Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendy Deacon Segrest.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I spent the majority of my career in healthcare and nonprofits and was extremely fortunate to work with some of the best researchers, physicians and clinicians in several healthcare systems and then for 15 years in various roles at The American Heart Association. I served on national and international healthcare quality improvement committees and spoke across the US and internationally about how to leverage research and clinical decision tools to improve the medical care of people living with cardiovascular disease and stroke. I absolutely loved the organizations I worked for, the leadership positions I held and the staff and volunteers I had the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with.
In January 2019, I left the national office of The American Heart Association to embark on my next professional career step. I experienced several changes in my personal life and I decided it was ultimately time for me to move in a different direction so I launched DestinationU and authored my first book, Destination Unknown, Over the past two years, I’ve published several books and created resources to spotlight women leading in their own life with resilience and vision and help women put the steps in place for their best next chapter. I am now on a mission to help us over 45 live life with more inspiration, more adventure and way more fun! I am having the most wonderful time with an amazing group – I am incredibly blessed.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Absolutely not! But I fully understand and embraced that anything worth going after that is aspirational and may be considered by some as a pipe dream will include roadblocks, setbacks and detours. What I found most interesting is that much of the struggles came from within; from challenging the perceptions and beliefs, I grew up with and having the courage to chart my own new path. To embrace the uncertainty of the future and how everything would work out but also embrace the feeling in my soul and knowledge and faith I had that I was ready for more and could succeed in something that I truly loved.
There were days I woke up feeling ultra-confident and then there were other days when I wondered what the heck I had done in this major career shift. I had to reimagine everything! I had to pull in experts to help me with the areas I knew too little about: writing and publishing, podcasting, marketing and social media. I still am challenged with social media! I had to review my finances to ensure I had a solid plan to reduce spending and structure my daily work calendar to allow me the time to create this Inspiring Your Next Community and DestinationU library of resources. I would change nothing and am so grateful I took the leap of faith!
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I launched DestinationU love the cultural evolution happening now and I am focused on bringing together resources to help us over 45 create our best next chapter. We are carving very different paths forward in our 40s, 50s and 60s (and beyond!) and it’s so exciting to see how many of us feel this way and are actively seeking our community of others really getting out there and going after what we want. There are life coaches and organizations and leaders with many recommendations to make our 45+ life better and I think we need every bit of it – it’s all wonderful! My niche is focusing on the tools and specific critical steps to take to give us over 45 the ideas, confidence and key recommendations to spend more time living curiously and with way more fun. To go from the dream to really doing it! It is my hope that all of these resources help anyone who is looking for practical tools to overcome life challenges, the key questions to ask yourself to identify what you really want and then the critical steps to take to make that ideal life vision into a reality. I started by authoring my first book, Destination Unknown, Take the Leap – An Unexpected Journey to Your Life Reimagined.
The book focuses on how we were raised in a unique time and I provide key questions and worksheets to complete to help you identify what you want in your life to make your next chapter your best. I then had the opportunity to contribute to two additional group books on women in leadership and resilience and strength in women. I started a Podcast with stories of amazing women overcoming life detours and kicked off my Blog and YouTube and Instagram accounts with images, stories and videos to inspire those of us to get out and enjoy more in life. I created a free DestinationU Facebook Group with a weekly challenge to encourage us to spend some time each week on personal growth or committing to actions that improve their lives and their community. I am most excited that our has grown and that we now have an amazing VIP Member Community called Inspiring Your Next. We are on a mission to help us live life with more inspiration, more adventure and way more fun! The community shares adventures and experiences with key pieces for us over 45, monthly activities focused on a creative experience, an outdoor group activity and a community philanthropic give back – to create, activate and donate. I am having the most wonderful time with the incredible group as we sketch out and go after activities and experiences today, instead of waiting any longer. I am incredibly blessed and I hope my story inspires others to action – to get out there on their own or join us!
Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
Too many to mention! I’d start with mine, in the hopes of helping others in their personal and professional life, as I spent significant time with many resources and tried to pull from these resources and summarize what I believe are the most important recommendations. All can be accessed through my website, www.destinationu.net. Podcast – Life Reimagined With Wendy Deacon. Books – Destination Unknown, She Leads (collaboration book), and Life Unexpected to Life Inspired (collaboration book). Blog, Videos, and links to Instagram Destinationuwendy and free Facebook group DestinationU. For those ready for a bit more, the VIP member community is available at www.InspiringYourNext.com.
- $14.95 – books available on website or Amazon
- Free trial and then $29.99 monthly – Inspiring Your Next VIP Community
- Free resources at destinationu.net site
- Email: Destinationuwendy@gmail.com
- Website: www.destinationu.net and www.InspiringYourNext.com
- Instagram: Destinationuwendy
- Facebook: DestinationU
- Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCotglgZ3H_1fnsgYepJTTxA
- Other: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/life-reimagined-with-wendy-deacon/id1514806569