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Krista Lea was working in the financial sector, educating clients about retirement plans, and she knew in her heart it was time to make a change. She was feeling squeezed with the pressure and structure, and took some vacation time, embarking on a cruise to the Caribbean. When she returned, she had a revelation: she needed to create an exit plan.

Her intention was to take a break and earn her yoga teaching certification, and drive for Uber in the mornings. She decided to wait until her quarterly bonus was distributed to give her an extra safety cushion, and she met with in-house planners before she left the company to create a map for her future.  Although Krista doesn’t see herself as a linear thinker, she carefully evaluated her retirement options and calculated her worst-case scenarios.

“I figured I could dig into my savings accounts if I needed to,” she says. “And then I let go and trusted it would all work out.”

Krista graduated cum laude from University of Texas-Permian Basin with a degree in business, and her career began with a job in the publishing industry before she moved over to the financial side. Her approach to money started at home, with some very basic lessons about saving. She never faced troubles with credit card debt, and she watched her accounts grow, diversifying into stock and then index accounts later on.

“My mom and dad were very smart about money,” Krista says. “They didn’t spend a lot, and they drilled the phrase ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees’ into my head. I took it to heart.”

When she left the financial world, Krista met a woman named Lauren Foreman through a mutual friend. Lauren told her about her vision for Meditation Bar, a place where anyone with the desire could learn how to be more mindful. This concept intrigued Krista, and Lauren offered Krista a position as the main teacher at the new studio. It was the perfect opportunity to put her passions and her livelihood together.

Krista’s practical advice for anyone looking to make a major change is to pay off any credit card debt first and be patient, and to take a look at your finances and see what you can do to make it work.

Her “non-practical” advice, she says, is to follow your heart. As it turned out, everything did work in her favor. She is now working at a job she loves that gives her fulfillment and security. Her leap of faith had landed her where she wanted to be.


Krista teaches meditation and yoga

Krista teaches meditation and yoga

Smith Wealth Advisors