I recently met Karen and her husband Mike at Natalie Sisson's Freedom Business Retreat in Bali. We had an amazing five days working on our businesses and lifestyles. Some of the great sessions included 'group masterminds', Wealth Dynamics with Osmaan Sharif, implementation challenges, plus plenty of fun activities including yoga and a cooking course! Karen inspired me with her story of leaving her 9-5 and building an awesome business around a topic she is really passionate about - health and wellbeing. She has also built it in a way that allows her to travel around the world experiencing different places and cultures. In the interview she spoke about the challenges of leaving a corporate job and how she managed to do it herself - enjoy!
1) WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
My name's Karen Wojciechowski, I'm from Perth, Western Australia. and I am an integrated nutrition health coach over at realenergyfood.com
Before I started realenergyfood.com, I was actually an environmental scientist, so that was my corporate job before I made the leap into running my own business. I worked for various mining companies and did environmental approvals and infrastructure projects.
I now spend my time traveling around the world with my husband whilst running our own two businesses. In the last couple of years I've spent a lot of time in North America. I've just come back from four months in Chang Mai. That was awesome. I loved Chang Mai. We had that as our base and we travelled to Vietnam and some other places in Thailand. Now we're in Bali for Natalie Sisson’s Suitcase Entrepreneur Freedom Retreat and from here we plan to go spend a couple of months back home in Perth, then off to Europe for the summer. I am super excited about that.
2) WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT AND WHY?
I am super passionate about helping people get healthy and really boost their energy levels. Many people don't even realise that they're tired. They run on autopilot. When people feel energised, they want to exercise. They want to eat healthier. They want to create more things. They're able to really feel like they have the energy to do all the things they want to do in their life. So I'm really passionate about helping people kind of reclaim their energy, feel really energised again and just feel healthy and happy.
Over at Real Energy Food, there's a couple of ways I work with clients to help them boost energy and meet whatever health goals they have, whether that's losing weight or dealing with other health challenges. I do one-on-one coaching programs and then I also have a six week course, my Whole Clean Living Six Week Course, which includes some coaching and some online videos. I do all that coaching over Skype. Then I also run a 30 day challenge as well.
3) WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST BARRIERS TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
I think the biggest barrier is your mindset and what you think is possible. It is kind of scary leaving the corporate world. Thinking about financial security, thinking 'how am I going to be able to do it', being able to leave behind that regular pay-cheque to go into something that's a bit more unknown where you're not sure where that next pay-cheque is. I think people talk themselves out of it.
I spent a couple of years talking about my idea and business without doing it first. If I'm honest, I did take a couple of years to build up to that point and then I just realised that ... You hit a point where I knew that I would regret not trying more than I would regret quitting and just having to find another job later. For me, I really try to live by making sure that I don't have regrets. I knew that if I didn't try, I would regret it later. So I made the leap. I left my corporate job in Australia, which was for a mining company at the time, and I moved to Canada to start my new business.
4) ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WANTING TO START A BUSINESS?
If you can, see if you can go the side hustle (keep your day job) route. See what you can create or test out your ideas while you're still in your job. There's so much to do when you do start your own business. I feel to me there's been so much testing out what works, what do I really like doing? Finding the stuff that really excites you, makes you alive. If you can figure out a little bit of that while you're still in your corporate job, then it really gives you a kick start for when you do make the leap and decide to start your own business. Even if you feel that you want to do coaching, you maybe just take a couple of coaching clients. You don't have to fully launch a business on the side, but if you could just test the water so that you really know hey, is this direction I want to go? Is this the kind of thing I'm into? If possible, if you can start earning a little bit on the side, it makes the transition a little bit smoother.
5) WHAT ARE THE MOST EXCITING THINGS ABOUT STARTING A BUSINESS?
Yeah, for me one of the most exciting things is being able to work from anywhere. As I said, in the last couple of years we've done lots of Canada, I've been up to Alaska, and Australia and Thailand and now I'm in Bali. For me, being able to work wherever I want and whenever I want, I guess the freedom and flexibility associated with that has been really exciting.
The other thing that I really love, though, is being able to work on projects that I feel really passionately about. I really love being able to help people improve their health and I love seeing those results that people get. That really gets me excited. I really love being able to choose my projects and choose my work and also choose where I live.
6) RESOURCES YOU RECOMMEND?
Since we're here at Nat’s Bali retreat, I'm going to recommend Natalie Sisson’s Suitcase Entrepreneur Podcast, especially if you're looking to start something where you can move around a lot!
A book I would recommend is 'The Alchemist'. I love that book. It's about self-discovery.
What's a tool that you use in your business online, like an online tool that is really handy?
I use Google everything. I use Google Drive/Docs. I put information for my clients in Google Drive in different folders. I use Google docs and Google sheets to be able to send things and to be able to track everything. I even use Google sheets for people to enter food diaries and things like that. Google has so many free tools, so it's definitely something that's easy to utilise. You've got everything in one place. It's all online and you can access it from anywhere.
8) CHALLENGES FOR YOUR RIGHT NOW IN YOUR BUSINESS?
My challenges are really trying to maybe reach more people and scale my business and be able to really manage my time to help as many people as I can.
9) What are you getting from Natalie Sisson's Retreat here in Bali?
One of the biggest things is that I love getting all of the ideas and all of the conversations around my business and chatting to all of the different people here has been really awesome. I feel like, also, it's been really good to focus even more on who I want to serve, so nailing down my avatar and getting kind of people's suggestions around that and getting some feedback on what I've done in the past and how maybe I can further niche down on who I really want to serve and who I can help the most.
- Karen Wojciechowski, realenergyfood.com
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
- Natalie Sisson's Freedom Retreat: http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/bali-vipretreat/
- Karen's Business, Real Energy Food: http://realenergyfood.com/
- Natalie Sisson’s Suitcase Entrepreneur Podcast: http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/category/live/
- The Alchemist Book: http://www.amazon.com/The-Alchemist-Paulo-Coelho/dp/0061122416
- Google Drive: https://apps.google.com