Hi, I’m Janine Serio, founder of the lifestyle brand, Fit4Janine and I am opening up to share my journey of pushing myself way out of my comfort zone! After a painful divorce and 10+ years as a fitness coach and co-owner of a health and wellness company, I am now switching things up, leaning into my fears and transitioning to a new career. I’m hoping my story will inspire you, and help you get comfortable with being uncomfortable!
Can I offer you a tortilla chip?
I had just sat down at my first session at a blogging conference for creative entrepreneurs when I, I looked up and heard, “Can I offer you a tortilla chip?”. These were the words, spoken, as this adorable gal in a straw hat and stylish maxi dress, turned to me and smiled. I smiled back and politely said, “Thank you, but I am good,” all the while feeling super displaced without my luggage (yes – LOST), still in my travel clothes, and wondering, “What am I doing with my career, my life?”. I didn’t know at the time we would end up connecting, staying in touch, and later collaborating.
Life Happened While I Was Making Other Plans:
To say I have evolved, personally and professionally, over the last 15 years is definitely an understatement. However, it’s now a story that, for once in my life, I am okay with sharing. For the last 13 years, health and wellness has been at my core. After studying Exercise Science in college, I started my career as an independent personal trainer. Did I enjoy what I was doing?, absolutely, BUT I was tired of feeling like I was helping everyone else build successful businesses. I wanted to do it for myself…and so I decided to do just that! I teamed up with a former colleague, leaned into my discomfort, and we created a corporate wellness company, 2 Health Nuts.
Sadly, during this exciting new time, my marriage began falling apart. I worked hard to keep my personal life private, all while trying to put a smile on my face and pretend like everything was “okay.” I did not want anyone to know that my ex-husband walked out the door one morning and never came home. I didn’t want people to see me as naïve, or thinking, “How could you not know that he was cheating on you?” I felt like a failure. I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
This was not the plan and up until recently, I have always been about having a so-called “plan.” I was supposed to be happily married, starting a family and building a business. Instead, my life was turned upside down. I was getting divorced at 30, faced with legal bills and trying to juggle a new endeavor, all I wanted to do was hide. I was wondering “What am I supposed to do now?, Was this all my fault?, What could I have done differently?”. Needless to say, this thought cycle went on repeat for a while.
A New Chapter:
Now, I had to start my next chapter; a chapter that involved being a single entrepreneur, and learning how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This meant working really hard at being vulnerable, and being open and honest with myself and others. I began a deep dive into what I wanted and needed, to help me through this transition to the other side.
After living on autopilot for 2 years, I was physically and mentally exhausted. I was no longer sure if I wanted to stay in my hometown of Baltimore. My life felt toxic and my career felt stagnant. I started feeling burnt out of all things “health and wellness.” Don’t get me wrong, I knew it would always be a part of me, but I did not want it to define me. That felt like the “old me”; I needed a rebirth of myself.
After some soul searching, I decided to spend some time away from Baltimore, get out of my own way, and rebuild. I adore Santa Monica, CA and that is, exactly, where I went for six weeks. I loved being in California! I felt free, independent, and not worried about who I was going to run into in my daily life. I was able to slowly transition into single life status. I didn’t feel intimidated to have a drink or dinner by myself, I met new people and I gained a new perspective on my business and what I truly wanted. This is where my new business, Fit4Janine, was born.
I was ready for people to see another side of me; the one that involved being a foodie who loves fashion, décor, travel, coffee and wine. I saw what others were doing in the online realm, and it spoke to me. Plus, I loved that I would be able to work remotely and travel. I loved the fact that I was doing this for me. I found my passion.
Trust The Process:
The last 2 years I’ve started dating again, taken on a more behind the scenes roll at 2 Health Nuts and I’ve truly been consumed by my new passion, working on all the things that are Fit4Janine.
I’ve been living my dream, traveling back and forth to California, New York, D.C., St. Maarten, Europe, and much more. I have gone on vacations and retreats, attended conferences BY MYSELF, and learned more than ever to simply TRUST THE PROCESS, even if it does get messy. Life is a journey; one from which you grow and learn from experiences. I take each new challenge that I am faced with and meet it with a level head and understanding. You just never know where life is going to take you, and who you are going to meet!
And, when someone asks you if you want a tortilla chip, saying “thank you, but I am good” does not have to be the only exchange. Maybe it is that you run into that person at other seminars, on the same floor of your hotel, or maybe over champagne to discuss how we could collaborate in each other’s businesses. Roni, thank you so much for extending the “tortilla chip branch” that Sunday in Palm Springs at Alt Summit! Here’s to future work together!
Learn more about Fit4Janine by Janine Serio here