Get Back On That Horse with Heather Wallace | #82

May 30, 2023

Get Back On That Horse with Heather Wallace | #82 So often we think the dreams we have as little kids can not possibly become reality when we are adults, right? Well, my guest on Episode 82 is about to prove us wrong! Heather Wallace began riding horses at a very young age, but after suffering from […]

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Get Back On That Horse with Heather Wallace | #82

So often we think the dreams we have as little kids can not possibly become reality when we are adults, right? Well, my guest on Episode 82 is about to prove us wrong! Heather Wallace began riding horses at a very young age, but after suffering from anxiety in her teens she stopped riding. Decades later after a career in medical publishing, three kids, and time as a stay-at-home mom, Heather returned to her love of horses in a different way.

Heather turned her passion into a career as a certified equine and canine sports massage therapist. Not only does she help animals, but she got back on that horse as an adult rider. Heather is also an author and hosts a podcast about the horse world as well.  On this episode of the Second Act Success Career Podcast, Heather shares how she made the decision to pivot into this world once again despite her fear, and how you can overcome your anxiety to pursue your passion as a career too!


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Heather Wallace

Heather Wallace, certified equine and canine sports massage therapist








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Second Act Success Career Podcast
Season 1 - ​​Get Back On That Horse with Heather Wallace
Episode - #82
Host: Shannon Russell
Guest: Heather Wallace
Transcription (*created by Descript and may not be perfectly accurate)

[00:00:00] Heather Wallace: I'm sure I would've been making a huge amount of money and traveling, but would I have been happy? Would I have been able to see my kids grow up? And that wasn't something that I was willing to take. I had the chance to choose happiness over ambition.

[00:00:50] Shannon Russell: welcome back to the second Act Success Career podcast. I am your host career transition coach Shannon Russell. My guest on episode [00:01:00] 82 of the show is Heather Wallace. Heather's story is so unique. She began riding horses at a very young age.

After an incident in her teenage years, she quit riding. Heather went on to pursue a career in technical and medical publishing until she became a mom. It was during her time as a stay-at-home mom that she knew that she wanted to shift careers and pursue a creative passion.

This led her back to horses once again in a whole new career path that she never would've imagined. Let me introduce you to Heather Wallace.

[00:01:36] Heather Wallace: All right.

[00:01:37] Shannon Russell: I'm here with Heather Wallace. Heather, welcome

[00:01:39] Heather Wallace: to the podcast. Shannon, thank you so much for having me on.

[00:01:42] Shannon Russell: Why don't you just

[00:01:43] Heather Wallace: tell me about where your journey kind of started. Basically I. When I was a kid, I always wrote books, like I wrote short stories.

I always wanted to be a writer, and so I told myself that I couldn't do it and I would never make money, [00:02:00] and so I ended up going into the publishing side of things. So my first career was working in scientific, technical, and medical publishing. I made the safe choice because that paid more than commercial like the random houses and the harbor calling. And there were a lot of jobs out there for people that needed to work in STEM. After 12 years, I was already working both the editorial and production side, and I was making things happen and I was on track to be a director.

And then I had my child. I had my first child, and I realized I didn't really wanna go back to work. And it wasn't that I didn't like work because I do, I'm a very driven person. But I didn't like going back to publishing. That wasn't really where my heart was, at least scientific, technical, and medical publishing.

So I tried to quit and my boss. Knew they had a good thing. So they said, why don't you just work from [00:03:00] home and as a freelancer and you can invoice us at the end of the month? So it was great. It was perfectly autonomous, and I could make my own hours and as long as I got the job done, I got a paycheck.

They actually were truly amazing and I couldn't recommend working for this company enough. The problem was, I ended up having three kids in two years, so I had three children under the age of three, and it was really hard to balance the needs of my company versus the needs of my, my mental health and, and it was a lot of energy with the kids being so young

I decided to meet with my husband. We sat down, we said, well, what are our options? Do I just keep going and try to figure it out or do I quit completely and then just wait till the kids go back into school and revisit. So that's actually what we did. I quit. I ended up, uh, taking about two or three years completely off to be a stay-at-home mom.[00:04:00]

And I completely respect everybody who does that because I went crazy in the membrane. Could not. Function as an adult human after that. Mm-hmm. So the kids went to school and I said, okay, do I go back to this wonderful career that I started and my company actually was going to give me a raise if I came back full-time, but then I need a nanny, or would I then start something new and completely different?

