When chasing success led to serious burnout, this event planner turned within.

In 2017, it looked like Katie Goyette had it all. A career event planner, she was finally at the top—vice president of sales for the growing TC Restaurant Group, which manages some of downtown Nashville’s most popular restaurants and biggest event spaces. But emotionally, she was at the bottom.

“I built a life of success and achievement, but I was empty on the inside,” Katie says. “I was burned out, stressed out and did not like who I was, so I made a conscious decision to go inward and work with different teachers, mentors and coaches. I learned to reprogram myself, change how I react to situations and function in a much calmer manner.”

While she still works as an event planner, she’s added a couple of side-hustles to her resume. She’s a firewalking instructor (yes, you read that right) and she’s a life coach. And in November, she became an author after publishing a self-help book, “Flush the Toilet,” that uses potty humor and hilarious illustrations to encourage readers to “flush” their self-limiting beliefs, fears and excuses so they can achieve their personal dreams.

PLAY LIKE A GIRL: The theme for the Women’s Leadership Summit is New Rules for a New World. What does that mean to you?

KATIE: It’s not easy being an event planner during a pandemic. To say it has been a difficult and challenging time for this industry would be an understatement. It is going to take some time to rebuild while we begin to understand what the new rules for the new world even are.

That said, while this pandemic has dealt a blow to my industry, I’m also seeing some positive changes. There’s less social interaction, for sure, but I feel like people truly value and appreciate one another on a whole new level. Creating deeper connections—that’s always a good thing. That’s a new rule for me.

PLAY LIKE A GIRL: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

KATIE: The best career advice I received was when I was in my early 20s and had just been offered a big promotion to move to New York. I remember being terrified and my mentor at the time said, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” It helped me realize the fear I was experiencing was minor, and the possible successes and opportunity far outweighed anything that “could” happen.

PLAY LIKE A GIRL: What career advice would you give to your younger self today?

KATIE: Enjoy the ride. I feel like I was chasing success and always wanted MORE and to be BETTER. Those are great qualities, but it is so important to stop, be present and be grateful for who and where you are in THIS moment. Learning to love yourself as you are, where you are and how you are. Don’t rush to get anywhere in life—it’s a lot more fun when you’re enjoying the ride!

If you’re thinking, “I need to meet this person now!” you’re in luck, because Katie will be joining us at the Women’s Leadership Summit on March 19 to teach a masterclass in breathing. She’s also participating in the Executive Auction, so you can bid on a chance at one-on-one mentoring with this inspiring woman. Learn more about Katie and then register for the Women’s Leadership Summit—you won’t want to miss it.