The last recession kicked her ass and how that led to Fit Body Phat Life
Back in high school, a calc teacher mentioned to a young girl’s mom that her daughter would make a good engineer. Which was a total surprise as the girl swore her teacher wanted nothing more than for her to fail. When she didn’t and with no other idea of what she wanted to be when she grew up… off she went to university for a structural engineering degree.
While this story has a happy ending, it didn’t play out the way you might think.
When I moved to Colorado to start my grown-up career, I was looking to make new friends. So when someone from the volleyball crowd invited me to “this thing”, I said yes. As luck would have it, something came up… more than once.
Finally, after many invites, it worked out with my schedule.
Little did I realize the impact that one decision to show up would have on my life.
For a few years, I enjoyed the firm I worked for, the problem solving required, and being part of a team. At the time, that was enough.
Then in 2008, the housing bubble burst and we were in the Great Recession. Since the majority of our projects were residential, the workload took a nose-dive. I wasn’t high enough on the totem pole, skilled or credentialed enough to remain employed and I got the ax.
Four years battling it out in college. Another four-plus years working under a licensed engineer. One massive exam I took twice but never completed well… and wham! I had trusted the process and checked all the boxes – go to school, get a good job, and… for what?! I was getting knocked off my feet and onto my ass.
I made one bold decision, dusted myself off, and never looked back.
A whole new education began that day. Without any business know-how, I dove head-first into the deep end of working for myself. I felt liberated! I mean, no one to answer to or tell me how to structure my day or alarm clock to get up to. Liberated!
At the exact same time… terrified! Holy hannah! I had no idea what I was getting myself into but my eyes were wide open… there is no such thing as a “safe, secure j-o-b”.
After getting laid off, I began forging a new path as a full-time entrepreneur.
Years earlier, at that “thing”, I had asked myself a question: ‘Would I always love what I was doing?” When I dug deep, I wasn’t so sure. So, I said yes to the offer and started a little side hustle that evening. While I still enjoyed my work as an engineer, life around me had changed.
Over the next 10+ years, I stumbled… a lot! There were heartaches and tears. I remember a conversation with my brother on one holiday. After some discussion, things were getting a bit tense. He finally asked why I would ever give up the “safe, secure job”. Frustrated and hurt that my family wasn’t more supportive, I defended my decision… asking in return that if having an engineering job was so safe and secure, why did I got laid off?!
What I haven’t mentioned yet is all that I gained when I said yes to the side hustle. The positive support to pursue a bigger dream was overwhelming. I still get to problem solve and I’m part of a larger community that lifts me up during the good and the bad times. It was more than money coming in, it was a new way of life. The top skill, how to communicate better. And who couldn’t use a little help with your significant other once in a while?
Those closest to me, who loved me the most, didn’t understand. I would not find support there in the early years as a business owner. That said, there was overwhelming support from my side hustle family. I embraced it and ran with it.
Once again, the world around me was changing. This time a global pandemic threatens the safety and security of life as we all know it. This time I realize my roll in having a safe, secure position was a choice… my choice.
When I left engineering behind, I founded Fit Body Phat Life.
Fit Body Phat Life was born to improve the health and quality of life for people who want it. Keeping our bodies and our wallets in good health is an essential job. Far too often we miss putting on our own oxygen mask before trying to care for those around us.
That’s something I can get behind, something I’m passionate about. I love supporting others with their lifestyle, it’s our most valuable insurance policy.
We are all free to live our dash to the fullest. And as we continue moving through these uncertain times, how are you? If any of this resonated with you, I’d love to hear your story. If you’re looking for something more, let’s begin having a conversation. Don’t wait to see what happens or hunker down until it’s over, I’m here to support you.
May you live your dash to the fullest in happiness and health.