And I chose to start the new and completely different, something that was more of a passion project. That I could do part-time and still be a stay-at-home mom when it mattered.

[00:04:37] Shannon Russell: that's a great but hard decision. I'm sure you're looking at the money and the familiar, of where you were in the publishing world.

But now you get to go on an adventure and be creative and be with your kids. yeah, I can see how that might have been a little, um, tough for you to choose and I love what you

[00:04:55] Heather Wallace: chose. Oh, thank you. I, you know, there's some days I [00:05:00] wonder if my family is really that excited because, but uh, you know, it's, I, I will say I couldn't have done it without my husband because he was the primary breadwinner and he was old school.

I was, we were both raised by stay-at-home mothers. And we both had different experiences of what we wanted for that, but he really was like, this is really your choice. You need to do what makes you happy. And so it's nice that I had that opportunity. He actually gave me a timeline. He, I put together a business plan and I had a timeline to make it work, or I then decided, you know, I would have to go get a job.

[00:05:34] Shannon Russell: So the kids are in school, you have some, some hours to think clearly without an interruption. So when you started thinking about what else you were going to do, what did you decide?

[00:05:45] Heather Wallace: I'm a bit of a. Overthinker in the best of ways. And I really actually had a plan before I did it, before I implemented anything. I took the last year that they were in school to really drill down and think about what I wanted to do and how to get [00:06:00] there. I'm really into horses and I have been since I was a child.

It is a huge passion of mine. And I never thought that there was be money in horses. And for some that's quite true. It's a lot of unprofessionalism that goes on in the horse world and it's very backwards in a lot of ways. that's changing. But a friend of mine said, you know, I has had this performance barn taking a lesson, and someone came in to do reiki on a horse and it's energy work, and they didn't even touch the horse and they got paid like a whole bunch of money.

And I said, what? I was completely surprised. And also intrigued. I'd known of reiki, and this was a couple years ago before it really became super popular. So I actually contacted the woman and I said, I'm really interested to hear what you do, cuz it's such a niche that I've never heard of and I've been in the horse world.

So I sat down and I thought about, and I said, I'd like to do something that actually improves the lives of animals every day. And I wanted to be hands-on. However I wanted something tangible. [00:07:00] So I, I, I started researching certifications and I got certified in doing equine sports massage and canine sports massage.

And then I decided to put together a website with my publishing background and, did a blog. And the blog went one direction, more personal stories, and then the body work business went another direction. And now, I have two full time businesses.


[00:07:24] Shannon Russell: So what were you writing and how did it kind of take off and touch people?

[00:07:27] Heather Wallace: The blog was supposed to be a way to drive traffic through s e o and everything to the website for this new business that no one had ever heard of.

And this was several years ago when a holistic wellness for animals was not a thing. It wasn't very common. Now we're seeing it more and more. And, uh, I really wanted to drive awareness. So I started writing about holistic wellness, about, you know, using pumpkin for your dog to help with diarrhea or, you know, different things that would be educational and would be really good for a Google search.

at the same time I was going [00:08:00] through something personal cuz I was returning to riding as an adult and I had three small children and I was quite nervous. And I started writing this almost diary like column on the blog. And it soon became apparent that the diary light column, the confessions as I call them, became so much more engaging.

So many people really related and identified, and it took on a life of its own that really wasn't related to the ho holistic wellness side of things. Not even a year after I'd started that business, I'd separated them out and I started a new website called The Timid Rider. And I was then running two websites within a year and it's been kind of amazing cuz both have kind of taken on lives of their own.

It's very authentic. I'm in my forties. Let's be honest. I have no desire to be a quote unquote influencer in any way, shape, or form. I have a very full life. But I found that writing about what I was going through struck a chord with so many [00:09:00] people, and them then privately messaging me and telling me that they could relate, made me feel better.

So it became this cycle where I would share the good and the bad. And I think we're missing a lot of the bad on social media. I think people aren't as honest as they can be. Mm-hmm. And so it kept me going forward because every once in a while I would have a really bad day and I just say, I don't even know why I'm doing this.

This is crazy. I'm in my forties and I'm running a an Instagram and a blog. And it ended up really kind of pushing me through and being kind of a form of therapy actually.

[00:09:31] Shannon Russell: Right? To know that other people feel the way you do in, in some ways.

