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From job loss to living her passion
Now a professional wellness coach and the owner of The Pearl of Door County, Megan Lundahl talks about the path she took from losing her job to living her passion – and the important part NWTC Sturgeon Bay played in her success.
Lundahl was a 10-year employee of a Sturgeon Bay yacht manufacturer when the facility closed its doors in 2015. Lundahl turned that setback into an opportunity to change careers.
What brought you to NWTC?
Following a decade long career in purchasing and marketing with Palmer Johnson Yachts, I found myself facing the opportunity for a career change when their Sturgeon Bay manufacturing facility closed. A life-long passion for health and wellness led me to search out graduate programs that were in alignment with my values and aspirations; I yearned to positively affect the community's wellbeing through the education and empowerment of its residents.
I was soon accepted to The University of Minnesota's Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coaching master's program on the condition that I take a semester of classes to "re-up" on a few key courses: statistics, anatomy, and psychology. While I had taken these courses while earning a BS with majors in both business administration and biology from UW-Stevens Point (way back in 2002), the required refresher was more than welcome!
Thankfully, the pre-nursing program at NWTC offered exactly what I needed, delivering not only in quality, but also in community. NWTC also offered flexible scheduling that allowed me to run for local office and continue working. I got to be your friendly county supervisor and bartender while going to school and continuing to work toward my dream.
That semester at NWTC also provided the invaluable life lessons I needed to mentally prepare for reentering academia in my late 30s at a master's level. I entered graduate school at the University of Minnesota directly after completing those courses, graduated from the Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching master's program two and a half years later, and obtained certification from the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches soon thereafter.
What was a highlight of your education at NWTC?
The highlight of my semester at NWTC was finally acing anatomy! I had squeaked through the same course at UWSP with a hard case of senioritis and a B- in 2002. Awakening that buried knowledge and getting to work with cadavers again was awesome. The living folks I had the opportunity to collaborate with at NWTC were pretty great too. In all seriousness, the staff and facilities right here in Sturgeon Bay are second to none. I depended on the expertise of staff, logged many hours in that computer lab, and dare I say, find myself missing it a little as I write this. If my crazy schedule ever allows, I might just have to take a few more courses!
What piece of advice would you give to someone considering this career and coming to NWTC?My dad has always said to me, "If you see an opening, stick your pointy boot in the door." The door at NWTC is open to you and the doors that subsequently open might just surprise you in the best way! So why not start at NWTC like I did, right in our own backyard, and be open to where your paths may take you? Sometimes it takes time to get clear with your aspirations. You can make moves while you make that time, because if you don't ask the universe exactly for what you want, it doesn't know what to provide you with.
Anything you would like to add regarding your thoughts on NWTC Sturgeon Bay?
I am so grateful to have this top-notch educational resource right here in our community. Attending NWTC saved me a lot of time and money without sacrificing the quality of my preparations for grad school. While I may not have earned a degree from NWTC, it did allow me to follow my passion and further my aspirations of contributing to a more healthy and vibrant community.
What are you doing now in your career?
Prior to graduation I founded Bona Dea Holistic Wellness Solutions which is now the parent entity of Megan Lundahl Wellness Coaching and Reiki, The Good Witch Apothecary (a blossoming aromatherapy and skin care brand), and most recently The Pearl of Door County, whose brick and mortar location is in downtown Sturgeon Bay and can be found online at www.thepearlofdoorcounty.com.
The Pearl is a gallery featuring the work of over 30 local artists and makers, a retail shop, and community gathering place I co-founded with Sarah Try in 2019 directly after finishing grad school. Sarah has recently chosen to entrust me with both reins, stepping away from the business to dive into other exciting endeavors. With the help of friends, family, and countless collaborators and mentors, The Pearl has continued to shift and grow through the pandemic into what is fast becoming a hub for fine art, creativity, energetic spirituality, and wellness.
Integrative health and wellbeing coaching pairs naturally with this. In my professional coaching practice, I take a holistic and creative approach to partnering with clients to manage stress, recognize their potential for growth, learn effective communication, and set healthy boundaries and attainable goals as they put their plans and dreams in motion. Witnessing a client's growth toward positive change is nothing short of magical! As a wellness coach and businesswoman, I firmly believe that when it comes to health, creativity leads to empowerment, and empowerment leads to individuals feeling engaged and inspired and a healthier community overall. We are our own best experts on this once-in-a-lifetime journey, and it is my honor to be able to collaborate with clients, customers, and some of the finest artists and makers this county has to offer.
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