Bonnie Dawn Clark

Bonnie Clark

On the Road to Hell, I Found Heaven

One cannot know what one does not know! Ask questions, especially ask, ‘What should I ask you?’  My costliest decisions in life, personally, spiritually, emotionally, and financially, came from me believing I was ‘right’, and that I knew how things would occur in the future, all the while maintaining an ignorant attachment to being ‘right.’  I can either be happy and rich, or I can be right.  I no longer need to be right.”             Bonnie Dawn Clark

My middle class family placed a very high value on formal education, and I committed to myself to complete a college degree before getting married.  This was something my father made clear was his expectation.  In the first month of my senior year of high school, my mother forced me to choose between my boyfriend or my parent’s home and support.  I chose unconditional love and have been on my own since the first month of my senior year.  I worked my way through the rest of high school and all of college.

I attended UNC-Chapel Hill about 90 miles from my boyfriend and entered an accelerated degree program to make our time apart only 3 years.  The stress of the heavy course load plus working to pay my bills and tuition prompted me after 3 semesters to move back and live with my boyfriend.  This led to our inevitable break up and my discovery that I was a lesbian feminist. I was exhausted and made the practical decision to join the military service where I could have a VA program pay for my graduate studies. I was completely unprepared for the sexual harassment and misogyny in the Navy.  My first two years were a nightmare, and then I transferred to another base and from administrative work to computer science. Eventually my new work environment became so horrible I knew if I did not get out it would destroy me.

To escape I volunteered to get a MSEd so I could be a student.   I began helping friends transform their landscapes since gardening was a passion of mine.  In my 6th year of military service, I began a landscaping business with the intention that I would work in this business when my obligation to serve ended. My landscaping business flourished quickly and I hired several people to do the lawn work while I performed my Navy responsibilities.  My business became more lawn care and less landscaping so I sold my profitable business to a local person.

By the time I left the Navy I had been interviewed by Connie Chung, testified to Congress, and engaged in a series of speaking engagements for women’s groups about sexual harassment of women in the military.  When I finally was allowed to resign, I felt like a prisoner being released from a 10 year sentence, and after a four month vacation, returned to my home state to start my new career path as a mental health counselor. I began working as an addictions counselor and taught at the local community college while pursuing my MA in Counseling. When my partner graduated from a BSW program and got accepted to a program in Michigan, I chose to join her.  With the changes in the mental health system, my work became less rewarding.  My partner of 10 years and I separated and I knew I could no longer work as a counselor and stay healthy.

I found a job as a company representative for EverDry Waterproofing, not realizing that was a sales position. I was exceptionally successful in sales because I listen carefully and care about helping people.  I won the Sales Leader of the year in my first year, having earned 4 times what I was paid as a counselor, and was allowed to begin training to become a General Manager for the company. In 2001 I moved back to NC to be nearer my elderly parents and was unable to find a mental health job.  In 2003 I read “Rich Dad/Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki and it changed my life!  I went from a negative cash flow rental property, excessive debt, and limited income in 2004 to having a net worth of over $2.7 Million in 2007. In August 2007 I moved into my parents’ home to care for my dying father and my infirmed mother who broke her leg.  I could no longer work full time selling health and life insurance so I found a home based business with Coastal Vacations which allowed me to take care of them until my father’s passing in late November 2008. I continue caring for my infirmed mother, working my Coastal business, and managing my rental properties.  I am now an author, speaker, and trainer. My mission is to inspire, uplift, and empower people to create the life of their dreams, enthused with joy, love, and passion.