About Tracey Lovejoy
I’m a trained social scientist and the research engine for Catalyst Constellations. I spent twelve years at Microsoft leading teams of changemakers and co-founded the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference. I thrive when I can use my intuition and relentless optimism to coach Catalysts and amplify their changemaking power. In my personal life I am a proud mom of two in Seattle, WA.
You can find me online at Catalyst Constellations or you can join our galaxy of Catalysts at galaxy.catalystconstellations.com
Why Did You Become an Entrepreneur, Speaker, Author, Etc. in the First Place?
I didn’t set out with the goal to become an entrepreneur. I had jumped into a coaching course to support my leadership practice, and quickly realized coaching was a calling. This was wildly disruptive for me. Becoming an entrepreneur felt like something I had to do to honor that realization, so in 2013 I left Microsoft to start my own consultancy and coaching practice. Similarly I didn’t set out the goal to be an author. Once I started researching Catalysts I realized there was potent information I was uncovering that would change people’s lives. The book was a by-product of this realization and so many Catalysts Shannon and I worked with asking for something they could reference.
How Do You Deal With Fear?
I am a big believer in acknowledging emotions and giving them space to be. Fear is no different. When I realize I am experiencing fear I try to listen to what it might be telling me. With fear in particular I have come to realize that giving it space by stepping away from what I am doing can be really powerful. Often if I take a moment to acknowledge the emotion and the goal that may be sparking it, then step away, my brain will be a powerful ally and help me marinate toward that goal and when I come back to it the fear has often diminished.
How Do You Deal With Rejection?
A key learning from research with Catalysts is to frame all feedback as information. That directly replies to moments that feel like failure or rejection. If we can take a learning from those moments it tells us how to iterate and pivot.
What’s the Name of Your Company? What Exactly Does Your Company Do, How Do You Help People?
Catalyst Constellations helps Catalyst changemakers sustain their energy so they can make meaningful impact. We offer 360 support: reference materials, coaching, team support, classes and a global network. Let us know what will support you best.
We also work with large organizations to help executives understand the value of Catalysts and create programs to identify, train and empower Catalysts. We work with leaders to give them the tools and skills to provide the best support for Catalysts. This is the Time of the Catalyst and if organizations aren’t actively looking to find their Catalysts…it’s going to be hard for them to survive.
Name One of the Biggest Challenges You Have Faced and How Did You Overcome It?
My mom and dad separated before I was born and it was difficult having a father that didn’t seem to be interested in me. It took years of work to unpack the impacts that had on my confidence and self-perception, as well as work to see the world from my dad’s perspective, which allowed me to build an adult relationship with him, despite my anger and resentment.
What Piece of Advice Do You Wish Someone Had Given You at the Start of Your Career?
It’s OK to follow your passion. It doesn’t have to be about the next promotion. Having your interests fuel your choices is just as valid.
Who Are Your Biggest Influences and People You Admire and Why?
My clients are my biggest influences and the people I admire most. I have selected a niche as a coach that are people who tackle incredible and sometimes seemingly impossible dreams, and they achieve them. It is an honor to work so closely with Catalysts that I get to see the struggle AND the resilience. It fuels me every single day.
Name a Person Who Helped You Along the Way?
I’ve had many mentors, but a standout among them is Gayna Williams. She took a chance on me straight out of grad school and hired me into Microsoft. While at Microsoft she introduced me to coaching training. And once I left Microsoft she and I started a business together, helping me cut my teeth as an entrepreneur. She has been a guide and supporter at every step of my journey.
What Do You See as Your Greatest Success in Life, So Far?
I’m not sure I see my life successes as anything I am proud of I have done in concert with others, so it doesn’t feel like mine to claim. What I feel most pride around is the focus we have put into family. I am a driven person and it is easy for me to get lost in work. I have made a commitment that family comes first and rarely deviate from that. While work is fulfilling, it is something that I engage in at moments, whereas family is my full container. It would be so empty if I didn’t have that in my evenings and mornings and weekends. In addition to my husband and kids, my sister and her 3 kids live just two streets away. My sister is my best friend, and our husbands are best friends. We all relocated from southern California and intentionally built a life where our kids would feel like siblings.
What Book Would You Recommend and Why?
Other than our book, Move Fast. Break Shit Burn Out.? I love books and have piles of them, so this is a hard question for me. As I think about a book for the broadest audience possible I lean toward Brené Brown. And while all of her books are transformational, Rising Strong is the one I recommend the most. I love Rising Strong because it provides research based, concrete tactics into how we rise up from failure, which is critical for Catalysts because we hit failure with incredible frequency.
What’s a Personal Self-Talk, Mantra, Affirmation or Self-Belief That Contributes to Your Success?
The most consistent for me is remembering to take it one step and one day at a time. If I know where I am heading, and I can see that I did something to get me closer to that vision today, then I know I did the right thing. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the distance between here to there, so parsing this moment helps center me and keeps me in action rather than moving into fear or paralysis.