Surviving an abusive relationship and a tsunami and building a 6-figure business in 6 months

Tanya Targett has lived through terrifying dark times—experiencing an abusive relationship, a tsunami, clinical depression, adrenal fatigue, and mini-strokes. However, these experiences have fostered an inward journey of healing and bringing her true gifts to the world yet more powerfully and authentically. Today, Tanya is thankful for the life that she has lived. She shines as a great role model for her kids, a successful entrepreneur, and a rocking publicity trainer.

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“She Who Dares Wins”

What was you call to adventure?

My dad was in the British SAS.
The SAS motto is “He Who Dares Wins”.
But I always changed that to “She Who Dares Wins”

I didn’t want to join the military or I didn’t want to chase bad people in the military with weaponry.
My weapon was pen.
I was going to take bad guys by writing stories.
There became an investigative unit. I managed to get in there, and I really did chase some bad guys.
I uncovered pedophile priests, I went undercover and hid under upturned boats to spy on politicians and got threatened with arrest by federal police.
As a reporter, I would drive into the eye of the storm, instead of away from the eye of a storm.
I kept going because I had it in my blood.

“She who dares wins” and that’s always become my mantra.

Why not me?

When I was in year 12 I decided I wanted to be a journalist.
My English teacher tried to talk me out of it, because it’s very hard to get a job as a reporter.
But that’s never dissuaded me.
My attitude has always been, “Someone’s got to get the job, why not me?”

Someone’s got to get the interview, why not me?
There were over 3,000 applicants and seven of us got a job as a cadet reporter.
I went straight from high school into a newsroom.
That mantra or being brave and being courageous and “He Who Dares Wins” has really served me well.
For those of us who think “Well, it can be me”, then it’s limitless what you can achieve, what you can do, and the access.

Weakness VS Courage

The other mantra which certainly did not serve me is “to show no signs of weakness”.
It takes so much more courage to stop and pivot, than to push through.


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It took years for me to discover that.
It was only when I found myself on my own, living on welfare, when I was forced to accept the help from others.
I suddenly realized that to accept help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of courage.
To show vulnerability is to show great courage.
It went against all my programming.


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The frog and the pot

There’s a saying about a frog in a pot.
Overtime, slowly the temperature has been turned up to the point that it is so hot. You know you should get out, but you are paralyzed and you can’t.
I was in a relationship that was very controlling.
Classic psychopath behavior, I was moved away from my family and friends.
I was isolated.
All the little lifelines that I had were cut off very, very slowly.
All the things that I had going for me was all signed over to my husband.

I have become one of those women we used to write stories about. I’m one of those pathetic, weak women that were strong, that are educated, that should know better.

I was terrified.
Mine wasn’t physical domestic violence.
It was emotional and psychological.
You keep drawing lines in the sand but here’s what happens with the frog in the pot, the line in the sand comes and you don’t know how to get out.
I had no family, no backup plan, no lifeline at all, no safety net.
I’d gotten into a relationship as a woman; property and car and career.
I came out without even a car in my own name.
Broken, shattered, barely able to string a few sentences together.
I was unrecognizable.

Goddess of support

Three weeks before I had fled, my daughter turned to me. She burst into tears and said to me “Mommy, if you don’t stand up to bullies, they’ll rule the world.”

She was nine.
I just thought, “I should’ve left sooner”.
That’s my only regret.
I found myself living on welfare.
Then I just went about madness with the support of friends emotionally, and I built a six-figure business in six months.

Signs of strength

Your outward success doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story of the recovery of your spirit because there is much deeper work that you’ve had to do


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At the very first talk that I gave, the keynote talk to launch my business, I’m standing in front of a room only of 60, 65 people.

In my head I could hear him, “You can’t survive without me. You can’t do this on your own”.
I cried. In front of a room full of people, I cried.
I drove home that night to the babysitter’s to pick up my daughter. I cried all the way to the babysitter’s.

I thought, “you’ve got a choice, you can turn the tears off and show strength to Olivia or you can show strength another way and you can show her that it’s okay to be broken”.
I cried for two weeks. And I came back.

I think that was so invaluable for her to see someone who she saw as someone so strong be so weak.
But it wasn’t weakness.

Someone so strong, so together, to be so broken and so shattered, to then come back even stronger and to keep going and to keep functioning.

Reclaiming parts of yourself from the deep dark places

Years earlier I went to work.
An inland tsunami came.
Killed 38 people.

My warehouse was in the epicenter of the tsunami. The business was just gone.
I couldn’t get home.
The tsunami separated me from my children.
It was absolutely devastating.
The stress of it sent me to hospital with a suspected mini-stroke. I had seizure after seizure.

I couldn’t drive for three or four months.
I had to start from ground zero again.
I was diagnosed from clinical depression, which was a fantastic turning point because the minute I got that diagnosis, I went, “I’m going to go again. She who dares wins. I can do this. I can pick myself up. I can keep going.”

I am so thankful for all of those because I can resonate and empathize.
I hope that being through this, it’s made me a better person, better trainer, educator, and leader.
I’m very blessed for my experiences and gifts.

Healing as the key to unlocking your story

What I perceived as weakness was my greatest strength

When I was giving my live workshops, what I found was when I let my guard down or let a little sneak peak into my background that’s all people would want to talk about.

I had to heal enough to be okay to share.
Probably only four or five months ago have I actually started to share my full story.
The impact that I’ve had from being able to share that story is so fantastic.
That whole journey has been about healing.
I hope that I give other single parents the knowledge to know that you can have it all.
You can go through this and come out the other side relatively unscarred.

Speaking to your younger self

Healing has really been the key to unlocking that story and that huge potential to inspire others. When you’re looking back at the dark time in your life when you were in that abusive relationship, what would you say to your younger self suffering like you were at that time?

If only I had have known back then what I know now.
My advice would be it’s going to be more than okay.
Everything will turn out just as you want it to be.

You can do this.

You will do this.

You are the hero of your own journey.

Make some space for all the awesomeness to come into your life.


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Links and Resources:

  • Visit her website: for media tips, new-letters, and blogs.
  • Follow her on Facebook (@TanyaTargett)


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