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MilSpouse Mondays with Katie Christy

Submitted by Meditec on Mon, 10/22/2018 - 14:00

MilSpouse Katie Christy Welcome to MilSpouse Mondays, a weekly series dedicated to tackling some of the biggest challenges facing today’s military spouses. Each Monday, we’ll feature a new military spouse, and discuss ways in which they’ve managed to overcome their challenges while serving their communities. This week, we talk to Katie Christy, an entrepreneur, athlete, blogger, and mother. With a long history with the military, Katie shares how she was able to find professional success while maintaining a lifestyle that allows her to follow passions and look after her active children. Read our interview with Katie below: Katie, can you provide a brief overview your experience as a military spouse? The military life is all I’ve ever known as I married my college sweetheart two weeks after graduation and have been following him around the country ever since. During our 15 years in the Army, we have survived seven moves, and been through three lengthy combat deployments and countless TDY’s. Although it is a crazy journey, we wouldn’t have it any other way- we love the adventurous aspect of the lifestyle and treasure the ability to serve to a cause we are passionate about! Entrepreneurship is a daunting and intimidating route to take when it comes to career paths, yet in 2014, you took a leap of faith and co-founded Task Force 144, an organization dedicated to developing exceptional leaders and great teams. With a degree in finance, what led you to become an entrepreneur? I chose entrepreneurship because I was tired of having to reinvent myself at each new duty station. Every time we moved I felt like I had to give up another part of my professional dream and take whatever was available (which usually meant taking a position that I was extremely overqualified for). While planning for an upcoming PCS, I realized that I could take control of my own professional destiny and design a career that would be not only fulfilling, but flexible. I am a mom of two very active boys and I didn't want to sacrifice the ability to attend their soccer games and classroom parties to maintain my professional identity. In short, I wanted my cake AND I wanted to eat it! I mean, why else would you have cake in the first place?!? Finally, I became an entrepreneur in order to leverage my wide variety of talents and experience to help others become better versions of themselves! In 2015, you went on to start a new business, Activate Your Talent, a company that helps helping individuals and organizations leverage their natural talents to become more effective. What impact has entrepreneurship had on your experience as a military spouse? Starting a business has inspired tremendous growth in both my personal and professional life. Interacting with clients provides me with an incredible amount of energy, which I am then able to channel into motivation to continue on the entrepreneurial journey. Additionally, since I am constantly seeking to improve my clients’ lives, I am able to apply those same tips and tactics to my own life. I believe that my clients deserve the best experience possible, so I work tirelessly to be on the cutting edge of the personal and professional development field. Finally, interacting with other entrepreneurs has provided me with the most wonderful network of friends and colleagues. I can’t imagine being on this journey alone (and sometime entrepreneurship can be lonely) and am so thankful for the community I have become a part of! Aside from entrepreneurship, you’re also a passionate athlete, from participating in ultra-marathons to becoming a certified CrossFit trainer. In your opinion, how important is it for military spouses to set goals and follow their passions? The ability for military spouses to set goals and follow their passions is, in my opinion, essential. One of the first lessons I learned as a business owner was that even though following your passions is scary, it is worth the risk. I like to equate my journey in entrepreneurship to my experience with long distance running. Both are events fraught with fear. Thoughts like, “Can I finish?” “What if I hurt myself?” and “What if it rains?’’ can run through your head incessantly as you prepare for and run the race. The difference between you and the rest of the world is that you acknowledge the risk, but keep going. I found that stepping out on the ledge in a physical challenge made it easier for me to step out when the time came to start my business from the ground up. The questions may be different, but the feeling of constant worry is the same for entrepreneurs. The ability to accept risk and manage your fears are necessary skills in both arenas! Secondly, the goal setting process is full of obstacles AND opportunities. You have to endure pain to earn the glory. Financial stress, rejections, and the guilty feelings that inevitably come with sacrificing time with family make the path of entrepreneurship a difficult one. On the other hand, the potential to create something enduring that positively impacts people’s lives can make it all worthwhile. For me, the knowledge that I am able to use my strengths to help others find and leverage theirs keeps me going on the early mornings and late nights. I truly believe that if you are operating in the intersection of your passion, values and strengths you will find an almost unlimited source of motivation and energy! As a military spouse entrepreneur, what advice do you have for other MilSpouses currently struggling to find a career that works with their unique lifestyle with the military? My advice for those MilSpouses struggling to find a career that works with their unique military lifestyle would be to create some space around the topic. It is tempting to try and rush to a one-size-fits-all solution to employment, but slowing down and really taking the time to evaluate your strengths, your abilities, your constraints (child care, remote work, etc), and your connections will lead to a much more fruitful solution. I would recommend that once you are considering a new employment journey to begin journaling about your desires, chatting with others in similar circumstances, and engaging with members of your field. These interactions should help you clarify your true feelings/passions and strengthen your network should you choose to go back to work. We at Meditec want to thank Katie for taking part in MilSpouse Mondays. You can stay up to date with Katie on Twitter, Also, be sure to sign to check back next week for another installment of MilSpouse Mondays, presented by Meditec. If you missed last week’s installment with Lizann Lightfoot, founder of Seasoned Spouse, you can read the interview here. About Meditec Meditec is a career training site specifically designed to help America’s military spouses succeed professionally, regardless of where life takes them. Our accredited, affordable, MyCAA-approved courses are centered around career opportunities that allow individuals to work from home or on the road.  Not only that, but we also guide military spouses throughout the MyCAA process, helping them earn scholarships to put towards career advancement programs.