I AM You Studio

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    7 Lessons I’ve Learned Since I Quit

    Almost exactly seven years ago I woke up fairly blurry eyed and slightly tired, probably just like you did now, showered, dressed and hopped into a cab to work reading on my blackberry.   But I wasn’t reading the daily news or my emails, but rather notes I had written for myself on what I was going to say when I quit.

    Seven years ago  I quit my job as VP on the Fixed Income trading floor of Morgan Stanley.   It was the scariest  day of my life I felt like vomiting throughout the entire morning meeting, I voice was shaking as I asked my bosses for time to speak, and my hands were sweaty waterworks under the table as I explained that after seven years I was parting ways to start my own wellness lifestyle business and begin writing my first book, RETOX, which just came out and hit best seller both Nationally and Internationally.

    Quitting oddly  took a few hours, as they did not seem to believe that I was actually leaving the firm and kept enticing me to stay, but ultimately I left my badge on my desk with the six computer screens, and walked out of the building, a half a dozen high heals and workout outfits from under my desk in tote, and a massive smile smothering my face.

    In honor of RETOX, aka my first child, I mean, book coming out, and the official & Year Birthday of my business, I am sharing the seven most important lessons I have learned from quitting and venturing on this new path….. a path that has been more rewarding, and challenging, than I ever could have imagined… Hopefully it inspired you to do chase your dreams, too!

    1. It is Not Meant to be Easy.

    Hollywood, and famed bloggers, paint quitting as this unbelievably easy, joyous experience.  But that is not always the case.   I had a seven year career, a recent promotion, a solid salary, benefits, and years of prior intense education and future career growth on the line.  Leaving that behind for the vast unknown was gut wrenching.  And it had all the right to be.  Do not feel weak or guilty if quitting is daunting – it means you are believing in yourself, everything you have created in the past, and everything you hope to engender in the future.

    2.  You Need to Have a Plan.

    That said, you need to have a plan.  Nine times out of ten, people come to me for business coaching inspired by my story and wanting to quit their jobs, which is great – but when I ask what there plan is, they do not necessarily have one, which is dangerous.  If you quit without a plan life is going to be very, very challenging.  I knew exactly what I wanted to create – a 360 degree lifestyle company and a modern lens for wellness based on yoga, nourishment, mindset and music.  Before I quit I mapped out my business plan, designed my brand, had a logo, flushed out the target market, made a prelim web design, and modeled potential revenues and profits.  Things have of course changed along the way, but having a plan has allowed me to achieve my goals much faster, and ensured that I stay the course, with as much fun and integrity as profits.

    3. Every Industry has its own Quirks, and You need to Learn Them.

    Wall Street is its own world, a world in which if you say a trade is ‘done,’ it is done, and there is absolutely no going back on it.  Suddenly I entered the wellness world, where everything was and is much more grey, and much more wishy washy, which initially drove me bonkers, until I realized that each industry has its own way of doing business.  You need to observe, learn, and adapt to their ways, or else you will go crazy, and quite frankly, not succeed.  For me that has meant learning about the yoga world in a whole new way, nutrition, events, digital media, and publishing, to name a few.  Figure out the playing field, get your team together, and go play ball.

    4.. Do Not Feel Guilty About Down Time.

    This one has, and still is, so hard for me.  When I quit I started to fill my days the same way I filled my Wall Street days.  12-18 hours of work, be they teaching, writing, general business, instant email responses, or other projects.  Yet, until recently, I always felt guilty when I had down time, even if it was just an hour.  Now I embrace these moments as time to foster my creativity and engender new thoughts and developments for RETOX which has helped my career and business grow to whole new levels.  Down time is ok!

    5. The Highs are HIGH and the Lows are Garth Brooks Low.

    No matter what you do when you decide to quit, there will be good days and bad days.  But the chances are, because you will be outside the structure of where you were before, they will feel extreme.  I have cried more in my seven years of entrepreneurship than my I did my entire seven years on Wall Street trading floor, and that as almost always the only female.  Life outside the box is no joke!  Just remember that  whatever it is, good or bad, it will pass.  Then put it in the context of the big picture, take a deep breathe, and focus on the next thing.  That way the lows will not seem as dooming and the highs will not steer you off course, and you may even be smiling all, or most, of the time.

    6. You Control Your Destiny.

    You are the only person who will determine your success or failure you are the only person who can shape your future.  It is up to you, and you alone.  Which is awesome, and daunting.  I take a moment every day to say thank you to life for everything it has given me, and then hit the pavement running.  You can, and will, create your ideal self and career in your ideal world, just remember to be patient, think about the big picture, and never stop hustling.

