Tales of Transition with Mallie Rydzik

Mallie-RydzikMallie Rydzik is a life coach, writer, and speaker that works with overeducated, yet underfilled Millennials to achieve a work-life balance and turn skillsets into a thriving online business. She speaks from the heart and experience in equal measures after in her 3rd year of her Ph.D. program she had a mental health breakdown, which lead to long-overdue diagnoses of OCD, chronic depression, and binge eating disorder. Months of therapy not only allowed Mallie to reevaluate her own life, but allowed her to morph into the person she was supposed to be.

This interview with Mallie is a tale of transition that is powerful, heart-warming, and shows you that even when you love your research, it’s right to leave that path for another of your making.

What was the transition like?

Mallie: The transition was very difficult. I had supportive family and friends who understood that I was in a tough spot with my mental health. When I took that next step from leaving grad school to leaving corporate America to be an entrepreneur, however, people acted as if I’d really lost my mind. I lost a couple of my scientist friends who couldn’t understand the business world I was going into. Some people, my own husband included, thought I had fallen for some pyramid scheme when I gave them case studies of people who were successful in the online business world. Even a year after I started, people were very vague in asking me about work, and there are still a lot of people who don’t understand what I do.

What was your biggest mistake?

My biggest mistake was chasing the money. My first attempt at online business was as a freelance writer and editor, something I was good at doing and good at getting paid for, but I wasn’t particularly passionate about it. My second attempt was with an ecommerce business that I set up with the intent to completely outsource it (which I did).

How did you bounce back from your biggest mistake?

Storm-chaser Mallie

Storm-chaser Mallie

It was only after I stopped chasing the money that I found something that I could actually enjoy doing while making money–imagine that!

What was your biggest fear?

Most people say their biggest fear is failure, but after my mental health breakdown I really felt I had nowhere to go but up. My biggest fear was rejection from former friends.

How did you overcome your fears?

Well, I was rejected by former friends. So it was less “overcoming” and more dealing with it. Therapy helped with that. 😉

What helped you break through to the other side to your new life and career?

Finding online communities of other entrepreneurs–both those who were already successful and those who were still trying–helped me to see my goals as less abstract and more realistic.

What made you realise that THIS is where you belonged?

I’ve always been the go-to person for advice or a listening ear in my group of friends. I’m often stopped at the grocery store by strangers who feel the need to tell me their life story. I finally decided to accept that and see how it felt using those coaching and consulting skills for pay, and it was wonderful.

What was your biggest struggle?

The biggest struggle has been accepting that business takes time to grow and is never an overnight success. That’s required a lot of mindset work (and therapy!) to overcome.

After I stopped chasing the money I found something that I could actually enjoy doing while making money--imagine that! @MetNightOwl Click To Tweet

Since starting on your new path, what has been your biggest “aHA!” moment?

Going all the way back to the day I quit grad school. I was crying to my boyfriend (now husband), and I said “I don’t know what I want to do anymore, but I know it’s not this.” It was the first time that I had admitted that to myself, and it was shocking to hear. And Matt, bless him, said “Then quit. Find something that will make you happy.”

Who/what has been your biggest inspiration while transitioning? How?

Oof, I don’t know if I could pinpoint any one person as my biggest inspiration. It’s more the collective of lots of people succeeding that’s been most inspiring to me.

What would you recommend to others forging their own path?

Just start. Figure out the details later.

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