Many women strive to resemble blogger Jamie Hess when it comes to taking care of their body, health, family and business. Hess’ blog, NYCFitFam, was created by her and her husband in hopes to bring their fitness tips and knowledge to the public. The website is filled with uplifting advice, family anecdotes and even includes an incredible original cookbook.
The Fit Magazine spoke with Hess about the advice she has for young adults looking to make a name for themselves. Here are her best tips.
Hess said she never imagined she could create something like NYCFitFam 20 years ago.
“When you have something like that, like when you can make your side hustle a full hustle, what a huge gift. That gave way to the rest of my career,” Hess said.
From the launch of NYCFitFam came multiple opportunities in the TV world for Hess. She works as a health advocate on shows like Good Morning America, The Today Show, Dr. Oz and more. Hess is also a brand ambassador of the activewear line Zuda, a clothing line that tailors quality fitness wear for half the price of name brands.
Then came the idea for a podcast.
After doing a photo shoot for Athleta with three other women, they decided to combine their influence. “Off the Gram” is podcast is a platform for amazing products that includes panel discussions on health.
The last thing to come from her career was a wellness coaching business, called “The Big Ask,” which she started about a year ago.
“I claw my way through this business till my fingernails fall off,” Hess said. When you work for yourself, you have to do everything you can to get yourself to the top.”
As a college student, it can be difficult to think ahead. Hess stressed that college was just her foundation.
“A house on a shaky foundation crumbles a lot easier,” she said about the importance of education.
Hess found her college education to be a great way to set her up for success, but really, it was starting off in public relations where she learned what it is like to represent businesses and how essential influencers are to them. To date, Hess continues to take supplemental courses on the side to further her knowledge on health. She said “it is never too late” when it comes to exploring what one is interested in.
“To be honest, I was not sure if I would like working with people. I was a brand girl,” Hess said.
However, her life experiences made her more than qualified for the job.
However, things were not always easy for Hess.
She struggled most of her life with eating disorders and addiction. She is now 20 years in recovery for alcohol addiction and finding wellness in sustainable ways she now shares with others.
She said the greatest thing that ever happened to her was attending the 12-step recovery programs starting at 23 years old. Hess uses the peer-to-peer experience of Alcoholics Anonymous as a context for her coaching career.
As a wellness mentor, Hess holds people accountable and educates through her experiences of overcoming adversity, while taking charge.
“It has been the most gratifying thing I have ever done in my entire life,” Hess said.
The biggest piece of advice she has taken away is from photographer Patrick McMullun. He said the most important thing you’ll ever do is follow up with people. You should never miss an opportunity to make a name for yourself and continue to reach out to people in order to build upon both already established connections and new ones. No matter what job or internship you have in the future, always stay in touch with your employers. You never know how they can lend themselves to you down the road.
Finally, Hess expressed the importance of creating a brand. A brand is created when you dial in on one topic and build upon it.
“People like people with a niche, a brand, an identity… because that’s how we are these days. We expect people to have a thing,” Hess said.
If you are passionate about something, do not wait to begin building upon that passion – start now. Think about what you can do with the brand down the line if you have tons of research and experience with the topic. It’s okay to start your brand as a small side hustle. Just look where Hess’ side hustle got her.
Hess said, “I always want to make what’s good even better.” This was her motivation for the booming businesses she has created, and hopefully motivation for you as well!