[00:09:36] Heather Wallace: And the more opportunities I have had through the blog to reach a bigger audience, or I've been able to moderate panels at big equestrian events, and really raise awareness that just because you're a little nervous or returning adult rider doesn't mean that you're not just as good as someone else.

Because I'll tell you right now, I'm at a, a very. Big horse show and some of the best [00:10:00] riders in the world I'm seeing have meltdowns of because of their confidence issues in themselves or their horse. And it happens to us all. And I think it's so wonderful. We remember that, that we're not alone.

[00:10:11] Shannon Russell: Yeah. talk to me about that.

So you rode as a child.

[00:10:15] Heather Wallace: I was a classically obsessed horse girl. No one else in my family rode horses. No one else wanted to. In fact my sister and my dad are both quite scared of horses and I was just like, pony, there's a pony I want on the pony. And I've always been a bit of a more cautious person, but I just rode from the time I was nine until I was about 15 or 16 years old.

I was always in the the blue ribbons. I was always the teacher's pet. I was always the one getting the harder horse. cuz I can handle it. Until I couldn't, I ended up having my last ride. I was wanting to concentrate on, dance team and going to college. My last ride at my barn, there was a huge [00:11:00] incident in my mind, everybody was falling into the arena and a carb backfired.

Huh. And my horse just took off into the other 12 horses. And I remember thinking like, I'm gonna stampede somebody and I'm gonna either hurt someone or myself, and I handled it. No one was injured, the horse, everybody was fine. But I remember thinking like, if this wasn't a reason for me to just stop and just step away, because I started having anxiety on the drive to the barn instead of that feeling of relaxation that I used to associate with it.

So I knew it was time to step away, um, especially from the competitive world. And I did. I stepped away. I didn't get back on another horse for at least 15 years. Butt, I used to dream about them. when I moved to the suburbs outside of New York City, I told my husband, I said, I think I wanna ride again.

And I never looked back. It went all downhill from there.

[00:11:55] Shannon Russell: So that anxiety that you felt was that probably just being a teenage girl and you're getting ready [00:12:00] for college and everything else is just adding up that you had too much on your plate to just focus on the horse, do you think?

[00:12:07] Heather Wallace: I think there were a lot of components to it.

I was. Raised in a show barn, which they did everything for you. The horse was tacked up, the horse was ready to go. I never really had the quality of interaction with the horse that I craved as that little girl inside. It was get on, ride the horse, ride what you're supposed to do and get off. It was never enjoy the horse, it was never enjoy the ride that, and it was really being pushed because I was doing well to go to the next class and the next class and the next class, and so it became kind of a job.

As opposed to, a passion. Mm-hmm. And it's funny because as I got older, when I first got on that horse again, I didn't sleep the night before. It was a crazy feeling of excitement and also nerves. So I get on this horse after, you know, 17, 18 years off and I think, oh my gosh, I'm so much bigger and higher [00:13:00] off the ground than I thought I would.

But we started moving and it just came back. physically I was there. You know, I was a little bit bigger than I was as a child, and I was a little bit more unbalanced than I was after having kids, but my anxiety was still pretty there. So what I chose to do was focus on my bond and connection with the horse as opposed to my skillset.

So I took competition off the table. I, I rode when there wart a lot of people there. I asked my trainers, Can you teach me to bridle? Can you teach me to Earth? Can you teach me? I don't know how to do this. And so even though I'd had writing experience, I had no horse experience. So I asked, and that, that is the greatest thing I think that I did was as an adult, I had the confidence to then ask, and also if it got to be too much, I had the confidence to tell my trainer, I need a minute.

I'm not okay right now. Mm-hmm. [00:14:00] And I think that is the biggest difference between when I was a kid and when I was an adult.

[00:14:05] Shannon Russell: When you're a kid, you don't ask, you don't speak up as much as you should or as much as you do when you're, our age now. I love that you are now in a place. Or you were in a place 18 years later to get back and really get to know the animal. And what was that experience like, taking care of it and bonding with it in a different way?

[00:14:23] Heather Wallace: Oh, it was everything I'd ever wanted. I, I definitely made a lot of mistakes, but I think the fact that I was so curious, actually I made room for mistakes because it was a learning experience where I think as a kid, I viewed those as failures.

