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Episode 4. - Finding Balance with Katie Miles of Katie Talks Therapy and Habitbetter





Hello, kindred spirit!

I'm Tricia, your friendly, sensitive and creative small business coach, I hope that you are having a beautiful, beautiful day.


I am so excited because this is the very first interview episode of this podcast, It's Not Business, It's Personal.


I will tell you all that when I sat down to create the outline of this season of the show, I was just really trying to think through what would be I mean, just the best guidance and support that I could bring you who were the best people to talk to who, you know, what could I make sure to say for you that would really, you know, help you and change your life.


And I started to create a list of the people that I would love to interview and the absolute very first person that I put on the list was Katie Miles. I am just so so thrilled to be joined by Katie today.


Katie is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, you may know her as Katie Talks Therapy on both TikTok and Instagram where she has just built this beautiful following. And just creates this content that people really, really resonate with all about relationship therapy and therapy in general mental health. She's also the co founder of the app habit better, which is a brand new way for therapists and coaches to take care of their clients and to ensure client success. They are going to revolutionize the coaching and therapy world. And so we're so excited to be following along with that. So Katie's just taking care of clients, she's taking care of her fellow therapists, she trained at one of the top 10 academic medical centers in the US. Very impressive. And she has her own private practice now in San Diego. And also she's getting married this year.


So lots of just beautiful things happening with you, Katie, welcome. Thank you so much for joining me.



Katie Miles

Thank you so much. I'm telling you, when I heard that said back to me, I felt way cooler than I usually do on a daily basis. So thank you for reminding me of who I am. And what I've come to that is it's very cool.



Tricia Chinnici

Yeah, you are you are a multiple successful business owner. I mean, you are one of the most impressive people I know. Thank you. I'm so glad.



Katie Miles

Oh my gosh, that reminds me. Well, you know, I think it's Abbi, you probably experienced this too. We, you know, most humans do where we do a lot of things right? When we reach a lot of goals. But on a day to day basis, we just feel like ourselves. Like I don't feel like a you know, a business owner or like a, you know, double business owner. I just feel like, Katie just tried to make it through the day.



Tricia Chinnici

That is fair. And that's actually just a really wonderful observation of normal everyone.



Katie Miles

Yes, yes, it is.



Tricia Chinnici

Oh, well. And I also just wanted to say too, that we are so lucky, I've been so lucky to know you for a really long time. You and I grew up together. Actually, we're both from El Paso, Texas. Both ended up in California and very, I guess I would say complementary fields. And so it's just been it's been so nice to like, just reconnect with you in this way. Like as adults, you know,



Katie Miles

I know. It's amazing. And I mean, like, we totally grew up together. But we were like, at that, like our families, we you know, we're best friends. We ski trips together all that fun stuff. But you and I and we've talked about this before, we got to connect in a new way that we never had before in our adulthood. Because when you're younger, right, I think there's like that couple year age difference. So you were really hanging out mostly with you know, my brother and Hillary, my sister. I say Hillary as if everyone knows who Hillary, Hillary, Hillary and getting to connect with you it's a real tool and like you said in these complementary fields has been so special and so unique and I think I've learned so much from you. You have really been like my unofficial official business coach. Right? You've given me so much wisdom so it's it's a beautiful relationship. I'm so honored to know you



Tricia Chinnici

right here by my unofficial official therapist so



Katie Miles

we just kind of swap



Tricia Chinnici

it's perfect it's perfect. Oh man, it will so I guess we got that was a nice little like lead up into I would just love to know like a little bit of your story like obviously we I just have been aware of what you've been like has been going on in your life just knowing you but I would love to hear you tell it about becoming a therapist and and Especially like owning businesses and starting your own businesses as a sensitive person. So what was that journey for you like what led you to being here?



Katie Miles

So honestly, if you would have told me 10 years ago, that I would be a licensed therapist, and I would have, you know, businesses and I'd be doing this thing I would have been really, really confused. That was not my life plan at all. So I a little background, I grew up in El Paso and a really amazing family. They're really great and supportive. And I think we also grew up in the age of dream big, you know, you can do whatever you want to do, which is a beautiful message, and a little reductive,



Tricia Chinnici

but a little bit of pressure,



Katie Miles

a little bit of pressure, a little reductive, right, you're not seeing a lot of the things that come along with you can do whatever you want to do, but I was always a performer. I still am. I'm a major ham. I love performing. And so I latched on to this dream of being an actress and at some points being a pop star. I'm also in their actor slash pop star, you know, Age of Britney Spears.



Tricia Chinnici

I I saw your dance moves from your living room, as I mean, you you you got



Katie Miles

a girl. You saw my early audition tapes.



Tricia Chinnici

You have the it factor?



Katie Miles

i Oh, absolutely. Right that and so that's why most of my actions growing up and also a lot of my inactions were towards that growing up. And what I mean by inactions, like, I maybe didn't take school as seriously as I maybe should have, because I was like, Oh, I don't need it, I'm going to be an actress, which is not true at all. There is education is, you know, the the skill and the practice of theater and acting in film, but not in my mind as a high schooler. So eventually, I kind of pulled together academically, I got into UT Austin, and I was a theater major, and I just loved it. I loved the being in a safe, lovely group and playing and being vulnerable, and getting creative and putting on performances, it was all really, really lovely. And then, you know, I graduated, and I entered into what I call the real world of the theatre and film business. And it was not what I always imagined it to be. And it wasn't going super well for me, um, when I got to just play and be creative, I loved it. But when it came to the career, I think there were a few different factors. One, it's a really brutal career path, like, what you have to do is it's rough. And I also I just don't think I was motivated in that way that I would have needed to be maybe sacrificing certain things that I just didn't want to sacrifice. I mean, age was a factor. I was like 22 years old, right? So at



Tricia Chinnici

2018 in Hollywood.



