The title of this article, are the literal words of the line manager of Shona Hirons, which were spoken to her when she was being reprimanded after having made a mistake at work. Working for a highly competitive law firm, Shona was told that people in her position are not allowed to make mistakes. Just like robots, it is expected that they always provide a flawless performance.
Shona had sent an email to the wrong person after an exhausting 80 hour work week. The email didn’t contain any confidential information, but she was still suspended and reprimanded because ‘it could have’.
This was not the only incident during her law career. Shona was constantly made to feel that she shouldn’t be too ambitious, as women should be at home raising children, instead of competing with men at the workplace. After a serious cycling accident which forced her to work part-time, she was told that she shouldn’t expect any sympathy and that she was still expected to get as much work done as a full-time member of staff in her part-time hours.
Shona has since turned her life around. She gave up her job and started her own coaching business. She runs her own gym, writes books and gives public talks. But the burnout she experienced after years at a thankless, pressured and toxic work environment, is not something she is likely to forget.
In the interview I conducted with Shona, we find out what made her The Bionic Woman. Her story is one of strength, determination and a personal mindset which has turned from negative in the past, to unrelentingly positive in the present:
- Born premature and her dad was told by a consultant that there is no hope for her
- As a result of being prematurely born, she had a hole in her heart, and surgery to fix this life threatening issue
- Suffered from severe burnout at work
- Had a life changing cycling accident
- She is a cancer survivor
Yet she is here to tell us her story, and how she turned her life around through relentlessly working on her mindset…for she is the Bionic Woman!
Index of topics discussed:
02:06 How Shona came to be The Bionic Woman (she is more metal than bones!)
11:53 How Shona overcame her own burnout and what she advises others who are stuck in a career that sucks away their joy and happiness (and how she was advised that she is not a human, but a robot!)
28:25 What is male menopause and should I worry about it as a man? Do we understand enough about how menopause affects the career of female professionals and CEOs?
37:12 Is midlife crisis a thing? Do Blue Mondays and Seasonal Affective Disorders affect everyone?
39:12 What drives Shona to write books and take on public speaking engagements? Do the struggles of Katie Price represent the struggles of the average professional woman?
49:19 a practical demonstration of how ANYONE can create time for exercise in their daily routine! We can all create positive habits that work for us.