E38 You Don’t Have to Turn Your Passion into a Full Time Job with Nikki Zahka

Nikki Zahka has always been shy, introverted, and used to hate her body. Now, she’s excelling at (and loving) her corporate sales job AND helping so many people transform their lives through her passion of fitness and wellness coaching. This episode is perfect for the person who feels like they’re too shy to put themselves out there or to be good at sales (Nikki was SUPER nervous for this interview and yet she CRUSHED IT!) This is also for you if you’ve been wondering…”Do I HAVE to quit my day job to be an entrepreneur? Can’t I love my 9-5 corporate job AND make money doing my passion on the side?” The answer is…HELL YES. 

Nikki used to look at her body in the mirror every morning in college and be disgusted. She finally realized that it was HER responsibility to do something about it.

“I was like, ‘Why am I not doing something to change this though?’ So there was that moment. And then once I started learning about nutrition and lifting, I fell in love with that.”

She started researching everything herself about how the body works, and playing with different diets and workouts that worked for her and her body. She also got back into her long lost love of diving for her college swim team. Over time, she lost 25 pounds, posted a before and after photo on Instagram before Instagram was really a thing, and people took notice!

People wanted to know HOW she did this transformation, so that’s when she started sharing her story and making custom programs tailored to people’s bodies and schedules. Her absolute favorite thing is seeing the transformation in other people.

“And when I get responses from clients or people saying that you made a small change or you impacted somebody in some small way, that’s why I love what I do and that I keep doing it because just interacting with people and seeing the changes that I helped provide for them or seeing that I was a small piece of why they’re happy now or changing their life…that’s everything to me.” 

So why not just do this full time and forget about the sales job?

“I like having the full time benefits and I do enjoy all the people that I work with and learning on the technology front…and then on the side, I mean fitness and health is just my passion. I love it. So it doesn’t seem like an extra job to me. It’s just something that I love.”

Key Themes in This Episode

  • Is 100% entrepreneurship for everyone? Can you love your corporate job AND get paid for your passion on the side?
  • Advice for someone looking to transfer their career and move to a new city
  • How to overcome body image issues
  • How to get a job that you really want but are way underqualified for
  • How to transition from working in an office to remote working
  • Why CJ and Nikki are both happy they didn’t major in Exercise Science in college, even though that’s what they were most interested in, and instead majored in Engineering and Business
  • How to be successful in sales without being pushy

“There’s still people that critique what I look like or my body composition now. So everybody goes through that even as you’re transforming your body too. So I really want to help people through those issues and show that everybody goes through it and we’re here just to help each other and elevate each other and be supportive.”

Key Lessons in This Episode

  • People are afraid to say yes to things because they’re afraid of what’s on the other side
  • Do one thing a day that scares you
  • When deciding on your major in college, major in something you can use for anything (like business, engineering) rather than something highly specific (like exercise science)
  • Surround yourself with winners. Surround yourself with the people who have achieved the goals you want to achieve
  • If you have the knowledge but not the motivation, you’re screwed. If you have the motivation but not the knowledge, you might hurt yourself
  • There are skills you are learning in your corporate job that will be useful for your side hustle or business down the road
  • When you leave corporate life, you realize how many things you have to pick up and do in your own business that you might not want to do
  • Don’t let your fear or current circumstances define you
  • Get what you NEED to get done in the morning, leave what you WANT to do for the evening

Work with and Get in Touch with Nikki Zahka

Nikki is passionate about helping you get healthy and fit! She customizes every package to do what fits best in your schedule and what actually will work for you and your body. She helps you make those lifestyle changes that you can maintain for the long term. She’s happy to work with clients who are between the ages of 18-50, and most often works with college students.

Follow her on Instagram at: @getfitwith_nikki

Visit her website: https://www.getfitwithnikk.com/

Work with and Get in Touch with CJ Finley and Thrive On Life

Follow on Instagram: @cj.finley and @thriveonlife

Email [email protected]

Visit: https://thriveonlife.com/

Further Reading/Listening

Blog: The Misconception of Fitness

Blog: CJ’s Fitness Journey

Podcast: Thrive On Introspection

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

Host a Lunch & Learn?

Would you like to lead one of our Lunch & Learns? Enter your info here for a chance to host one of our future sessions!

Join Our Newsletter