What do you do if you run a successful business or are in a really good job but still feel unfulfilled? Being stuck in a ‘success trap’ can be harder to get out of than a failure.
Five years ago, Hilda Lunderstedt decided to sell her famous nutraceutical company with a nine-figure turnover. Whilst most would see it as a dream come true, for Hilda, it turned out to be one of the most testing times of her life.
Without the business that she had worked so hard in for so many years, what comes next?
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SEARCHING FOR MEANING
When Hilda first sold her company, she went from being a business leader to suddenly feeling not needed and having lost her sense of identity.
“That shift was one of the most fundamental phases of my life. I don’t think people realise that when you sell your business, you potentially feel you lose your meaning. When you have a business, you have purpose, places to go, and people need your input. Your opinion matters and you make significant decisions. When that stops and life goes on without you, it’s a very scary place for a lot of entrepreneurs.”
Yet Hilda’s challenges didn’t end with business, her identity was questioned in her personal life too.
“At the same time I was going through a nasty divorce, moving houses, and then my mother died - all within 6 months. My coach then told me, ‘This is an extreme challenge; you are being prepared to show your strength and power,’ and that’s what gave me hope.”
“That, and the fact that my kids were only 3 and 5, were my anchors. I’m lucky I found the strength because after those experiences, nothing in my life was the same. I had a clean slate, a fresh canvas to paint a new life. Few people get that opportunity.”
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MAKING AN IMPACT
It was during this period that Hilda met Roger James Hamilton, social entrepreneur, futurist, and founder of the Entrepreneurs Institute, and that’s where she found the impact-focused community she needed.
“At that time, Roger and his community gave me a sense of where I really wanted to play. I started to think about what this new life meant. Coaching and conversations with Roger made me realise that it was the impact I can make, and he urged me to find those businesses that can translate into that impact. Once I discovered that about myself, it changed my whole way of thinking. I now look at investments very differently, and I ensure I align those investments with my purpose and my vision of what I will leave behind in this world.”
Hilda joined Roger’s Alchemy Circle, a mentoring group for high-level entrepreneurs. Through this group, Hilda was inspired to start investing consciously.
“There are so many great ideas out there, but it is impossible to invest in everyone. I focus on the CEOs I’m investing in as they’re the ones creating the businesses that align me with my “Why.” I’ve gone from investing to conscious investing, and it’s changed my whole life. In Roger, I’ve got someone who knows me well enough to be honest with me, and I’m so grateful for that.”
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KNOW WHO YOU ARE
By facing her challenges, Hilda was able to redefine who she was and what she stood for.
“People dream of making a business successful when they’re young, selling, and retiring early, but then you get there, and everyone else is still out there working; it gets very boring very quickly. I went down the road of rediscovery of myself. I looked at what I liked and what I was really interested in.”
“I’d been busy building other brands and businesses, but I needed to build myself based on my true identity. That’s the secret to creating a meaningful and successful personal brand - to build it around things you enjoy and would like to be a part of in the world.”
With this mindset, Hilda set about creating her personal brand as a venture philanthropist, humanitarian, and conscious investor.
“I think clarity of who you are is the most important thing. Spend more time on who you are and what you want to stand for before creating a brand and then fine tune it as you go along. It’s very difficult to create your brand on your own, so I involved outside people such as friends and those that know me in order to help me see how others view me. I became an authority in a specific field, built trust, and familiarised people with my impact goals. Now, I don’t have to look for projects; the right ones come to me.”
Hilda created her Best Life community, a social media strategy aimed at encouraging others to create a vision for their future with meaning and a focus on the impact they have in the world.
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Hilda’s time is now spent supporting the four companies in which she invests and their CEOs who are aligned with her vision for the future. She is also involved with philanthropic projects such as Tekkie Tax, a national South African fundraising initiative for which Hilda acts as an ambassador and campaigns for the improvement of the lives of children.
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