make a difference and support others is integral part of YTM. We are proud to be sponsors of the START foundation and are delighted to invite Sara Shams- a START foundation grant recipient to talk with Serpil Senelmis from Written and Recorded at our Progressive Dinner event on 30 July . They will be exploring the topic of “Collaboration and teamwork- paramount for achieving your goals”. Read more about our speaker, the event and book your seat HERE .


Kerryn PowellComment