Finding Contentment In All The Seasons | RTWOS EP 7 with Katie Quesada – Shamelessly Ambitious Episode 132

Filed in All Episodes, Business Strategy, Leadership Development, Releasing The Wounds Of Success Series — December 12, 2023

This conversation hit me right in the feels. 😮‍💨

When I asked Katie Quesada what wounds of success meant to her, she had a totally different take that I can’t wait for you to hear. 

Katie is an acclaimed speaker and consultant who is deeply passionate about the art of storytelling. She helps people and companies craft their stories in a concise and compelling way by igniting them for more effective communication, high trust within teams, and immediate ROI. Katie’s family spent two years living in a 180 sq ft tiny home and believe that stories are better than stuff.

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I first learned who Katie was when she reached out and asked me to be a guest on her podcast, but instead, in a turn of events, she was a guest speaker inside my mastermind and the ladies absolutely fell in love with Katie and her amazing storytelling skills. When thinking about the amazing women I wanted to feature in this series, Katie was absolutely one of them. Sooo, without further adieu, Katie and I were having this banter about success, and let me tell you, it’s like trying to explain quantum physics to a cat (both things I don’t really love, however I do love talking about this). Throughout our conversation we were nodding, agreeing, and going, “mm-hmm, yeah,” to each other’s sentences like we’ve cracked the code of the universe. Spoiler alert: We haven’t. Buuut we do manage to stumble upon some gems about healing through success.

Meet Katie 🫶🏻⬇️

So, again, Katie is a storytelling coach which is a job she totally made up but that’s something I admire so much because y’all know I’m all about paving the way and doing things first. Five years ago, she was working at a mega corporation for 10 years. They would put on large events where hundreds of people would come and listen to the guest speakers. A woman by the name of Dr. Thema Bryant Davis took the stage one night and said how there was a Barnes & Noble of untold stories in the room. When Katie heard Dr. Thema say that she felt a strong conviction that she was supposed to help those people tell their stories. For the next six months, she would sit BTS with a super diverse group of people and listen to their life stories which took anywhere from 1.5-2 hours. But this is unreal… Katie would take what she just heard and help them turn it into a super captivating story that they would retell in just 6 minutes. Like whaaat??? Crazy talented.

Katie stayed in that job for a couple of years and then realized that everything around her was basically falling apart. Totally been there. 🙋🏻‍♀️ At this time, Katie, her husband, and some friends went in on a super junky 1990 RV. They fixed it up and took some trips with their two-year-old. Katie’s husband asked in passing if she thought they could ever live in an RV, they laughed, and that was it. During this time, Katie and her husband were also going through two miscarriages. Also been there. 😞 Katie was ready to quit her job and as she was walking in, serendipitously, she opened Instagram to find an influencer selling their RV. She immediately DM’d her, walked in, and quit her job. Without a plan, Katie trusted a deep-knowing and went for it.

Later that day she got a message back from the RV influencer that said she was number 16 on the list, if it came to her, she would get an email and have 30 minutes to decide if she wanted to purchase the RV. To no surprise, she got the email, her and her husband quickly decided, and they were soon proud owners of an RV. This is kind of the start to when it seems like Katie’s life was slowly falling back together.

They made the brave decision to sell everything and move into the RV. 🚌💨

People wondered if Katie would miss working at the mega corporation, but she said she’d miss being a storytelling coach. Finally having some clarity on what her CEO role was, she launched her firm, retired her husband, and has worked with some insanely huge brands like American Eagle, United HealthCare, and Zillow. 

When we started to dive into what wounds of success meant to Katie, I was so intrigued at the different take she had. When she worked at the mega corporation, it was actually a church, she shared some more intimate details about what that looked like along with some trigger warnings. She was looking for a clear message as to what her role was, but was encountered with a tricky situation of a close friend coming out as gay which led to a few other things and eventually Katie was dropped lower and lower on the totem pole until she eventually quit that job. Looking back it was a blessing in disguise, but in the moment Katie felt like nothing was going right. You see, all her life she was surrounded by success as people who wanted to serve others and tell really good stories. In her role at the mega church, she thought she had that minus the impact it was having on her in a monetary way. When she transitioned to being a storytelling coach on her own, it was her definition of success that changed. Before, the impact she had in the church was great, but it wasn’t everything she was looking for. Now, as a storytelling coach, she’s able to serve people, tell incredible stories, and be compensated well.

She is truly living the dream she didn’t know was possible. 🥰

In a lot of the other stories throughout this series, women have had to grapple with wounds of success they’ve picked up along the way that may have turned them into anxious achievers or forced them into burnout, but for Katie, she found healing in the success of her business.

Katie had previously been surrounded by the idea that in order to be successful you needed to have X, Y, Z and that success looked one certain way. When she started to succeed on her own, she realized that there isn’t just one way to success, there are a hundred ways, a hundred paths to take, and a hundred jobs she could have to be “successful.” This idea brought Katie so much healing because she wouldn’t have to conform to a certain path that didn’t feel good for her.

We started to chat about the analogies of pulling the car over when we know it’s time to change courses and not even getting in the car if we’re not sure of the destination, but this conversation brought me so much peace in knowing that we operate our day-to-day. If we feel like the path we’ve been on is starting to get rocky, we can pull the car over and change directions. 🚧

When Katie and her husband moved into the RV, it was a massive change of direction for them. Prior, they had struggled to get pregnant, but just 3 weeks after moving in the RV, they had their second child on the way. Now that they had moved into an RV anticipating it would only be the three of them, Katie had to shift her way of thinking and planning. After she had her baby, she went back to work at 8 weeks postpartum. She sobbed everyday because she didn’t want to be at work and didn’t want to be at home. Again, it started to feel like things were crumbling. But this is the newborn season.But hey, we all have our seasons, right? From the sweet, snuggly newborn season to the “I’m an independent tiny human” season, life’s a rollercoaster. Like my current season – the one where I’m knee-deep in the sass and moodiness of my 5-year-old. 🫠 #HelpMe

Feeling Small 😞

During this season, Katie started to feel extremely small, like her life was getting tinier and tinier while her friends’ lives were only growing immensely. But soon after, again, things would start to fall together for Katie. Her network of organic clients started to grow and she started to charge more. She acknowledges the slow and steady of business, though, which I so deeply appreciate as you know I’m all about sustainability. Katie said she had a friend that told her once that, “the next thing is never the thing, It’s just a thing.” This helped Katie to realize that there isn’t some magic strategy or course that is going to supersonic boom your business. Rather, again, reminding her that there are a bunch of different paths to success and there’s never just one. I think this is such an important reminder that I want to leave you with — find contentment in your current season or path. There isn’t one right way to do things and that ought to bring you so much peace knowing that you are successful right now and there isn’t a blueprint that determines that for you.

SOS 🤭📱👇🏻

You’ll have to tune in to the episode above to hear all the bits and pieces of what we chatted about and while you’re listening, don’t forget to enroll in the REDEFINE Mastermind. Applications are open for just a little longer! It’s a mastermind where we’re not just chasing quick wins, we’re here for the slow and steady, just like Katie.

Xo,

Ash

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