PPP002 Wilmien's story

by Wilmien Davis | PPP: Passion Purpose Potential


Welcome to the second Potential, Purpose and Passion Podcast.  I am Wilmien Davis and I am excited to motivate and inspire you on your journey to grow in your Potential and find your Passion and Purpose in life.

In today’s episode I am sharing my own story with you. Which has only really started to unfold when I reached 40!  So I am super excited to see where it will lead to.

I am a mom, daughter, wife, friend, coach and child of God. 

My story began around the time when I turned 40.  A mid-life-crisis?  Maybe, but a good one!

I was working as a senior engineering manager at Sasol with a team of engineers on a mega project, banking on 16 years of experience in the industry.  After many ups and downs in my career, I was at a place where I enjoyed my job. I was effective and good at what I was doing and I started to feel confident in myself.  During this time I was approached by younger engineers to mentor them. I realized how much I love the process of helping them in their careers and give them perspective on life and work.

A quotation from Aristotle:

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work

is so wise.  When we enjoy what we are doing, we tend to put more effort into it. We don’t mind looking at the details and improving on it, it will become natural to care, to put effort in. The results:  The work you are doing becomes more perfect without the effort.

I had pleasure in my job and started to reach perfection and what I was doing. The only problem I had was my children.  Work demanded me to go on for longer and longer hours and with the eminent restructuring of the company, my flexible work hours would be taken away from me, making my precious time with my children in the week non-existent.

It was not the only challenge I faced.  I was also recovering from two corneal transplants. With the ongoing company restructuring, issues at work crept up, making the work I enjoyed a major challenge to stay motivated.  I remember thinking; ‘’The writing is on the wall.’’  I started to make a list of everything in the company’s transition that bothered me.  Nothing was serious enough for me to consider to leave, until the final entry on my list was added: No more flexi time – children!

A Ralph Waldo Emerson quote:

Money often costs too much

became real to me.  That was it! I knew the price my young children had to pay outweighed the benefits of corporate life.  My daughter, then in grade two, started to show signs of social anxiety. Disappearing into her room when her best friend came to visit to rather read a book. More and more I saw her retracted from people and my son started to struggle with anger bursts.

My mind was made up and my husband supported me in my decision. To put some context to this: I was bringing in a significant portion of our income into the household. 

But what now?

What can I do?

What else am I able to do than engineering?

I looked at so many options, but nothing really appealed to me. Until a friend, whom I mentored before, told me I can become a life coach.  ‘’Mmm, Good idea, but who will pay me for that?’’  I asked. ‘’I will,’’ she said. J I then embarked on a journey finding a life coach to assist me in making sure this direction will suit me.  He helped me in sooo many ways. The breakthrough for me was when I did my Gallup Strength finder test, and he coached me through that – matching my talents and strengths to that direction.

I am not really a Donald Trump fan, but I must admit he has a boldness and a talent that enables him to achieve worldly success.  His quote:

Without passion you don’t have energy, without energy you have nothing

is something I can agree with.

I realized, I will find my passion, energy and motivation when I can make this work.  All the jobs I enjoyed the most, was when I was working with people, mentoring them, training them, and helping them.  Now, if you knew me in high school or even during my first years in Varsity, you would NEVER have believed that I would like working with people.  I was the maths girl – NOT interested in people.  Well, that’s not 100% true.  I got hurt by people and believed I am not good with people.  To protect myself, I kept people on arm’s length. As I matured in life, I realized that I actually enjoy working with people. As I got emotionally ‘’healed’’ from old wounds and started to embrace and love the people around me.  A looong journey from 20 – 40!!!  Thinking back to the Johari window I discussed in the first podcast, it is clear that I was blind to my own abilities of working with people and I was wearing masks to hide the hurt I have experience as a child, which kept me pushing people away.  When I started to see through my blind spots about how much I care for people. When I overcame the hurts I had and started to drop the masks I have been wearing, other people could see the potential in me.  I have reached a new level of potential that was hidden for so long. A level of potential that I was much better at than maths (or engineering)!!

I requested a voluntary retrenchment package from Sasol and started my coaching journey in Jan 2015.  I jumped in with both feet to get professionally trained, accredited and gaining experience in Results coaching and in Strength finder coaching. Loving every minute of it and receiving confirmation, upon confirmation that I am on the right path. A problem I encountered: I never knew how to find clients and market myself. Another problem was: How to set out my own processes, admin, internet, and computer problems.  My learning curve was steep!  I got frustrated, despondent, but never gave up, because I had purpose and passion.

One of my favourite quotes by A. A. Milne from his famous Winnie the Pooh books

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think

I want to tell you today that you are braver than you believe you are, you are stronger than you seem to be and you are smarter than you think you are.

I never thought I could learn the things I did in these four years! I have reached potential that amazed me!  I even started to design fun, creative maths books for children (I told you I loved maths!)  I will add a link in the show notes if you are interested to see.  A new burst of creativity found me when I went on this journey! 

Link to the maths books, if you click on the picture of the book, you can be directed to a cool powtoon video I made about it. http://www.wilmiendavisconsulting.co.za/shop-online

I feel free!

I know who I am and who I am not!

I know what I am good at and what I am not good at – and it is OK

I know I can achieve much more than I ever dreamed of in corporate life.

I know I am able to learn any new skill I put my mind to – like podcasting! J – Even the technical aspects of it.

At first I thought I will dismiss my first life as engineer and start a new blank page, but over time I realized that I built my identity upon engineering alone, which was foolish – that should NEVER have been my cornerstone. Now that I’m building my identity and life on the Rock, Jesus, I can use all the building blocks of maths, engineering, coaching, my past experiences, etc. to build my life, my dreams, passion and purpose to achieve more of my potential.  My learning and experiences I gained in the corporate world was great, beneficial, and useful – I can never discard that.  But I don’t have to stop learning.

There is so much more to life than being stuck in a place which drains you.  You might be blind for the potential in your current work, in a similar job, in something completely different. You are NEVER too old to make the transition.

Wise words from Carol Burnett

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me

became very true for my own life.

Maybe your transition will be as drastic as mine or maybe not. Maybe you will need a parallel move in your current situation, and maybe you need to start something small on the side-line. Whatever it is, don’t wait. Do it for yourself, your family, and your colleagues.  Everyone around you will be better off if you are better off.

As I wrap up this episode, I hope to hear from you soon. I hope you enjoyed my story and I would love to hear from you and your story, no matter how different it is to mine.  With the next podcast I am very excited to share someone else’s story with you.

I would like to offer a special bonus to each of you who are listening for my strength finder package, normally priced at R1500.  You can get it for R1000. This will only be available until 31 December 2018.

It includes:

  • your online profile
  • A customized report and video
  • An hour personal consultation

around your specific strengths.

Just send me an email to: Wilmien.davis@icloud.com with the subject line 2018 Podcast special!  I am super excited to help you discover more of who you are. (if you are driving and cannot write the details down, don’t worry the e-mail address will be in the show notes).

Remember to act on the bonus for this week!  It is only valid until 31 December 2018!!

Until next time…

May the LORD bless you and keep you.

May His face shine upon you and be gracious to you

May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

My favourite books:

Emotional Intelligence 

Your Brain at Work 

 Quiet Leadership

Your Best Year Ever 

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality 


Share this item
Shopping cart
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping