Hello friends! Welcome to my series Coffee Date With. Each month I will be interviewing inspiring, badass, and self-reliant women to share their story, to inspire you, and to keep growing this community of women that are kicking ass and taking names. I've got some great women lined up for 2018 and want to bring you along to hang out with us. So in coffee date form, get those cups ready.
I don't know many people in the firearms industry that haven't heard of or recognize the name Julie Golob. She's a life-long shooter, a wife, a mother of two daughters, has set numerous world records in shooting, and is overall just a kind person. We need more people like her in this world. She is doing it all and crushing it all while maintaining a level head.
I met Julie through social media and have got to know her better beyond shooting from our mutual love of food and bullet journaling. Us planner nerds must stick together LOL. It wasn't until last month that I finally got to meet her in person and she is even nicer in real life.
If you follow her on Instagram, then you'll quickly see just how diverse her life and interests really are...cooking, shooting, raising chickens, and traveling. She also takes great selfies and is always looking flawless. I guess I should've asked her as part of this coffee date how she keeps her skin looking so good and her teeth so white...but I guess I'll have to save those for another time. Maybe happy hour ;)
So grab your coffee and join us for our Coffee Date with Julie Golob.
SMT: You recently launched a new book: Toys, Tools, Guns, & Rules, which is a book for parents to help teach their children about gun safety. What was the motivation behind starting this book and how has the reception been?
Julie: My husband and I love books and reading to our children. The closeness we share when we read combined with the opportunity to teach is very special. I wrote Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules because I wanted a book about firearm safety to read to my daughters and one that could reach as many parents and children as possible.
The NSSF’s Project Childsafe and the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe programs are excellent resources and teach the critical message of gun avoidance. It’s the messaging in my book as well, but I wanted to dig deeper by addressing different types of firearms, the anatomy of a firearm as well as the people, including the law-abiding citizens, who use them. It is very important to me to make the book as accessible to as many families as possible because firearm safety isn’t an issue of race or geographical location. I truly believe it is something everyone should learn.
The book has done so well -- beyond anything I imagined. Hitting #1 New Release status on Amazon and becoming a best seller in children’s safety books on the platform in the first day is incredible and I am so pleased, so proud!
SMT: As a mother and gun owner, you know the importance of starting the gun safety conversation with your children early. How can a family that might not own any guns benefit from this book?
Julie: As parents, it’s our job to educate our children and keep them safe. Even if you don’t own a firearm, whether it’s on a screen or in person, at some point your child will be exposed to them. Reading a book like Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules helps provide an opportunity for you start the conversation on your terms. For those who don’t know much about firearms, it gives you a chance to learn with your child. Reading together, establishing rules and building trust lead to an incredible bonding experience with your kids.
SMT: You were recruited to the US Army Shooting Team at the beginning of your career. How has your time in the US Army shaped the woman and competitive shooter you are today?
Julie: It seems so long ago now! My time in the military certainly helped shape the person I am today. Not long after my 18th birthday I left my very loving and supportive home to become a shooting star, literally! LOL. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
To chase my shooting dreams, I made a lot of sacrifices beyond the initial 5-year contract to Uncle Sam. In the military I had to grow tough, thick skin. I learned about leadership from both extremes of the spectrum. During my eight years of service, I felt I constantly had to prove my value and worth both on and off the range.
The Army provided me an opportunity to build a foundation of skills for shooting. The rounds down range, the competition experience and travel throughout the United States and abroad have been invaluable. I wouldn’t be where I am today or who I am today if it wasn’t for my time in the military.
Looking back I feel good about being able to draw the best from both worlds -- the mental toughness and hard work I learned in the military combined with the patience, guidance and love my parents taught me. Today, I still have the tough skin and an appreciation for leadership. Time, parenthood and life experience have helped me continue to grow as a person.
SMT: As a longtime competitive shooter, how have you seen the sport evolve when it comes to women competitors?
Julie: When I first started shooting I can remember being the only young woman on the range. There were a just a handful of ladies that I competed with locally. Today, the sport has so many more women! I’ve shot major championships with couples as well as entire shooting families. There are also women doing this on their own because they want to, not just because that’s what a male in their life enjoys. Isn’t it great?
The shooting sports are in an interesting place right now. On the one hand you have pro shooters, those vying for sponsorships and events with prize table focus. One the other you have a grassroots and social movement. Truthfully we need both to grow and I look forward to when the shooting sports organizations crack the nut on how to truly appeal to both groups as well as connecting with and encouraging more women to give them a try.
SMT: You've been racking up competitive shooting wins for what seems like your entire life. With the competitive shooting sports industry growing and more women competing, how do you continue to perform at such a high level where you keep setting records and winning championships?
