It’s been almost three years since I walked away from a corporate job and I have no regrets. Armed with an MSU English degree, my Geo Metro, and a mediocre GPA by my side, I headed to New York in 1990 to land a publishing job and establish myself as a writer. My little-to-no work experience, however, left me in a trade publisher’s circulation department processing orders and managing customer calls.
Twenty-five years, a handful of job advancements and countless networking opportunities later, I found myself in Cleveland, OH developing business for a Jamaica-based call center. I was the Vice President and caught in a whirlwind of travel, business dinners, email chains, late night heated discussions and more stress than I knew was healthy. Then one weekend in the middle of working I looked at my husband and blurted, “I just don’t want to do this anymore.” I lost myself to my career and needed time to figure things out.
The summer of 2016 was the “Summer of Heidi.” Cliché or not, that summer was the most important thing I did for myself. I hiked and ran, got certified to teach fitness class, found a part-time gig teaching after school programs, met new people and sold items cluttering the house to contribute financially to the family. Most importantly, I learned that defining success on my own terms was more important than chasing a career that looked good on paper but left me exhausted and unfulfilled.
I couldn’t bring myself to go back to my job, so I started my small consulting firm, Backwards Bicycling LLC, and facilitated workshops for organizations using the Lego Serious Play method. Then in 2018, I discovered the world of direct sales and watched my career blossom.
I fell in love with Color Street Nail Polish, became an Independent Color Street stylist, and spent my early mornings teaching English to children in China through VIPKID. Building on my momentum, I picked up a few clients from my time in publishing and expanded my consulting business. Months later, after trying on a dress that didn’t look quite right and discovering the magic of camis, I joined Ruby Ribbon and have a blast sharing their amazing camis, demis, clothing, and shapewear.
Today, at 50 years old, life has been busier than ever. This time, however, I’m enjoying every moment of my new career and feeling fulfilled and happy in my work. The best part of all is I’m just getting started and can’t wait to see what happens next.