No one is issued a magical guide to success when navigating the world of work. But no one has to go it alone, either. There are mentors everywhere – some in our communities and workplaces, some between the pages of well-loved books.
Each month, Friends of the Knox County Library and the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center sponsor The Book Behind My Story, in which a Knoxville business leader moderates a discussion of a book that inspired her or him. This month, Booth Andrews, founder and principal of Booth Andrews Consulting, will talk about Nataly Kagan’s book “Happier Now.” The discussion takes place from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at Lawson McGhee Library downtown.
Andrews says that as someone who had always been driven by the idea that she could be more and do more, Kagan’s story resonated with her. Kagan is the inventor of a software app that tracks and promotes happiness, beginning with tracking moments of gratitude. In the course of her journey to the marketplace, Kagan realizes that she is in danger of pushing herself to a “crash and burn” and that gratitude is only a piece of the puzzle that makes up a whole person, and a whole life.
“I’ve been through my own ‘crash and burn,’” Andrews says. “I’ve been on a healing journey these last few years.”
Andrews came to Knoxville 30 years ago to attend the University of Tennessee and later graduated from UT Law School. She spent 10 years in commercial real estate and six years as the CEO of a nonprofit. She is also a licensed attorney. In 2015, she started consulting with organizations and individuals on ways to improve strength and resiliency.
As with many successful people, the qualities that made her good at what she did – including empathy, emotional intelligence, drive – also made her vulnerable.
“You’re convinced the world will fall apart if you step away,” Andrews says. She says that like most people, she was afraid of letting anyone know that she was overwhelmed. Her answer was to push herself more.
“We buy into this myth until we implode,” she says. “My role is to help people and companies understand how much it costs to crash, and how to prevent it.”
Along with helping her clients she also offers resources on her website, and she regularly consults and trains for the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center and the Alliance for Better Nonprofits.
“I want to use my experience to help others,” Andrews says.