So a lot of people have been reaching out recently to ask me some version of the same question – how did you leave your stable job to follow your dreams?
Because this question is essentially my life story it feels like an impossibly huge question to answer, but I will try ;)
In 2012 I was working for YouTube at Google and felt meh about my life so I started taking every single personal development class Google offered – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Emotional Intelligence, Negotiation, Yoga – you name it, I took it.
But perhaps what started it all was a course I took called Search Inside Yourself, which at the time I took it was a seven week intensive growth course with meditation, mindfulness, intimacy and visioning components.
I can remember the place I was sitting in the classroom, not unlike a medium-sized university lecture hall, on Google's Mountain View campus, when I was led in my first guided visualization practice and I saw my life vision – operating a retreat center on a beautiful farm with animals where people came to hit pause on their stressful lives, do some inner excavation and get clear on what's important.
It's been nearly ten years since I first dreamed that dream.
The dream has shifted, as dreams often do, and the exact vision I saw of a farm and retreat center isn't exactly what I am doing right now, but this vision of helping people, running my own business, having freedom to be outside and in community is very much how I am orienting my life and is still very true to what I value and believe in.
The following year I enrolled in Yoga Teacher Training and negotiated with my manager to leave early one day a week for training. I knew there was so much more for me in these deep reflective practices of yoga and meditation. And my favorite part of the training was the chakra meditation and chanting, not as much the movement.
The next few years life continued as I kept working and trying to improve myself. I got super into nutrition and health. I trained for triathlons and competed in several. I knew I wanted to help people one-on-one and wasn't as interested in using my yoga training to teach group classes.
Again, I went to my manager at the time to see if I could pursue a master's degree in Integrative Health which would mean leaving the office for a couple hours in the middle of the work day once or twice a week. This was a big ask but I was a trustworthy employee and fortunately not in a client-facing role where I needed to be responsive during the work day. She said okay and I worked on writing my application.
The next three years I worked full-time while pursuing my master's and didn't do much of anything else. During those three years my father's declining health finally caught up with him and he passed away. I was fortunate to have the support of classes and healing modalities I was learning to support me through that time.
During those three years I also developed chronic fatigue and in really listening to my body caught an autoimmune condition Hashimoto's in an early stage and was able to course correct before things got worse. Looking back now, it's obvious I was doing way too much and had way too little support.
So that brings us to 2018 and the day before I was set to deliver my final presentation for completion of my degree, I was called into the office for a meeting with my manager and HR informed me that I no longer had a job – the entire department was being cut in an internal reorg.
To say I was completely surprised would be an understatement and the timing couldn't have been worse. It was not a pleasant experience and all my worthiness wounds were activated – how could I be being let go!? Was I not worth anything?
Through it all, I completed my presentation and finalized my degree and in due time decided this was the best possible scenario. I wasn't going to apply for another role in the company, I was going to take that severance offer and finally make the leap.
At this point in my life "abundance mindset" was not a thing and I had convinced myself that I would accept being poor. Because I could only see two options – working in tech or being poor.
Obviously all the "do-good" people like therapists, coaches, healers and retreat center owners were poor – right?
Logically I had enough in savings to be fine for awhile, but structure, stability and financial security were so important to me that I was fucking terrified of doing something to jeopardize that.
I talked myself off the cliff and let myself leap – for the first time in my life I took what felt like a real risk. I said goodbye to the stock options and health plans, the maternity benefits and perks. I said goodbye to in some ways what felt like my stand-in father figure, the job in which I grew into adulthood and gave me what I needed to find the stability I needed to strike out on my own.
I took three months off to travel on a solo adventure, reunited with my partner in France and came back home to enroll in an intensive year and a half long coaching program with Layla Martin, specializing in yogic and tantric approaches to healing and women's empowerment. That same year, 2019, I enrolled in another year-long relationship coaching training with The Somatica Institute.
January of 2020 I went all-in on my coaching business. I worked with my first client in 2019 at $100 / session and it took several months to enroll my first clients at $1,500 and $3,000 for six months of work. I launched my six-week group program Pleasure as Medicine and continued to enroll clients as I met my first coaching powerhouses who showed me it was possible to be well-paid and valued as a healer doing traditionally "feminine labor" like space holding, emotional support, empathetic listening and teaching. I think I made about $30,000 my first year in business and have far surpassed that so far this year.
In 2021 I launched Radiance Collective, my intimate mastermind group program, longer than Pleasure as Medicine and continued to enroll clients – though sometimes months have gone by without new folks joining. I learned to recognize my own patterns and healed my own trauma patterns around work and worthiness, trusting myself and the process. And for the first time in my life, I always have my own 1:1 coach and mastermind group for my support and growth.
Though I haven't yet replaced my tech salary, I know it will happen. I know I will vastly supersede my limited salary. My six figure tech salary used to feel like all the money in the world to me, but now I know that in what I am doing now as an entrepreneur, there is no limit to how much money I can make and how many people I can help.
And I know it's not inherently wrong to want to be well-compensated for my work. I know coaches making a million dollars a year doing incredible, world-changing work. Who says that can't be me or you?
Inevitably the concern of safety and risk comes up when thinking about jumping ship and creating something new. And as my coach has said to me and I have in turn said to my clients, what if it's not actually safer to stay where you are? What if that's an illusion
We're taught that the only way to create safety and financial security is at a stable company and what if that's bullshit? What if I can contribute more to my retirement than a company ever would for me? What if I can earn more and work less by determining how and when I work and what I get compensated?
What if it's actually safer to be yourself and go after what you truly want? I would argue it's always safer to follow what's meant for you. Even if it's terrifying.
I hope something in there was exactly what you needed to hear today and inspires you to follow what's meant for you. And there's so much more I can offer you as a client than just what I'm able to communicate in writing!
If you're curious to explore that, book a free call with me – you've got nothing to lose and hopefully you’ll walk away with a deeper understanding of yourself whether you decide to hire me or not.
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