Mm-hmm. One of the first things I did besides taking lessons was ride and meet friends that wanted to ride with me. So I made it a social thing and then I actually started to become a working student. So in the horse world, you can work off some riding lessons in exchange for working in the barn.

So I learned [00:15:00] how to muck a stall. I learned how to feed the horses, how to bring them in, and I really took it to heart to do everything. when I was 40, I finally convinced my husband that we needed that pony and we got the pony. And then I really had some fun because I got to take this pony and do everything I ever wanted to do.

it was life changing. It was everything I'd ever wanted in life.

[00:15:25] Shannon Russell: Then your riding experience, like the technical skilled part of riding must have just been a totally different experience too, because now you were bonded with this animal.

[00:15:34] Heather Wallace: Oh, it's, it's night and day. The difference. I mean, I'll get on any horse once as long as they look somewhat safe.

Mm-hmm. But there's a huge difference, especially with someone who struggles with confidence and wanting to walk away and come home to my children. When you build a relationship with your horse on the ground, And then ride that horse. That horse takes care of you

it's a true partnership, and that is for [00:16:00] me, what horse riding should be. It should be a complete and utter partnership. Sometimes I need to trust when my horse says no, that there's a reason, and I have been in cases where a horse has actually saved my life, and then I also have to say, okay, well this horse is just being a little silly.

Let now let's push through it. So it's given me a lot of empathy. And most importantly, in my opinion, the ability to let go a little bit and trust somebody other than myself because I struggle with that. It's very freeing and it is scary in some ways, but if you set yourself up correctly, I've seen this with a horse. Recently as a baby horse and he's coming through his first big horse show and it's a lot of new things and I've gotten to read them really well and I've been working with him since he was born.

And, uh, one of the things I said was, Hey, listen, let me have him for a second. And I took the baby horse and we walked away and there was a couple things we did and he, he [00:17:00] loves the people he was with. But there was a different energy about me because I wasn't there to show. I was just his friend that had always been there for him.

So it's really amazing when you have a relationship with these animals and. It's just a cool thing that I get paid to do it as well.

[00:17:18] Heather Wallace:

[00:17:47] Shannon Russell:

We talked about your blogs, but not about what you're doing outside of the online digital world. So tell me about your interaction and kind of what your job is day-to-day

[00:17:57] Heather Wallace: with these animals.

my days [00:18:00] differ every day, so if someone has like a little bit of a A D H D tendency, I really have to schedule myself time, working hours. So I schedule my weeks where I will take clients between certain hours, only certain days of the week, so I can be home and time for my kids or take them to activities that they need.

So every day looks different. I'm in a different town, a different barn, and I'll go and I'll work on horses, I'll massage them, and cold laser, I do saddle fit evaluations, and so I'm really looking at preventative care and maintenance for horses. I. And then, you know, I might run from there home to take my daughter out to her singing practice or, or something like that.

And then at night I tend to kind of work on my computer, but it's rare and far between because I'm so tired from the day and running around. But yeah, every day is really different and so it's really hard to get bored and it's hard to get distracted cuz you know, [00:19:00] when you wake up, okay, this is what the day is.

But you also have to be really good about planning balance and planning downtime, because if you don't, especially as a mom, you fill the holes and then you get burned out. Mm-hmm.

[00:19:13] Shannon Russell: I feel like that's an issue that I struggle with a lot because my day will be so packed and then at the end of the day I'm like, well, I didn't.

Eat, or you know, like you just realize, oh, there's that book I've been wanting to read, but there's no time for me or anything. So I'm, I'm with you on that. Especially as an entrepreneur and running your own business, you're, you're planning everything. You're trying to meet your client's goals, you're trying to help your children.

It's a lot to juggle.

[00:19:36] Heather Wallace: I find that as a small business, customer service is so important, right?

It's the client, your relationship, and a lot of them feel so comfortable with me that they end up calling me at 11 o'clock at night or sending me a text message after text message after text message. And I, I do. Have to sometimes reset boundaries with them and just say, Hey, listen, super excited. [00:20:00] You know, we're friends and friendly and all that, but I will message you at 9:00 AM tomorrow, or I'll call you when I'm on the way to this client.

And it can be really hard to do that. But when you're so accessible, it, it makes people happy. But then they also overstep a little, and it's hard.

