We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Leikam and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I first started my private practice, I saw client five days a week and worked every Saturday and well into the evening. Sometimes I wouldn’t get home until 8:00 pm. Over time, I realized that to have a better quality of life, I needed to have better boundaries with my client hours. Now, I am able to be home with my family weekends and have dinner with them every night because I started seeing my clients during daytime hours only. I really enjoy the balance of work and life I have right now, because even though, I might work late now or on the weekends, it’s always by choice and not appointment.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am the owner of a private mental health practice in Decatur, Georgia, but I am also a licensed therapist in South Carolina and Florida. My specialty is working with the LGBTQ and transgender communities and I am one of three people in that state that’s a World Professional Association of Transgender Health GEI SOC v7 certified member. I am really proud of that certification because it was a three year journey with a comprehensive test. In my practice I work with clients who are exploring their gender and sexuality or ready to transition. I work with people on the autism spectrum, people with anxiety and relationship stress as well as those recovering from religious trauma. I am a national speaker and trainer at conferences around the United States. I am most proud of the work I have gotten to do with the transgender community. It’s amazing when a client finds out that they have the courage to be who they really are and start their transition and it’s amazing when I have a client that I counseled to begin their transition come back a year or two later to get a letter for top surgery as well. It wasn’t easy to start and run my business. In the beginning, I didn’t know as much about finances, marketing and networking and the first six months of my business was a learning process for me with many challenges. I overcame those challenges by reading books and listening to podcasts and doing everything I could to learn about small business growth. My first summer I had thirty networking meetings in thirty days. I found out that I loved running a business so much that I went to school and graduated this summer with my MBA in Marketing from Mercer University. I am starting a new business later this year as a consultant to small business who need someone to advise and lead them in business and finance decisions, since now I have the education and small business experience to assist others. I would like the world to know that I truly care about clients and the transgender community. I believe when someone tells me what their gender identity is and I believe my clients are their own authority. I also want to empower other small business owners to succeed in their dreams and business and offer them the knowledge I received by working hard for my MBA. Therapists, life coaches and attorneys and other small business owners aren’t taught business courses in school, so when we open our businesses we are going in blind and I will be there as a consultant to make that process smoother.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take my friend to downtown Decatur and visit Homegrown, Wild Oats and Billy Goats and Sqft to see local art and funky shops. We would eat at Parker’s on Ponce for dinner. For breakfast we would have to hit up Homegrown and the Silver Skillet in Homepark and Pastries a go go in Decatur. We would visit the Georgia Aquarium and the Zoo. For some fun, we would go to a show at The Laughing Skull Lounge and and afterwards stay up late for 1am Secret Show at Smith’s Olde Bar. We would also have to squeeze in going to The Albert in Inman Park for their bacon creamed corn.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my husband Joe, who has been with through all the iterations of my business and was an accounting consultant, business coach, cheerleader, furniture mover and art director. He’s really helped me the whole way.
Dani Weiss, Bonnie Heath, Katie Leikam