I admit it, I am a koolaid drinker. Don’t know what that really means? Do a quick internet search on “The People’s Temple” and you will. (Let’s give a moment of silence to the real koolaid drinkers as I don’t want to completely take away from the tragedy they faced.) I think I leaned into, and succeed with, sales as the majority of my work experience because I am a fairly easy sale myself. If you can show me how a product, service or idea works to better my life, I buy in. I’m a self-proclaimed sucker, of sorts.
It started with college. “Get into a 4 year college, get a degree, get a job with said degree, make money, have a family, be happy.” That plan sounds very simple and nice and well laid out. Let’s do it! I applied to a few different colleges, got accepted and started my classwork.
I hated it. Well…not all of it. I loved being on the dance team, I loved meeting thousands of people, I loved going out with the girls and I LOVED being on my own. I hated going to class. I had no clue what I really wanted to do and I felt really stuck. So, I quit and moved to California, on my own, at the age of 19.
Fast-forward through 8 years of some of my lowest points (covered at another time) and some of my most favorite memories (also covered at another time), I landed back in Minnesota looking for a job. I had previously worked for a running company in CA and knew I wanted to do SOMETHING with fitness and sales.
Cue lululemon. I remember looking at the brand in comparison to other well-known athletic brands I previously worked with and was never super impressed. Lululemon had technical elements, sure, but when comparing apples to apples: the science, design and fit was not as innovative as they claimed to be. I will admit, however, the colors and aesthetics of the lifestyle they portrayed is where they caught the market.
Nevertheless, I needed to find a job and it seemed like a natural fit. It’s an industry I believe in, a relatively easy product for me to talk about and they were hiring. I started as a part-time educator and quickly realized I needed to immerse myself in the culture and clothing in order to fit-in with leadership. What started with the belief of “these pants don’t have the right paneling for proper ventilation, the claim of compression is false and misleading and everything is designed for women over 6’ tall” slowly became “there is no other brand on the planet that is as innovative as lululemon”.
I spent 5 years diving deep into the teachings of selflessness, gratitude, awareness, leadership and responsibility. I saw the good in these areas for not only myself but to teach others. I was given the gift of communication by attending all of Landmark’s courses on lululemon’s dime. I was able to be weird and unique in a very cool way. I ran butt-naked down the street for a photo shoot promoting a running event we held in the middle of February in Minnesota. I attended hundreds, if not thousands, of workout classes and got to gift our products to people in the community. I learned how to run a business; effectively and efficiently. I learned how to teach people to set powerful and passionate goals to make a bigger impact in our WORLD.
I learned all of these amazing tools, and more, but also felt deep dismissal once I was no longer part of the company. I also was led to believe that I didn’t need to make a lot of money to be happy. I worked hard on myself to prove I was capable of leading others but it turned out opportunities of growth are not based solely on the skills you possess. I never heard from 90% of the people I worked with day-in and day-out until they, too, found themselves ousted by the company with no one to share their experience with. I believed nothing in the world was going to bring me as much fulfillment in a job ever again. I NEEDED lululemon.
Truth is: I didn’t NEED them. I just wasn’t shown how to succeed outside of their walls. They gave me all of the tools to be able to be an entrepreneur and continue to create my own fulfillment.
You see, lululemon as a concept is amazing. Their teachings are what allow me to be able to run my business today.
I plan my life 20 years in advance and work my way backward to achieve my goals. I listen, like really listen, to people and what they REALLY want. I network like a mother f’r because connecting with people is what gives me life. I take responsibility for my contributions, no matter how good, bad, big or small. I offer transparency to make sure it is known what my intentions are. I educate to empower others rather than sell to acquire power. I believe in the reality of the universe and the law of attraction. I continue to learn and teach and grow because I understand the importance of self-love. I find ways to always be of service which is what led me to real estate. And, for the first time in my life, I stand proudly in the desire to make loads of cash, doing what I love, to better take care of the people in my life and achieve my goals.
Although my departure from lululemon left a sour taste in my mouth (do you get it?), I choose to let those negative feelings go and focus on what it has allowed me to become and what it will allow me to be. And, if you find yourself in a similar boat to what I once sailed in, I would love to share experiences over coffee or drinks. You may be severed from a culture you once loved but believe me, there is an even larger community you get to now create.