It was in the throes of a mental breakdown that Ciara McCarron found her calling. After pulling through a dark time as a single mother on welfare, struggling with depression, she came out on the other side determined to make a difference in the lives of those who might be struggling. McCarron trained as a therapist and coach and began her business Redesign Your Vibe, where she specializes in inner child healing and recovery. Today the Derry, United Kingdom-based entrepreneur is dedicated to helping women who have been deeply affected by traumatic experiences, to help them heal, and reconnect with themselves.
McCarron’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
What was your reason for starting your business?
After coming through the worst 4 years of my life and overcoming a mental breakdown, I knew I had to be the shining light for others that I had so needed in my darkest times, and so I went on a mission to bring healing to those who were struggling and help them find a way back to themselves and realize that their worth is not measured by their traumatic experiences.
How do you define success?
Success to me is finding your purpose and your passion and bringing them into your reality. It’s making a positive impact on the people around you and leaving them better for having met you. Its about growing, loving yourself, living in your authentic truth and realising that you already have everything you need inside of you to offer somethign great to the world. And most importantly it’s the feeling of accomplishing the very thing that you set out to do in a way that feels in alignment with your soul, without compromising your integrity.
Tell us about your biggest success to date.
Seeing the changes in the women I work with from start to finish. Watching their transformations before my eyes and seeing them flourish is the ultimate success for me. Looking around at what I’ve created and seeing other people who are where I was, benefit for having stepped into my world is truly the best feeling in the world. I made it my mission to have a successful healing practice and change the lives of people who need me, and to step back and watch that happen is the very definition of success to me.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My top challenge was at the start of my business when I had absolutely no means of starting up. I couldnt invest in any coaching or even a basic website, I was feeding my daughter from a foodbank, I couldn’t even afford WiFi but I sat at my kitchen table with a notepad and pen and a mobile phone determined to make a difference. From that, I grew Redesign Your Vibe. Every day I would show up, go live, post on social media, do my best to make a difference even though I was feeling like nobody was taking me seriously. But eventually after what felt like an eternity, people started to listen. I found it hard to stay consistent and keep showing up to what seemed like tumbleweeds, but I’m so glad I did as it became what it is today. I’m very proud of that.
Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?
Dealing with mental health issues can take its toll at times and I have to listen to my body and just step back when I need to. This can have am impact on how I’m able to show up that day and it can be quite hard to accept in some ways. I get a lot of questions from men demanding to know why I only work with women and calling me sexist, asking why I don’t consider men’s mental health. This is not the case at all, I just relate to these women who have similar stories to mine and I choose to work with them as I know them and know how they’re feeling. I’ve been them. I have and still do work with men when they ask or if I’ve worked with their loved one or they’ve been specifically referred to me. I just have a niche audience, as all business owners do. Opinions from outsiders has been tough, I’ve been trolled and harassed by a member of my own family for sharing my story and that was really difficult to experience.
[Related: 8 Shows to Knock You Out of ‘Languishing’]
What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs?
Keep going. Even in the toughest moments when you feel like quitting. Even when everyone is against you and you feel like you’re banging your head on a brick wall. Remember why you started and what your mission is. You got this calling for a reason – it’s your purpose. You’re needed in this world.
How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?
I look back at where I was and how far I’ve come and I know in that moment exactly why I have to keep going. I’ve fought so hard to become who I am, and so in the darkest moments, I light up that tunnel and I walk through.
Who is your most important role model?
JK Rowling. As cliched as it sounds, it was hearing her Harvard commencement speech that brought me to where I am today. It changed everything for me. After I had a mental breakdown I would lay there every night in bed and just cry and pray that I wouldn’t wake up in the morning and one night as I listened to an audio book I heard her speech and realized that her story was also mine. The single parent so close to the breadline in modern day Britain. The suicide survivor. All of my biggest fears realized, yet here I was still standing. And all I had was iron willpower and a daughter who needed me. And so, rock bottom became my solid foundation too. I was never the same after I heard her words. She changed everything for me that night.