[00:20:16] Shannon Russell: It is, it's a balance. I deal with that with my, um, brick and mortar business that I own too, where the customers are like, we're friends on Facebook and you know, they just reach out and you're like, okay, well this is great, but I'm with my kids right now.

You know, it's at the final. Mm-hmm. So, so what is the name of your business and you're located in New York or New Jersey?

[00:20:37] Heather Wallace: I'm located in New Jersey. A fun fact, animal laws in New York State actually preclude anybody about a veterinarian from touching an animal. In order to make them feel better for wellness, you have to be actually a veterinarian to, to do massage or, or chiropractic.

And it's funny because chiropractors actually don't have to be [00:21:00] veterinarians in most states, so I'm based in New Jersey and the business is named Animal Body Work and Aromatherapy on social media, that's just @animalbodyworknj. I was originally certified in horses and dogs, and they're my primary, but I've worked on llamas, pigs, ducks.

I mean, um, if you want me to massage it, I can't imagine massaging a lizard, but I be, I will give it a shot.

[00:21:27] Shannon Russell: And what does your work do for these animals? What kind of difference do you see after you work with them?

[00:21:33] Heather Wallace: So the type of massage I do is really, rehabilitative and performance type massage.

I focus on removing interference and balance in their body, and I focus on increasing flexibility. So I always say the side effect is taking away pain. And helping them to relax where the primary goal is to actually improve their life long term so that everything is in alignment. I've done everything from help [00:22:00] quiet, anxiety ridden dogs and helping them get into the car or, or be good for vet appointments, just through positive touch and desensitization.

because when they look forward to coming to you, right, they start to process that. as being humans are relatively safe. And then I work on animals with mobility issues that are seniors, or have hip dysplasia, some, uh, spinal issues. Anything that involves the, the body and movement is, my bread and butter.

But I actually really love the ones where their brain's too busy, cuz I can really identify with that. It's also more of a challenge to get there. But I'm not a typical, oh, get on a mat and your dog will lay down and I'll massage them. A lot of times the animal's moving and I'm, I'm playing with one hand while the other hand's doing massage to get rid of the imbalance or the knot.

so it's fun. That

[00:22:54] Shannon Russell: sounds so fun. If you work with horses, do you notice a difference in their, competitive [00:23:00] side? Like do you work on horses to get them ready for

[00:23:02] Heather Wallace: competitions, I guess? Absolutely. Where I am right now, there's a big top rated show, and the young horse I'm with now.

He had a stumble last night because his huff got stuck in one of the boots and he fell. And so part of the reason I'm here is that I can be on hand in case they need anything. So I went and worked on him last night and this morning, not only is he calmer, he has more range of motion, but he cut three seconds of his time.

I also work with race horses, depending on the barns and barrel racers and things like that. So yeah, when you make a horse more supple, They can actually improve their performance and cut down some of that time or look more free and open and depending what the competition is, all of that's really considered wonderful.

The best thing though is I can actually prevent injuries. If you do regular body work, most wear and tear [00:24:00] injuries don't occur because you're getting rid of the problem before it gets big.

So we're so attuned to the horses natural patterns that I'll have a writer jump up and say, you know what, Heather? My horse was really having trouble with this, right? Lead candor. They were dropping their shoulder.

And I said, I saw that. Why don't we do a couple things? They get back on it can be that fast where they're like, perfect. Give you the thumbs up and um, you know that you just helped that horse not be restricted in any way. So they're gonna be happier.

And trust me, we want a happy horse. When you're out there in the show ring happy horses, get ribbons. Aw.

[00:24:38] Shannon Russell: So you're making such a difference in the lives of these riders and animals, I know you've written several books as well.

[00:24:45] Heather Wallace: So the book side of things has been, well, when I was a child, I had said, I always wrote short stories and I was so afraid of criticism. I was so afraid it wasn't good, and I did actually not finish a lot of them because I was [00:25:00] going back and re-editing constantly.

Number one rule, don't edit your own work, first of all. But coming forward with the blog, it gave me so much confidence in the reaction, the community that I was building. That I decided, you know what, I'm gonna take my publishing expertise and I'm going to work and do a little kind of fun gag gift.

That's my first book because I had a big book, Confessions Of A Timid Rider that I'd always wanted to write, but I didn't wanna make any mistakes with it. And so I put out Equestrian Handbook of Excuses as a fun little gag gift, and that's had a couple of variations you know, improved photography and stuff over the years, but, That ended up winning an award, and gave me a little bit more confidence to try my hand at another book based on the blog.

