Once upon a time, I was stuck in a soul-sucking job. I took back my power and designed a thriving career I love. 

 
 

Once upon a time..

 

Once upon a time, there was a smart girl who lived on a farm in South Africa. She went to one of the top Universities, got a degree in finance, and dreamed of life in a big city – with just a bit of glamor, romance and prestige.

She figured that’s the kind of life career women like her should have. Right?​

So she moved to London, where she became a foreign exchange broker, before moving to New York to work on Wall Street.​

Once upon a time there was a girl who did everything right, got her dream job, and felt…
Disappointed...
Empty...
Lost...

What do you do when you’ve done everything right, but you realize you’re surrounded by people (who also did everything right) who aren’t at all happy?

My fairytale didn’t crash around me all at once. It crumbled slowly as I realized that what I did every day didn’t align with my natural strengths, or my values, or who I was at my core. The long hours, the “entertaining,” the drinking, the subtle sexism, the constant one-upmanship – it all chipped away until the truth came tumbling down.

I was completely burnt out.​

Could I leave?

I felt like I wasn’t fulfilling my purpose, but I also couldn’t identify what my purpose was supposed to be. My state of burnout and my demanding position left me with no energy to think of what I truly wanted.

And even if I figured out my purpose, something I loved - could it financially support me?​

All I knew for sure is that I had to get out.​

I didn’t have a shiny new dream in my back pocket.​

Plan A was my only plan.

I felt lost and stuck at the same time.

I needed a goal. Any goal. A life raft.​

So I started small. I chose the thing I enjoyed most.

Pilates.​

Yes, I quit my high-paying job on Wall Street to become a Pilates instructor – and you know what? It felt great. I felt good in body and soul…until I saw my tax return.​

Holy shit!​

What had I done?​

After seeing the financial ramifications of my radical career change, I started thinking Maybe I should go back to banking? Or go back to school and become a tax accountant, or a dermatologist, or a ballet instructor? Maybe I'd even go back to Wall Street.

I was that freaked out!

See, instead of taking the time to work through what I wanted to do and create a solid plan, I had let fear and my own self-sabotaging behavior take over.​

Back in London, I’d gone to a life coach, because even then I felt unhappy with my life. I hadn’t been ready to make the leap then, but as I sat there over a year later, with nothing left to lose, I unpacked all of the tools and skills she’d given me and put them into practice.​

Before I took yet another panicked leap, I used what she taught me to organize my thoughts, dig deep, and make a new plan. I stopped looking at what jobs I could do (or learn to do), and began thinking of what I truly, deeply wanted for my life.​

I made a list of criteria for living a joyful life on my own terms.​

My next job had to:

    • Help people – that’s where I find meaning.
    • Be flexible enough to travel back home for extended visits with my friends and family, and to explore this wide, wonderful world.
    • Provide financial comfort – because living comfortably (especially in New York) takes money.
    • Embrace work-life balance. For me, that meant time for workouts, time to walk my dog every day, and time to relax with my husband (and my stack of self-improvement books - I’m a self-improvement junkie)

I realized that going back to Wall Street wouldn’t meet my criteria, but what was scarier: None of my other ideas would either. Once I realized that, they stopped being options.

But underneath all of those possible careers was a running theme – they were all about helping people to be their best selves, in one way or another. Okay, maybe not Wall Street. But the others? It was all starting to add up.​

Once I tapped into that core passion, I began to see my next steps. And they led me here, to you. To coaching.

I share this with you because, so often, when our Big Plans don’t work out, we wade through a muddy, confusing swamp of conflicting emotions, fears and desires. And the answer isn’t always clear. In fact, it usually isn’t.

Sometimes, you just need someone to help you find it.

For me, that someone was the life coach I’d worked with more than a year before! It can take time to commit to change, but that doesn’t mean the wisdom you find goes away. It waits for you to be ready. And when you’re ready, it’s there to give you clarity to find your purpose.

I made my plan. And I went for it.

I haven't looked back since.

My purpose was to help people find their answers, their clarity, their purpose, faster than I did. To help people become their best selves.

Your answers may be different than mine, but the process of making positive, permanent change?

That’s what most of us need help with.

We need help with clearing the fear.
Finding our purpose.
Forming a plan.

And we need someone who’s been there to show us the way.

I can be that person for you.

The funny thing is – that analytical, high-achieving side that drew me to Wall Street? That comes in really handy today.

Because I don’t just offer comforting words and inspiration. Oh no – that would frustrate the Hell out of me. And you.

I offer a no-fluff, no bullshit, practical – even methodical – approach to finding your purpose, forming a plan, and putting it into action.

And you know that fairytale? It didn’t crumble. I just hadn’t found my “happily ever after” where I thought it would be.

Isn’t that always the way?

Just a recap




I’m a South African farm lady turned big city gal – hence why you’ll almost always find me in the quietest neighborhoods in the city, but never the burbs! My name is Dutch, and it’s pronounced like this: Hah-nah-kuh. I started my career in the corporate world as a Foreign Exchange Broker in London and New York City. I’m a lover of chocolate, wine, Pilates, and my Maltipoo, Khaleesi.

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Hanneke Antonelli is an award-winning and certified coach, speaker and lover of all things self-improvement! She previously worked as a money broker in London and New York City before pursuing her passion as a Pilates instructor and later a life coach. Hanneke holds a Bachelors of Commerce Degree in Financial Analysis from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. She obtained her life coaching certification through the Coach Training Alliance, an International Coaches Federation affiliate.

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