So why Driven To Succeed?

Well, I want to inspire others to follow their passion regardless of where they start from in life.

To inspire others to stand by their passion, to have the confidence and self belief to break down whatever barriers stand in their way.

That having a passion, focus, a goal, something which is an integral part of you can help you through any difficulty you face in life.

Because…

I grew up with a love of cars and racing. I remember sitting on my Dad’s lap and ‘driving’ the family car and watching F1 on the TV. My racing instincts became apparent when I stumbled across my local BMX track aged 12. I had a fascination with the race track which developed into building my own race bike and watching/learning the techniques to go faster from other racers. This is something I developed completely on my own and I didn’t realise at the time but were skills I was able to transfer to motorsport a few years later.

At this time, my family environment was typified by strong gender stereotypes, providing early challenges to overcome to follow what was definitely not considered a girl’s interest. My passion had to be left in neutral until I was in a position to pursue racing independently. This required enormous patience, a character trait that was to pay dividends throughout my life.

A couple of events in my teenage years proved instrumental in moulding my attitude towards life; the breakdown of my parents marriage and a serious road traffic accident. This led me to a realisation of just how short life can be and instilled within me a sense of determination and purpose. So I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to self-fund my racing and needed a strategy to make this happen.

Understanding I needed an independent income and the relevant skills, I studied Business & Finance and Interior Architecture. Six years of study to achieve this was very challenging, particularly as the entire time was characterised by considerable physical pain from the road traffic accident.

My Interior Architecture qualifications enabled me to develop a freelance career as an Interior Designer in London, an exciting time working on some fascinating projects with some fantastic clients. This was coupled with trying to make progress on my motorsport related goals and networking for connections in the business world to potential sponsors, which led to some very long working days.

Not everything went to plan. The 2008 recession wiped out my Interior Architecture business, so using my finance related skills I started trading on the financial markets to generate some additional income. This was a cloud with a silver lining because it was really a part time, almost passive, income generator which provided some really appreciated space to focus more on motorsport. Nevertheless sponsorship during the recession proved to be extremely challenging to obtain, and it wasn’t until 2013 the industry started to pick up again. This coincided with a random event when I ended up suffering sudden onset chronic fatigue and M.E., another challenge I would never have anticipated, and something that proved very difficult to overcome.

My love and passion for motorsport provided me with the focus I needed to shake this terrible illness off, and by 2016 I had fully recovered when tragically my father passed away from cancer. Both of these events  reminded me just how fragile life can be. Despite at times wanting to give up, I used this tragedy as another motivating force to pursue my racing career.

So you see…

This isn’t the end of the story – I’m on a journey that’s evolving more quickly than ever, and years of endeavour are now beginning to bear fruit. It’s a story of real perseverance under difficult circumstances. It’s been a marathon rather than a sprint, and my success isn’t characterised by an end result, but by the journey I’m still on.

I’m actually a fairly normal person facing the kind of challenges that many people have to face in life. I would have preferred fewer hurdles to overcome, however sheer dogged determination to succeed has enabled me to work through them all as they arose in my own way.  I am someone who just happens to have such an intense passion for motor racing that it has helped me with everything life has thrown at me, and to achieve something I consider very special.

My passion for motorsport helped frame my mindset taking me from a position where life could simply have been allowed to unfold, to a place where I’m now bubbling with enthusiasm and energy and finding myself incredibly motivated to succeed in the sport at a time where female athletes are being increasingly celebrated. The future of women’s sport is looking extremely exciting.

I want to inspire others to follow their dreams, no matter the obstacles that are thrown in the way and no matter how long it takes.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it” Abraham Lincoln

Thank you for reading, oh and below are some pics of my work as a freelance Interior Architect…

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©2019 Annabel Meade | Driven to Succeed

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