And so Confessions of a Timid Writer is very much a it's a personal diary in a lot of ways, and I wanted to write a true memoir when I went to [00:26:00] Mongolia, which is a whole other crazy story. But everyone kept asking me about my travels and said I should write a book about it because wouldn't that be such a cool thing to read?

So I wrote a true memoir called Grow Forward, and then I said, well, my passion's really in animal body work and wellness. , I need to put together my skillset and help all these other horses that I maybe won't be in reach with or near. And that was started Body Conditioning For The Horse and Rider

was put together because my pony during Covid ended up with Lyme disease and his muscle atrophied so badly that he was unrightable in two months. I threw everything I had outta him with all my experience, all my skill, all the veterinary doctors that I had met, everybody that I had in my wheelhouse through my small business.

I called in and I said, There's so many people that would probably have lost a horse [00:27:00] because they don't have access to the same things I have access to. So I decided to put together a program to help those horses, and that's what Body Conditioning For The Horse and Rider is. How is your horse? He's great.

He's very fancy and he thinks he's the best thing in the world. So that's all I can ask. Oh, do your

[00:27:19] Shannon Russell: kids just love him?

[00:27:22] Heather Wallace: Yes. In fact, we actually have, two now. One Ferris is my pony that I, I got when I was 40, so he was my first pony. And the kids love him to death, but he's like a cat.

He's not super affectionate. He wants to be near you, but he doesn't want you all over him. And so he's not the perfect horse for them, plus he is very technical and the girls have trouble riding him. So I ended up rescuing the horse that I wrote about in my first book, Confessions of a Timid Rider, about a year and a half, two years ago.

And he has got a huge personality. He loves people, he loves dogs. But he's an X race horse that is quite [00:28:00] large. And I rehabbed him because he came off of a place where he was aggressive and trying to hurt people. Mm-hmm. So I've been slow, but he would love my kids to play with him all day and run, you know, ride on him and, yeah.

So I have a soft spot for the, the tough cases.

[00:28:17] Shannon Russell: And what about your kids? Do they want to ride one day or have they been riding so far?

[00:28:21] Heather Wallace: Unfortunately for me, all three of my children ride horses and I'm now broke. It's not a cheap hobby, right? No. And they keep trying to steal my pony when I wanna ride them.

So instead of me taking writing lessons, I have to pay for all of them. So now we know where all my money from my business goes. Right, exactly.

[00:28:43] Shannon Russell: We're keeping it in the family and they're feeling the joy that you've always felt. So there

[00:28:47] Heather Wallace: you go. Yeah, I, I will say they're not horse crazy, which is probably healthy.

They all love it and I don't see them giving it up anytime soon. But they all have other hobbies they also like, and I think that's a healthy choice.[00:29:00]

[00:29:00] Shannon Russell: I'm big on threads and the thread that pulls our life kind of together, and I love that your writing that you were a little timid to do when you were younger, but loved, you're able to do now.

How amazing is that to have that confidence now that you didn't have before?

[00:29:15] Heather Wallace: It's, it's still very scary because you always worry what people will think, but. It's like ripping a bandaid off in some ways. Taking that first step is always the hardest, and once you do it, then it slowly becomes easier, like a ball rolling down the hill and it takes a life of its own.

So when I was at a book signing recently and I was telling people how Confessions Of A Timid Rider ends on a happy note because the horse I was in love with but couldn't have is now mine. I thought to myself, huh, I really should answer that question in another book. And so I decided to make it a trilogy.

So the second book in the series is all about, it's called Adulting with Horses, [00:30:00] and it's all about me getting my first pony. And being able to do those things and play with them and do all the things I always wanted to do as a small child. so now the third one will be all about having them and how delight comes back into my life.

So it does, it takes on a life of its own and. I think eventually my body will give way and I'll have to slow down on the massage and cuz it's very physical work. Mm-hmm. And then when that happens, hopefully the books will have really taken a life of their own and expanded enough to be able to then be another income full-time.

[00:30:33] Shannon Russell: You're going for it. You've got stories just ready to be brought out into the world

, I'm sure you're helping so many people. You could have stayed in your publishing world. You could have gone back to that and look how different

[00:30:45] Heather Wallace: your life would've been. If you haven't, I'm sure I would've been making a huge amount of money and traveling, but would I have been happy? Would I have been able to see my kids grow up? And that wasn't something that I was willing to take.

