FEATURE - Leeanne Adu

I never used to be the person who would put themselves out there and take risks.

Bookish, shy and scared to stand up for myself were my life traits. I couldn't tell you exactly when that changed either. Perhaps somewhere around the time my toxic relationship ended in me wanting to die and left me on anti-depressants and then the job I was in at the time 'paid me to leave'. Finally, a spark came on in my heart.
I had to get happy! I had to live my life for me.

It wasn't easy. I started setting goals that were realistic to my expectations for myself. I shifted my career towards becoming a PA and worked for several high profile organisations.

In 2013 I won an award to become the UK's PA of the year! It was the boost I needed to truly believe in myself and all the things I set out to do. If something wasn't aligning with how I wanted to feel, I got rid of it. Weight, boyfriends, jobs. I was ruthless, I was happy.

It wasn't easy, moments of self-doubt were common, slip-ups and setbacks happened, but what drove me was understanding that how I felt at my lowest was not where I could afford to go again.

I got married, had a baby (we won't dive into my traumatic birth story here), but as with many things, around the time I had my daughter a new life shift happened. Amid serious postnatal depression and a fear of leaving the baby, I decided to start my own business.

For years people had been telling me to set up my own admin support business but those old doubts had crept back in and fear left me wondering how I could do it. The fear of not doing it was greater than my fear of failure though, so Leave it With LAVA was born.

I took a part-time admin job to pay the bills but to be honest, my days were spent taking on personal client jobs and building a little brand for myself.

After less than a year I took the leap with the knowledge that office life wasn't going anywhere if I wanted it (and I didn't) and LAVA became the main gig.

Guess what, Reader? It worked. The business grew. I grew. The fear left.
My life thrived. Even during the pandemic, putting my goals front and centre meant that I was one of the fortunate ones who managed to keep going and keep growing.

But this wiggly road of life is never without obstacles and in the autumn of 2020, life came crashing down after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, Triple Negative Breast Cancer to be precise. Small, aggressive, but treatable. Chemo, surgery and radiotherapy. WHAT. THE. FUCK!

Life stopped, but at the same time, I couldn't. I had a child, a husband and a business to take care of.

20 weeks down the line, I am as bald as...well, there's no hair left anywhere.
I'm tired, sick, and grumpy AF, I'm also about to have a business that has turned over more money than I have dreamt of.
My child is loved, healthy and very happy.
I can still smile.

Life stopped, but I couldn't. So onwards we go.

If you'd like to follow my journey you can find me on Instagram.
You can also subscribe to my podcast here, on Spotify and Itunes.

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