Today is the first day of the rest of my life

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.  In fairness, I say this to myself on most days actually.  Early last year, while still working for Vertica, I set goals for myself to complete by the end of 2019.  There were many goals, however I am excited to say that they included interview for start-ups and work on my side hustle in order to get it ready for prime time.  I promise I completed more than two goals, but these two were really important for me to complete.  Here’s why…

 

I loved my role at Vertica, it just didn’t fuel me.  With the spin-merge to MicroFocus, it felt like competition was fierce and it wasn’t fun anymore.  So…. Instead of complaining, I did something about it.  I interviewed with start-ups because I wanted a taste.  I wanted the challenge and I knew I could do it.  As luck would have it, I landed a gig at a start-up with a former mentor from IBM.  I became the VP of CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE for Tacit Corp out of Toronto.  Great product, great people, truly a start-up.  I was fortunate to get that role and also had the opportunity to be a contract employee so I could really leverage having an LLC, as well as build programs and relationships to have an impact on the company obtaining funding.  It was a great experience, but in a role like that… a company needs a closer.  A much more transactional seller, that I am not.  I decided to end my contract with Tacit but gained some really great experience launching programs and being introduced into conversations that I had previously not been privy to. 

 

All the while, things on my side hustle front really started heating up.  I created C Far: Beyond the Box early last year.  My initial intent was to help Crossfit gyms improve the client experience and gain more customers and improve the environment for existing members.  I obtained my Crossfit Level 1 Certificate and pitched my idea a couple of times.  With the little amount of profit that CF gyms see, I realized that wouldn’t be a lucrative business.  Additionally, a lot of CF box owners are not business people and it is challenging to get traction. 

 

I focused on my work with Vertica and then moving into Tacit while I simmered on what I wanted to do with my business.  I created a mastermind group to help hold me accountable to goals and push me to think differently.  I tried different forms of exercise, signed up for the Dopey Challenge.  I became a board member for the Youth Council in Nashua.  I went on to obtain my Reiki Level 1 and 2 certifications, volunteer with the Phoenix organization, and became certified in Stress Management.  I tried a lot of different things to see what felt right.  And they all sort of did, but where do I fit? 

 

There were a few milestones that shaped my path in 2018.  In September, I spoke at the Grace Hopper Celebration about launching an employee resource group (ERG), as I had done this with HPE/MicroFocus.  I launched DataGals, a virtual ERG supporting women in data.  I absolutely LOVE public speaking and got to speak on a panel with brilliant women from KPMG, Allstate, and Alight.  It was brilliant and we received incredible feedback from attendees.

 

I have always been called to serve.  I was a combat veteran and last year was officially diagnosed with PTSD.  For those of you that don’t know, my dear friend Heather and I have launched a podcast called PTSD: People, Trauma, and Stress Discussed: an unfiltered truth.  Week after week, we see increased listens and ratings.  I am fired up about this podcast and Heather and I love talk therapy and really helping people understand they are not alone.

 

More of my story will unfold in the coming months, but needless to say… today is the first day of the rest of my life.  With my work at Tacit transitioned and the successful completion of the Dopey Challenge this weekend….

 

I am happy to say, I am Crystal Farley.  I am a Stress Management Maven and I am excited to help empower people to not be defined by their stress and to develop a plan to move forward, empowered and confident. 

 

Stay tuned.

Lisa Popa