Nearly two months ago I made a decision that I believe will forever change the course of my life. That is a big statement…I know. But I truly, sincerely, firmly believe it’s true.
On Tuesday, June 3 I walked into my manager’s office and resigned from my lucrative, comfortable, flexible job. I think I was as shocked as he was when the words came out of my mouth. I had been considering the idea of leaving the corporate world to pursue my passion in health and wellness but “considering the idea” and actually making the idea a reality are two very different things.
The reality is I didn’t even have a choice. My passion to pursue my dreams was burning so fiercely that staying in my current environment wasn’t even an alternative.
I woke up so many mornings just wishing I could be the person who loved the hustle of the corporate world, someone who drove to work thinking about crushing new business opportunities. But I wasn’t. Instead I woke up thinking about my dream to own my own boutique gym, my personal training clients and what they needed from me as well as what I could do to help people understand the impact food has on their bodies. Mostly I thought about how vastly different life would be to wake up feeling inspired and energized by what the day would bring rather than exhausted and dreadful.
I want to get one thing straight though, I had a great job. I enjoyed the people I worked with, I felt like I had a natural knack for sales and the ability to work from home on any given day was a huge perk. My colleagues and managers always supported my professional endeavors and gave me an incredible amount of space to develop my skills and take chances. I don’t know if that’s the case for most young professionals but I believe I was fortunate in that regard.
So, as you can imagine, the idea of leaving that world behind was scary. How would I have to adjust my lifestyle to afford the drastic pay cut? Would I still be able to relate with my “professional” friends. What would people think when they found out I was a full-time personal trainer. How could I let them know that I hacked it in the real world but I CHOSE to leave it. How silly are those thoughts? I mean really; does anyone else truly care that I made a career change? Unlikely. Why did I care so much what people were going to think? After all, it was going to make ME happy!
Well, as is often the case, we make plans and God laughs.
My original “plan” was to leave my job to focus on WAYfit full time while working at Lululemon as a part time educator. I even considered working the front desk at Shred 415 so I could workout for free :). But, none of those things happened. And this is where the story gets interesting.
Rather than being offered a part time educator role at Lululemon (Halsted), I was instead recruited as a full time external hire as an Assistant Store Manager. I was pretty blown away when the offer came my way. That wasn’t my plan. No, my plan was to work for myself (mostly). And then I realized, this change in plans actually sets me up to accomplish my bigger, longer term goals. If you aren’t familiar with Lululemon or their culture, let me just bring you up to speed quickly. The entire culture is based on elevating people (and the world) from mediocrity to greatness. The intense amount of training and development that goes into each and every employee is astounding. The company invests an incredible amount of dollars (with no guarantee of an ROI) in its people and is firmly grounded in the idea of vision and goals.
So, I prayed on the offer for a few days, consulted with Andrew and many family members and friends. And then one morning I woke up and knew with absolute certainty that this was the right choice. I started with the company on June 9th and since then, it’s been a complete whirlwind. In less than two months I have learned more about myself than I have in 32 years. I have learned what I really want in life, what drives me, what makes me feel important, what is important to me, what legacy I want to leave behind. I have learned that a team of roughly 15 people almost all under the age of 30 run a company within a company. Although our store is part of a global chain of stores, Lululemon empowers the individual teams to run the local store’s business as if it were their own. This team makes entrepreneurial decisions EVERY day that affect profitability, guest experience, visual appearance, community impact and so much more.
I leave work every day feeling incredibly humbled to be a part of this organization; I still can’t believe I was given the opportunity to run someone else’s business as if it were my own. This is particularly satisfying for me given my future goals of being a small business owner. Even after this short time at the company, I feel so much better equipped to run my own business. I really had never managed people in my previous job so the task of getting things accomplished through my team rather than by myself was and continues to be a challenge. I love that everyday I get a fresh chance to be a better leader than I was the day before. AND I get to learn from other amazing and much more experienced leaders. Some of these leaders and managers are women in their low 20s and they are GSD’ing* like a BOSS in their roles. [*Getting $hit done]. Talk about inspiring. Talk about energizing.
So two months in I finally decided to write this post. I’m not sure what was holding me back; maybe insecurity…maybe it just wasn’t a priority. Whatever the reason, I wanted to share this news because it’s truly been life changing for me. As cliche as it may sound, the sun shines brighter, the air smells fresher, my coffee tastes even more delightful (never thought that was possible) and my days are, from start to finish, completely enjoyable. Are there things that stress me out? Sure. Do I still get tired after a long day? Of course. But the levity I feel is absolutely priceless. The absolute joy I feel at the smallest blessings is enough to make me cry. This from the girl who liked being known as a hard a$$. Not anymore.
Buh-bye tough girl and hello beautiful, scary, exciting vulnerability.