Following Your Vision and Going It Alone Can Be Extremely Lonely

But, Along With Your Motivated Abilities, Knowing How To Go It Alone Is Also The Secret To Getting There

Learn Through Stories
Learn Through Stories

A Case Study: Andreas’s Story:

Andreas had experienced severe burnout in his position as a recruitment consultant within the insurance industry. 

He had been working long hours. Not only had there been excessive demands on his time, but there had also been unreasonable demands for the people he was expected to recruit. They, too, were expected to work long hours and do whatever they had to do to achieve the excessive targets set by their companies.

Something had to give. That something was Andreas’s job. And with it went his health and wellbeing. 

There had been a ‘restructure’ within his department, and Andreas was told his job was being made redundant. He believed the ‘restructure’ was simply a way to get rid of him and engineered as such.

For months Andreas had been pushing himself to the limit. He had been exhausted but had somehow kept going. But the moment he stopped working, that exhaustion suddenly hit him with a bang. He was totally wiped out. He experienced extreme physical and mental burnout. 

He needed to take time out to rest and recuperate. But his recovery time needed to be fast because he had to get back to work and earn a living as soon as possible. 

His husband, Seb, persuaded him to take a holiday and booked them both into a hotel in a peaceful setting in the Andalusian mountains. A retreat of sorts, where they could completely switch off from the outside world and do whatever they felt like each day. Whether that was absolutely nothing other than relaxing by the pool and having spa treatments or walking or horse-riding in the mountainous terrain. Activities they both enjoyed. 

At the end of their two-week break, while Andreas felt a lot better, he didn’t feel ready to return to work. He decided to travel north to do the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, something he had wanted to do for a long time but had never been able to take the required thirty days or so to complete the entire trail. Seb couldn’t join him because he needed to get back to work. He was OK with that. While he had felt he needed to be with Andreas in Andalusia, he now believed he would be OK alone. They both knew that Andreas needed this time on his own to figure things out. Doing his thinking while walking, was the perfect way for Andreas. Because these combined actions had always served him well when he needed to figure things out.

They were right. Andreas came back from the Camino with his vision of how he wanted his WorkLife to be.

He wanted to start his own recruitment consulting company, and he wanted to do it within the insurance industry. His reasons for this were two-fold.

  • This was the industry he knew;
  • This was an industry that struggled to retain people.

Andreas’s vision was to build a consultancy that supports the WorkLives people want to live, not the other way around. 

Starting out, he needed to go it alone. He didn’t have the resources to bring anyone else on board, and he also needed to figure things out as he went – the secrets to how he was going to get there.

In getting his first client, Andreas reached out to Angeline, a woman he knew who had left her company because she too had experienced burnout. He knew she wanted to start her own insurance company, and he asked if he could recruit the people she needed to join her. 

Andreas shared how he wanted to help insurance companies create work environments that prioritise the physical and mental health and wellbeing of their people. He believed better bosses were needed to achieve this. Bosses who cared about everyone on their team. Demonstrated by taking time to get to know them personally and professionally. Their hopes, dreams and aspirations. Their attributes, skills and potential.

Angeline felt inspired by Andreas’s vision. He had a pool of good people he could connect her with. That was enough for both of them to get started in founding their respective company and consultancy. 

Andreas felt truly motivated in establishing his first client relationship. Following on from this, he worked closely with Angeline to help her develop and grow her company. This, of course, meant he was developing and growing his own consultancy at the same time. 


Following his vision wasn’t so lonely anymore. The first secret he learnt was to work with someone who understood and valued his vision, who also had the motivated abilities to help make that happen.

Andreas was excited about learning the next secret in following his vision to build a consultancy that supports the WorkLives people want to live, not the other way around. 

Understanding The Connection Between Your Vision and Your Motivated Abilities Assignment 

Identify a specific moment, event or experience when you felt any of the following: 

A BuzzAble to be Your True SelfAt EaseAt Your Best
Able to ShineEnergisedEnjoymentEnthusiastic 
InspiredIn the FlowIn Your ElementLife is Good
On Top of the WorldTotally AbsorbedTouched Truly Motivated

NB Please feel free to add words and phrases that are especially meaningful to you. 

Next, develop your chosen words or phrases into a short story, as demonstrated in the table below. For Example: 

Andreas’s words were ‘Truly Motivated.’

Angie’s word was ‘Inspired.’

Specific WorkLife Moment, Event or ExperienceHow did you feel?What contributed to you feeling this way? (e.g. Your particular role, the skills used or tasks involved, the outcome, or type of people or environment)
For Andreas it was when Angeline said yes to them working together.He felt truly motivated because he was establishing his first client relationship as an independent recruitment consultant. He had found the first step to follow his vision.He knew working with Angeline, together they could create a good working environment for people within their industry. And build a culture that cared about the physical and mental health and wellbeing of its workforce.
For Angeline it was when Andreas shared his vision with her.She felt inspired because it showed her a way forward to achieve her dream to establish her own insurance company.Angeline cared about people. Her parents had successfully run their own company – an independent grocery store in the village she had grown up in. They attributed the success of their business to always putting their people first – their wants and needs over anything else. Angeline hadn’t been able to do this at the insurance company she had worked at. There it was profit over people. This had adversely affected her mental health. Those restrictions no longer existed. Angeline was now free to treat people as she believed they should be treated – fairly.

Whatever stage you are at in your WorkLife, when presented with challenges, or a sense of the unknown, taking time to understand your vision and motivated abilities will allow you to recognise what is important for you. From this, you can begin to develop your WorkLife vision and drive it through your motivated abilities. 

Develop your Practice of Continuous Self-Feedback 

Now that you’ve begun to pay attention to specific WorkLife moments, events or experiences when you were fully motivated, make a note in your journal of any observations you have of what was going on during those times. 

Develop a Practice of Insightful Self-Questioning 

Continue and maintain this practice by asking yourself the following questions: 

  • What was I doing when I was completely engaged? 
  • How did this make me feel?
  • What contributed to me feeling this way? 

Words of Wisdom 

There will most likely be times in your WorkLife when you will need to discover or rediscover your WorkLife vision. You may also stray from living your days true to your motivated abilities, lose sight of what these actually are for you, or actually struggle to know what they are in the first place. This simple exercise will allow you to navigate through these times. 

If you found this post helpful, you may also like to take a look at The School Of WorkLife books, which are designed to help you fine-tune your learning, development and growth in the areas that are most important to you.


Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.