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MTH in Real Life Archive

MTH In Real Life: Rachel Anne Hopper

Over the years, we’ve been privileged to hear and be a tiny part of women’s stories and how they’ve embraced their passions, moved past their fear, and made big things happen! Join us in this new series, “MTH In Real Life,” as we chat with MTH Alum who have used the principles from the conference to lead the big decisions in their lives.

Rachel Anne Hopper
Say hello to: Rachel Anne Hopper, the Associate Director of Housing and Residence Life at Texas Christian University

Rachel attended MTH in: November 2015

She’d encourage anyone to attend MTH: “You don’t have to be a creative to go to MTH! As a college administrator, I found many ways to enhance my working life. I have a different outlook on my daily work, and I remind myself how my work is a great opportunity to serve others, which definitely fires me up. You will also meet lots of amazing people. My friend Caitlin and I met during the conference, and we just happen to live an hour away from each other. We text throughout the week, have once a month lunches, and encourage each other often. I’m so grateful for the many women I met during MTH, because as women, we are called to be lifting each other up. This provided me with a new group of women to do just that.”


How Rachel Lives and Works with More Purpose


What do you do for a living? I am the Associate Director of Housing and Residence Life at Texas Christian University. My role includes staff supervision, oversight of our staff recruitment, staff selection, community development, and strategic planning among many other things. TCU has been my work home since 2007, and I am so grateful for the many opportunities I have to impact students as they learn and grow throughout their collegiate career.

How did MTH surprise you? I expected to gain clarity about goal setting, develop connections with other women, and identify what purpose looks like in my life. I was surprised at how much MTH impacted me personally. I anticipated some scrubbing and digging deep, but we really got deep, in the best way ever. I uncovered fears that were holding me back. I understood how distractions were impacting my life. I unveiled a better me, which in turn makes me a better wife, mom, co-worker and leader.

What was your biggest takeaway from MTH? Almost daily I reflect on the 80-year-old self activity! It helps remind me what is important and what I really am striving towards. I don’t need stuff or status. I need God and relationships. This 80-year-old self activity helped me to see that every decision I make is attached to an arrow, and I needed to ask myself, what direction were my arrows leading me? It’s important to evaluate how our decisions impact our lives positively and negatively.

How have MTH principles changed your working life? Letting go of fears and distractions has significantly impacted my work life. Because MTH helped me to identify my core and how purposeful I am, I now lead with fewer fears about what I bring to the table, what others may think about me, and what I can do to propel our department forward. Another MTH principle is remembering what fires me up. I love my work, work environment and coworkers, but I also know that sometimes, I may not have the best day and that work could bring my spirits down. It’s in those moments that I pull out my list of what fires me up. I get a great reminder of why I live on purpose and why I want to work hard at the job I’ve been given.

How do you use those principles on a regular basis? I have the wonderful opportunity to be part of a great team of coworkers, some of whom I supervise, and I’ve recognized how much I want them to fill their time with what matters to them. When it comes time to divide up a task, do I immediately want to take it on so I can be the lead or do I look around the table to see who would be best to lead it? I know how to identify what fires up my coworkers, and then I can see their work be enhanced because they are excited about what they are working on. Just like in our personal life, sometimes we have tasks we may not enjoy. Food needs to be on the table, reports have to be turned in, but believe me, we have other ways to make all of those things easier or more joyful. It’s starting with the why. We turn in a report because we are working hard at the job God’s given us. We are putting a meal on the table because well, maybe we are really good at cooking (HELP ME PLEASE!) and that is a joyful experience, and if not, we are doing it because we are nourishing our family and that is joy. Or you are turning in a report at work because you are skilled at writing, editing and forming a cohesive message, which brings joy to those around you. In all those things, you can identify how it is purposeful or meaningful to you.

How have MTH principles changed your personal life? This is hard, because I don’t know how they haven’t changed my life! One of the things Lara told us before leaving MTH is to not go home and tell everyone all the things you are changing about your life, but to instead walk the walk. I have 2-3 people that I shared my goals with as accountability to my journey, but otherwise, I truly have tried to walk the walk. Since then, I’ve had feedback regarding my growth and how much my outlook on life has shifted. Can I just tell you the freedom that comes with this? I feel like God has just scrubbed and scrubbed and is still scrubbing, and it is rough, but I feel purposeful, meaningful and excited about each day.


Get to know more about Rachel on the PowerSheets Community Blog!

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MTH In Real Life: Katie McGihon

Over the years, we’ve been privileged to hear and be a tiny part of women’s stories and how they’ve embraced their passions, moved past their fear, and made big things happen! Join us in this new series, “MTH In Real Life,” as we chat with MTH Alum who have used the principles from the conference to lead the big decisions in their lives.

Katie McGihon

Say hello to: Katie McGihon of Katie McGihon Photography

Katie attended MTH in: Los Angeles, roughly 5 1/2 years ago.

Her expectations were blown away. “My goodness, MTH certainly did surprise me! When I showed up, I knew no one and I was the only person in the room who wasn’t on Twitter. I expected to walk away with some sort of business plan and to connect with another creative entrepreneur or two. I was more than a little hesitant and I’m sure it showed. However, God had another plan for me and my MTH experience. What I actually walked away with was a renewed spirit of passion for my work, an army of new friends and supporters, a better understanding of my fears and a clear direction in my next steps.”


How Katie Said Yes to Her Dream Studio


My biggest takeaway from MTH was that fear was holding me back. I didn’t feel fearful when I walked in, but fear was quietly suffocating my dreams. I had to name that fear in order to deal with it. Fear was keeping me from making things happen in my life and it had to stop. I’m forever grateful to Lara for helping me name and address that fear.

MTH helped me to come to the realization that I have been given a gift, and my calling is to use that gift (and my camera!) to help people (especially women) see how beautiful they really are. It also helped me to realize that fear had no place in my life, and it was holding me back from making what matters happen. I’ve learned to make business decisions based on my calling, not out of fear. I’ve learned that I’m more than equipped to make big things happen, and that calling on your community when you need support is key.

Katie McGihon Studio

Immediately following MTH, my business really took off. After 3 years of massive growth, I entered a season of waiting as Scott and I welcomed a new baby into our family. I knew that I had to slow down my pace of work in order to be fully present for my husband and 3 children. While I was still shooting weddings, I still quietly held on to my dream of having a small studio for Beloved Sessions for my brides. In April of this year, the opportunity to open a studio arose.

I had 2 choices: I could feel the fear and do it anyway, or I could succumb to my fear of failure and let that dream pass me by. I know that God has not only called me, but equipped me to use my camera to make women see how beautiful they are. The studio gave me a light, lovely and safe place for my Beloved Sessions. Had I let me fear tell me that I would fail, my dream of a studio would not have come to fruition.

While waiting can be difficult, I knew that the seeds of my dreams were growing, and that they would bloom eventually. I’m overjoyed that the time is now! 5 1/2 years after I attended MTH, I opened my sweet, little studio in Palm Springs, California. You’re all welcome to come and visit me there!

Katie McGihon - Making Things Happen

If you are considering attending MTH, jump in with both feet and do NOT look back! Fear is such a captor for many of us. It was for me. It may be for you right now, but it doesn’t have to be. Attend MTH, equip yourself for the future that you desire, make genuine connections and make what matters most happen.


Read more about Katie’s studio story, her son’s autism, perfect timing, and how pre-visualization helped her realize when to take the leap.


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