Black Diamond

Michael McLean traded his suit and tie for flip-flops and shorts in a career change that restored his energy.

BY ALISHA GALLAGHER

Back to basics

Michael McLean spent 16 years on the corporate end of the health products industry before deciding it was time for a change.

“Working on the executive side I became frustrated watching the incomes of the distributors continue to go up, all while having the lifestyle they wanted,” Michael says. “I was making a comparable salary, but I was leaving for work at 6:30 a.m. and returning as late as 10:30 p.m. I was tethered to the office instead of my family.”

He resigned from the company, and just over a month later, he took his wife to a matinee. They were the only couple in the theater — until fate stepped in.

“I hear a voice behind me say, ‘Michael?’ It was a friend of mine I hadn’t seen in more than 10 years,” Michael says. “He told me about Zija at exactly the moment I was ready to hear about it.”

Michael jumped into the company, building on what he learned as an executive — but not without unlearning a thing or two.

“I came into this business knowing the nuts and bolts of the industry, but being on the front lines is different,” Michael says. “My business plateaued after a year because I was using the same techniques I learned in the corporate world. I had to teach myself to be more open to new ideas from people of all walks of life.”

Just two years after joining Zija, he replaced his former income and now reaps the benefits of living the life he dreamed for himself when he left the corporate world.

“My office is my garage and basement, right now I’m in flip-flops, shorts and a baseball cap, and I get to see my kids more now than I ever did in the previous decade,” Michael says. “It’s the greatest thing I could have done for myself and my family.”