Where I Met Kimberly
I first met Kimberly when I was going through the military’s transition assistance program taught at the United States Air Force Academy in 2009. I met up with Kimberly recently at a networking group in the Springs for Military Academy Graduates. I remembered Kimberly because she mentioned that her daughter had a horse and I’m a horse person.
What I Really Like About Kimberly
Kimberly taught our class about the challenges we would be facing as new “civilians” in the regular world. We were going to be going from a very structured environment to a brand new set of circumstances where the rules of engagement were somewhat different. Kimberly was honest about the realities of transition and had down to earth examples of what we needed to learn. My favorite part about Kimberly was that she was also in the transition process herself. Kimberly was going from being an outstanding employee to launching her own company. A person who is ready to make this kind of entrepreneurial change is exactly the kind of consultant you want to work with as a mentor. Kimberly doesn’t just know what you should do academically; she has experienced the process first hand, too!
Kimberly comes from a traditional family in Pennsylvania. Her dad worked two jobs and her mom stayed at home to raise the family. Kimberly went to college in Kansas and actually met her husband on a mission in Haiti. Her husband was in the Air Force and so they moved to Mac Dill AFB in Tampa, Florida. Kimberly admits the weather was a wonderful change from the winters she’d grown up in. In Florida, Kimberly used her sociology degree in the corporate world and found that this did not inspire her. So, Kimberly started volunteering with the Family Support Center on the military base and then with the Red Cross and found helping other people find their footing was a passion for her. When her husband was reassigned to Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs, Kimberly began working at the Family Support Center and was in the ground floor development of the Transition Assistance Program (TAPS) for military separating or retiring from military service. She started teaching part of the course and this was a perfect job to have while raising a new baby. Kimberly started really listening to the challenges these military members were having as they were looking for civilian jobs and this was the early beginning of her current business. Kimberly started creating networking opportunities for the military members to teach them how to connect with businesses and these win-win events really took off. Kimberly was teaching people to network and how it is a positive activity where everyone benefits, not just a situation to use people.
My Ideal Client…
Kimberly’s ideal client is a military member or spouse preparing for a transition from the military lifestyle to settling down into a civilian lifestyle. Ideally, Kimberly likes to connect with these service oriented people about five years before they make the transition. I asked Kimberly why she wants to connect so early before people are actually looking for their next job. And Kimberly tells me, “I work with amazing people who are unemployed for six to nine months and I ask them ‘Could you survive this long?’”
3 SECRETS of my Personal Success
1. Do what you’re passionate about. Kimberly specializes in helping people find their passion in her one-on-one career counseling program. She calls it “Finding Your North Star” and it is a comprehensive program that is something you can actually do.
2. You’ve gotta want it as bad as you want to breath. If you are just going through the motions, it is going to be hard to find happiness and also a great job. Employers like to hire fun, well-adjusted people.
3. Find great mentors. Treat everyone with respect and you’ll find that the most unlikely people become your most valuable mentors. In starting her business, Kimberly had a retired navy captain tell her, “Kimberly, you need a repeatable process because you cannot be a mama to every person.” This was a motivation for Kimberly to create her Moving Ahead with Purpose (MAWP) program.
1 Great Recommendation for the Next Person
Find your North Star, in other words, you passion. I wish we would teach this to our kids in school.
My biggest financial question/concern
I taught my daughter about money in this way. My daughter wanted a horse and as this was a large and recurring expense, I wanted my daughter to have some skin in the game. I made a deal with her that if she raised money then she could have a horse. To make it realistic, my sister offered to match my daughter dollar for dollar (with a cap on the total amount). My daughter learned to be entrepreneurial as she started a dog-walking business and had to deal with situations like asking to be paid for her work. When she turned sixteen I gave my daughter the option of the horse versus a car and my daughter chose the horse—her North Star.
I enjoy meeting with people and learning about their financial desires and challenges. Please visit my website at www.taraenolan.com or call Tara at