As I've been super busy at the PSA Convention for the past 4 Days, I thought I'd share over the next 2 days a single chapter from my Natasa Denman Reveals.... 1000 Days to Million Dollar Coaching Business from home book. This particular one is quite personal and revealing about how a child's upbringing and surroundings can be the answers to the drive and actions of the future. Here goes...
Every beginning is hard. Those were the words from my mum as I was growing up. It was those words that have made the biggest impact in myself, growing and expanding on this journey through business and life and learning to be resilient, persistent and independent.
I decided for the very first time to actually write a little bit about where I grew up, where my beliefs around business and life and personal relationships have come from. As well as to share a little bit of my story so that when my children grow up they can learn more about me and how I used to think.
The strategies and the patterns, and the strong beliefs that had a firm grip on me for many, many years.
In this particular chapter I want to talk about that part of my life, my childhood.
0-14 in particular, because those are the years that I actually spent growing up in Macedonia. I was born in Skopje and on the 24th of May 1977 and it was a completely different culture and way of life as I was growing up there.
However all of us can identify with certain moments things that were said, that were done and overcome in life. After all, everyone has a story and this is my story.
So my earliest memories go back to being an 18-month old little girl. People often say you don't remember anything before the age of 3 or 4, but this was a very strong incident that occurred that really has been embedded and engraved in my mind.
And that was an unfortunate incident, obviously a lot of pain. When we experience a lot of pain we tend to remember that a lot more than the moments of love and pleasure early on in our years and it was me witnessing my father physically abusing and beating my mum.
It occurred in my grandmother's house, where they used to live together, with the in-laws, as you do, back over there. People can actually never really afford to move out of home when they get married, so often times three generations are living under the one roof. And so my grandma had this couch in the lounge room, that you could put yourself under it as a child, but not as an adult.
It's been very firmly engraved in my mind, watching my dad, I don't know the circumstances. He's a very fiery character and one that can snap at the drop of a hat. And so he was pushing, I can remember this, pushing my mum under that particular couch and beating her really strongly. And I was kicking and screaming, obviously and crying behind him and I can just remember my grandmother, his mother, coming out and picking me up so I wouldn't watch and witness that. And she did nothing to actually stop the situation and took me away to another room of the house when all this was happening. So the reason why I told you this story is that's when I believe one of my very first beliefs about men and women and relationships was created. And that was that women are weak and I will never be with a man that resembles my father.
So I took on his personality, and then I became him, and then married my mum, subsequently, which is my husband Stuart, who's got a very similar personality to my mum.
Often what we learn in training and seminars is that either we marry our mums or dads and it's usually the person of the opposite sex that we marry. In this case I moved away from my father and ended up marrying someone similar to my mum and I took on some quite strong and stubborn characteristics as well as the business mindset. My father also has some wonderful qualities, very strong to his word, and he's got obviously the negative and weaknesses which are not to be excused, or are forgiven. It is what it is and we know that we cannot change people.
I have had closure and conversations with him; I don't agree with what he does, but he's my father at the end of the day and I do love him very much and he continues to live in Macedonia at this point in time. He married four times and he did physically abuse all his wives and oftentimes I would jump in and attempt to rescue them. I have been in that rescuer position in these situations with many of his partners and have worked a lot on myself around clearing those beliefs that were engraved back then and that it wasn't my place to rescue these people.
So my parents ended up divorcing and I think I was 3 years old and thus began the journey of me being raised by four very strong women.
It was my grandma and my mum and her two sisters. So we had the three sisters combo of very, very strong women, who actually ended up marrying their father, because my grandfather was a very big resemblance to who my father was. So my mum did end up marrying her father.
My mum worked three jobs as I was growing up and this is where a very negative belief around building wealth and earning money was built around me and by her working three jobs, I grew up with the belief that you have to work hard to make lots of money.
I watched her go to her day job from 7-3pm, because in Macedonia they start work at 7am. Then she'd come home and she'd draw all these crosswords for local media and magazines that used to take photos of them and put them in the magazines, because she was a draftsperson and then at night she'd go and be the bingo call girl.
