Rally podcast: Former lawyer turns hobby into growing phenomenon

Photo of Macaela J. Bennett

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’d turned away from her successful legal career after feeling overworked yet content with everything she’d accomplished in the field. Her resume includes posts working in copyright law at Moses & Singer, NBC, Reader’s Digest, her own firm, Audible during its sale to Amazon and, finally, Bloomberg.

“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 with 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.

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She decided that 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’d once reviewed NBC’s Saturday Night Live scripts for defamatory language. She opened By The Way Bakery almost exactly a year after walking away from the legal profession.

What began as a hobby evolved into a growing small business that now includes four shops in the metro 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 store 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’d like to learn more, please reach out by emailing Rally@ctpost.com or follow on FacebookInstagram or Twitter at Rally_Podcast.