We had the good fortune of connecting with Mackenzie Childs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mackenzie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
First off, “risk” in my life looks a lot like just another stair step to reach the top. Sometimes, these stairs are a little more tumultuous than the rest (there could be several objects trying to knock you down a few steps) but it is just another item to tackle. As an Organizational Psychologist, I have studied functions of the brain from other researchers and have found that when the proverbial “bar” is raised high enough – most humans will innately strive to achieve it. I am the epitome of one of those humans, as my bar is always raised to the extreme.
The way I see it, risk is a staircase in which you choose to climb and you either reach the top one step at a time or you come back down and choose a different staircase. If you can’t tell, I am very “type A” about my risk-taking!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
As stated in a previous question, I am an Organizational Psychologist that serves the community as a Cognitive Behavioral Coach (CBC). Basically, I help teams and organizations through mindset issues pertaining to the office – especially coming back from COVID. I can say that there are other coaches that use some of the cognitive tools that I do – though, they don’t make it their main gig.
What sets my company apart, is the CBC piece. When using this “lens,” you are teaching someone to control their thoughts. Subsequently, this allows them to take control of their emotions and (usually) their behaviors will become more desirable toward a specific goal. In this case, you can really help anyone. Thus, I have set the pathway to build a mega-coaching company that has different departments of CBC. What is most exciting is that I have recently taken the first step in this dream by hiring my first Department Chair, directing our educational coaching division. Further down the road, I want to hire coaches for Health and Wellness, Sales and Leadership, Life Coaching, etc.
My pathway to the place I am now was absolutely not what I thought it would be. Straight out of high school, I knew I wanted to help people – but, I took a very practical athlete mentality and looked a pursuing a degree in Physical Therapy. By the middle of my undergrad career, I had worked as a physical therapy and chiropractic assistant, in many different clinics. All the while, I was on the University of North Texas’ Women’s Division 1 Swim Team.
To me, there was something monotonous and restraining about this work. There wasn’t a whole bunch of room for creativity. Thus, I moved on to an interest in Occupational Therapy (OT). I added on a second Bachelor’s degree in Psychology – with hopes of finishing both degrees (at the same time) in four years. Unfortunately, I had career-ending shoulder surgery and did not get to go back as a competitive swimmer – but, I did finish my degrees in four and a half years. That half-of-a-victory-lap was the best for me as I slowed down to apply for OT school.
I was accepted to the University of Texas Medical Branch, in which I turned down upon arrival to orientation. Needless to say, my mother was NOT happy. But, again, something just felt off.
So, feeling like I was starting from scratch with these two degrees under my belt – I started working as a Behavioral Technician, working with kids with Autism. This was were I learned a lot of the basis of human behavior and am extremely grateful for the time I got to spend with these kiddos. Though, I took a higher paying job with Klein ISD to become their Behavioral Specialist for students needing extra behavioral support in the classroom. Coming from a family in which my mom has been a teacher for close to thirty years, this came easy to me. However, as much as I loved each and every one of my students – again, it was not exactly right. But I knew I was getting close.
I then went way off the grid and took a job as a Development Specialist for a non-profit organization. During this time, I applied for my Masters in Applied Psychology from the University of Southern California. Mind you, this was when celebrities were paying for their kids to get in there. I remember when I got my acceptance letter, I felt like Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. I went over to my mother’s house, who was JUST watching a segment on the news about the issue. I walked in and said I had been accepted and she said to me, “Really? Do you know what the latest is about getting in there?” I replied, “What? Like, it’s hard?” We had a pretty good laugh about it.
The next two years were spent intently studying workplace sociology and human behavior from some of the greatest minds in the industry. After graduation, I searched around for jobs and nothing quite fit the bill. Then, I got this wild hair to create my own practice. Again, like it’s hard? Well, just so you know, it very much has been – but, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
One of the biggest lessons this whole journey has taught me is to take risks and set the bar high – you will take the steps to achieve it or reset your course. Excellence is key, not perfectionism – and your best is what you need to strive for. I would love for the world to know that Blink Coaching is up and coming and to watch out for our mindset material, soon to come to you for whatever challenges you are facing!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
To be honest, I haven’t ventured much into the city – I pretty much keep to my bubble here in Magnolia, Texas. Though, I do really enjoy The Conservatory, in downtown Houston. I love the vibe and the choices of food are amazing! Then, I love to head down to the Secret Garden for drinks!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To start, I want it known that I LOVE appreciation (I wrote a thesis on it!). So, recognition is totally my thing.
First, when obtaining my Master’s Degree, I was required to read the book, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. His writing predominately hit on what it means to trust your gut fully – something he stated as “thinking without thinking.” This book was the basis for my coaching company, as (at the time) I was not as trusting with myself as I could have been with starting this new business – in the middle of a pandemic. The book taught me things about myself that I was not fully aware of (even as a psychologist) and gave me the courage to jump right in and start. Therefore, Blink Coaching was formed and thrives today.
Second, I had to spread the word of this new business idea that was a trailblazer in the coaching world. You see, I started a business that coaches people, teams, and organizations through a Cognitive Behavioral lens. Which those are just a bunch of fancy words for “mindset” coaching. The premise of my company is that you can coach anyone to change their behavioral patterns if you can help them change their thoughts – which directly impact their emotions. Basically, if they change their thoughts, they control their emotions and a change in their behaviors follow. You can imagine how hard this message was to get out and niche down. But, I truly owe my beginning success to Stacy Harris and my Network in Action family here in The Woodlands, Texas. I may know what it means to be an Organizational Psychologist, but they taught me what it meant to be a thriving business owner.