Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kara Latta, Founder of The Playful Warrior, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is The Playful Warrior. The Playful Warrior's mission is to reconnect adults back to their inherent playfulness. So many adults are disconnected from their true nature (I was, too!). This isn't our fault our conditioning teaches us to strive for perfection and to achieve, please and perform so we can feel like we're good enough or worthy. We learn to deny and repress our playful parts and our childlike wonder. I help people unlearn that so they can heal with play and learn to express themselves more authentically. I work with individuals, groups, organizations, frontline workers, couples, and families.
Tell us about yourself
The Playful Warrior started from a dark place. I had a relationship end, ongoing chronic health issues, and a nasty cockroach infestation. I lost my job and was working through childhood trauma. While losing my corporate job was shocking, I had been deeply unhappy for a long time. So, I knew this was my moment to actually do something I loved. There had to be more to life, and I really wanted to help people. I just had no idea what that looked like. With everything feeling so heavy in my life, I thought back to my inner child and how I was such a playful kid. I decided to start playing and exploring my creativity again to see if I could find more joy in my life again.
As I began going on my own play journey, my life started radically improving. I began studying the science behind play to understand why. I was surprised to learn about all of its incredible benefits. Once I understood how powerful play was, I became super passionate about it because what we learn in society is totally backward. We learn that play is only for kids and it's silly, immature, and fluffy for adults. But the truth is adults need play (more than ever!), and play deprivation is actually a risk for our health, according to Stuart Brown, MD. National Institute for Play.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
While there are a few stand-out moments (like working with some of the biggest companies in North America and doing huge speaking engagements), what actually comes to mind is learning how to trust myself and keep going in those hard moments. In the moments when people told me I should return to the corporate world for more stability and safety, I chose to keep going because I was so passionate about this work, and it's paid off.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
It feels like a roller coaster with so many ups and downs. It can feel really overwhelming and lonely some days. On those days, the hardest thing is choosing to keep the faith instead of succumbing to self-doubt. But when you choose to stay the course, the wins are so much more fulfilling. It's also good to know you're not alone, and it's all part of the entrepreneurial journey.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be patient — Creating a strong, long-lasting business takes time. When I first started, I expected things to happen very quickly. If I spoke at an event, I'd expect clients to come in within the next day (very naïve, I know!). The truth is you never know when people may find you from an event, podcast, referral, or another opportunity. I find that I often see traction many months after the event (and it can happen years later, too!). My best advice on how to manage this is to do your best, surrender to the timing and detach from a specific outcome. That's when I find opportunities start flowing to me.
- Don't take rejection personally — Nobody cares about your business as much as you do. Because I love what I do so much and I feel so deeply connected to it, every rejection felt personal at first. I've learned that 'no's' have nothing to do with my worth or value; they just go with the territory. Not everyone will be a yes. Amidst the rejection, it's important to know your value, so don't start undercharging because you've gotten 'no's.' If you are delivering high value, have validated your offer, and have proven results, confidently share that, and your ideal clients will come.
- It's okay to say no — It's important to assess what opportunities are right for you. It's okay to say no to a client who wants to work with you if they aren't an ideal client. It's okay to say no to collaborations that aren't a good fit. When I first started, I said yes to every opportunity (some that should have been no's) because I was so focused on getting my message out there and hitting my income goals. But at the end of the day, more money won't make you happy, especially if you're working with the wrong people. Trust yourself and stand in your integrity.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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