Finding fulfilling work: Eileen Forrestal reveals the key ingredient in her formula

Get Up and Go Publications | AIBF
Pictured above is Eileen Forrestal, Co Director of Get Up & Go.

For the social media generation, the holy grail of finding fulfilling work starts with following a passion.

The ‘do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ philosophy has become ever more popular as people continue to reassess their relationship with their careers.

But for Eileen Forrestal, author of the popular GetUp and Go motivational diaries, passion only gets you so far.

“I absolutely love producing these diaries,” she said. “I want people to love reading them and I want people to love sharing them. However, for me, work is not just about doing something I’m passionate about.”

“To be fulfilling, work has to have an overall purpose.”

“If I’m just very passionate about doing what I’m doing then that’s fine for me, but it becomes a little empty if other people aren’t getting some value from it.”

“The purpose of our diary is to inspire other people to ‘get up and go’ and I believe that it does that.”

Get Up and Go Publications Ltd is co-owned and directed by Eileen Forrestal and Brendan Sands.

They now have a range of diaries and journals, each one jam-packed with “great words, spoken by great people”, to inspire and motivate the reader to ‘get up and go’ and achieve their own life goals.

The diary has built a loyal following thanks to the beautiful writing and illustrations contained in its pages.

Before finding her way into publishing, Eileen had a long and successful career in medicine which culminated in a position as consultant anaesthetist in Sligo General Hospital.

She believes that people can have more than one passion and more than one purpose in life.

“Timing is everything,” she said. “Opportunities come and go and priorities change as we get older.”

“Right now, I am aligning myself with the UN Global Goals. My main passions are for quality education, good health and well being. I’m also passionate about the planet and what we can do to restore a sustainable climate.”

“My purpose in life is to contribute in such a way that as many people as possible have access to quality education such that our personal health and wellbeing contributes to the overall health and wellbeing of the planet.”

“As a doctor, I contributed to the good ‘health’ of my patient. Now as a publisher, author, coach and mentor, I focus on the importance of words as access to well-being for everyone”.

Before co-founding The Irish Get Up and Go Diary, Eileen was actually an avid reader of its precursor, The Irish Survivors Diary.

This diary helped her to cope with the stresses of working in a busy acute hospital with a catchment area of more than 250,000 people.

“I met the author in 2006 while I was fundraising for a charity cycle and found out that she was planning to stop producing the diary,” she said.

“I thought that would be a huge shame so we decided to go into partnership together. We re-branded and developed the idea further and came up with this beautiful new product that we launched in 2007. We have been ‘up and going’ ever since.”

The Get Up & Go Diary’s success has seen it named All-Star Inspiration Diary 2021 by the All-Ireland Business Foundation.

Reacting to the announcement Eileen said: “While it’s great to know we are creating products that inspire, motivate, encourage and empower readers to go for their dreams, it’s also important to be validated by a process that credits trust, commitment, performance and customer-centricity in our business.”

The diary has sold more than 400,000 copies over the last 13 years and has built a strong following through recommendations and repeat business.

“It’s just been a steady kind of an increase because we don’t really market it or push it out that much,” Eileen said.

“We believe that as our customers fall in love with the diary then the word will spread in a natural way.”

“We really have been very lucky in that the people who have bought this for themselves have loved it (and want to buy one for their friends!) – and they tend to come back for another one the following year.”

“That’s why we say that we produce the world’s best-loved inspirational diary.”

To learn more about Get Up and Go Publications, visit their All-Star showcase page here.