From river guide to practicing attorney to CEO, Juliet Starret’s career has never followed the “traditional” path. She started her career as a Senior Attorney for Reed Smith while she built a fitness company on the side with her husband. Today, she is the Founder & CEO of The Ready State, where the duo is revolutionizing the field of performance therapy and self-care.
Below, read more about the motivation behind Juliet’s career transitions, her tips on rebranding your company as you evolve, and advice for women looking to start their own venture.
Right after college, I worked as a river rafting guide. Working as an outdoor guide is, in my opinion, the greatest leadership school you can attend at a young age. In my 20s, I got a job at a huge international law firm doing complex commercial litigation. At the same time, MobilityWOD (which we later rebranded as The Ready State) was being formed.
I eventually decided to take the leap into full-time entrepreneurship and run our businesses. I left my law practice in 2009 and have been a full-time entrepreneur since.
By the time I was thinking about leaving law, I was a senior associate and making a lot of money. It was a secure job and I enjoyed a decent amount of the work. It took me two years to actually make the transition.
The first thing I did was look around at my colleagues who had been practicing for longer than me. I saw a lot of people who were unhappy and worked too much; I didn’t want my life to be like that. I had two young kids and I wanted to be a meaningful part of their life, not a mom who was always gone.
At the time, I was working on a lot of medical device litigation cases which were draining. On the flip side, I was running a gym where people were happy in their bodies and making health improvements. There was a weird disconnect because the two experiences were so different.
The final straw for me was when another attorney said that I could try entrepreneurship for a couple of years and, if it doesn’t work out, I could always fall back on law. So I figured I would jump all-in and take that risk, knowing I had a fallback option if I needed it.
I am a huge fan of starting businesses while you still have a stable job. This way, you aren’t relying on your side business as your only source of income.
I had a stable job and could test out entrepreneurial ideas. We could invest every dollar back into our company rather than worrying about paying the bills first. Our companies grew strong communities and loyal followings because we started slowly and did things organically. Once I was certain that my business had legs, I was able to jump in with my 100% effort.
I attended an event in 2018 at my old law firm about the California women on boards mandate. Before then, it hadn’t occurred to me to sit on boards. It also had not occurred to me how few women were sitting on boards. It bothered me on principle, because these companies have so much influence and there are no women at the table. I thought that maybe with my experience, I could be a candidate for board service—so I looked into it.
I have deep experience building brands and creating loyal communities that lead to accelerated growth. I have a lot of advice on brand building and creating a community by way of content.
I also have experience as an attorney and advising clients on things like risk management. The combination of legal risk management and entrepreneurial experience growing two companies with loyal communities is unique.
Rebranding your company is not a snap of the fingers. We started our company as MobilityWOD (Workout of the Day) in 2010. Our initial following was the CrossFit community, but we quickly learned that our content was resonating with a much bigger audience than just athletes. The name simply did not capture what we were doing as a company, and it was deterring some customers because they didn’t relate to the name.
We had already named our podcast The Ready State. We liked the name because everyone had a slightly different interpretation, but the common theme was to “be ready for anything.” The name resonated with us and our clients.
It was a complicated process and we planned a year-long transition so no one was surprised. We decided it was an opportunity for us to revisit all our offerings. We made some mistakes, but one thing we got right was educating our community on why we changed the name and why it would be better for everyone.
I joined Athena in March. I’ve already made strong connections with amazing women who are very generous with their time and resources. The willingness to share and be open has blown my mind.
While I’ve learned how to market my company and brand well, I struggle when it comes to my personal brand. In these few months developing my Brand Package, it has been great having people see what I have to offer and help me put it to paper. Athena has been very transformative for me.
Athena is changing the way executives develop their skills, providing the business insights, network, and career opportunities women need to rise in their careers. Make Athena your competitive advantage by joining today.
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