Gaby Lidback is a Sales Executive in Tampa, FL with an infectious joy for life. She is our #WCW because she doesn't let new experiences intimidate her on her journey to be her best self.
1. What's your story? What makes you unique?
My fun fact in school or when I met new people was that I was born in Paris, France. I lived abroad for eight years of my life, and this experience has influenced my world forever. I speak three languages and have dual citizenship. In addition, I am one of four children born to two of the most loving and supportive parents. I have never lived in the same city for more than four years, and grew up with a passion for fitness, travel and life. Having moved around so much, I have come to make this whole world feel at home. I am at ease in new places, and new friends feel like family. I believe I truly grew into myself after I graduated college. That was when I started taking my life more seriously and realizing that the efforts I put into my life resulted in a much more satisfying life. The core of that change was a group of Atlanta girl bosses who embraced their careers as well as their health and fitness goals. I would not be who I am today without each one of them and their influences.
What makes me unique is that I’ve never seen the world in gray. It was always bursting with color. Vibrant. There were always so many incredible adventures waiting to be had and the most incredible people waiting to be met. Life is too short to wait for all of the puzzle pieces to fall into place perfectly. Whether it is as simple as a summer night concert with a dear friend, or as complex as a solo trip to Washington D.C., or even a girls’ trip to Europe, you can always find me planning my next great adventure.
2. What motivates you?
I am extremely self-motivated. I seek inspiration from others, but my motivation comes from within. Quite honestly, I think that this is how it should be for everyone. I created a hashtag on Instagram at the beginning of this year- #seekinggaby. The main purpose is for me to focus on every aspect of my life and seek out the areas that I can improve. I often will choose goals that I want to reach and either set a plan to reach them or invite someone else to the challenge to join along. We are all on this incredible journey, and I think we deserve to be happy and are entirely capable of being the best versions of ourselves. I am truly my biggest critic, but at the same time I am my biggest supporter. From this flows a circle of influence. I am self-motivated, but I also seek to motivate others and be the best version of myself for their benefit. I believe we all have the ability to influence each other and make someone’s life better and brighter.
3. Who is a hero of yours?
My world is full of heroes. My dad is my hero for his undying love for family. My mom is my hero for her work ethic and putting others before herself. My brothers and sister are my heroes for their discipline and ability to chase their dream careers. My Aunt Jenny is my hero for her level-headedness. My Aunt Annie is my hero for her creativity. My friend, Umama, is my hero for her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to her fitness goals. My boss is my hero for teaching and challenging me to survive in the corporate world and being the ultimate #girlboss. My friend Brooke is my hero for her tender heartedness and loyalty to those she loves. And my friend, Khadija, is my hero for her commitment to her faith and not being afraid to share her beliefs with others. How can you choose one? It is because of these people and many more that I am who I am today. I like to surround myself with heroes. I am hoping some of it rubs off on me one day. But for now, I am grateful for them getting me this far.
4. Give us a road map of your career. How did you get to where you are today?
Ha! My career path makes me chuckle. I have very much winged this aspect of my life. I started college as an international business major, but once I failed accounting, I switched to international affairs. It was a great move. I was obsessed with my classes, but I was quite unsure of where to go from there. I graduated in the spring of 2014 and immediately started working for the Coca-Cola Company as an Assistant Project Manager. Once that contract ended, I began my career in Sales. I started working for Pepperidge Farm as a Territory Sales Manager. Out of the 16 months that I worked there, I was driving a 16ft truck delivering Goldfish Crackers to the grocery stores as early as 3 a.m. for nine months of that time period. Safe to say that this is not where I imagined my career would go. In an effort to pursue my passion for fitness, I began a small business of training women and helping them to reach their fitness goals. In January of 2017, I packed up my entire life in Atlanta and moved to Tampa, FL. I am currently working for a Pharmaceutical Wholesaler as a Sales Executive and love it. My director is a badass boss lady who expects a lot from me and works extremely hard to fine tune me into the best career woman that I can be. I get to work with some of the best hospitals in the nation and make sure that patients are getting the medications that they need to survive. I always knew I wanted my job to have purpose and find a place to grow, I have found that here, and I am so grateful. I very often go with my gut and find my path through what feels right. Sometimes you just need to trust your instincts.
5. What's your future plan? Your goals?
Having moved around so much as a kid and having a look back at my life and career path, I have begun to realize that plans do not always come to fruition. Despite my life as a corporate woman, I am also a free spirit at heart. My only long term goals are to be happy and surround myself with the best kinds of people. Everything else will flow from there. My short term goals are definitely a work in progress though. I am currently doing a powerlifting program and working hard to literally be the strongest and healthiest woman that I can be. I am also working on trying to be more organized and efficient as well as growing myself spiritually and mentally. My daily goal: Learn something new every day. Finally, I set a goal to live abroad again by the time that I am 30. Five years people! However, I am currently happy where I am now, and want to take a few years to immerse myself in the Tampa lifestyle.
6. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
I have two pieces of advice that drive me:
Do epic things with your life. Stay out too late on a work night. Drive a little bit too far for a weekend trip. Explore a country you’ve never been to. Leave a post-it on the door of a cute guy in your apartment complex. Get lost on a hike with a new friend. Send surprise snail mail to your loved ones. Drive the six hour round trip to see the Grand Canyon with your grandma in a day. Life is full of big and little adventures that you can take advantage of daily.
Love yourself. And if you don’t already, make it your #1 priority. Love your flaws, your wrinkles, your loud laugh, your strangely colored hair. Love your thick thighs and how you might get a little too excited over some things. Love that you struggle with math but know three languages. Love that you are filled with fire but radiate positivity. Love every aspect of yourself and what makes you unique. In this end, this is the only person you get to be, so why not make the most of it and love every part of it?
7. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)?
Something that breaks my heart the most are the insecurities that women often suffer. Don't get me wrong, I have my own insecurities, but I often speak with women who doubt themselves so intensely that they think that only another person or thing will give them value. There are women who cannot see their beauty and the gift that they are to this world. I have spoken with women who want to take control of their health but just settle because they believe that they do not have the discipline or ability to reach their goals. I have spoken with women who are so desperate to find a man because they believe that then, and only then, they will be truly happy. Complete. I have spoken to women who believe that if they grew their hair out longer or they were just a bit skinnier that they would be better liked or have more friends. I have spoken to women who doubt that the uniqueness of themselves is the biggest blessing that they could receive. There is not a special formula for happiness. “Our attitude toward life determines life's attitude towards us.” -Earl Nightingale. Women are having their moment in this time period. We are rising up and becoming more empowered. I feel strongly about trying to help women see the beauty and strength that is inside of them already. I want to teach women to be strong all by themselves, and even stronger together.
8. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?
Gosh, I know this sounds spoiled, but how do you pick one? I have woken up at 4 a.m. to climb a mountain and watch the sunrise with a dear friend. I once flew to Egypt for the weekend and rode a camel and saw the great pyramid. I flew to Washington D.C. by myself, because I wanted to see a city I had never been to before. I went to Europe for two weeks with a group of women I had known less than a year. I asked some strangers on Facebook if they wanted to go hiking with me. I lived in France for eight years, and I have climbed a glacier in Switzerland. That’s not even all of it, I could keep going. I have been really lucky in this life. The coolest thing I have ever done is travel and experience this amazing life and its moments with the best kind of people.