Pivot — What you thought was the plan the future may not work anymore — and that’s okay. A willingness to reevaluate and change course, whether it’s personal or professional, could be the best thing that ever happened. It is beyond tough homeschooling my kids, but being forced into it has been a blessing in disguise even if some days I still feel like throwing in the towel.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Many of us now have new challenges that come with working from home, homeschooling, and sheltering in place.
As a part of our series about how busy women leaders are addressing these new needs, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cassie Lambert.
Cassie Lambert an army veteran, mom of three, and founder of Lift Like a Boss, an online strength and training coaching program that helps women crush the weights with confidence. She is the co-author of Fitness To Freedom: Create Inner Peace and Self Confidence by Breaking Unhealthy Cycles, as well as the host of the Rulebreaker podcast.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
I served in the army (active duty) as an interrogator for six years and from there went on to work within the intelligence field for several more years. However, due to my husband’s active service, we were forced to move so often that work and job changes became more difficult to land with my more unique skill set. When I realized that I could not rely on the last decade of service to build my future career, I made the decision to change course entirely and build my own online personal training business because I knew that I could pick it up and move it from one military duty station to the next without having to take two steps back with each new location. Fast forward four years and now I own a six-figure online personal training business, co-authored the book Fitness To Freedom: Create Inner Peace and Self Confidence by Breaking Unhealthy Cycles, recently launched the Rulebreaker podcast plus have been featured Shape, Self, Men’s Health, POPSUGAR, Oxygen and more…the list goes on! One decision changed the direction of my entire personal and professional life.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started at your company?
Something that’s been not only interesting but really rewarding has been connecting with other female soldiers and service members from other countries who have become clients. Somewhere along the way I attracted a small following of female soldiers from the UK. Connecting with women who volunteered to serve their country the same way I did created a special bond and understanding, despite the difference in the flag we wore on our uniforms.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I just launched the Rulebreaker podcast in June aimed at helping other women searching for that freedom to pave their way building their own online coaching business. COVID-19 was an awakening for many in-person trainers showing them how little control they had over their clients, their income, and their future; I felt that same way when I was uprooted from my life every two years. I had no control over my own path and success. Something I’m looking forward to is hosting a Rulebreaker retreat (once we can all get together again!) for an in-person business building event.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My husband has been my rock, my #1 supporter and fan. On those late nights when I would stay up trying to build my own website by watching YouTube videos and having at the time two kids at home…he was there cheering me on. When I am taking client calls, consults or recording my next podcast episode, he is there corralling the kids in one place so “mommy” can have peace and quiet to work. This journey would have been so much harder without his unwavering support.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Can you articulate to our readers what are the biggest family related challenges you are facing as a woman business leader during this pandemic?
Hands down school and educating our children…The spring version of school at the start of COVID was a nightmare…and like so many other women we watched as 100% of our kids daily education fell on us trying to make them do things they did not want to do under quarantine. We were already wearing so many hats and now we had to be teachers and at least in my household it did not go so well. That stress and turmoil bled into my business. I could not keep it separate and I was drowning in thought of failure, stressed as I had to fight my child every day just to do the bare minimum. Without a doubt I was at crossroad wondering if I had to scale back what had taken me years to build because there just were not enough hours in the day, or enough energy leftover to add one more thing to my to-do list, especially something as important as educating my kids.
Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
After I had some time to sulk and realized at least in our school district my kids were going to only be offered distance learning, I knew this would crush me and my family seeing the schedule they wanted my eight-year-old and two five-year-olds to follow.
So I did something I swore I would never do and decided to homeschool instead.
I pulled all three from the school systems and went on a deep-dive discovery in what it would take to homeschool my kids…I was scared, nervous, and was getting ready for the fight that I was about to face when it came to each day’s homeschool work. The good news is that after one month in, all three kids have pleasantly adjusted and the reality is that I have had to make major adjustments in my work day as well.
Several months ago I would have never thought I was capable of doing this. Now looking back over these few months, I am happy with our families new norm. The kids seem happier too. It’s more time with mom, even if it is “learning time”. I went from thought of fear and failure to thriving — a super important lesson to remember for business as well.
Can you share the biggest work-related challenges you are facing as a woman in business during this pandemic?
Hands down, it’s balance. I did not have much balance before, but now everything is much more broken through the day because there is more to do. I had to become more efficient at the daily business tasks both in marketing, sales, and coaching. I had to be willing to work more in the evenings and into the night if I want to sustain what I have built and more overhead costs as I outsource some to-dos that I once took on myself. That being said, I decided to handle these challenges head-on once I came to terms and accepted what needed to happen.
Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
I redefined what our normal looks like, I redefined business and life, and I also decided to press the pause button on growth, instead choosing to enter into a period of sustainability.
Once you accept change, it becomes easier to work out a new path as a solution, and thrive.
Can you share your advice about how to best work from home, while balancing the needs of homeschooling or the needs of a family?
Have a routine, but be ready and willing for that routine to change. I now wake up slightly earlier to fit in my workouts and check off a few of the business tasks before sitting down with the kids for homeschool. Be willing to ask for help from family and your spouse to do things you may have always put on your own plate.Be okay with imperfectly moving forward each and every day.
When you embrace change and imperfection through the days, weeks, and months, you can handle change much easier. Resistance will only make you bitter and stressed.
Can you share your strategies about how to stay sane and serene while sheltering in place, or simply staying inside, for long periods with your family?
The three Ws: walks, workouts, and weights. I would be a ball of stress and anger if I did not keep these at the center of my daily life. If I don’t exercise that day, I am taking a morning or evening walk. Popping in a podcast and just focusing on me.
Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
- Realize what is truly important. Being forced to slow down and stay inside allows us to re-engage and prioritize our family.
- Take time to tune inward. Take an internal look at how you have been neglecting yourself, your health, your personal time. Right before the pandemic, I was letting my non-negotiables slip away. I recognized that I was putting my business before me, and that wasn’t healthy.
- Build resilience. With every new challenge in life (big or small) you become more resilient and get stronger. It is in these times when things feel dark and hard you come out a better human on the other side. For every storm I have weathered in life, including this one, I know that it is in these times that I grow and then am grateful for the challenge and how it has enabled me to do more and to be more.
- Pivot. What you thought was the plan the future may not work anymore — and that’s okay. A willingness to reevaluate and change course, whether it’s personal or professional, could be the best thing that ever happened. It is beyond tough homeschooling my kids, but being forced into it has been a blessing in disguise even if some days I still feel like throwing in the towel.
- Things will go back to normal…someday. It will likely look different than what it was pre-COVID, but this time is just one of many chapters that make up the whole story of life.
From your experience, what are a few ideas that one can use to effectively offer support to their family and loved ones who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
Just ask how they are doing. A simple phone call or visit asking how they are handling what is now a current or new norm allows them to open up and talk when maybe they felt ashamed to be scared or nervous during uncertain times.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain. Over the last decade there have been so many events outside of my control. Times where what I thought was my path uprooted with no warning. It was these moments and storms where I had a choice to either stay in a place of being the victim, or allowing things to happen for me and making the necessary changes to take back control and forge my own path.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!