Steede-terry, Karen

Dr. Cathy Greenberg:
This week’s show features Karen Steede-Terry. Her book is Full-Time Woman, Part-Time Career. We are going to talk to Karen about how she came up with this book, concepts in the book, and how they can help you perform at your best.

For twelve years Karen Steede-Terry operated her own business in Austin, Texas. She built a successful training practice in the hi-tech fields at GPS which is Global Positioning System which we all now have in our cars, and GIS, Geographic Information Systems. She was the first woman to become what we call double certified as an instructor by Tremble Navigation and ESRI, the two leading manufacturers of both GPS and GIS.

She is consistently ranked as a Top Five Instructor by the company she teaches for and is the author of Integrating GIS and the Global Positioning System.

As a self-employed professional, many women and some men approach Karen wanting to learn how to start their own businesses and almost all of the women, and many of the new mom’s, sought a more flexible part-time career they could cultivate while raising a family, while Karen would offer advice and informally coach them through the process of going out on their own and/or starting a business.

This experience combined with her collective knowledge, insight, and experience led Karen to write her award-winning second book, Full-Time Woman, Part-Time Career. I was very lucky to meet Karen last year at the Governor’s Conference for Women in Texas where she now lives.

She has officially formalized her coaching skills by becoming a certified life coach. As a coach Karen brings diverse life experiences along with wisdom and coaching tools to guide you, bring out your best and ensure your success as she embarks with you on your own journey.

She has taught start your own part-time business workshop and had developed an 8 point signature system to help women launch their own successful service-oriented businesses.

Welcome, Karen!

Karen Steede-Terry: Hi!

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Welcome. It’s good to hear your voice. The first question I’d like to ask you Karen, which we ask all of our guests, is who influenced you the most and have really bee guiding lights and beacons in your life and career?

Karen Steede-Terry: Well, first I want to say thank you so much for having me on the show. I’m really excited to be here and I appreciate what you just said about my book, too.

To answer your question from a personal perspective, I would say my Dad who has been in business successfully since 1973. He’s taught me a lot and given me very good advice.

In terms of my career, it seems that initially, I caught the growth wave of a new technology which would be the Geographic Information System or GIS as you stated in your intro, there. From there I have always found my way by meeting the needs of my clients. I’m very good at listening to clients and really hearing what they have to say which has served me well through the years.

For many people, simply being fully heard and understood when they have something important on their minds that they want to talk about, is the best gift that you can give them.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Wow, that’s really meaningful.

It’s amazing, isn’t it, when you think about how people have influenced you and the direction that you’ve taken in life?

Karen Steede-Terry: Yes, it is.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Tell us a little bit about what you do now and some of your background. I know that you started in business as a GPS and GIS trainer. How did you get interested in where you are now?

Karen Steede-Terry: Well, it’s an interesting story. I studied geography in college. Geography is more than just what is the capital of Pennsylvania. And by the way, if you say Philadelphia you’d be wrong. What most people don’t realize is that geography is actually the study of may interrelated disciplines. There’s some economics, geology, ecology, the environment, all along with people, places and culture, and how they are all connected.

There’s a discipline within geography that applies this concept, the interconnectivity to a computer system, and that’s GIS, Geographic Information Systems.

Now GIS is a very powerful tool that pairs a map with a computer database so that users can visualize patterns and trends across a geographic area.

The first time I saw GIS in action in college I immediately saw the potential that it had. Since I started out, the use of GIS has grown dramatically and as the technology caught on, my clients needed someone who could teach them how to use the software. So, I responded to their needs and provided that service for them as a software instructor.

Today I am in transition between my GIS career and building my clientele and a women’s business coach. It may seem initially that these two careers may not be related, but there’s actually a lot of overlap in skills between training and coaching. When I was self-employed in Austin as a software instructor for 12 years, during this time I had many women and men approach me after teaching a class, as you said in your intro, and they wanted to know how to start their own business.

The women, in particular, wanted something flexible that they could do while raising a family. This happened to me more, and more often. Over time, my advice grew into a full-fledged book and that became Full-Time Woman, Part-Time Career.

Then as time went on, I would also counsel these women through their journey and that led me to become a certified life coach.

Now I have a unique blend of experience and the coaching skills and I can help new or fairly new women entrepreneurs by teaching them exactly what it takes to start a business, how to attract clients, and how to make a great income in the process.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: It’s so funny because I’m thinking about my own career as you are talking and it is interesting how we get educated, we get degrees, we get certified, we have a career, we are by all means, successful, and then something strikes us at some point and we make a minor correction or change in the journey that takes all the skills and knowledge we have and we apply it a new way and people think well, that’s a disconnect. But there isn’t.

What I’d like to do is ask you a little bit about some of the topics that you speak about. When you lecture today, Karen, what are some of the topics that you speak about that combine those strengths and show the audience how you have integrated those things today?

Karen Steede-Terry: Well, it’s funny what you said about skills that overlap. I have several topics that I speak about and all of them also tie in neatly to my client’s issues when I’m coaching them. So that is very true.

I have a talk on the Nuts and Bolts of Starting Your Own Business. It’s based on a couple of chapters in my book, Full-Time Woman, Part-Time Career, and most women when they start a business feel a little bit overwhelmed by everything that they have to do in terms of go out and actually file the paperwork and select a business name, and things like that.

The talk breaks it down into manageable steps. It also goes into steps and things that you can do, specifically some action items you can do to help market yourself and sell your skills.

The second talk is Both Sides Now, which is about the pros and cons of self-employment. Some women are a little bit scared to walk away from a steady paycheck and just quit their jobs cold-turkey. So, I have found that this speech provides some clarity as to the advantages and the disadvantages of either starting a business or going out on your own. That talk is very well received.

I have a third talk called Boom, which is a one-of-a-kind speech I have about the Oklahoma City Bombing. I was actually there on that day in 1995 and I saw the entire bombing unfold before my eyes as I was on the highway driving, not knowing what I was witnessing, of course, at the time. In that speech I talk about number one, recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities, and two, what to do and how to handle things when something unexpected happens in your life like the bombing.

I was there and I could have just not done anything and said, oh this is such a tragedy, but as it was, I went and had a GPS, Global Positioning System with me, and helped the emergency responders learn how to use it in their emergency response to that event. I had no idea when I witnessed the bombing, how much it would impact my life and I used the lessons in that talk to inspire and help others through their own life journey.

Then finally, I have a talk titled The Balancing Act, which is a talk I give about work/life balance.

Listen to the complete interview, above.

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