Imagine Living A Fearless Life

Imagine what life would be like with no doubts, no fears and no limits?

That’s exactly what Fearless 2013, hosted by SHE Business on 11 December, aimed to achieve. Fearless was an opportunity for women to share their stories, their fears and their dreams. However, in order to fulfill their dreams, they had to conquer their fears which included public speaking, failure, bad health, losing money and being alone.

All agreed, it was time to overcome these fears to kickstart a great new year and an even better life!

“Very few places provide a space for businesswomen to be open and honest about the challenges they experience in business. SHE Business is always that space and Fearless is that space amplified”, said Suzy Jacobs, Founder & CEO of SHE Business.

“I was so honoured to be in a room with nearly 200 courageous women who are living life, achieving wonderful things in their business and thinking big for 2014”, Suzy added.

Janine Shepherd and Lisa Messenger are two incredible women who spoke and shared their remarkable stories at Fearless.

If you’ve ever had an excuse not to do something, especially due to a physical injury or just plain laziness, Janine Shepherd’s story will put you to shame. Now a pilot and ‘storyteller’ (she hates the term ‘motivational speaker’), Janine’s moving story about losing her Olympic Games dream had the audience captivated. A former successful cross country skier, she became partially paraplegic after a near-fatal accident where she was run over by a truck during training. Her injuries were extreme and life-threatening.

The odds Janine overcame to get where she is now are incredible, as doctors had warned she was not expected to survive. They said if Janine did recover, it was unlikely she’d ever walk again.

The champion fighter that she was, Janine made a decision; “If I can’t walk, I’ll fly.”

After much painful rehabilitation and many other mental and physical challenges, remarkably, in just under a year after her accident, Janine obtained her pilot’s licence. Despite being a partial paraplegic, she also gained her commercial pilot’s licence, her Instrument rating, her twin engine rating, and her Instructor’s rating and went on to become a fully qualified aerobatics instructor.

Janine’s determination, positive fighting spirit and humour shared through her story was mesmorising.  After her accident, she said she learnt to be grateful for even the smallest things in life.

“When you lose something, everything you get back is so much more exquisite”, she said.

Janine recalls she had a choice to get up or stay down. So she chose to get up. Like the hills and the flats she used to ride during training, she decided to ‘ride the hills’ again and take the good with the bad.

“Attitude plus power equals performance”, she said.

“No one can guarantee you’re going to achieve your goals. Goals keep changing, values stay around, when you align your goals to your values, you don’t have to wait, you can live now”, she explained.

Lisa Messenger, publisher and editor in chief of the Collective magazine also shared her story about glossy mags in a world of the interwebs.

“It does seem counter-intuitive but in such a competitive market, we really have to play the game”, she said. She explained that they have to entice readers with the glossy look of the magazine, but the inside is much more in-depth, intelligent, spiritually satisfying and real.

Talking about fears, Lisa advised not to let the fear of money or finances hold you back or block you from achieving things.

“I truly believe that if you act with integrity, are a thought leader and doing good in the world then the money and rewards will come”, said Lisa.

The event wrapped up with some final motivating words from Suzy Jacobs; “Let’s BE the change we want in the world for working mothers and daughters in the 21st century. Be fearless and be extraordinary!”

For more information on SHE Business, visit

Elisa Limburg

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