The Courage to Start Fresh When you Don’t Have To: A Brief Tale of How Greatness Magnified Began

The journey to get to this point – officially launching Greatness Magnified – has been one of soul searching, tough choices and re-prioritizing. What one of my favourite authors, Margie Warrell, might describe it as “stretching my courage muscles” (from her fabulous book Stop Playing Safe). It would have been safer to stay where I was – working for a great organization, in a senior leadership role, surrounded by talented self-sufficient team members, and doing work that I and others valued. Where’s the problem, right?

Well, the other side of my life (which truly felt metaphorically like it was the other side of the world some days) was that with my family. My children are reaching the tween years; what no one tells you is that they need you more at that time than when they are little. So, the question became, is there a way of doing what I love (leveraging the skills and knowledge I have been developing and investing in), in a way that still adds value, and be more available for my family? I sat with that question a good long time (or what felt like a long time)!

barnThen, one day, I was minding my own “zen-like” business on my yoga mat when a crystal clear image formed in my mind. I pictured a barn filled with light, overlooking a pond and lush greenery. It had an office, filled with my books, pictures, and mementos. The main floor was large and set up as a comfortable space for retreats, workshops and wellness sessions for women; I could picture the people in it laughing, debating, planning and creating. It felt so real, and I had such a sense of calm and peace. I knew this was it.

Two months later my parents called to say, on a lark, they knew of a property coming up for sale that they thought would be great for our family and had a beautiful barn overlooking the water. What they described was that very image I had on my mat! It had to be.

Fast forward a few more months. I said “bye for now” to my fabulous colleagues, started Greatness Magnified, and moved our family to a new community (although I must disclose that the barn is far from that finished space!)

Greatness Magnified blogs, newsletters, products and services, I can promise you, will be true to the courage and value-based orientation that it took to make my significant life change. Otherwise, why take the leap? And, how could I encourage you to dig deep to figure out how to leverage your true passions?

So, I hope you’ll enjoy these blog posts and monthly newsletters. Most posts will be full of concrete tools and strategies for personal growth, team and group wellness, and organizational effectiveness. I may throw in a few like this of personal musings. Please share them through social media and with friends, colleagues, and family when you read something you believe others will find valuable.

We are all on a journey of becoming our most authentic selves. Together, let’s ponder the question: How much more creative, resourceful and satisfied would we be if we spent more of our energy attending to what’s working rather than deficits? Together, we can find our most resourceful selves by listening to and leverage the wisdom we already have. Ready to join me?!

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve