If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve found my work as a means to help you on your journey to cooking healthier (and just as delicious!) food, balancing hormones and optimizing your health.
And while I’m so honored to be a part of your journey, I feel like I’d be doing a big disservice to you if I didn’t mention one key thing that has truly helped me transform my health and live my best life.
And no, it’s not food or cooking, although that also plays a major role.
I’m talking business.
Specifically, opting out of a steady job with a six-figure salary that didn’t align with my passion, talents and goals to start my own business from home, as an online hormone health coach.
And while making a big career switch and becoming my own boss might not seem that connected to my health, it was actually the missing link that changed everything for me, in the best possible way.
So friend, if you’re feeling dissatisfied, unfulfilled, burned out, or like you’re doing everything else health wise (eating healthy! working out! taking supplements!, etc.) but still not living your best, most vibrant life, then THIS POST is for you.
Read below for the first part in a three part series (and catch part 2 and part 3) of my personal journey, as well as simple steps you can start to take to transform your health (and life) in the best possible way.
PSST — Don’t forget to follow up with juicy details from part 2 and part 3 of my personal journey (+ learn a very special announcement)!
AN UNEXPECTED CAREER PATH
After graduating from Arizona State University with a major in journalism and minor in nutrition, I dreamed of becoming a writer for a womens health magazine (you know, like Andi in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days *insert eye roll emoji*).
I’d work at a fancy office, try out the latest health trends and get paid big money to do it all. LOL.
However it seemed that life had other plans, and after waitressing all summer and applying for a plethora of cool-sounding jobs (and getting rejected from all of them) I was feeling discouraged.
Then, one day, a patron at the restaurant I waitressed at asked me if I had ever thought about a career in sales, specifically radio advertising. He made it sound like such a fun and exciting industry, with flexible hours and the opportunity to earn big commissions.
I was sold. I went home, polished up my resume and began the interview process, soon accepting my first “real” job as a radio advertising sales person at a big office in Seattle.
At first, I was enchanted by the industry and all it had to offer. I had my own desk to decorate, young and fun work colleagues and (so.many.) after-work happy hours to attend.
I also had more money then I had ever made (which trust me, still wasn’t much), but afforded me the opportunity to live in the city, on my own (aka not at my parent’s house). I felt like a real grownup, with a new career in sales.
It wasn’t what I had planned (or ever dreamed of), but it was something.
JOB STRESS, BURNOUT, HEALTH ISSUES AND DIET OBSESSION
The problem with following an unexpected career path is how easy it is to get comfortable and stay the course, even if it’s not something that actually lights you up inside.
Which is, as you probably guessed, just what happened to me in sales.
I switched industries and companies a handful of times (from health insurance to tech to even wellness) and the newness and excitement of each role made me feel like I was on the right path. But then the reality would sink in and I’d know in my heart of hearts this wasn’t what I should (or wanted to) be doing.
Because I felt so bored and unfulfilled with how I was spending most of my life (8 hours per day, 5 days a week) I began to rely heavily on other outlets to help me fill in the gaps.
I started watching SO.MUCH.tv. Like I would get home and have it on until I went to bed, binging on SATC episodes to help me feel better.
I aggressively online shopped, hungrily seeking out that hit of dopamine I’d get after purchasing something out of my budget, only to regret it later.
I partied HARD on the weekends (and attended MANY after work happy hours) as a way to escape and let loose after what felt like a long, dull week.
And last but certainly not least, I started obsessing about food on a whole new level.
Every day at work I’d dream of lunchtime and what I was going to eat, since it was the highlight of my work day (how sad that the best part had literally nothing to do with how I was spending all the rest of the day).
I’d also go overboard on food on the weekends, gorging on foods that I knew were going to make me feel awful afterwards but in the moment provide me some hint of pleasure I was desperately seeking.
As you can imagine, this way of living so unaligned and inauthentic to what I truly cared about began to really take a toll on my health and quality of life, with the habits I sought out as a way to “de-stress”, “unwind” and “boost happiness” contributing to the exact opposite.
Even though I was making six-figures I felt incredibly lost, and had no idea how to get out of this hole I had unknowingly dug for myself.
MAKING THE CAREER SWITCH
After a decade of living this way, I had begun to take steps in a much more aligned direction, like starting my healthy recipe blog and attending nutrition school, an online health coach training program with flexible hours so I could still work my day job.
It was an impactful shift, however after I graduated I found myself on another endless string of interviews, seeking out a sales role in the health and wellness world.
Because I was still SO passionate about health and wellness (just as I had been when I graduated college, aspiring to write for women’s health magazines) I thought combining my experience in sales with my nutrition and health coaching credentials would be just the ticket I needed to get out of this rut.
But during each interview I found myself auto-responding to what I believed the interviewees were looking to hear, and not what I actually believed. It felt inauthentic and it didn’t sit right with me. I could feel the anxiety creeping in as I envisioned what my days would look like in this new role, with a long commute, longer days, a heavy workload and not even a hint of excitement.
I’d go home from each interview crying to my husband, feeling more stuck than ever, thinking I had to make myself fit into this type of job box, this type of sales role forever.
Finally, he sat me down one day and asked Lauren, what if you started your own business instead?
STARTING MY OWN BUSINESS — THE BEGINNING
At first I was shocked. Even though I was now accredited as a nutrition and hormone health coach and could build a practice, I never really imagined leaving the 9-5 world with it’s dependable salary, health benefits and cushy job perks (free laptop! catered lunches!).
But once we started talking it through, I realized this was something that scared the S**T out of me, in a way I hadn’t felt since I signed up to go out of state to college. It was so scary, that I knew I HAD to do it.
Because the fear wasn’t so much from doing it myself, but the fear of failure, something I had never felt in my previous roles because I just didn’t care this much. Whereas this was something I actually cared about, A LOT.
While I couldn’t ignore that feeling, I also felt incredibly overwhelmed. Where did I even start? How does one just go about building their own business? I’d never done anything like this before, and I had absolutely zero idea.
It seemed impossible.
Until one day, when I met with a health coach I’d admired for a long time. To me, she seemed to be doing exactly what I wanted to do, and very successful at it to boot. She even attended the same school as me! I thought, if she can do, I can do it too.
So, when I got the opportunity to chat with her and she told me how Marie Forleo’s B-School was her launchpad into becoming a successful business owner, I knew I had to look into it… and you guessed it, it transformed my health (and life) in the biggest way.