Guest Blog Post by Maggie Gough
Maggie Gough attend the first and second Wellness Underground "Un" Wellness Workshop and we are thrilled to have her join us again in February. Reading her article here, it seems that she is on the right track to contribute to and learn from our theme of "It's About the People, People" at the workshop this year...and we just may have a few things to learn from this three time attendee as well!
"Several years ago I was sitting at my desk watching a WELCOA webinar regarding the results of the salary survey they had just completed. The results were fairly dismal; even more so for women (who comprise the majority of the industry). I remember David Hunnicutt doing his best to keep things honest while remaining positive. I didn’t envy him for his task.
At the time, I was making less than the average, while creating and delivering some of the best work of my career. I was a part of a phenomenal team that was firing on all cylinders to deliver on our promise to shift the culture of our organization.
Back to this webinar. I have to admit, the realization that I was delivering such high quality work while pulling in less than the average was, in fact, a bummer. Like so many wellness professionals, I wasn’t in it for the money, but it sure would have been nice to be hitting average. David Hunnicutt threw out these two quotes and I quickly wrote them down.
"If you’re excellent at something, rich can be arranged"
"If you’re good at what you do, your next job will always be better"
These quotes, on little post-it notes, still sit on my dresser five years later as a daily reminder as to why I do what I do. The truth is that I have increased my income over the years, though I am likely still just hitting that average mark. My jobs have not always been better, though I learned a lot and put my best foot forward in each.
What I have received from this industry that makes me rich, is an opportunity to connect deeply with people. When an employee in my organization had cancer and he didn’t know where to turn, he walked into my office and it was my privilege to serve him. Years later, when he was crippled by the stress of his relationship with his manager, he walked through my door, even though I started my own business. Likewise, I have had the opportunity to connect with colleagues in the industry who find themselves struggling to fit in within a world that increasingly places value on web-based platforms and weight-loss data. Those relationships have been invaluable to me as they replenish me in my trying times too.
As I mentioned earlier, like so many of you, I didn’t get into the wellness industry to make a lot of money. The word “rich” has many connotations. When I reflect on my career path, in light of those two post-it notes, I can honestly say that I am richer and my career keeps getting better because of the authentic connections I have made. That is why I started in this career. I truly believed this industry would afford me the ability to invest in others and move mountains to make their world a better place. I continue to learn and grow as I understand what that looks like in the most meaningful ways.
At the end of the day, I too have had my fair share of frustrations with this industry and have considered leaving it to those who intend to make millions from it, regardless of the outcome. Yet each time I try to leave, I find myself in the rich presence of a colleague or employer who needs my authentic voice and vision. So I think I’ll stay and I hope you do too. If you ever find yourself needing to find your footing in this crazy industry, reach out to most any other wellness professional and you will likely find someone who shares the same struggles yet dripping with a similar richness that fuels you. We might not change the world, but we will certainly invest positively in others and at the end of the day, isn’t that what well-being is all about?"
Do you have a passion for people like Maggie? Or maybe you have lost that passion and are on the verge of giving up. Join us at the next Wellness Underground "Un" Wellness Workshop to connect with other individuals, rediscover a passion for people, and walk away challenged and inspired!