5 Epic Lessons I Learned AFTER Leaving Corporate America

Sometimes when you in the thick of it, you have no idea just how much you’ve traded in an effort to climb the proverbial corporate ladder. Only once you have fully committed to exiting the corporate “rat race” do you suddenly become aware of the mental, physical and even spiritual toll that is paid in an effort to get ahead.

I’m not here to bad mouth corporate America. I owe much of my early success, confidence and skill to the years I spent in medical device sales. Now that I have discovered a better path for myself, I feel compelled to share some of the key distinctions I now have with the benefit of distance and some much needed time.

1. Recapturing All The Wasted Time.

The first thing I truly noticed when I left corporate America was just how much additional time I had to focus on the things I love most. When all of the mundane tasks and soul-sucking commitments are suddenly gone, you experience a very real sense of freedom. No more meetings just to talk about the upcoming meetings, or meetings for meetings sake where no one is quite sure why they have all been gathered together. Gone too are all the redundant corporate policies and procedures that no one could ever quite explain why they existed in the first place. When you focus on what truly matters you get back all this wasted time and have total clarity on why you’re doing what you choose to spend time doing.

2. Choose Who You Want to Work With & Become More Present.

The next fabulous realization was that I was surrounding myself with the people I admired and with whom I felt privileged to be working. That, in turn allowed me to be fully present. No part of me was questioning why I was spending time with the person in front of me – it was my choice and one that I embraced. As I focused on adding meaningful value with everyone in my life, trust grew exponentially and my tightly constructed network felt comfortable to lower their defenses and be just as present with me as I was with them. That energy was intoxicating and challenged me to be even better as I stretched myself to grow even faster.

3. Realignment of Your Top Priority.

My physical and mental health is and always should be my #1 priority, but I found that I was trading in my health for my career and my financial growth. And I wasn’t alone. As I watched my co-workers trade in their healthy diets and exercise in order to achieve more at work, I noticed that these sacrifices where showing up in the form of weight gain, sleepless nights, increased stress and often binge drinking in order to blow off steam at night and on the weekends. Once I stepped out of my corporate job I was once again empowered to put my mental and physical health at the top of my priority list (where they belong).

4. Discover Your True Self.

Ever feel like you have to become someone you’re not just to “fit in” with the corporate culture? It’s exhausting. Often, we don’t even realize we’re doing it as we’ve been conditioned to act a certain way in order to be considered a “team player” or have the “right stuff” to get our next promotion. Once I found my tribe, however, I was able to surround myself with whole hearted people who were true to themselves and with whom they choose to associate. My tribe speaks from their heart and it has given me the space to do the same. I can’t imagine going back to a time when I had to be something other than myself in order to succeed and grow.

5. Doing More of What You Love.

Perhaps the most important lesson of them all was when I realized that I truly am spending the majority of my time doing what I love. How many people can honestly say that? During my newly designed work day, I’m constantly feeding my mind, heart and soul. I show up as the most awesome version of myself. And, my clients are quick to tell me how radiant and positive I am whenever we meet. When I’m not working, I’m channeling my energy into my other passions such as animal rescue, our military veteran heroes and supporting the homeless. By doing more of what I love, I continue to master what Tony Robbins calls “The Science of Achievement” while, at the same time, continually grow my long term happiness in what Tony Robbins calls “The Art of Fulfillment.”

While I am truly grateful for the time I spent in corporate America , I’m even more grateful to have left and paved my own success path on my own terms. Looking back, it’s funny to think that stepping out on my own once felt nearly impossible to achieve.

Today, I welcome the opportunity to support other beautiful souls who know that their calling is somewhere beyond corporate America. While each person’s path is unique to their own journey, I found that it really did help to have access to someone who went before me. And now it’s my turn to support others who wish to pave their own way, but are not yet clear on how best to accomplish that – especially while still supporting themselves and their loved ones.

If you or someone you love could benefit from even more insights around the transition from corporate America to doing your own thing, please feel free to reach out. If I can’t help, I’m confident that I know someone who can. As I mentioned earlier, I have established a powerful network of trusted friends who, like me, are passionate about delivering powerful service to those who wish to level-up in their careers. Perhaps you’re reading this because you’re inspired to do just that. If so, let’s chat!

Kristy Kuhl