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From Finance Director to Personal Trainer - why I decided to change careers

Written by Sarah on

I came to personal training fairly late in life. I started my business when I was 40 and had a whole other career beforehand. In this blog I explore some of the reasons behind this career change.

When I was first starting my PT business I had a meeting with a digital marketing person and the first thing they said was 'I've checked you out on LinkedIn and you've had a pretty successful previous career, I don't understand why you've made a decision to start your own business doing this. Do you realise your earning potential is significantly limited now compared to your previous roles?'

Nothing like telling it like it is! I pointed out to him that as my previous role had been looking after the finances for a radio production company I had thought through the impact that this change would have on my personal finances.

To be fair though, he had a good point. At the age of 40, why leave a successful career in the media industry after 18 years to start your own business in a highly competitive and notoriously precarious and underpaid industry with unsociable hours. On paper it does look like a fairly dubious decision (or mid-life crisis...)

But despite his (and most people's) misgivings, I have not regretted this decision for a moment. I am so much happier now and feel like I am living a life much more in line with my values and with a sense of purpose that I'd completely lost in my old career. It makes getting up at 6am for early client sessions feel a hell of a lot easier when you love what you do. In my old job I would struggle to drag myself out of bed at 9am for a 10am start. I'd tried for years to work out why I struggled so much with my energy levels and low mood - I'd had blood tests, been to see a nutritionist, tried going to bed earlier. Nothing seemed to be working. Slowly I started to realise that the reason I felt so reluctant to get out of bed in the morning was the same reason I felt anxious and stressed on a Sunday night. I was no longer feeling fulfilled by my job and it was making me miserable, stressed and tired.

Changing careers isn't an easy thing to do and it took me a total of 3 years to complete the process. It definitely wasn't a linear process either - there were times when I completely gave up on the possibility of being able to do this. A bit like taking part in an exercise and nutrition programme funnily enough - there are days where it feels impossible and others where you feel like you're absolutely smashing it!

If you're interested in hearing more about my journey you can read an interview I did for my life coach's blog.

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