Could things be different? That is the question Nicole Santiago answered when she embraced the art of flexibility and pivoted careers during her mini-retirement. 

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Nicole connected with Jillian in 2017. A full-time teacher who just had her third child, Nicole and her husband were stuck. Nicole, highly invested in her classroom but wanting to do more, was looking for a way to spend more time with her family and not be so stressed out. 

Through her blog, she found an outlet and more purpose. 

“I got a taste for work that was really impactful.” 

Seeing the value in her side-gig, Nicole wondered if she could find a way to shift away from her nine to five job. 

Enter Jillian’s mini-retirement course. 

“Working through the course gave me the plan to say, ‘This is actually possible, and here are the steps’.”

Nicole helped get her husband on board by leading with an idea he would love: living in Puerto Rico for a year. 

After selling their house in the expensive city of D.C., they set out on a three-month road trip. Landing in San Antonio, it became apparent that the stability of Puerto Rico, after the governor was overthrown, was not ideal for their young family. 

So, they pivoted. The Santiagos bought a home in San Antonio because it was cheaper than renting. 

Nicole was not giving up her vision for their future. This mindset was crucial when six months in, her husband’s work in special events completely disappeared because of covid. 

Rattled but persistent and curious, they pressed on.

“You have to grab on tight because things will come that will shake you.”

Nicole is so thankful they stayed the course, grew her business, and settled into their envisioned life. 

Find more about Nicole’s work supporting parents and their children with learning differences as an executive function coach on her website and Instagram.