Awake at the Wheel

Exploring the intersection between work, play, and the creative process.

The Day She Stopped Waking Up With a Smile

Great mentors, partners and fascinating work.

Eighteen months ago, Manhattan super-lawyer Helene Godin, walked into her job as in-house counsel at a top Wall Street media company and resigned. She’d been practicing for 22 years. Loved nearly all of it. Great mentors, partners and fascinating work.

But, on this day, she was done…

How done? So done that, for her next move, Helene opened a bakery in the cozy little river town where she lived.

By The Way Bakery sprung to life in Hastings on the Hudson almost a year to the day she left the law. And, the name By the Way stood for “yes, it’s all mouthwatering, and it’s all gluten-free and dairy-free…by the way.”

When I asked Helene what it was that made her leave such a long, esteemed, powerful and lucrative career, her answer was pretty simple: ”I stopped waking up with a smile.”

It was something visceral. Nothing was terrible, she loved the people and the work was interesting. But she was just done.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

She wanted to do something different. And be home a lot more for the final few years before her sons finished high school. She wanted to reconnect with her beautiful little river town and get to know the people and community again. She wanted to always wake up with a smile in anticipation of the day ahead, and she wasn’t any more.

Helene just knew, it was time to make a change.

Okay, but how do you go from mega-lawyer to small-town gluten-free bakery owner?!?!

The answer to this question, along with Helene’s wonderful, inspiring, humorous and insightful journey is what we dive into in this week’s Good Life Project episode. You won’t want to miss this!

P.S. – If you happen to be in Hastings on the Hudson, be sure to swing by BTW Bakery, say hey to Helene and try the Mediterranean Orange Almond cake or the Very Lemony Lemon cake. OMG good!

Jonathan Fields is an attorney turned lifestyle-entrepreneur, speaker, and author of Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance.

more...

Subscribe to Awake at the Wheel

Current Issue

Just Say It

When and how should we open up to loved ones?