Podcast Megan Melgaard on Swimming Adventures and Changing Lives

Megan Melgaard may have gills. At least that’s what most people would think when they start to understand how much time she spends in the water. Today we chat with this entrepreneur (or better yet, ‘aquapreneur’) to learn the all about the adventures and challenges she’s encountered while following her dreams.

If you can find a job that involves the water, Megan has probably done it. She started as a collegiate swimmer who went all the way the Olympic trials at the University of Florida. From there she helped launch a successful swimsuit company (Splish) which she later sold to her business partners to head to Hollywood to star in a major motion picture alongside Keven Costner and then becoming a Hollywood stuntwoman. She then moved to Atlanta, where she became one of the most well-known swim coaches in the Southeast, launched her business Fix My Swim, and became a race director. Her work with races eventually led her to be hired as the Atlanta Event Director for Swim Across America (SAA) and now she serves as the National Director of Events & Safety for SAA, traveling all over the US and the world to help people raise money for cancer research and clinical trials through swim experiences.

Listen to the podcast

As glamorous as life in a swimsuit might sound, Megan shares the good, the bad, and the lonely of life on the road. Her background with an injury that derailed her dreams of the Olympic team and an eating disorder that led her to deal with some deep issues of insecurity in her life.

She shares how important community is and how her community helped her break out of the destructive patterns that led to her eating disorder. She talks about the struggle of maintaining a community when you spend the majority of your time on the road and gives us some honest insight into the loneliness those with adventurous and entrepreneurial spirits often feel.

Megan is an honest voice about the good and bad associated with following your dreams!

You can find her at
Fix My Swim

Swim Across America

Meet Amazing Grace (story referenced in the podcast) here!

Podcast: Brett Trapp on The Courage to Live Authentically

What if you were hiding a secret that was eating away at your life but you feared to share because it might somehow make you unlovable? What if you were struggling to reconcile the way you feel with the things you’d been taught your entire life? What if you felt alone and isolated? Most of us can actually say that we’ve struggled with those feelings at some time in our life. Today’s podcast guest Brett Trapp gives us some honest insight into his grit journey that led him to the courage to live authentically and some great dirt for people on how to live their most authentic self. Listen now.

For nine years, Brett Trapp kept a secret journal of thoughts on being gay and Christian, knowing one day he’d shout the story he feared most. On a Tuesday morning in late 2016, he logged on Facebook and began shouting… He started by publishing a Gossip Guide to his sexuality—a cheeky way to let friends know his secret. He then began sharing the vivid details of his story through a 44-episode memoir, published as one episode per day. Each episode combined visually-rich prose and stunning photography. He called the story Blue Babies Pink. Within days, word began to spread. Though there was no advertising or major publicity, people began to share the story through social media. Thousands of readers tuned in, eagerly waiting for the daily installment to be released. Several readers called it “the Netflix of blogs.” To date, Blue Babies Pink has drawn nearly 100,000 readers from around the world and spawned a 2,200 mile, five

Within days, word began to spread. Though there was no advertising or major publicity, people began to share the story through social media. Thousands of readers tuned in, eagerly waiting for the daily installment to be released. Several readers called it “the Netflix of blogs.” To date, Blue Babies Pink has drawn nearly 100,000 readers from around the world and spawned a 2,200 mile, five city “Bookless Tour.” In 2017, the series released as a podcast and hit number one on the iTunes Religion/Spirituality chart and the top 40 of all podcasts worldwide. Blue Babies Pink podcast episodes have been downloaded/streamed over 650,000 times.

Listen to Brett’s story


Read the full Blue Babies Pink Story here or listen to his podcast episodes.

Reach out to him at bluebabiespink@gmail.com

 

Ready to Make Your Passion Your Career? Ask Yourself these Tough Questions!

For the past two weeks, our podcast has featured entrepreneurs who have worked hard to build a business centered around their passion. If you missed those great interviews check out Tes’ story of creating Run Social Atlanta and Becky’s story of starting Infinity Yoga. These women are inspiring and they may have sparked a desire to live out your own dream. You find yourself wanting to:

Create your own path…..

Reach for the stars…..

Follow your passion….

There are hundreds of other motivational quotes imposed on beautiful pictures that will inspire you to follow your passion, but before you do, it’s time for a reality check.  Take a solid assessment of your life to see if this is the right time. Here are a few key categories to think through as you make your decision:

Finances

How much debt do you have?

Debt won’t disqualify you from pursuing your passion but it can make it very difficult. If you find yourself with more than $10,000 in debt whether it’s school loans, credit cards, or car payments (we don’t include a mortgage because you’ll need to cover living expenses), then you probably want to aggressively pay down that debt before pursuing a passion. You could be looking at 2-5 very lean years once you start pursuing this dream full-time and the last thing you want to do is have the added stress of increasing debts.

You may look at your loans and feel helpless to pay them off. I once worked with some recent college graduates who wanted to move to Italy and work with a nonprofit. They had close to $30,000 in school loans so they delayed their dream and aggressively paid down their debt. Both worked well-paying jobs that they didn’t particularly enjoy. They packed their lunches and ate dinners at home. They didn’t take vacations and planned date nights at free or very inexpensive events. They didn’t purchase new clothing and took housesitting, pet-sitting, and babysitting jobs on the side. After just two years, they had completely paid off their school loans. They were able to move and pursue their dreams without the burden of their debt. It can be done. You just need an aggressive plan!

If you find yourself in a tough financial situation, we recommend Dave Ramsey as a great source of financial advice.

How much money do you need to make every month to cover your expenses?