So she'd sit there and say what numbers were coming up and that she'd come home late. So very much so I had to look after myself from a very young age. We did live with my grandma and aunty in the earlier years, up until I was 10 and after that we bought a 1-bedroom studio apartment where we lived for 2-3 years before she migrated to Australia.
So it was my mum who's always been a single mum and I don't have any siblings from her side. We grew up together and oftentimes now we talk about whether you remember when we were little, is our saying, because when she was 19 we were both really like children and we have grown up together.
So that belief I really needed to crack; that you've got to work hard to make lots of money, because it kept in the first couple of years in my business, it kept coming back to bite me on the bum, because I just worked my butt off and couldn't break through that $50-$70,000, which I did, however I kept coming back to the fact that perhaps that was true, which nowadays I don't believe it's true, I work a lot less, I work around the million dollars that we've generated in these last 12 months than I did in the first couple of years in business.
So that no longer exists and I have proven to myself that it is a wrong belief to hold. We lived a middle class life in Macedonia and I was always taught to save money for the big things that I wanted to buy and also to have that built in buffer. So they used to say, save up the money for those black days, when unexpected expenses occur.
So always have that backup, so if something comes up you're not totally lost or hopeless, you still have your independence, which I believe was a great thing to learn and to have in my life nowadays, because yes those moments do occur in life and I'm ready for them when they do because of this mindset that was instilled in me by very strong women.
So let me tell you about these four very strong women and how I have a little bit of each of them in me.
I'll start with my grandmother. Her name was Kate and she was a very, very strong woman who also helped her husband run his business. It was a lemonade shop in fact what they had and when we were little we used to go to markets and run the lemonade shop as a part of this permanent market they had out there and we used to fill the bottles at home and create everything that went from scratch to having these lemonades; and it was very popular and a profitable business back in the days.
She was the one that upheld the family and obviously kept everyone together even with the abuse and the alcoholism that she had to endure while being with my grandfather. My grandfather and I share the same birthday, so I had picked up a lot of my trades from him and my father I believe. They're the people that obviously I thought I needed to become in order to thrive and survive in life.
And I've always gone around doing things to make my grandma proud and I was her only granddaughter throughout her life, so she lived till the year 2000 and my grandfather passed away when I was only four years old; so then literally I can only remember being raised by my grandmother and my three sisters, by the three sisters.
Then comes, I'll talk about my aunty and mum. Aunty M is the oldest out of the three sisters and she has got her own super successful legal business in Macedonia and she has always been a person who loves to learn, loves to read, is very philosophical about how she views the world and you can have those real deep and meaningful conversations that come across very stimulating for the mind and also she's very wise and from her I believed I always looked up and wanted to have that certain career and to be at a level where I was respected and was also not thinking about money, because she has made some very smart investments, she knows how to manage herself, she has also ended up being a single mother of her two boys.
And when I look at her, she always is very relaxed about how she spends her money, however I notice that she also knows what she's got and manages it really well, so I wanted to achieve that kind of freedom that she had achieved so I looked up to her a lot and just enjoyed the conversations with her very much when I sit down and talk to her. And she always ends up challenging me and asking me different questions of whether I've looked at things from a different perspective.
Then comes my Aunty Mira. And my Aunty Mira was diagnosed, or got polio at the age of 10 months old as a baby and they were able to save her side from her right leg, and her right leg below the knee never fully developed, so she's got a smaller right leg than the left one.
And my Aunty Mira is the closest you can get to my personality. She's humorous, she's social, she loves people, nothing stops her. She is a person that would never have any excuses, even though she's the one that has had the most challenges and has had to have a lot of resilience in her life to overcome bullying because of her disability. All her life she's walked with one crutch, she's now on two crutches and undergoing some more operations to make her life be easier and reduce the pain that she's experiencing.
But what I've seen in her all my life is that zest for life, that ability to stand up for herself. To say what she wanted, to say who she wanted to be with and out of everyone, out of these four women, she has been the one that has always had the most wonderful partners. She never married, however the partners that she's had throughout her life have looked after her and really put her up on a pedestal and she's been treated truly like the queen.
And I find that really resembles what I have in my life, because my husband does the same for me and I have also always in the past attracted people who have really looked after me and were just wonderful people to be around.
Stay Tuned for Part 2 of this Chapter Tomorrow!!!
Love Nat x