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Karen Chaston's Answers to Thriving Interview

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

Author, international speaker and loss mentor
Author, international speaker and loss mentor

Karen Chaston was a CFO for more than 25 years and living what she felt was a successful life. In July 2011, Karen’s life changed forever and led her on a new path to becoming a beyond loss expert, author and international speaker. Karen also had the realisation that connecting with her authentic self provided more happiness, meaning and purpose than her previous life ever had.

Who's your go-to for inspiration?

If you want to learn about business development or great habits, you can never go any further than Brendon Burchard, he is all about how to live your best life, love Brendon Burchard!

A book I highly reccomend is Diana The Choice of change by voice coach Stewart Pearce. It's all about how to develop your unique voice and signature tone to communicate more effectivly from the heart and how wonderful is that!

A fear you have had to overcome

I'm an accountant and accountants don't like marketing or sales and when you have your own business you have to do both so that was a challage that I had to face. Also, writing was another fear I had to overcome. I wanted to write but I didn't know if I could. I met with an old school friend and told her I was going to write a book and she said, "but you were crap at English at school, you were good at maths!", I said, "I know but that was fourty years ago and now I want to write a book", so I had work through that. Public speaking was another fear but what I realised is that when you know that sharing your story, whether it's speaking or writing, if it can just help one person, then it's absolutely worth overcoming those fears.

What was your defining moment?

From the outside I looked really successful, I had the career, the salary, the house, car, overseas trips, and I thought I was successful. On the 10th July 2011 I got a wake-up call, my husband and I got up thinking we were going to have a lazy Sunday at home, only to find that our youngest son Dan had died at our back door. Within minutes the ambulance arrived and confirmed he had passed after his lungs had unexpectedly failed him after a fall.

I just carried on, I went straight back to work after the funeral. I started eating more, drinking more, working even harder, squashing all my emotions down to attempt to carry on life as normal. But I wasn't dealing with the grief, it was only 18 months later when I was made redundant from my role as CFO that I realised I wasn't loving my life. It turned out that losing my job was the best thing that could have happened to me becuase it forced me to stop, confront the painful loss of my son and find my purpose for living, and my passion for life again.

My experience lead me to create my business and help others not only manage their life losses but to see the gift of these pivotal times so that people can move forward in a positive way.

What does thriving mean to you?

Living and loving all areas of your life and being true to who you are. The more you are living your authentic life, the more you are being true to who you are.


Karen now uses her experience to help others not only manage the losses in their life but to see the gift of these pivotal events so that people can move forward in a positive way.

Karen also runs Beyond Loss retreats and workshops through her organisation Live Love by Design. Please feel free to reach out to Karen to learn more or simply have a chat

If this interview has triggered anything you would like to talk through with a professional, please reach out and call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636.

You can watch the full interview here:


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