Retiring From Stratejoy - Lessons Learned From Five Years of Community Management


Retiring From Stratejoy – Lessons Learned From Five Years of Community Management

To Katie “Pants” Colihan — Thank you for giving your heart, soul and humor to our Community for the last 5 years. You’ve been here almost as long as I have! Stratejoy would not be the same without you. I’ve learned so much about bravery, about vulnerability and about the difficult dance of delegation/communication/leadership from our time together. 

We’re saying our goodbyes, and though that means the end of an era for us — it’s time, honey. You are ready to find your dream. To dedicate the love and attention you’ve given Stratejoy to the thing that’s going to light YOU up. You’ve got to be free to figure out the thing that’s going to make you really, really happy. 

I don’t doubt for a second that it’s out there. And I want nothing less for you.

Enjoy the hell out of the search and know you’ll always have a friend and supporter in me.




It started with a question:

“What makes you really happy? When was the last time you were happy? What did it feel like?”

I came across this question in the Joy Equation a little over 5 years ago.

In 2009, I was 25. Living with my dad. In a back and forth dead-end relationship. Laid off from my job. Depressed. Stuck. So unhappy that I couldn’t even answer a simple question of “What makes you really happy?”

I applied to be a Season 2 blogger. I got in. I wrote about my depression. I moved to Philadelphia. I started my own freelance business. I began life as Katie Blogs. I slowly crawled out of the hole I had gotten into.


I remember after I was a Season 2 Stratejoy blogger, I emailed Molly and told her that I just wasn’t ready to leave and asked if she needed any help behind the scenes. This magic that I had experienced of being amongst “my tribe” was so intoxicating, that I didn’t want to let it go.

After the next season of bloggers was done, I still wasn’t ready to leave the tribe and Molly asked me to stick around again for the next season.

This continued on. Season after season. Project after project. Year after Year.

Even when my time was stretched to the absolute max, and I felt overwhelmed with everything,  I never felt ready to leave the warm little cocoon of Stratejoy. Being Molly’s community manager has become such a big part of my identity. My security blanket.

There were days where I thought about the chance of joining Stratejoy in a more official capacity as some kind of coach in training. I mean, what could be better than working with one of the most inspirational, gorgeous souls ever? As much as I love Molly, here’s my hard-hitting truth:

Stratejoy was never my dream. It is, and always will be Molly’s. I was along to help her shine. I feel like I did that to the best of my ability. Every day. For 5 years.

But now? That time I’ve carved out of my daily life for 5 years, needs to be refocused on my dream. What will make me shine? What’s my big dream?

I have absolutely no idea, but I’m not willing to put off finding out anymore.

And while I have absolutely no idea where life will take me next, for the first time I can say with full and complete confidence: I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to write the next chapter of my life. 

What this all means: I’m officially retiring from Stratejoy. Short. Sweet. Simple. Incredibly scary. But such is life, eh?

I’ll end this with the same question that, before Molly, I was unable to answer:

“What makes you really happy?”

Grey’s Anatomy, pancakes, brunch, twinkle lights, Taylor Swift’s Blank Space, Wine feelings, candles, freshly washed sheets, backrubs, cupcakes, the perfect spotify playlist, inside jokes, unexpected texts, teaching, dance parties, … and that’s just today.

To Molly “Pants”. – Writing this post came easily to me, until right now. I’m sitting on my couch in fuzzy socks, drinking chai tea, hair in a messy bun, with ugly tears streaming down my face. Everything has changed for me over the past 5 years – from where I live to the people I share my life with to what I call my job, but you’ve been the constant.

You’ve shared in my successes. You’ve seen me at my worst. You’ve seen me at my best.  You’ve never judged me. You celebrate with me. You say “what the fuck is wrong with some people?” with me.

Working with you, I’ve learned how to accept success. I’ve learned how to own up to my mistakes. I’ve learned to do what I say I’m going to do. I’ve learned the value of my time. I’ve learned to value other’s time. I’ve learned about every project management system ever and which ones are worth the money. I know my way so hard around WordPress.

Hands down, the best gift you ever gave me was YOU. You in all your raw, makeup free, no shower, baby on boob self. Through both of our bad times, at the end of the day, when shit gets real and dirty, no matter what, you always show up as a leader, a coach, a friend. You showed me what healthy relationships look like, and because of that, I’ve made it a habit to accept nothing less.

Removing “Stratejoy Community Manager” from all of my bios is going to be difficult. But I’ll forever be a Molly-Pants fanatic and Stratejoy Tribe member.

Lead on, leader.


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