Sailing into a New Career + Around the World

Professional Risk

Michelle Segrest spent 30 years as a journalist. Starting out as a sports reporter and eventually made her way into industry specific editorial writing for wastewater, industrial processing, and manufacturing.  She reached a point in her career when it was time for a change. Michelle Segrest states that “I wanted more flexibility in life and no longer was excited about managing people or projects.”  She took a leap of faith and left a job with a good paying salary and solid benefits behind to work for herself. “I wanted to be the one writing and producing content, which I loved the most,” elaborates Segrest.

Michelle created Navigate Content  in 2015 where she is not only the Owner, but the writer, reporter, journalist, and content creator but most importantly her own boss. She writes, produces podcasts, creates videos and presentations but generally considers herself as a content creator. Despite no longer having a guaranteed salary and having to be her own salesperson, administrative representative, and accountant, she values the tradeoff of having more flexibility.” I enjoy the ability to have flexibility to go kayaking or sailing at a whim’s notice, says Segrest.”

Personal Risk

Upon leaving her career before founding Navigate Content, she took on another risk. The desire to cross the Atlantic in a sailboat. Michelle, a sailboat captain, and her 2 dogs started a 1 year adventure in August 2018. In order to support her adventure she would work on building her business and new projects when they would arrive at port. “The main challenge I had was dealing with seasickness the entire time but I learned to push through the challenge,” commented Segrest. The Bay of Biscay proved to be the most challenging of her journey with waves that were up to 16 feet high. She travelled a total of 7,000 nautical miles, crossing the Atlantic one time and the equator twice. Her favorite destination is a tie between Morocco or Brittany, France.

Fun Facts About Michelle

  • Where are you from? I grew up in Decatur, AL but reared my children in Birmingham, AL and lived there for 23 years before moving to Alabama’s Gulf Coast.
  • What are the 3 skills that helped you succeed at work and in sailing?  Perseverance, Courage, and Positivity
  • Name a person who had the largest influence on your career? Jack Simms, journalism professor at Auburn
  • Best advice you have received? “If your mom says she loves you, check it out.” —Jack Simms
  •  Favorite quote? “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” —William Ernest Henley
  • And what would you tell your 25 self-old now? “Travel more and experience more cultures. Step out of your comfort zone and never settle for less than you deserve.”

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