    7. Have Fun.

    We only live once.  YOU only live once.   If you are not having fun, what’s the point?  Sure cleaning thousands of yoga mats on my hands and knees and haggling with my publishing house about whether or not they could add quasi naked, zoomed in pictures of my cleavage across my book (clearly NO was my push) are not a typical version of a good time, but the path as a whole is.  Enjoy the journey, because it only happens this way once, and it’s your main job to LIVE IT.  Have fun and live the life you have chosen to lead.

    Your choice. Your life. Your YOU.

    That’s the #RETOX way.

    xx,

    Lauren

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    ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC

    If you didn&rsquot know already, RETOX is all about the music. My book has music integrally weaved into every chapter, but that isn&rsquot new news. From the free classes I started offering to friends back in 2006, to the classes for tens of thousands across Times Square, the Plaza Mayor Madrid, Bryant Park and Opening Weekend of Ibiza, all with our Resident Mixologist DJing, music is and will always be an integral part of the RETOX story, mission, and essence.

    So it seemed fitting, first and foremost, to offer you the&hellip

    RETOX GREATEST HITS: 7 Songs over 7 Years

    Everlasting Shine Blockaz.  The Black Keys vs Big Boi.

    Dog Days Are Over.  Florence & The Machine

    R.E.S.P.E.C.T.  RLP & Barbara Tucker

    Five Step. Radiohead vs Dave Brubeck.

    LA Woman. The Doors.

    The Lost Fingers. Careless Whisper.

    Despiertate. Gonzalo Silva.

    and the bonus track, dedicated entirely to all of you over the past seven years - your support, smiles, sweat, and personal beats that has made RETOX such a success,

    Grateful.  Blue Rose Code.

    More of our music is always up for you on spotify. But for now, I just want to say THANK YOU.  

    xx,

    Lauren Imparato 

    #RETOX

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    There is an all encompassing power, one that is absolute & also diverse. In that nexus lies your true power: the understating that there is not just one way. #RETOX #RETOXbook www.retoxbook.com

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    Tips for Starting an At Home Yoga Practice

    I started practicing yoga at home for the simplest of reasons: It was my only option.

    You see, right after I discovered yoga, I had to move to London for work. I&rsquod just given up running entirely to practice yoga seven days a week, and I&rsquod never felt better. When I arrived in London though, I realized that my basement apartment did not have a yoga studio within 30 minutes of it, and my job had me working around the clock. I feared that I would be yoga-less, which signaled a major predicament for me. Sure, I could run along the Thames or in the parks, but I knew that it would nevermake me feel as good as yoga did. So I asked myself whether I could still keep yoga as part of my everyday routine.

    Envisioning my life without yoga, I called my boyfriend back in NYC. He heard how immensely stressed out I was but simply said, &ldquoFigure it out.&rdquo I wish he could have seen the resentful look on my face thousands of miles away. But you know what? He was right.

    They key to starting a self-practice is, in fact, just figuring it out. I had been to enough yoga classes and had a good enough (muscular and mental) memory to recall more or less the general structure of the classes I was attending. So I did it, but not without some research as well as some trail and error. The end result was sweaty satisfaction. My practice may not have been perfect each time, but it was definitely close enough. And ultimately, it led me to become a yoga instructor.

    Here are my tips for creating an inspirational yoga place for your at-home practice:

    1. Treat your mat with care.

    I&rsquom not saying that your mat is holy, but it is the place upon which you will perform a powerful practice. Get a mat that you love. When you are done with it, clean it, roll it up or fold it nicely and put it away in a special place. Your mat will resemble your practice.

    2. Pick a spot you love, but don’t get tied to it.

    Every day has a different energy, as does every part of your home. Don’t just practice in one spot. Instead pick the place that&rsquos calling you on that particular day, even if it means moving the coffee table and couch to the side.

    3. Relish in the light.

    Consider the direction you&rsquore facing on your mat. Will you be facing toward the window at the blue sky or into your messy closet? Everything around you will affect your practice, so adjust accordingly.

    4. Rock out.

    Music is a huge aspect of everything because of its power to uplift and inspire us from the inside-out, just like yoga. Pick a playlist or album that you are feeling.

    5. Be a diva.

    If the place, music, or even outfit doesn’t work that day, take a minute to go and change it. Give yourself what you need to feel good.
    Remember not to worry about messing up. Just have fun!

    Remember to download your at home videos here: www.iamyoustudio.com/yogavideo

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    All about POWER this week. Try this #RETOX Session to harness yours.
    www.retoxbook.com

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