Fast Company | From Side Hustle to Full Time Gig


Writer: Lindsay Tigar Published: Nov. 20, 2018
The following is an excerpt about Diana: 


For more than a decade, Diana Liberto worked as an associate general counsel at Walmart Stores, managing class-action litigation through trial, heading a group of 50 people, overseeing employment litigation, and even working in India for a short period. It wasn’t until tragedy hit that the idea for her former side hustle and now full-fledged company, WalkMyMind, was born.

Following a series of unexpected family tragedies over a few weeks, Liberto became a different person. She went from being a high-energy individual to someone who sat alone, motionless and devastated, on the couch. She stopped working out, grew distant, and within a year, knew she needed help. So she hired a personal trainer to come to her house and drag her out for a walk. “I knew I needed to do something, yet lacked the energy and initiative to do it alone. We took a nice walk on the beach, and because it was so refreshing and restorative, I asked her to come back the next day. While walking the following day and really feeling the positive impact, I began wondering how I could help other people who were in the same boat—who, for whatever reason, couldn’t get off the couch and certainly couldn’t afford to pay someone every time they wanted or needed to take a walk,” she says.

It was during this stroll that the idea came to her: Matching people’s interests with an expert and a walk. As she explains it, if someone loves wine, and Robert Parker, a wine expert, is leading a walk on the beach, they would probably go and not think about the fact that they are ”exercising.” Instead, they would be interested in what was being discussed, sharing their interest with others. From here, she started pumping her legs every day and dictating into her iPhone all of the ideas that began populating into her brain. For a while, WalkMyMind was just part of her head, but within a year, she was starting to develop her business plan. And eventually—against the advice of her mother—she quit her comfortable position and took a chance on her passion.

In April, they partnered with GlobalFit, and together, they’re working together to develop customer support, sales, marketing, and overall camaraderie. Though the future is looking bright, Liberto’s advice is to revel in the unknown, and perhaps most importantly, accepting that it will be hard. “What I learned is that no one, absolutely no one, knows what’s actually going to happen. Some people, people who you are looking to as “experts,” will be so confident in their pronouncements, and yet they don’t really know any more than you do whether your business will take off or not,” she says. “You have to be in a position to live with uncertainty and no paycheck for however long it takes. You face repeated rejection, endless sleepless nights, the cacophony of a thousand divergent opinions, various iterations of your “baby” that may veer from your vision, and many other incredibly difficult obstacles along the path.”