Donna charting new path
It’s never too late to pursue your passion and fulfil your purpose.
Just ask Donna Every, who at 48 years old, has done both.
The chartered accountant turned author, who admits she is still getting used to the title, has shaken the shackles of the fast-paced and stressful corporate world to walk a different path.
For Donna, the journey wasn’t smooth.
When she was in auditing, she knew it wasn’t for her.
At the time she was working at Ernst & Young. It was only when she went for motivational and attitudinal training that she felt she was in the right place.
“I wanted to be a Les Brown. I wanted to be a motivational speaker. I was shy before but when I got up to speak, I realised this was my calling. I even remember a partner at the firm saying to me, ‘You have a gift’.”
From there, Donna ventured into corporate finance and got involved in entrepreneurship.
Still, there was a tugging.
“I still knew that what I was doing, I really wasn’t supposed to be doing.
“I was becoming resentful and I was not engaged because I knew I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do.”
Then, one day, Donna had an epiphany.
“I said I wasn’t doing myself nor this company any favours.”
Donna made an about-turn and, even though she still wanted to be a motivational speaker, she “acted” as if Ernst & Young was her business and witnessed a positive change, especially in her attitude.
These changes and acute business sense would prepare her for the eventuality of owning her own business.
“I started my own business doing corporate training and some consultancy and I was happy.”
She put her business on pause around 2006 when she and Stephen, her husband of 24 years, started to build their home.
A year later with bills rolling in and the reality that she was not working hitting her like a “ton of bricks”, Donna started looking around for work.
This highly qualified chartered accountant, with a degree in math from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus and an MBA from Leicester University, couldn’t find a job.
Never a quitter, Donna set about creating modules to teach, and thought at the time she would also start writing a book – What Do You Have In Your House (Surviving in times of financial crisis) – a project which was published a year after.
That wasn’t her first foray into the world of writing though, having started with the unpublished ABCs of Entrepreneurship in 1997, which focused on the Bajan market.
Donna started to feel more comfortable with her new-found love of writing, despite the claws of the imposter syndrome, from which she is finally free.
She even experimented with an eBook – Arise And Shine, which charts a spiritual journey.
The writer then went further – this time, into the world of romance and wrote The Merger Mogul, published in 2012, which still had a business background.
The scene for this book is set in Manhattan and Barbados and Donna smiles telling EASY that it had done well on Amazon with a four-star rating.
Donna has had no formal training in writing, but credits the four-day seminar Story by Robert McKee for a lot of what she has soaked up to help her hone her art. In fact, she realised after that, that she was instinctively “doing things right”.
At the time, Donna was writing the sequel to Merger Mogul, The High Road full of fictional political intrigue, which she admits she hustled. That was her foray into suspense.
Her book The Price of Freedom had the benefit of the seminar and was set in 1696 when Barbados was at the peak of influence and affluence. That book took her 18 months to complete – from research to being published. The eBook was released in November 2013, while the hardcopy was out in January 2013.
Even with six books under her belt, this author admits that she still gets a little rattled by negative reviews on those few occasions she takes a peek to see what readers have to say.
However, she is more encouraged by the positive feedback she continues to get, especially from Barbadians.
With writing, comes more speaking engagements, so for Donna, she is getting to enjoy both of her loves.
“I have a number of speaking engagements because of my books. People also now ask me to help them write and for tips on how to get published”.
Right now, Donna, who is mom to daughter Kellie 18, and son Jordan, 13, is trying to organise a number of tele seminars, the first of which will be 40 Days to Purpose.
“There are a lot of people who are not in their purpose and are just not happy. My passion is to help people transition out of that. If they can’t leave their jobs, they at least need to find joy,” she believes.
Donna, who is now working on the sequel to The Price of Freedom, has not only found her joy, but also her purpose.