We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Murphy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, how do you think about risk?
I welcome risk into my life like it’s a long-lost friend.
For so many years, I tried to live my life by a standard that I didn’t subscribe to and that, if I’m being totally honest, I barely understood. Conventional. Stable. Safe.
Not in adolescence, not as a teen, not as an adult, not in any iteration of my life would I have ever used those words to describe myself or what I envisioned my most fulfilling life to be. But I found myself seeking those qualities because that’s what I was made to believe “success” was.
But the pandemic changed all of that. At the end of 2019, a company moved me away from New York City, my home of 16 years, to Fort Myers. Four months later, the coronavirus shut down the world and this company was quick to lay off 30% of its workforce, myself included.
In a new town where I didn’t know anyone and was experiencing extreme culture shock, I decided I just couldn’t be stuck there to wait things out. I mentally and emotionally volleyed between what I “should” do and what I “wanted” to do. I could stay where I was and spend my days scouring the online job boards or I could break my lease, put my things in storage, pack my car up with camping gear, and hit the road until a new job or a new home came calling.
One was the responsible thing to do, the other was the riskiest. But the riskiest would also be the most rewarding. So I created a new mantra for myself: lead with your heart and opportunity will follow. And it did.
Shortly after I passed the three-month mark of being on the road, living in a tent, and visiting national parks all across the country, I was offered a position here in Miami at a nonprofit that supports the national parks throughout South Florida.
Taking that leap of faith – or rather that drive across the country – was the biggest risk I have ever taken, but it reaped me the biggest reward. My life was without risk for so long, but now I couldn’t imagine my life without it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Whenever I’m asked about my career, I just internally laugh because my professional path has been all over the place.
I started my career working in public relations at a few different agencies in New York City. I created a campaign for one of my clients surrounding Miley Cyrus that went so viral that Perez Hilton was on TRL talking about it, I organized a hot wing eating competition inside of Grand Central Terminal, and I somehow convinced 10 celebrities to decorate condom boxes (for free!) to raise money for an AIDS awareness organization. These are just a few of the more fun things I am proud to have led.
I then transitioned into the world of in-house marketing and communications, working with many types of organizations, from nonprofits to fashion brands.
This varied career has led me to being an agile jack-of-all-trades, but what I believe sets me apart is that I’m an ideas girl with an eye for the bottom line and that I am eager to find new avenues to help an organization achieve its goals.
But I know my worth and I think that everyone else should know theirs too – and then add tax. If your skills and what you bring to the table are not being recognized, just remember to lead with your heart and opportunity will follow.
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?
When you’re visiting me, you’re definitely going to get a dose of the outdoors with some good citified sites mixed in:
Biking riding and gator spotting at Shark Valley in Everglades National Park
Swamp walking at Big Cypress National Preserve
Kayaking at OIeta River State Park (with a snack break on the sand bar!)
Beaching at Crandon Park
Evening walk around Brickell Key
Drinks at Dante’s Hifi
Lunch at Kush
Dinner at Zitz Sum
Dessert at Azucar
Dancing at 1-800-Lucky
Shopping at Lincoln Road Market
Spotting tags of ex-boyfriends in Wynwood
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My dad is the first person that comes to mind!
My dad is rather reserved and quiet, so it would surprise most people to know that I get my sporty, adventurous spirit from him. He trained for a marathon in Alaska, pedaled around Texas with me on the back of his bike, went scuba diving off the reefs of Guam.
When I told my friends about the trip I was embarking on – a single woman heading out into the wilderness for an indefinite period of time – the first question I got was “what does your dad think?!”
And I would just grin and say, “he loves it.”