For years, I woke up each morning with the nagging sense that something was… off. While most of my life seemed to “fit,” I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe I was missing a crucial piece of the puzzle altogether. Sound familiar? If so, the idea of leaving your current career has probably crept into your thoughts on more than one occasion.
Suffice it to say, changing career paths is not for the faint of heart. It entails undoing a lot of what you’ve spent many years trying to do and abandoning a sense of security. But it can be done, and certainly with more grace and finesse than I managed to accomplish when I left my 9 to 5 office job.
To find out how, we sat down with digital lifestyle expert® Mario Armstrong and his wife and business partner Nicole Hunter. They share about their personal journey and the advice they have for others considering a career jump.
A modern American power couple, Armstrong and Hunter’s story started as many love stories do — in college. Today, Armstrong enjoys a career as an Emmy Award-winning TV host and digital lifestyle expert, and Hunter is the CEO of the couple’s own thriving company. And both are spokespeople for the Invisalign® brand, which offers the most advanced teeth straightening technology in the world.
But if you had asked either one of them eight years ago where they would be now, you might have gotten a very different answer.
Of transitioning into their current careers, Hunter admits, “It was a slow process… one that took eight years to happen. We both were working our 9 to 5 jobs and Mario was doing a radio show on the side for free. So, for eight years, we were really building our brand — without even knowing it. Mario’s knack to teach people personal technology really caught on. When his schedule consisted of recurring roles on regional TV news, NPR and local FM radio shows, we knew we had something special. So we took a leap of faith and started our new career together.”
The couple, who has always been very forward-focused, could tell it was time for a new career path when they felt their professional growth had stalled. “I wanted to move from just helping a small group of people to leveraging my knowledge to a huge mass of people on a major level,” Armstrong explained.
So they made a leap into the unknown, and fortunately, landed on their feet — thanks in large part to their sheer determination. They’ve had to make sacrifices. They’ve leaned on each other for support. And the life they have to show for it? Well, it speaks for itself.
Whenever the opportunity presents itself, this enterprising couple tries to pass along the secrets to their success. In fact, Armstrong and Hunter have a few tips they like to share with people considering a transition:
- Have a vision of what you want to do
- Have a business plan
- Be debt free; don’t go into new business with debt
- Make sure you have clients before you “open your doors”
In addition, the couple divulged the five guiding principles that have allowed them to move forward in their life while inspiring others.
The first principle, Armstrong elaborated, is mindset. “Being mindful means to be aware of how we feel about ourselves and the ability to fight the inner critic. Focus on a positive mindset through meditation and self-caring, which can transfer to being empathetic, supportive and loving to others,” he said.
For Armstrong, this particular principle proved to be the first step toward tackling a personal barrier: his smile.