I love being a part of a community full on inspirational entrepreneurs! Recently, I caught up with Shoutout Colorado for a interview sharing how I took on the challenge of becoming an entrepreneur.
Dream big, live big!
We had the good fortune of connecting with Carisa Findley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carisa, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
One day, I was looking at my vision board (if you know, you know….) and I got really pissed off! I had a lot of images on there that had been up for a very long time and I knew I was no where near having those things in my life. Honestly, I was frustrated, overwhelmed and just disappointed. I was working a full-time job that I loved, but I knew I wanted more! I wanted to help the world in a bigger way, challenge myself to grow in a bigger way and, imagine this, be financially rewarded in a bigger way! lol!
So, I started to ask myself, “how do I want to close the gap between what I have and what I want?”
I didn’t really know how to answer that question at first. But, I asked it a lot and just listened for an answer. While I was waiting for inspiration, I went to a Tony Robbins’ live event, and if you ever need inspiration, jumping up and down with 8,000 people in a stadium definitely helps! During that event, I got some clarity on how to answer that question.
I knew I had a love for public speaking and training. I’ve been a group fitness instructor for over 20 years and in my professional life, I’ve been a speaker and trainer. I love to energize a room full of people and inspire them to make changes in their lives.
Ok, so I love that…but how can I use my unique voice to help others in a big way? Honestly, there’s already a Tony Robbins and a Gabby Bernstein, Marie Forleo, Jack Canfield, and on…and on…I was afraid that I didn’t have anything “original” to offer!
I had recently been going through my own journey of learning how to live my best life. I had put in a lot of hard work (over the course of a decade) to develop habits that were making me more energized, more productive and even more grateful.
Well, what if I packaged the lessons I had learned over the last decade and shared it in a way that made it easier for other people to implement those same habits? This fired me up, but then self-doubt kicked into overdrive. I just listed a few famous people that were already doing that; why would anyone listen to me?
It took time, but eventually I knew who I could help. Entrepreneurs. My entire career had been in franchising and working with small business owners. I knew them well – I had coached them, motivated them and trained them.
So, I started to put my business together. I knew I could help as a keynote speaker and trainer that helped entrepreneurs implement mindfulness strategies to improve their performance.
I started slowly (while still working my full-time job). I enrolled in some workshops that helped me learn how to get clear on my vision. I built my website. Made a demo reel. Established my pricing. Asked for help. Did you see that last one? ASKED FOR HELP! I reached out to people on LinkedIn who were doing what I wanted to do. Some where amazingly supportive and helpful. Others were assholes. But, I learned a lot from my network.
A few months later, I finally landed my first speaking gig on March 7, 2020. Well, we all know what happened next. I put all this work into building my business, reaching out to people and networking and then this?!? I felt defeated. The other future booking I had secured was canceled. I was dealing with my own anxiety around COVID and had my hours and pay cut at my job. I was really struggling.
Then one day, I realized if I am struggling this much with anxiety and uncertainty and I HAVE mindfulness practices in my life, what are people doing that DON’T?
I decided that COVID wouldn’t be the end of my desire to achieve greatness! So, I pivoted. I co-authored a book on success habits and I took my public speaking online and developed a course on visualization (two things, btw, that I had never done before and that totally overwhelmed me!).
Anytime I got scared or overwhelmed, I focused on helping others. I knew that I would only grow outside of my comfort zone and if I felt fear, it meant I was heading in the right direction!
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?
I help people who know they want MORE (more success, happiness, love) by giving them a proven system of mindfulness practices to help them close the gap between their current life and the extraordinary life they desire!
Through speaking, training and writing, my desire is that people recognize their ability to be GREAT!
Growing up, I never felt like anyone special. I wasn’t from a wealthy family and I didn’t go to an Ivy League school. For a long time, I blamed my environment, my parents or my hometown for my lack of success.
Finally, I grasped on to the idea that I was ultimately responsible for my destiny and I was ready to embrace it! Growth, success and happiness didn’t happen overnight – I had to do a lot of work on my own fears and limiting beliefs. But, I still don’t feel like anyone special…and that’s a good thing! You don’t have to have a fancy last name or be from a certain town to reach your own extraordinary life! Our dreams are just waiting on us to have the courage to chase them!
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?
Colorado is really special! Here’s my itinerary for a damn good time: Get some wine and charcuterie at Bigsby’s Folly
Try brunch at Toro in Cherry Creek North
You’ll need coffee at Aviano while you’re there
You’ll need to work off your food at Black Swan Yoga, Fitwall or Transform
Rent bikes at Wash Park
Grab an early morning hike near Evergreen or Conifer and then grab lunch by the creek at Creekside Cellars in Evergreen.
Why not head a little deeper into the mountains? Head to Breckenridge to for a free summertime ride on the gondola and then hike down the mountain. Stop at Breckenridge Distillery for dinner
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to the man who lifted me up when I felt like a failure and encouraged me to just.keep.going! Thank you, Nate Caraway!