It’s OK to fail

For­mer lawyer looks back on her low­est days

Connecticut Post (Sunday) - - Front Page - By Ma­caela J. Ben­nett

This week, hear the story of a high­pow­ered but over­worked at­tor­ney who reached her low point, left it all be­hind and re­bounded with a bak­ery whose reach to­day ex­tends around the North­east and beyond.

When long­time at­tor­ney He­lene Godin gave up her le­gal ca­reer with­out a plan, she felt di­rec­tion­less.

It took only days af­ter she quit to yearn for an­other job, an­other la­bel by which she could iden­tify her­self. “Any­one who knew me, knew me as the worka­holic lawyer,” Godin said. “Both things — not just lawyer.”

She had turned away from her suc­cess­ful le­gal ca­reer af­ter feel­ing over­worked, yet con­tent with ev­ery­thing she had ac­com­plished in the field. Her re­sume in­cludes work in copy­right law at Moses &

Singer, NBC,

Reader’s Di­gest, her own firm,

Au­di­ble dur­ing its sale to Ama­zon and, fi­nally,


“At ev­ery job I learned some­thing,” Godin said. “At Bloomberg I learned I was done. ...

Busi­ness isn’t about money, it’s about pas­sion. I stopped be­ing a lawyer when the pas­sion went away.” Godin quit in 2010 and within four days was “bored out of my mind,” she said.

She filled her time tak­ing pro­fes­sional bak­ing classes, where an in­struc­tor men­tioned the grow­ing trend of gluten- free baked goods. Around the same time, Godin no­ticed the gluten- free sec­tion ex­pand­ing in her grocery store.

She de­cided her next hobby would en­tail open­ing a small bak­ery in her com­mu­nity, Hast­ings- on- Hud­son, N. Y. She re­searched the busi­ness con­cept with the same in­ten­sity she had once re­viewed NBC’s “Satur­day Night Live” scripts for defam­a­tory lan­guage. She opened By The Way Bak­ery al­most ex­actly a year af­ter walk­ing away

“At ev­ery job I learned some­thing. At Bloomberg I learned I was done. ... Busi­ness isn’t about money, it’s about pas­sion. I stopped be­ing a lawyer when the pas­sion went away.” He­lene Godin

from the le­gal pro­fes­sion.

What be­gan as a hobby evolved into a grow­ing small busi­ness that in­cludes four shops in the New York City area and pro­vid­ing goods for Whole Foods around the North­east.

On this week’s episode of Rally, Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia’s new pod­cast about busi­ness lead­ers fac­ing fail­ure and bounc­ing back, Godin tells her story of strug­gling to find a new ca­reer di­rec­tion.

Ev­ery week this month, you will find a new episode of Rally avail­able via Ap­ple Pod­casts, Stitcher and Sound­Cloud. You can sub­scribe on those plat­forms to have the lat­est show de­liv­ered to your phone au­to­mat­i­cally or lis­ten on­line. Each episode will tell one busi­nessper­son’s story of things go­ing awry and the lessons learned that even­tu­ally led to suc­cess.

If you would like to learn more, please reach out by email­ing Rally@ ct­post. com or fol­low on Face­book, In­sta­gram or Twit­ter at Ral­ly_ Pod­cast.

Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia file photo

Owner He­lene Godin at By the Way Bak­ery in Green­wich.

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