A little bit about me…
Married for the second and final time to my partner in crime Randy.
Besides Coaching, my passions are football (ASU Sun Devils and Arizona Cardinals to be exact), hiking, travel and my two rescue dogs Mojo & Mama Bear. By choice, I don’t have kids but I could not love my dogs any more if they were human children.
I also like a challenge and I like to work hard! Maybe this stems from being from a small town in Central Illinois called Lovington (pop. 1,300). My parents owned the only grocery store in town and child labor laws seemingly did not apply … just kidding … kind of! I started working at a young age but it was hardly excessive and my parents are amazing role models and teachers.
But a little bit more about the work ethic. In a nutshell…
Worked hard. I was high school Valedictorian (only 17 people in my class, but worth a mention!), volleyball and cheer captain.
Worked harder. After high school, I stepped way, way out of my comfort zone, moved to Arizona and got my accounting degree from Arizona State University. I got a starter job, worked myself to the top, and then out of pay range of the company.
Worked even harder. I got my CPA and then a real “career” job….at a true start up with all the related challenges including weekly cash forecasting to make sure we could make payroll. On top of this was designing and implementing financial systems, processes and internal controls. Consider it putting out daily fires, on a shoestring budget, by doing the work of 3 people – and motivating everyone else to do the same until we grew enough revenues to hire.
Corporate Bankruptcy. Unfortunately, the company did not make a go of it. I was part of the “wind down” team – the last ones out the door – that dealt with lenders, lawyers and investors. The upside was a reasonable severance package, which I used to go back to ASU for my MBA.
Back to hard work at an even bigger job. Now it’s the same start-up mentality, but with bigger stakes and a bigger title. Board meetings. Annual Budget. Quarterly forecasts. Long Range Forecasts. Initial Public Offering. Raising $1.8 billion in debt. Lender negotiations. Government contracts. International expansion. Investor calls. SEC filings. Sarbanes-Oxley. Revising guidances. Business travel. More investor calls. More SEC filings. More projects, challenges and stress. More travel.
All of a sudden, I’m 40 and a 9 to 5 job sounds like a dream vacation!!! My health is starting to suffer in the form of chronic back pain from severe scoliosis. I’m 15 pounds heavier than I’ve ever been, physically moving less than I ever have, eating garbage and drinking more at weekly happy hours just to decompress from the week. My relationships were suffering. I saw my husband maybe an hour a day awake, and my friends and family had given up trying to get together. Given the choice, I ate lunch at my desk to avoid staying in the office an hour longer. Vacations were spent on e-mail and conference calls.
Sound familiar? I’m guessing I’m not the only type A finance / accounting person in the world! I loved the challenges. I loved my career. I gave it everything I had. But it was starting to kill me! As bad, the realization that “I’ll relax and have fun AFTER…” was never going to happen was beginning to get demoralizing. So, it became clear after 20 years that I had chosen a profession that didn’t accommodate the work-life balance everyone strives to achieve. I had no control over my schedule, projects or the ability to even step back and take a breather. The deadlines and the pressure were seemingly never-ending.
I figured I had two choices – let the stress continue to rule my life or step up and take control of what I could: my health, fitness and mental well-being. I have always enjoyed fitness and was hitting the gym occasionally but not with regularity, intention or intensity. I would go when it was convenient, do the elliptical and lift some weights. I’d hike occasionally. I definitely felt better when I sweated, but there wasn’t much of a challenge messing around in the gym on my own. The thought of working in a personal trainer session, or adding group classes into my schedule, was horrifying.
So, at age 40, I decided to take on a friend’s challenge of completing P90X — for no other reason than to see if I could do it at this milestone birthday! I LOVED it and subsequently completed three more rounds and many, many more at home fitness programs. And the side effects were surprising: Less and less back pain…today, 10 years after narcotics were presented as my only pain management option, I am pretty much pain free, obviously, without the narcotics!!! I wasn’t “over-weight”, but still trimmed off 15 pounds. Stress levels were down and the personal sense of accomplishment was way up! Improved mental focus was an unexpected benefit! I ultimately recruited my husband to do workouts with me… we had more time together, had fun and challenged each other. At the same time, we became more conscious of our nutrition and looked for ways to improve it. In all, a much improved outlook on life!
Now remember, I still have this demanding job, so even though the work-life balance didn’t get much better, I felt a whole lot better and I was able to handle the stress with much more grace than I would have otherwise.
Fast forward a couple of years – all the while offsetting work-related negatives with fitness/nutrition positives – when Randy & I teamed up to sell his biotech company to a Fortune 500 company, achieving financial freedom for us both!! Big decision time – continue my career or have fun and relax a little bit. Happily, I chose the latter for once!!!
So, here I am at age 45 – teamed up with my best friend and partner in life to pay the wellness I discovered forward to other executive level, type A people who want to feel better, look better and lead better! I look forward to working with you.