When I walked away from my corporate job, I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have a strategy. That 3, 5 and 10 year plan they talk about that you should have, yeah, this chick had NONE. ZIP. ZERO.NADA.
I was ignorant. In hindsight, I can admit to that and I would never advise anyone to do it the way I did.
I was in the corporate world and miserably unhappy. To go to sleep at night, a shot or two…or three of Baileys Irish Cream did the trick.
I left one corporate job for another and in less than a year instead of alcohol sending me to sleep, it was my tears.
I would dread going to work and I know my manager dreaded having to deal with me as I became “that” employee.
You know the one that did the bare minimum? Yep, that was me.
Well, I decided that I couldn’t live like that and decided to take the necessary steps to do what I love and that was to become a certified personal trainer.
I did some work at a gym part time. I later left my corporate job to work full time at the gym. I also learned that while I loved training my clients, I didn’t like certain things that came with working in the gym. Eventually, I decided to start Body Envy because I wanted to have more control over my career path.
Fast forward to where I was now training clients full-time. One day during one of our training sessions, my client says to me, “You should come into our office and deliver a lunch and learn about avoiding the late afternoon crush.” I looked at her and told her that I should have her perform another 20 burpees for suggesting such a thing. I also went on to remind her that I speak one-on-one, not in public. I thought that was the end of that. A few weeks later she told me that I would be speaking at her workplace about the previously mentioned topic and she also stated the amount that I would be paid, which made saying yes, a little easier.
I completed my presentation without passing out, thank God. Afterward, I received multiple compliments and questions about the information I shared. I was experiencing a high, a high from helping others. A high that I had never experienced before. That’s when I started thinking about adding speaking to my resume and my career coach at the time also suggested it.
This time, I decided I needed a plan. I had to figure out what my topics were going to be about, my delivery and who my audience would be. I had no clue how to do any of these things and decided to hire a speaking coach. Yep, there’s such a thing. I got a really good one and she taught me how to deliver my speech like a BOSS!!
I know, I know, you’re waiting for how on earth I ended up at Harvard, well here it is:
Last Fall I made a list of events and places I would like to speak at. It did not include Harvard, not because I thought it was out of my league, but because it just did not come to mind.
My then assistant was responsible for seeking speaking opportunities for me. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how he found this one, but one day, I received an email asking me to speak at a conference about health and fitness. I thought I would reply later because I needed to research the event to ensure it aligned with my vision. I checked the email address and it was Harvard School of Business. I thought maybe I had too much coffee that day and I was getting the jitters and was light headed. So, I closed my email and reopened it and to my surprise, it still said Harvard LOL.
I didn’t even read up on the event, I sent back an email right away.
“Yes, I’m available,” I mean who da heck doesn’t Harvard align with? LOL
After a few conversations they were impressed with my business story and asked me to be part of the panel for women discussing their entrepreneurial journey.
I waited a while before sharing the news with my family and friends, and to say they were happy for me was an understatement.
Them being happy and excited for me was priceless because they have watched me struggle with Body Envy (at one point I was borrowing from one sibling to repay the next), they have watched me make sacrifices to get Body Envy to where it is today. They have watched me bawl my eyes out for feeling like I was failing and lost. They’ve watched me isolate myself from those who didn’t understand my drive, passion and need to work as hard on Body Envy as I did.
I shared my authentic journey. One that didn’t include fluff and the glamour most of us share on Instagram. I shared the loneliness, expensive lessons learned, friends and loved ones lost and gained in the process.
I shared the fulfillment felt when I think about the fact that I’m building a legacy, something I’m proud of, something that’s helping to change people’s lives.
For a sneak peek at what was shared click below and take a listen and of course if you need a dope speaker, holla at your girl!!
Was it an easy journey? Oh, honey hell TO THE NO!
Was it worth it? Most definitely!
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