ELLE.com recently profiled Cassandra Nuamah, a woman we are crushing on completely. The Washington bred beauty once made a living as a producer at an advertising firm. That changed when she decided to turn her dream job into a reality–and with very little money to fall back on.
Years ago, Cassandra Nuamah posted a piece of paper on her door that read: “In 2013 I’m going to help people live and fulfill their best lives.” A year passed and Nuamah’s early mornings, evenings, and occasional lunch breaks were filled with wellness coaching gigs and teaching dance. Both were things she found fulfilling, but she was still paying the bills with a full-time job as a producer at an advertising firm.
By the time 2014 rolled around, she said to herself, “This is the year it’s going to happen” and took a marker to the note, replacing 2013 with 2014. And indeed, 2014 was the year Nuamah, known by many as Coach Cass, became a full-time wellness coach and master dance trainer. The switch was a big deal in her own life, but she’s not sure if the people she worked with even noticed. “People didn’t know I had another job. In their mind I was always Coach Cass because I introduced myself that way,” she said.
After getting a push from people around her to take the leap, she did, but with very little money to fall back on.
With a steady number of participants in classes and personal training clients, she was able to plan out her revenue in advance, making a fair guess at how much she could bring in monthly. Still, she’s quick to say she wasn’t as prepared as she should have been financially to make the transition; rather, determination made her brave. “Ideally you’re suppose to have minimum six months’ rent and expenses saved up. I had barely two months worth saved up, but I was determined to make it stretch and make it work until my income was a little more steady to live comfortably and build up my savings again.”
Within a little under two months, she was able to increase the amount of dance and fitness classes, training and wellness coaching gigs, and paid travel opportunities. Eventually the revenue from those income streams were able to match and exceed her corporate salary. On taking the financial risk, Nuamah says, “It’s like everyone knowing how to swim, but their corporate job is their life jacket, so they just float and never really swim to their potential. However, when there’s no life jacket, and you have no choice but to swim, you will.”