Here we are one year later. In terms of rank advancements and responsibilities, not much has changed. Most of the changes have happened within. I spent the first 3 to 4 years as a professional network marketer with Beachbody building my team, The Empire, and making a name for myself. During this time, I was fueled by a crazy desire to be recognized within the company and by watching my weekly salary grow exponentially. I hit a certain point last year where I was making more money than I ever dreamed possible and where I was no longer driven by recognition. It is difficult to admit that despite these outward measures of success, a vague dissatisfaction had crept in. I found myself needing to redefine myself and reignite my passion.
I struggled for quite a few months trying to figure out what had happened to make me lose my mojo and more importantly, how was I going to get it back? I am thankful that in my industry the focus has always been on self-development, the kind of literature and seminars that most academics would scoff at. This kind of self- work helped me know that although I was momentarily stuck, I knew that I wasn’t going to stay there. Living a life of purpose, contribution, and growth is the key to fulfillment.
The first thing I did was not really an action per se, it was more of a shift in perspective and attitude. I took an honest look at how I had been showing up in my business and realized that I had done something that is hard to admit. I had essentially fallen out of gratitude. I hadn’t forgotten the gift that had been given to me with this business opportunity. I was still involved in the same activities–recruiting coaches, helping people get in shape and also build a business–but I had stopped taking the time to really appreciate each person’s journey. Yes, I had taken what I did for granted. This simple shift in perspective changed everything for me. I stopped treating people like numbers. Reconnecting with my purpose was key. Now, whenever I bring someone into the business or do something for my team or customers, I literally take the time to give thanks for or acknowledge this opportunity that I’ve been given to help change a life.
I also realized that I had lost my sense of balance by working too much. My passion for my work was so strong, that I often worked myself to the point of exhaustion. Making time for family, friends, fun, myself is not always easy for type A personalities. But I’m glad I did. I had to. I really don’t mean to sound cliché, but it’s just true, what good is success if you don’t take the time to enjoy life with the people you love.
The third thing I did was to rebrand myself on social media, where I had built my business. I hadn’t realized that I was still relating on social media as the 33 year old me, not as the 40 year old. A lot has happened in those seven years. Today I am a lot more balanced. I put my family and my relationships first. I am no longer the young professor moonlighting as an entrepreneur, driven by recognition and money. Without knowing it, I had become inauthentic by relating as a previous version of myself. With the help of some branding books and webinars, I found my voice again.
I’m at a really great point in my life. My business has continued to grow and so have I. Whether you’re an academic who is not yet ready to make the transition or have already left academia, find ways to make what you do more fulfilling, to keep growing, and to nurture your relationships. And thank you, Michelle Erickson, for the opportunity to reflect on the past year.