How Cambodia Made Me An Entrepreneur

Hey hey gorgeous,

Today I wanted to share with you a story about how a spontaneous adventure to Cambodia back in 2009 led me to found Urban Feministas & create a company which is committed to the financial, spiritual & creative empowerment of women.

My core mission & vision with Urban Feministas is to inspire and educate women the world over to step up to their calling of Female Leadership and create lives filled with creative self-expression, meaning, impactful work, freedom & financial abundance.

How Cambodia Made Me An Entrepreneur
When I was 21 I upped and left my entire life behind (my flat, my then boyfriend, my masters degree) to travel to Cambodia on a whim. Everyone around me thought I had gone crazy - my Dad especially - but there was a fire burning so strongly in my belly I had no option but to go.

I remember trembling in fear, yet infused with excitement, as I booked the flights from my university office where I was working as a summer intern.

The trip was in honour of a dear friend of mine who had passed the summer before, the events of which had resulted in the most intensely painful and chaotic year of my life to date.

My soul yearned for liberation from the grief, and in that yearning, the call to travel to far off lands was met. With little more than a few hundred pounds in my back pocket and an intense desire to feel hope and love again, I set off for adventure and landed myself in a magical place called Serendipity Strip.

It is safe to say that I no longer believe in coincidences, for the definition of the word Serendipity (which I only found out months later) is ’to find something of good fortune when one is not looking for it'.

In the 6 months that I spent in Cambodia, my heart was healed by the intimate relationships I formed with the most unlikely of characters. I found joy in sunsets, I made chairs from bamboo and slept in the wilderness under a starry sky.

I learnt what it was to connect with people with whom I shared no language, nor any cultural similarities. I fell in love with the stories of the people I met. I befriended local people, whose life experience up until this point had been so profoundly different to my own. We watched the sunrise while sharing tales of our expected paths in life, and of our deepest desires & dreams.

The connection, the freedom, the expansion, the possibility. I felt I was fully experiencing the core of what it meant to be alive - to connect with another human being and feel the pulsing of their enthusiasm for life.

Many people said that I would experience a culture shock when I left for Cambodia, and would probably want to come back, but the truth was, the real culture shock hit hard when I returned back to the UK and tried to fit into ordinary life again.

I knew it wasn’t my path to live the life of a nomad, as I had strong career ambitions and a deep sense of purpose within me, but I just couldn’t grasp how lacking in intimate meaning and connection my life as an academic researcher turned out to be.

I would sit at my desk working on an excel spreadsheet and trying to get on with my work, while inside my soul was screaming for me to grab my colleague by the hand and ask them what their deepest darkest secrets and dreams were. I craved that intense connection, the meaning. I yearned for the real juice and crux of life, and death, and everything in between. And then I wanted to go make them happen - the dreams, the good stuff, the things we really live for.

I could feel my spark diminishing over time, I could feel the bold and courageous woman I once recognised as myself slowly become institutionalised, afraid to speak her truth and stand out. I noticed my entire wardrobe quickly becoming more and more navy as my life started to look more and more beige. And that terrified me. I had learnt early on in life just how fleeting life could really be and I knew that in its own special way, that was a real gift to me. I had to do anything it took to haul me out of my mundane existence and truly appreciate my life.

I had to relight the fire in my belly that I had come to know so intimately through travelling. But this time it couldn’t be via a temporary trip, it had to be my entire lifestyle. I needed my life to be infused with the freedom, connection & creative expression I had only hitherto found through spontaneous travels to far off lands.

And so I devoted the next 2 years of my life to studying online business. I learnt that entrepreneurship is the fastest way to actually make the difference you want to see in the world. I would have to wait decades as an academic researcher to see policy change and my research would always be dictated by the government or those higher up than me. I knew I would never be able to express my creative genius as an employee or truly serve people in the intimate way I knew I was meant to.

For me to have the kind of impact I wanted I knew that starting my own business was the only way. It was the only path I could see towards the freedom, meaning and connection I craved.

Over the next month I am going to be offering a series of webinars detailing everything I learnt along that path, from figuring out what your unique offering is, to building your tribe and actually packaging you unique gifts and talents in a way that is profitable, so that you can actually leave your job and start living the meaningful life you know you’re really meant for.

Just hit reply to this email and let me know if there is anything in particular you would like me to cover in the webinars as I would love to share my experience & knowledge & support you in your journey.

Stay tuned for your special invitation to these exclusive workshops - they will all be free! - and in the meantime continue the conversation with an incredible community of women from all over the world over in the Urban Feministas Facebook Group.

Lots of Love,

Keeley 💃

P.S. Here's the Facey link again!