Often times, the journey to our true calling is winding and unexpected. Take Lainey Morse, who went from office manager to creator of the viral trend goat yoga thanks to her natural affinity for goats and throwing parties.
In 2015, Lainey bought a farm in Oregon and had her first goats, which she named Ansel and Adams. “When I got it, I was obsessed,” says Lainey. “It was hard to get me off the farm to do anything else.”
She immediately noticed what a comforting presence they had. “Even the way they chew their cock is relaxing because it’s very methodical,” she says. Lainey was getting a divorce and was busy diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis at the time, but even when things got particularly difficult, the goats provided relief.
“I found it impossible to be stressed or depressed when I was with them.”
She began inviting friends to the farm, which she called “Goat Happy Hour”. Soon the news spread of Lainey’s adorable, stress relieving furry friends. Once she auctioned a children’s birthday party on her farm and the mother asked if they could do yoga with the goats. Lo and behold, the idea for goat yoga was born.
A baby goat on a yoga student. Photo courtesy Lainey Morse
Goat yoga went so viral that in the fall of 2016, Lainey was able to quit her job as an office manager at a remodeling company to run her burgeoning goat yoga business full time. It now has 10 locations nationwide.
Lainey takes care of the backend management for all of their locations and loves this side of the business too, although it has less to do with goats. “I have my personal goat happy hour every day so I can still spend a lot of time with my goats,” says Lainey. “I get the best of both worlds.”
Lainey with her goat Fabio. Photo courtesy Lainey Morse
Their locations have had to be temporarily closed since the COVID-19 hit. She hopes her yoga locations can resume classes in the spring when the vaccine becomes more widely available. “I think people are going to need goat yoga more than ever because everyone went through so much stress in 2020,” says Lainey.
Big life changes like at Lainey can happen for a number of reasons. Even if they appear outside of the left box for some, it doesn’t mean they aren’t the right steps for you. The new FOX series “Call Me Kat,” which premieres on Sunday, January 3rd after the NFL and will continue on Thursday evening from January 7th, is an example of this. The show centers on Kat, a 39-year-old single woman played by Mayim Bialik, who quit her job as a math professor and spent her life’s savings to pursue her dreams and open a cat cafe in Louisville, Kentucky.
Jeff Harry started taking similar steps when he was just 10 years old and has been doing them all his life. After Jeff saw the movie “Big”, knowing he wanted to make a living from toys, Jeff started writing toy companies asking for next steps. When he was in sophomore school, he finally got an answer – the company told him he had to become a mechanical engineer first.
He did so and eventually got a job at Toys R Us in the scheduling department, where he was almost instantly disaffected. “There was no game, no fun, no high fives, and no kids,” says Jeff.
Shortly thereafter, in late 2001, he decided to go out of business and move across the country to Oakland, California. There he found a job posting on Craigslist for a STEM education company called Play-Well, which uses LEGOs to teach engineering to children. Even though they only had 7 employees and were only paying $ 150 a week, he thought it sounded promising and applied.
Courtesy Jeff Harry
Over the next 16 years, Jeff helped grow the company to over 400 employees. By “adopting a playful mindset, we said yes to everything, even if we didn’t know if we could find out,” says Jeff. “We kept doing experiments that were open to failure and not fixated on specific results.” This method made them the largest LEGO-inspired STEM organization in the United States.
Eventually, because they taught many children whose parents worked in Silicon Valley, they were asked to hold team building workshops with some of the top tech companies in the industry. They did this for nine years and topped it, but eventually Jeff felt the game was losing its meaning. In response, he started a consulting firm called Rediscover Your Play, which uses positive psychology and play to revitalize employees and help companies cope with workplace challenges.
Now he finally feels that he has found his purpose because he lives and shares his passion for gaming every day.
Your life and career path doesn’t have to be like someone else’s. In fact, it’s usually better when he doesn’t. If you follow your gut and buy goats or apply for an unorthodox job ad on Craigslist, you may open a door to a spectacular future.
So this new year … quit your job. Open a cat café. Live your best life
Call Me Kat premieres on FOX Sunday Jan 3rd according to NFL and continues on Thursdays starting Jan 7th at 9 / 8c. The show with Mayim Bialik is about a 39-year-old woman who quit her successful but unfulfilled job to pursue her dreams and open a cat café. Kat couldn’t be happier with her new life … even though her mother is pushing Kat to get married already!