Julie: Thank you! It’s been the most amazing ride. I think it comes down to the fact that I’ve always been willing to work hard and that I am my toughest critic. I’m not the most talented shooter on the range, but being able to self analyze has been an extremely useful skill. Even in the Army when I had more than one person who was quick to point out my deficiencies, in my head I was well aware of them and a step ahead.
Before I had my lovely children, shooting was my life. It was my main focus. Now, my job is much more…complicated! Motherhood has also taught me incredible lessons like the importance of perspective and humility.
The key to any level of success is setting realistic goals. Before, my job involved winning as many competitions as possible. Today, I balance marriage and family with work and realistic competitive shooting goals. And you know what? It’s just as rewarding.
SMT: You are an inspiration and leader for women especially when it comes to competitive shooting. What advice would you give to someone looking to enter this field and where would be a good place for them to start?
Julie: It’s no surprise I am a huge fan of competitive shooting. There are so many shooting sports out there. You have the speed-oriented sports like I compete in. There are precision-based events. There are shooting sports that combine both. If you find one of these sports appeals to you, start there. If you’re not sure, start with what’s offered at your local ranges. In time you’ll discover what you enjoy most and your shooting strengths.
Speaking of strengths, one of the best formulas for success is when passion meets up with your personal strengths. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t work on the areas that need improvement! Playing to the areas you excel in combined with dose of good old hard work will help you achieve your goals.
Oh, and about those goals? Keep them realistic! Don’t be too hard on yourself and always remember the most important thing is to be safe and have fun.
SMT: If you were stranded on a desert island, what is the one beauty product would you bring?
Julie: That’s easy! Tinted moisturizer with lots of SPF in it!
SMT: If we were to get coffee in person (or better yet a cocktail), what would you order?
Julie: I’m guessing we’d start at a coffee house. I’d order a flat white. I’m sure we would have such a great time chatting that we would end up at happy hour where I’d likely order a glass of shiraz or a vodka martini.
SMT: One of the things I love seeing from following you on Instagram are your chickens. Even though I'm a city girl, I secretly want to have my own urban chickens. What's life like as a #ChickenMama?
Julie: Too funny! I’ll tell you this, there are so many benefits to owning chickens! First, and obvious are EGGS! There’s nothing like grabbing eggs from the basket in the morning and frying them up for breakfast. Most eggs you buy in the store have been refrigerated for weeks. Fun fact: Fresh eggs don’t need to be refrigerated until they are washed.
Chickens are so funny to watch and soothing to listen to. I love seeing them in a gaggle around my daughters when they feed them special treats. Ours free range and that helps keep the tick population down. It also means we deal with predators. That’s probably the hardest thing about being a chicken mama. We have defenses in place to protect them, but we do lose chickens to four legged predators, hawks and eagles. Even though it makes us sad, caring for the flock and learning how to deal with loss is an educational experience for our children too.
The chickens provide a lot creative fun for us as well! My oldest daughter is a huge Harry Potter fan and this summer we plan to redecorate and name the coop Eggzkaban. Perhaps we’ll even upgrade the defenses with some dementors!
SMT: With so many things on your plate: Wife, Mom, Author, Competive Shooter, Business Woman, #ChickenMama. What does a typical day look like for you? How do you balance it all?
Julie: A typical day involves waking up around 7:00am and getting the kids ready for school (with coffee, of course.) I’ll let the chickens out, get a work out in and then plan the day based on projects or goals. In the off-season that involves planning for the year and promotional work for sponsors. When the competition season begins, most of the day is dedicated to “shooting” and that can involve range time, mental training, evaluation, maintaining guns and gear, logging, etc.
By 3pm, I finish up, get the kids from school, make dinner and spend time with family until 8pm. Mixed in with that I’ll check emails, schedule a blog post or post on social media. Some nights, especially in winter, my husband and I will watch something on Amazon Prime. Other nights we sit together in our library and do our own thing. On those evenings I tackle my personal projects like books, recipes and other ideas. Generally I head to bed between 9:30 and 10:00 to get as much sleep as possible. Sleep is my secret weapon.
As far as balance, a lot of people ask me that. The most influential, inspiring people are incredible at specific things, but not everything. Truthfully, I never feel caught up or completely in control. Life happens. Plans change. Oh, and my email is atrocious! I dream of the day that I actually achieve inbox zero!
At the same time, I am ok with it all. For me it comes down to priorities. Family is always first. I have my work obligations next, but after that, I decide what’s important. If email was truly that important, I’d be at zero every day. It’s not. It can’t be if I am going to be successful in other ways. We each have a capacity for greatness, but we only have so much to give. Personal success involves choosing who you give to and what you give, and doing so wisely.