Katie Miles

Right there, I was already past my prime. It just wasn't going the way I wanted it to. And I had my first panic attack at about 22 years old, 23 years old while I was working a shift at a restaurant because of course I was a server. And I that I call that my it was my quarter life crisis. Luckily, I had a connection with a therapist already who I'd been seeing for four years. And so I had to really reconnect with myself and was able to do it through through, you know, therapy. And we went through a really rigorous time where I had to get really specific and honest with myself about what I really enjoyed. And really looking at like the seeds of enjoyment, right? What did I like about performing? What did I like about acting and theatre and film and all that stuff. And over the course of time, I identified that really, I love the intimate study of human behavior. I love getting curious about someone right in theater and film, it was getting curious about the character I was playing, right? Like, why are they doing this? Like, what are their needs? What are they experiencing in this moment with this person, right? And like, conceptualizing why they're behaving the way that they are. And I also love connecting with people. I'm a very social person. I love collaborating and storytelling and helping other people tell their stories. And so I came up with a few different other career paths that really hit on those marks. But my therapist also he like, he was the one who like put the last straw there. He was like, you know, I think I really love being a therapist, and I was like, Great, I'll take it. Okay, that's it. Just tell me what to do. Tell me what to do. So I ended up I applied to grad school and I fell in love with academia in a way I've never fallen in love with it before. I Just really thrived there and really enjoyed it. And I was, you know, thrilled because I, while I did do a lot of the work that my therapist did come up, he was like, You should be there. But I was like, great. So thank God, I love it. And I, you know, I really do want it hits a lot of those same points. So I like to reflect on it as saying, I'm somebody who had to let go of her dream in order to find her passion.



Tricia Chinnici

Oh, that's beautiful. Beautifully said, I love that. Well, you know that I have a very similar journey. You know, I also thought I was going to go into acting, and I totally resonate with the idea that when you actually get into the acting world, it's, you know, in college, you it's like 99% acting, and 1% Hustle, and you get out, it's 99% Hustle and one person acting like you're only getting to actually do the art and the parts that you like, you know, maybe if you're lucky 1% of the time. And so your friend, especially has a for other creatives that are listening to that your industry might end up being in the real world different than what you thought it would be. And I think that's what led so many of us to become small business owners is because we love that like autonomy and wanting to really follow what we believe in. But yeah, sometimes there are limitations within our industry that make it so yeah, like, yeah, it's just yeah, what's the word discouraging?



Katie Miles

Totally discouraging. Absolutely. And I think he just wrapped it up in a really beautiful way that I hadn't thought of myself, it's like, you only get to do what you really love one person at a time. And that's so true that a lot of us have an image or an idea of what this field or career is going to look like for us. And sometimes we get discouraged and disappointed. But the reality is, you don't know that it's gonna be that way until you do it. It's not that you somehow made the wrong decision. It's you didn't have all the data, you didn't know what it was gonna be like. Yeah,



Tricia Chinnici

yeah. Well, that's so beautiful that you were able to actually dissect that and see what it was about acting that really just spoke to you and resonated with you. And to be able to do that at such a young age. I feel like you know, sometimes we're seeing people, even our parents age that still have never been able to do that work to figure out what it is that they truly are passionate about, and like what's behind it, and staying reactive instead of active and so it's really amazing that you were able to jump into being so active. Did you when you were like studying therapy, did you? Like did it dawn on you that you were gonna be a small business owner? Was that part of it for you? Or do did that kind of seem like a separate part that you would just kind of get to? Because I'm sure in academia, did they met talk about business? Or? Uh, yeah, I would love to know that experience for you.



Katie Miles

So I think I knew that I wanted to go into private practice, because I am somebody who really likes her freedom and her flexibility. I don't love it when somebody is making my schedule for me or telling me what I do.



Tricia Chinnici

For days off. Yeah, asking



Katie Miles

for days off. Right, exactly. When I'm going to end the day when I'm going to start the day. So while I was very aware that I was going to have to work my way into that right. I had to I spent two or three years working at for a hospital system at UCSD I always had in my head. Yeah, I want to go into private practice. Now, did I know exactly what that was going to entail? As far as like the business side of it? Absolutely not. was I surprised every step of the way. Totally. And to go back to what you're kind of second part? Yeah, no, in my grad school program, and really in talking to other therapists, social workers in their grad school programs, they do not spend a lot of time if anytime talking about here's how you build your business. It's here's how you be a therapist. Right? And then everything else, we had to figure out on our own. I mean, I ended up going to a amazing workshop by ironically one of my professors from grad school, she saw this gap, I was like, I need to die. I need to create something. And it was how to build a private practice. And her name is Dr. Cassidy fritas. And she has a wonderful account called holding space for therapists on Instagram that is all about like helping therapists build private practices and what to do, but if without her and that workshop, man, I would have I just wouldn't have known.



Tricia Chinnici

Yeah, I feel like I see that so much people going into the arts or service industries, you know, like I have clients that are dentists and it's like they know everything there is to know about dental, dental practice when it comes to the actual practice and the running of the business and it's kind of crazy that that's not part of the curriculum.



Katie Miles

It is it should be it really should be, I'm gonna, I'm gonna call them up after that and let them know.



Tricia Chinnici

Well, so running your business and so you I will actually let's back up for just a second. So you identify as being a sensitive person. Yeah. So what has that experience been like for you then as a sensitive person diving into running a business?



Katie Miles

Yeah. So when I, when I think of a sensitive person, I think as somebody who is just acutely aware of their own emotions, and also the emotional, the emotions of other people, does that mean we always get it right? When we're, you know, attuning to other people in thei