Take a realistic look at what you need to make each month to cover your living expenses. The goal is for your passion to become a viable source of income but it may take a few years to get there. Can you downsize in any way? Sell a car that you have payments on to get a used car with no payments? Can you cut your cable? Downsize your living situation? Start packing your lunch or break your Starbucks habit? When you decide what sacrifices you’re willing to make, create a reasonable budget that you can live with while pursuing this passion.

How much can you save?

Ideally, you’ll have the equivalent of 4-6 months of income set aside in an emergency savings account. This money is only used for emergencies. You may have some lean months where you’re just making it and suddenly your car breaks down. You want to have a reserve that you can tap into without going into debt.

 

What kind of insurance do you need?

With the change in the marketplace in the past decade, insurance and benefits are easier than ever to get for individuals but if you’re going from a corporate environment that provides good insurance and benefits, you may encounter some sticker shock when you start to do your research.

 

Relationships

Do the people closest to you believe in you and believe that this is the right step for you? Don’t be afraid of the people in your life who ask you the hard questions. They are the people who are going to help you refine your plan and if you

Don’t be afraid of the people in your life who ask you the hard questions. They are the people who are going to help you refine your plan and if you consistently hear the people in your life question whether or not this is a good idea, you might want to reconsider or at least consider that now is not the time.

Is your spouse on board?

There is no better way to ruin a relationship than to move forward without the buy-in of your spouse or significant other. The change you are planning to make will not only impact you but the other person as well. You need to have some very open conversations about his/her risk tolerance and what this will mean for your lifestyle.

Self-Management

Have you learned the skills that will be needed to manage yourself? Going from a job that may be highly

Going from a job that may be highly structured with someone giving you a timeline to having your own deliverables can be challenging if you’ve never worked in an environment that is completely dependent upon you.

Working on your own business or project can also be very lonely. How will you manage your work week or time? Can you use a coworking space a few days a week? Can you join a mastermind or networking group? What organizations can you be involved with that will help you hone your skills and get you out of the house? Do you have a good office set up in your home?

How will you ‘turn off the job’? One of the most surprising things people find when they go from working for someone else to building their own business is how difficult it is to just relax. There is always something else that could be done but everyone needs time to rest and play. FIguring out how to ‘turn off’ the work is an important part of self-management.

Is now the time?

Is this dream so compelling that it’s going to be worth the sacrifices, (especially the short-term ones) that you have to make?

or another question to ask yourself might be:

Is there something significant in your life that you’ll miss out on if you start this?

For example, we’ve met individuals who have delayed opportunities because of the life stage their kids were in. One friend chose to delay his ideas for a year because his daughter was a senior in high school and an active soccer player. To start his own project would mean missing out on many of the really important markers in her life. Sometimes it takes as much courage not to do the thing you want as it does to take the leap.

Is there something significant in your life that you’ll miss out on if you start this project now? For example, we’ve met individuals who have delayed opportunities because of the life stage their kids were in. One friend chose to delay his ideas a year because his daughter was a senior in high school and an active soccer player. To start his own project would mean missing out on many of the really important markers in her life. Sometimes it takes as much courage not to do the thing you want as it does to take the leap.

If you’re ready to take the next steps, check out Plywood People, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that leads a community of start-ups who are doing good. They have a six-week learning community called, Path by Plywood, designed to take your ideas into purpose-driven work.

Podcast – Becky Nickerson on Going from a Side Hustle to Successful Business

Have you ever felt unfulfilled in your chosen path but wondered if chasing your dream could lead to a sustainable lifestyle? Have you questioned whether or not it’s possible to make a living while doing the thing you love?  Today we get to chat with Becky Nickerson, who owns the popular Atlanta-based Infinity Yoga Studios, along with her husband Matt Shechtman.

Read more “Podcast – Becky Nickerson on Going from a Side Hustle to Successful Business”

Podcast: Clare Schexnyder of Oh Baby Fitness! on the Life Changing Power of Community and Exercise

Welcoming a new baby into your life. It’s supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life but for around 15% of women, it’s actually one of the darkest times in their lives because of postpartum depression.  Today’s guest, Clare Schexnyder was a successful career woman who found herself in the midst of that dark depression after giving birth to her daughter, Sophie. Read more “Podcast: Clare Schexnyder of Oh Baby Fitness! on the Life Changing Power of Community and Exercise”

Podcast – Going Rogue with Allison Macsas and Gabe Steger of Rogue Expeditions

Allison Macsas and Gabe Steger didn’t set out to start a vacation company. This couple fell in love while traveling in Southeast Asia. There they discovered that they both shared a wanderlust spirit and love of adventure.After returning to Austin, TX and their full-time jobs, Allison as a running coach and Gabe in corporate America, they decided to take some friends on an adventure vacation based around trail running. The trip was a hit. Fast forward a few years and Gabe and Allison have both left their other jobs and have grown Rogue Expeditions into a full-time business taking people on trail running adventures to some of the most beautiful and exotic places in the world including Patagonia, Kenya, Morocco, Croatia, and Slovenia. Read more “Podcast – Going Rogue with Allison Macsas and Gabe Steger of Rogue Expeditions”

5 Myths that Kept Me from My First 5k

I can still remember the summer I ran my very first 5k. Although I had been physically active for years doing everything from step aerobics to country line dancing classes (think early 90’s), I was very intimidated by the idea of signing up for an official road race. I was out in Colorado for the summer for a six-week training and a group of my friends had decided to train for this 5k as a way to stay in shape over the summer. I was reluctant to sign up because I considered myself a terrible runner, but peer pressure finally won out. Read more “5 Myths that Kept Me from My First 5k”