Get out of your comfort zone
Courtesy Jason Meyers
Most people hear the name Shawn Booth and immediately think of The Bachelorette, but long before Shawn Booth won Kaitlyn Bristowe’s heart on season 11 of The Bachelorette and way before he was a successful fitness entrepreneur, Booth was working as a consultant for an insurance company and doing real estate part-time on the side. While Booth always had a passion for fitness and began playing organized sports at the age of 5, it wasn’t until college when he started taking fitness seriously. (Here are some tips to kickstart your fitness journey.) But even though Booth dabbled in personal training and took part in bodybuilding competitions, he never pursued fitness full-time. Like most of us, having a steady income was one reason Booth stayed at his insurance job for so long. “I was fortunate to have great jobs and a great career outside of fitness, but I didn’t love what I was doing,” he says. “The only reason I stayed at these jobs was for the security.” It wasn’t until August 2016 that Booth partnered with celebrity personal trainer, Erin Oprea. Together, the two of them started CITYSTRONG, which is a workout class that moves from city to city all around the country, and even Canada. Not only is CITYSTRONG a killer group workout, but Booth and Oprea both lead the classes, too. “I am the type of person that wants to live a life without any regrets and do things that make me happy every single day, so that’s why I decided to dive into fitness full-time and give it my all,” he says. Although Booth had previous training and fitness experience, before launching CITYSTRONG, he spoke with numerous personal trainers to really get a feel for the fitness industry and what people want and need in a workout, which ultimately helped him take the leap. “I talked with a bunch of personal trainers, where every single one of them said it was best decision they have ever made when they switched into the profession from their previous careers,” he says. “Being able to do what you love, but more importantly, helping others achieve their dreams and goals at the same time, is extremely rewarding.” It’s been a little less than two years since the company started and Booth has already visited 11 different cities spanning all across the United States and Canada, and has worked out over 1,000 people. Classes range from about $40 to $75 , with a portion of the proceeds going to CreatiVets, an organization that uses various forms of art, like music and creative writing to help veterans with service-related trauma better cope and adjust to life back at home. But Booth, who has been training vigorously for the past eight months for his very first IRONMAN triathlon, isn’t stopping at just workouts. CITYSTRONG is currently expanding and soon you’ll be able to purchase customized meal plans created by a registered dietitian and personalized training programs directly from their site. Booth’s advice for those who are interested in taking on their hobby full time? “Just go for it! Don’t hold back and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone,” he says. You’ll regret it one day if you don’t!” Even Booth was scared to make the leap, but was pleasantly surprised to learn “that people weren’t actually lying when they would say ‘if you do something you love you’ll never feel like you’re actually working’. I always thought that was a bunch of bull, but I was wrong.” Here’s how you can find a new job, while you still have your current one.
Trust in the universe
Courtesy Gardner Lane
Elizabeth Lane has been reading her entire life—it has been book after book since she was an eight years old. Thanks to Madeleine L’Engle’s, A Wrinkle In Time, and E.L. Konigsburg’s, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Elizabeth’s love for books grew as she got older. “My parents let me choose whichever books I wanted to read and so I found a series I loved and dove right in,” she says. “I craved the sense of other world and escape, that feeling that in my own small bedroom I could travel to different worlds and inhabit different characters.” At the age of 25, Lane loved books so much—the smell, the quietness—that she began to collect them. “This was a hobby that was solely my own,” she says. “I rarely spoke of my love of books and reading, opting instead to keep it for myself.” For much of her career, Lane worked in the visual arts industry at galleries and museums. After having her daughters and moving from Chicago to a small town on the coast of New England, Lane took a break from the art world for a bit, and found herself engulfed even more in books. “I would help a friend edit her novel, or help an author with her website and, eventually, I found the work of books filling more and more hours,” she says. “By happenstance, or a willingness to simply say yes to opportunities, I became the book buyer at our local bookstore in town.” While working as a book buyer in 2016, Lane started quarterlane, a company that delivers book subscription boxes throughout the year. “Neither business would work without the other and so I continue to work at the bookstore alongside quarterlane and I feel each breathes equal life into the other,” she says. Depending on how much you read, customers have the option of purchasing three different subscription levels that range from $190 to $380 annually. Each box contains anywhere from three to five fiction and non-fictions books, and you receive multiple boxes per year. Lane also created quarterlane kids, which is a subscription box just for children. If you had asked her at the age of 25, Lane never would have predicted that this would be her life, but she learned to roll with the punches. “When that glimmer of an idea knocks, trust it, delight in it, and then leap—because there is vast potential in the tiniest idea, it simply takes courage and faith to grow it,” she advises. And it’s perfectly OK to be scared or nervous about leaving your job to pursue your hobby. Lane, herself, still gets anxious from time to time. “While I am always willing to leap, I am quite facile at second-guessing and so it is staying suspended mid-air rather than landing in safety that causes panic,” she says. “Without a doubt, this is what has surprised me most and from what I’ve learned the most—to feel calm in the midst of uncertainty and trust that the ups, downs and hairpin turns are just part of the road. Here are some tips to use for finding your dream job.