I had the [00:31:00] chance to choose happiness over ambition. Mm-hmm. And it's funny because I'm actually quite ambitious even now, but as I've been able to get stabilized in my businesses, I then say, okay, what can I do next? Yeah. What can I improve? How, so I'm constantly looking to improve myself. I'm, I get re-certified every two years.

I learn a new skill. Someone actually reached out to me and said, you're already doing so much that maybe you've learned all you can from textbooks or from courses. Maybe you just learn from experience and they're not wrong. Cause actually the biggest lessons I've learned through both.

My businesses has been experience-based, trying something, seeing what sticks, seeing what needs help, seeing what I need to do better. Mm-hmm. But it's always building that kind of confidence that I've done it. And I've made quite a few mistakes a, as people do. And it's funny because I [00:32:00] never take that the bad way when it comes to work.

But when I get on a horse, I beat myself up about it. And it's because I don't wanna fail my partner. Yeah,

[00:32:11] Shannon Russell: it is. It's another person that you're working with your team. You haven't failed yourself in any way because the choice that you made to start these businesses is filling you up more than money.

And ambition in that sense, in the corporate world ever would have, and you're, you're doing it on your own terms. I mean, that's, that's the dream, right? Being able to have control of our lives and be happy.

[00:32:35] Heather Wallace: Oh my God, absolutely. And I think I'm so grateful every day when I wake up because I see other people close to me that they can make great money, but they're not happy.

I mean, you can do both. It's a slower, longer road a lot of times. But I also get to really come home from the day being so happy that I got to do what I got to do.

[00:32:56] Shannon Russell: And you've got so many things going on right now. Let's talk about your [00:33:00] podcast. You're a podcast host

[00:33:01] Heather Wallace: as well. I am, I mean, what else can I do?

Just, I'm gonna start counting off the fingers. It's called the Adulting with Horses podcast. And it's going really well. It's basically where horses in the morning is the The Today Show. We're late night and we focus on returning adult riders, women like us, women who maybe are too old to hold their opinions back and wanna just have a laugh in a good time and wanna talk about all the things that we're experiencing.

So that's what we do. And, uh, the nice thing too is this, another way to reach other people and tell 'em, Hey, we're out here. If you wanna read our books, if you wanna join the community of like, nervous riders. I have a timid riders community. Why don't we all get together? You're not alone.

[00:33:52] Shannon Russell: Wow. You've got your hands full. It's so many plates that you're spinning right now.

What is one piece of advice that you can give to [00:34:00] someone who is starting

[00:34:00] Heather Wallace: their second act research? Find out. The business you wanna go into what you wanna do, research what's already out there, look and see where there might be a need or a hole, and how your strengths and your passion can actually fill that hole.

There's a lot of people who come up to me after seeing me work on a horse and say, I wanna learn how to do that. I said, that's awesome. You totally should. However, there's about 25 other people in our area that do varying forms of this. We don't need more people doing that. What we need for you to do is find where there's a need to support that if wellness is interesting to you.

find your niche, but also we need to have a need cuz otherwise there's too much competition. And you're done before you can start.

[00:34:52] Shannon Russell: Where can our audience reach out to you and connect with

[00:34:54] Heather Wallace: you? Oh, I love to hear from people. So if you're horsey. [00:35:00] Timid Rider, T I m i d r i d e r across social media, or that's the website as well. if you're interested in holistic wellness or, or someone wants to reach out and have me come work on their dog or their pet or performance horse, then it would be @animalbodyworknj on social media, and then animalbodywork.com as our website.

[00:35:22] Shannon Russell: Heather. I can't thank you enough for being here, I love the work you're doing for these animals. I love the work that you've done on yourself to make this second act so amazing for you and your family, and I can't wait to see what else you've got

[00:35:35] Heather Wallace: down the pipeline. Oh, thank you.

It's been so lovely talking to you. I really appreciate you having me. Come on, because this is really very much a passion of mine.

[00:35:44] Shannon Russell: I feel so connected to you with all, these crazy decisions that we make as moms and entrepreneurs, and we have to support each other. So I'll be following you and supporting you all across social.

[00:35:54] Heather Wallace: Thank you so much.



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Episode #80: Your Career is Not Your Identity

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