I know a tax lawyer who was in her fifth year of practice as an attorney, who was adored by firms and clients alike, and who decided to make a radical move—one from the Code-based world of tax law to another field entirely: health and wellness.
Sounds crazy, right? Well, it was kind of crazy, in the sense that it’s not what most people would do. She left a Biglaw salary, the stability of a paycheck, and the comfort of employer-sponsored benefits, to start her own business in a brand new field as a health coach and a yoga teacher. Know what else is a little crazy about her? If she had stayed at her firm for another six months, she would have been considered for non-equity partner.
So why did she make such a drastic change? It turns out this rational tax lawyer also had something else going for her other than her ability to read the Code: a passion for health and wellness.
Outside her life as a tax lawyer, she was a fitness enthusiast, a lay nutrition expert, a devoted yogi, and a home cook who loved creating new recipes. She also dabbled in mixed martial arts, lifting weights, running, hiking, kayaking, and just about anything that would get her moving. She attended cooking class after cooking class, and she read article after article on nutrition and wellness. She even started compiling her own recipes in the hopes of eventually putting together a cookbook.
Then one day, as the tax lawyer was plugging along, reading endless tax regulations, she was asked to work on a new project involving the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), a school that offers a one-year holistic nutrition and health coaching certification program. The tax lawyer learned that a health coach is someone that provides advice, support, and accountability to help people achieve their health and wellness goals.
The tax lawyer looked at her life, and she thought back to all of the times that she had created workout plans, diet & exercise goals, and healthy recipes for her friends and family. The practical tax lawyer thought to herself, “this concept of making money as a ‘health coach’—something I’ve been doing my whole life for fun—must be too good to be true!”
The tax lawyer spent much time pondering the decision to put her tax career on hold for this health and wellness gig, but, after a lot of soul searching, she ultimately decided to make it happen. She enrolled in the program at IIN and began studying nutrition part-time while she was still digging through the Code. A few months later, she took a leave of absence from practicing law, enrolled in a 200-hour yoga teacher training program in Florida, and when she returned to New York as a certified yoga teacher, she “put out a shingle” as a health coach and started her coaching business!
Was it an easy decision or an easy journey? Absolutely not. Does the tax lawyer miss her paycheck, her health insurance and stability, in general? She certainly does. Is the tax lawyer much, much happier as a health coach and a yoga teacher? You betcha.
Was she crazy to make the change? You decide. She might go back to the practice of law at some point, or then again, she might not. But in the meantime, she is thoroughly enjoying following her passion for health and wellness.
Megan Grandinetti is a New York city-based attorney, health coach, and yoga teacher. Megan’s work as a health coach focuses on improving the health and wellness of busy professionals. Find out more about Megan (a.k.a. “Health Coach Meg”) by visiting www.healthcoachmegnyc.com or her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/healthcoachmegnyc.