Where there\'s a will...
Yesterday I woke up, and for the first time in 12 years, don’t have a “full-time” job! I know, crazy, right? Well, let’s be honest, it’s not that I’m not working, but just don’t have the typical 9-5 anymore. Yesterday, I said goodbye to my amazing Pottery Barn Kids team, and my 8 year tenure at Williams-Sonoma, Inc. The company is incredible, but my head and heart have been pulled in another direction.
Let’s start from the “sort of” beginning. From the time I entered the workforce at 22, I have always thought a desk job and a life in corporate America wasn’t really for me. But I found my niche in Business planning (anyone who knows me knows I’m a HUGE planner) and when we moved to CA 8 years ago I settled in well at Pottery Barn. The people were great, the job was as fun as a job inside at a desk can be. Eventually I was able to gain a lot of flexibility with my hours and work from home 3 days a week to pursue my professional triathlon career. Not every company would be willing to make that happen, but WSI really does care about its people. In the back of my mind, I always thought I would eventually leave corporate America, and that I would really like to get into coaching, but I had a good gig and the years kept ticking by.
Then Hanna was born. I absolutely LOVED being with her on my maternity leave. I know a lot of women say they kind of look forward to going back to work – they get to interact with adults and feel like they have more of a purpose than just keeping this tiny human alive. Which, let’s be honest, even though it’s an incredible experience, isn’t always super exciting. I am NOT judging those moms, IN ANY WAY, but I just wasn’t one of them! Even though I liked my job, I wasn’t looking forward to going back to work. Maybe it’s because I found a great rhythm with training and mothering, or maybe it was just time to find something else “to do”. My maternity leave ended in January and it only took about 3 weeks of being back at work before I finally decided it really wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore. I missed my baby and I needed a change. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? Check!
Now to find the solution. Step 1 was already in place. For the last couple years I have had the privilege to work with the incredible team at Coeur Sports (www.CoeurSports.com), planning and purchasing. Until this year, my contribution had been pretty small, just a few hours here and there. But the business has been growing quickly and each month there seems to be a bit more to do than the last. I saw how very soon this could easily be my full-time job, or at least part-time to start.
My new work wordrobe - this really isn't a plug for Coeur gear - i just LITERALLY wear my Coeur run shorts and hoodie EVERY DAY!
Step 2 was to FINALLY do what I had been wanting to do for years…coach! But how should I get started? What about insurance? What would my strategy be? What about my business model? There are a lot of details to work out before I even THOUGHT about taking on athletes. For some help getting started, I reached out to pal, Sonja Wieck. She is an amazing triathlete herself and has been coaching for years. To my surprise she didn’t just answer my questions, she offered me a job. She had just launched a coaching company, Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching (www.risingtidetri.com) and was looking to bring on additional coaches to help with all the athletes that were pouring in. This was the perfect situation for me – I’d get to coach in a big community (have I mentioned I love people?!?), have Sonja as a mentor, and let RTTC handle on the administrative stuff! Very quickly I reached my 1 on 1 athlete capacity (my pre-set capacity while still working full-time) and KNEW this was what I was meant to do! I am so passionate about health and fitness and love love love working with people and helping them reach their athletic goals!
One of my new offices!!
With Coeur and athletes, I was getting close, but I still needed a little more work to make up the income gap if I were to actually quit my dayjob (may this Bay Area place is PRICEY!). I have made some money racing this year, but I know better than to count of prize purse paychecks for income (pass the food stamps)! Then the tipping point came. I had been discussing doing some masters / tri group coaching under my coach, Tim Sheeper. While I was away at Vineman (70.3) Tim sent me an email that said he was looking for a masters coach 3 mornings per week and someone to coach a B ride on Saturdays – starting pretty much straight away (www.menloswim.com , www.teamsheeper.com – look me up if you are in the area and want some awesome training!!). That same weekend I got an email from the owners of Coeur saying they wanted more help as well. With the additional Coeur hours and new coaching responsibilities I was there! I couldn’t believe it, I had reached my goal. Now I just had to give my noticed.
My other new office - wtih a gorgeous arrangement from my dear PBK coworkers!
That next Wednesday (July 13th) I told my boss I was leaving. I gave 4 ½ weeks notice, feeling guilty about departing at all. I was asked to stay on a couple extra weeks so my end date was set for 8/31. The only problem with that date was that I was already working the additional hours at Coeur and began coaching for Tim at the same time. Needless to say the end of July and all of August were quite busy! I was basically working from 5AM until 9PM every day, with a few hours for training and as much Mark and Hanna time as I could squeeze in. When my last day finally came it was almost surreal, and a huge weight off my shoulders at the same time. That night I checked in on all my athletes and after went to check in on my PBK email. Then it hit me – I don’t have to do that anymore!! I am beyond ecstatic that now all my focus can go to my family, a company I adore, my athletes, and of course a little more training time for this mom as well J
My goal was to quit my dayjob, my stretch goal was to do it before Hanna turned 1. Now here I am, 2 weeks away from Hanna’s first birthday, writing a blog in the middle of the day on a Friday! Not only do I have more flexible hours and the ability to work from home – I have done it by transitioning into the exact work I wanted, and LOVE!, to do. I couldn’t be happier and I am SOO grateful to all the people who helped make this happen! It seemed like a long road to get here, but once I made the decision to go for it, it only took me 7 months to make it happen. It just goes to show you, where there’s a will, there’s a way!
4/20 Wildflower 70.3 - 9th pro
7/10 Vineman 70.3