How Keri Ellen Tietjen Went From Military Spouse To Successful Entrepreneur And Owner Of Multiple Businesses

Keri Ellen Tietjen
is an International Business Coach and Executive Brand Strategist. For the first 15 years of her adult life, she learned things “the hard way,” becoming a military spouse and young mother of two by the time she was 20 years old. As a wife of an Army sniper, Keri learned adaptability, empowerment, and resilience due to the challenges of being a military spouse and an acting single parent. 

Keri always knew she had more to contribute to the world, and despite those difficult formative years, she was able to achieve some major goals in her life. She got her first writing job at age 19, started multiple businesses by the age of 30, had a successful blog at 31, and had her first six-figure income by the age of 32. At 35 years old, Keri’s marriage ended traumatically, pushing her to reach for her dreams. 

She had a successful career in Talent Acquisition, in industry fields such as Civil Service, Finance, Retail, Food & Beverage, Entertainment, and even worked for fortune 500 companies. However, at that point, Keri was ready to make her dreams happen and moved cross-country to New York City from California. After spending some time in New York, Keri went even further – she hopped on a plane to Bali in search of a nomadic life, or the life of a “Digital Nomad.” This experience helped and inspired Keri to lay the foundation for her own business. 

Now, after 4 years of traveling, living in 10 countries in 4 years, and visiting 37 different countries, Keri left the comfort of a corporate position to dedicate herself to her brand, The Wildfire Group. 

“Our combined vision is to provide resources to enable individuals and corporations to grow their empathy, understanding, knowledge, and support of diverse international cultures so that they can empower themselves on a personal level, to achieve lifestyle goals, and cultivate corporate growth, by providing an inclusive environment in the workplace, which leads to hiring innovative, forward thinking, retainable talent,” Keri explains. 

After her experience managing global teams, Keri became passionate about supporting and encouraging personal growth, as well as addressing corporate culture and employment brand strategy: 

“The result has been to run multiple consulting practices that focus on different areas of executing the same brand mission, which is to support the individual to live a more fulfilling and satisfying life, feel enabled and empowered in their professional careers, and ultimately elevate the culture and consciousness of corporate businesses,” Keri states. 

Hence Keri runs several businesses with different services, but with the same mission. At Wildfire Spark, their focus is on the individual. They provide services such as executive career coaching and empowerment advisory, and at The Digital Nomad Career Coach, she helps individuals who want to chase a lifestyle like hers, but don’t know where to start with a portable career.  At The Company Hearth, they focus on cultivating and defining the company culture and offer services such as employment brand strategy, corporate culture audits, training on inclusiveness & diversity, and talent acquisition advisory. 

“If employees don’t feel enabled and empowered in their personal lives, they won’t perform to their peak abilities in their careers. An empowered employee thinks ahead to solve problems and works diligently and proactively. An enabled employee can work more independently. Employees need flexibility to maintain wellness in their personal lives, yet still find success at work.  They need supportive management who encourage growth and actually back that up with an executable action plan, not just empty promises,” states Keri. 

Hence, this is where Keri and the services provided by her companies come in. In the past, people used to stay working in the same company for their entire careers, however, there is no real job stability nowadays as people jump around every 2-3 years. 

“Creating a solid employment brand is your statement to future employees about what they can expect from you as an employer. Building a strong employment brand and company culture builds brand loyalty within your organization. If brand loyalty is important among consumers, why would it be any less important to build a mutual loyalty between you and the people that you hire to execute YOUR vision?,” shares Keri. 

Having kids at such a young age and facing life or death with her husband going to war twice before she was 30 years old, Keri had a unique perspective on life. Because of her life experiences and empathy, her businesses are focused on providing a platform for people to speak, listen, and collaborate. 

“The values and goals of each of my brands are all intertwined, so they all suit a common purpose – to grow empathy by understanding communication and perspectives, enabling empowerment through support, fostering culture through knowledge and education, providing customer services with listening and learning, and helping to support small businesses and humanitarian efforts. People are my business,” Keri says. 

Currently, Keri is launching her newest venture, The Good Sh*t Co, an e-commerce boutique that is focused on curating collections from small businesses and co-ops. Their products range from limited apparel collections, accessories, jewelry, home goods, wellness products, and gifts from him/her/they. Furthermore, Keri and her team continue to expand and are in the process of adding a partners and services directory, so that they can refer their readers directly to small businesses that can help improve their quality of life. 

To learn more about Keri and her upcoming projects, make sure to follow her on Instagram here and check out her webpage