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The decision to leave a situation that no longer works isn’t always an easy one. It takes courage to take that leap of faith as opposed to staying in a comfortable situation, such as a job or relationship, that’s not congruent with one’s values or long-term vision.
We have to ask ourselves the big questions and decide what we value:
What do we REALLY want?
Why do we want it?
Is money or time more important?
Depending on your situation, the answers to these questions are not always straightforward. Everyone has a different path and these are questions we as individuals can only answer for ourselves.
After a successful career in the military, Tatiana Wallace came at a crossroad as to what to do next. Learn about how this young, entrepreneurial mama’s took the big leap.
Q: What made you decide to enlist in the U.S. Army? What was your overall experience like?
A: When I joined the army, I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew I wanted to serve my country, and if I could do that, get benefits, go to school, and have a steady job, then I would be successful, right?
I joined the army as a healthcare specialist “aka” a combat medic. My experience was an interesting one to say the least. I learned more about myself during my army career than I have my whole entire life. I loved the relationships I formed in the army, the medical knowledge I gained and the opportunities they gave me to grow as a person.
Can I also just say I was in the best shape of my life? It felt amazing being able to do something I was proud of and get paid for it!
Q: How did you get into Client Attraction Strategy?
A: The army did two huge things for me. It helped me start a business that I didn’t know was forming at the time and it also showed me, I never wanted to work for anyone else a day in my life. I worked in a medical clinic screening soldiers, but when I was not doing that I was back at my company doing random non-medical tasks.
While getting ready to go out to the field one day, I had a friend tell me he was about to reenlist. A friend I knew wanted to travel the world and go to school. He felt stuck and he didn’t know what else to do. I told him to meet me in the conference room after lunch and we would figure it out. That day the “army escape plan” was born.
I helped close to 100 soldiers map out their plans in that conference room to transition their military careers to successful careers and businesses in the civilian world and I loved every minute of it.
Q: How were you able to translate your strategic military experience into business mentoring and strategic client attraction?
A: Yes, so whenever it came time to strategize in the army, for training or a mission, it was called tactical planning. You have to take the resources and team you have available to you and create an effective, simple plan in high pressure situations.
Taking something you learn how to do quickly in a stressful situation becomes easily transferable in other situations requiring the same skills.
When I started mapping out people’s lives and businesses down to the last detail, it was a cake walk because there was no pressure. It was fun. Tactical planning and army escape plans made me the Client Attraction Strategist I am today.
Q: Why did you decide to leave the army?
A: My whole life was turned upside down when I had my first son, I couldn’t imagine turning him over to someone else. I tried using ALL of my leave days to cling on to my time with him. I was heartbroken when I had to head back to work. I wondered how people did it every day like it was easy.
I thought I had no choice but to be in the army. It was part of my plan and I was making good money. Now that I had this little person to take care of, I definitely couldn’t just quit, it felt irresponsible. However, after some time, I finally put in a request to go and see someone about my options after the army. Unfortunately, this request had to go through my boss. Talking to him made me realize I didn’t want this for my life.
Being in the army is like having a boss you cannot fire and if your boss sucks, well you just have to suck it up. My leadership told me I would never be as stable as I was in the army and that I had to earn the right to be happy. I knew he was wrong, so that day I decided I would choose happiness because I didn’t have time to sit around figuring out how to earn it.
Although I left the army for many reasons, I would say my main reason was so I could be in charge of my freedom. I wasn’t happy. I wanted to take my son to the doctor without feeling like I had to beg for permission. I wanted to spend time with him without having to miss lunch to do it. I wanted to enjoy my job and wanted to set my own schedule and make my own rules.
I decided to leave when I realized the only way I was going to be happy is if I did the things that made me happy.
Q: You’re a busy mom with a 2-year old AND a newborn. How are you able to manage the family while sailing the entrepreneurship?
A: With a lot of patience! Planning, flexibility and outsourcing are how I keep my sanity. I spend one day planning and preparing for the next two weeks in advance so I don’t have to figure out things like meals, outfits, or try and figure out what I should do first. Not having to stop and cook for an hour is an hour I get to spend with my family. I spend time every night planning the next day.
Every morning I go over and confirm or change anything I need to. I also don’t feel the need to be superwoman anymore. I don’t cook all the meals, do all the laundry or clean my house “white glove test” clean. Not alone anyway! I have recruited my husband and mother-in-law for childcare. I also make sure I know exactly how I will spend the 2-4 hours I have available, when I have help. You’d be surprised how much you can get done in a small amount of time, especially if you don’t have to spend time figuring it out.
Lastly, flexibility was a big adjustment for me but if you have kids you know it’s a must. I make sure I have more than enough time to spend with my son, but there have been many days I worked from his yellow, Fisher-Price table because he wanted me to have a Lego party with him. Or I’d have to find a show for him to watch while I take a 30-minute call because my childcare fell through. I buckle down and get what I can do, done. And at the end of the day I close my computer and enjoy my family. This is probably the hardest thing to do (closing my computer) when there is still work to do but I crank out 10 times better quality work when I’m rested and loved up by my family.
Q: What’s one piece of advice you can give the audience about juggling business and life?
A: Take your time. I know it seems like crazy advice, but as parents with little people we tend to want to cram EVERYTHING we have to do in the little free time we have. That cramming of activity usually leads to overwhelm. Overwhelm leads to inaction. It’s better to take one small action step a day, than to plan 10 and get none of them done.
Tatiana Wallace is based in Atlanta, GA. Her focus is on client attraction strategies for women who want to up their desirability as coaches. Through customized blueprints, her clients can easily stand out in the marketplace using their unique gifts and have their ideal prospects seek them out. Tatiana also helps her clients get rid of the mystery of what to do everyday so they can stop feeling overwhelmed, working 12+ hours a day.
Through her live trainings, sense of humor, and insanely simple, step-by-step action plans, she’s here to show you how to attract more clients, and as a result make more money – while making every step feel like a total walk in the park. She can be found at www.tatianawallace.com.