From Beverly Hills to Broke. For Sheila Brown, Life’s a Beach

December 18, 2012 |

From in-demand Hollywood recruiter to world traveler and now coach, it is been a wild few years for Sheila Brown.

Sheila spent two decades in the recruiting field. For ten of those she worked for the likes of Paramount, Warner Brothers, Sony, NBC Universal, Disney and other major Hollywood studios.

Back then she lived in upscale Beverly Hills — with a lifestyle to match. She’d amassed three hundred Gucci bags, a closet full of Prada shoes… the whole shebang.

Sheila was doing great financially. But was she happy? No. What she really wanted to do was see the world.

Why Should Kids Have All the Fun?

She got to thinking about how when you’re a kid, you have lots of free time and no money. And what did you and every other kid complain about most? They’re bored… There’s nothing to do.

With adults though, it’s just the opposite. “People with good jobs have money but no time to enjoy life. I remember thinking, it’s not fair,” she said.

That’s when it hit her. Sheila didn’t want to wait to see the world until she was retired. She wanted to live life fully now, while she had her health.

“Spirit told me to get rid of the house, the bags, the shoes, and all those other stupid trappings of success and go for it.” So in 2009 she sold everything and today all her worldly possessions fit into just three suitcases.

The same three suitcases she now uses while fulfilling her dream of traveling the world. And travel she has. So far this year Sheila’s taken 21 trips. In between she stays with friends of family.

If you think Sheila can do this because she’s rich – think again.

In fact she admits to making some “dumb decisions” a few years back which caused her to go broke. But for Sheila adversity didn’t equal failure.

Instead she describes that time as “22 months of life lessons.”

“Poor is a Mindset. Broke is a Temporary Condition”

Even in her darkest moments, which included standing in line at the welfare office, Sheila said she never felt poor explaining, “Poor is a mindset. Broke is a temporary condition. And I was broke.”

Things turned around in 2011. “I trusted in God’s plan and one day in January the doors just opened.” Withing a few days checks arrived from 14 different sources – including an online business she’d set up and had all but forgotten.

It was during her broke period that Sheila came across the Changing Course website. When she saw the course description for the Profiting from Your Passions® Career Coach training she wrote in her journal, “Someday I will take this course.”

Never Say, “I Can’t Afford This”

Notice she didn’t say, “I can’t afford this.”

It goes back to that mindset Sheila talked about. I read once that you should never say “I can’t afford it” to anything that will put you closer to a dream.

You can say, “That’s interesting, but it’s not for me.” Or, you can say, “I can’t swing it right now.”

But when you say “I can’t afford it” unconsciously you’re telling yourself that you not only don’t have the money right now but that you never will.

Three years later Sheila fulfilled her promise to herself. She not only did she find the money to take the course, but she also flew half way across the country to do it.

I saved the best part for last. Today Sheila’s life is a beach. Literally!

Right after the training with me, Sheila flew to the Dominican Republic where she’d rented a house on the beach for six months… sight unseen.

(Now you know why Sheila’s video testimonial has that beach house feel.)

Obviously not everyone walks away from it all and travels the world. And that’s okay.

But her story does offer lessons for all of us. For me it’s the inspiring reminder that life truly is short and that we need to at least try to go after our dreams.

Are there things you’d be willing to give up in terms of comfort or material things or fear in order to get something of far greater value?

Is there something you’ve wanted to do forever, but have been telling yourself, “I can’t afford it?”