Elizabeth Barker is a financial advisor and vice president at RBC Wealth Management. Her work involves advising and guiding both individuals and business owners to succeed with personal financial goals. In a predominately male industry, single-handedly building a multi-million dollar business is a milestone not all women achieve. Most recently she has added the title of author to her list of accomplishments with the publication of her memoir, Changed by Chance: My Journey of Triumph over Tragedy.
Top Takeaways: Liz’s #ShareYourTruth Advice:
As women we are naturally expected to multi-task and exceed expectations at work and home. I do believe that career women have more stress than their male counterparts, regardless of their marital or motherhood status. I’ve learned some very valuable life lessons from my Truths. Here are a few:
- The 90/10 Rule. A mantra to keep you sane and grounded as you encounter difficulty is this: “Life is just 10% how you make it, 90% how you take it.”
- The 3 Rs. When confronted with challenges, I follow a logical system that I call “My 3 Rs – Recognize, Reflect and React” which translates to accept, research, and then rise up and react to the task.
- Choose to Be Your Own Champion. Understand that we all “have something” at some time or another in our lives and that we are not alone. In today’s world, there are a ton of resources out there to help. No matter what, it is up to you to “Choose to be your own Champion.”
I am a firm believer in the Truth that “we all have something” that we carry with us privately. It has taken me over 20 years to share my Truth with the world. Yes, I was able to build a successful practice as a financial advisor and yes, I have overcome many career-related obstacles in a male-dominated industry.
My personal Truth, my real Truth – what I now share publicly in my book, details the five-year period of successive tragedies that significantly and permanently altered my life. It began with the birth of my special needs daughter Lauren. We experienced surgical mishaps that compromised her health and mine. I was forced to learn how to navigate the maze of the healthcare profession when the internet was not an option and battled to evolve as an advocate for proper care. All of that paled, though, to the tragic death of my daughter due to hospital negligence and a life-threatening breast cancer diagnosis while six months pregnant with my third child.
I share my Truth to inspire others so that they can learn to be their own champion. My five years of what I call “my personal hell” occurred when I was in a career groove. I learned and now share many life lessons as takeaways from this period of adversity.
How did it affect your life and work?
Needless to say, my experience was life-altering. I was extremely fortunate to have an amazing employer at the time who supported me during my medical leave. I was able to heal mentally, physically and spiritually – a luxury not many people have and that I am forever grateful for.
My career did come to a screeching halt. But, those that know me personally knew it would not be long before I would be back into the swing of things. Initially, sharing the news of Lauren’s birth and death and later, my cancer diagnosis was difficult, but many understood. I was determined and focused to reclaim and move forward with my life.
What was it like still having to perform as a high-level executive?
Performance during several leaves of absence was a challenge. Thankfully, I had the sense to understand the importance of regaining my health. Without it, I was of no value to my clients. While I was on medical leave my focus was on my healing – mind, body and spirit; when I returned to the office, it was my clients. One of the best tools that I used during this time was communication, which goes a long way.
Did you feel like you could share your Truth with anyone?
At the time no, because during that five-year period, it took all of my energy just to survive. But I always suspected that there was a reason why all of this adversity happened to me.
Where are you today?
Each challenge resulted in a life lesson that I was able to walk away with. Each challenge made me stronger. A mystical prophecy was made to me over 20 years ago by my spiritual guide at that time. He explained that these tragedies were my fate that I was destined to learn from them and to share them with others, which is why I have written my book Changed by Chance, My Journey of Triumph over Tragedy and launched my speaking platform, “Changed by Chance – Champion by Choice.” My mission is to inspire and empower others to summon their inner warrior so that they can choose to be their own champion! My goal in writing my book is that it may serve as a roadmap to others who are facing their own bumps in the road of life.
What are you reading right now?
Big Magic: Creative Living beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
What makes you smile?
Enjoying quality time with my family or friends, old and new, as we share chapters of our lives together. Flipping through my photo albums, especially of my angel Lauren, always brings back happy memories and puts a smile on my face! And, the satisfaction of truly believing that I have grown wiser as I have grown older.
How did The Truth Behind Our Titles™ impact you?
The movement certainly hits home with me as I make the leap to share my story to inspire others. The Truth Behind Our Titles® is an astute reminder that we are not alone, and that we all have truths – personal or public.
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