Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sally Anne Carroll, Founder of Whole Life Strategies Coaching, located in Portland, OR, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a life and career coach working at the intersection of life, work & well-being. I'm passionate about creating sustainable success and reinventing the parts of our life and work that need a shift so that we can achieve more fulfillment, alignment, and impact -- and truly thrive. I work individually with professionals and entrepreneurs who are navigating change, building more values-alignment and balance into their lives and self-leadership, and creating what's next for them, personally and professionally.
My approach is intentionally integrated because we don't live siloed lives, yet a lot of coaching support is designed as if we do. My Sustainable Success model takes a more holistic view using a blend of evidence-based coaching, positive psychology, and practical strategy that helps clients connect to themselves and their future vision/goals, nourish themselves as well as their goals, and design and enact a roadmap to create what's next from a place of clarity, confidence and capacity. I am also the author of two books: Reinvent Your Reality (subtitle: A Positively Practical Guide to Revitalize Your Life & Work) and Nourish (subtitle: 28 Daily Dares for Busy People Craving Sustainable Self-Care), both of which reflect this blended "whole life" approach.
Tell us about yourself
As a coach, I've supported clients in navigating significant life changes, building courageous plans for what's next, finding more fulfilling work roles, getting clear on their next career or life moves (including launching new ventures), achieving stronger work-life balance and well-being, and generally saying YES to what they really want in life. I've also done all of that myself, and that's what really propelled me into the coaching world. Having gone through workplace burnout — followed quickly by an extended period of unexpected personal changes— I went looking for holistic resources to support me and found a lot of unconnected dots. I started creating my own resources, doing my own training and growth, and enacting transformational changes in my own life on a big scale. I started my first business during that period — a communications consulting practice that built on my years of experience. But I quickly knew that coaching was the real work I was meant to be doing, so I retrained and reinvented. I couldn't ask for work that is more fulfilling — and that taps into my natural strengths and past experiences more fully. Every person who feels they are thriving has a positive ripple effect on everyone around them -- and I want to continue to inspire and facilitate more of that.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Staying true to my values and my desire to present and build my work in alignment with what's important to me. I measure my success also by impact, so I love to hear about the successes that my clients are having with the vision and goals that they've set out for themselves. It's an incredible honor to walk hand in hand with people as they reconnect to themselves and design a new vision for their personal and professional lives. When a client shares that they have transformed their relationship with themselves, that they have redesigned their work to make space for what's important to them, have landed a dream job or made changes that they've longed to make because they're now clear and confident and have the capacity to do that-- it's really fulfilling to me to have played a part in that. Publishing 2 books was also a personal milestone for me.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Never let anyone set your goals for you. There is a lot of advice out there for anyone in business. That doesn't mean that it's all for you or that you need to do (or even pay attention to) all the things. Keeping your eyes on your own mat and staying focused on what is aligned for you while letting go of the rest can be a real challenge if you're not intentional about that and grounded in your own self-leadership. It's important to continually reconnect to what you want and why you're doing what you do. That helps to keep the shiny objects and the FOMO at bay.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Invest in your personal growth. A mentor once told me that being in business was the best personal growth course available, and that is most definitely the truth. And it doesn't end.
- Prioritizing meaningful self-care isn't optional. This is true even if you aren't in business. Sustainable success, in alignment with who you are and your vision and values, is the goal.
- Financial cushions create capacity. In business, we all stretch and bet on ourselves, but it's helpful to be clearheaded about your expenses and investments and whether they match your risk tolerance and your true goals.
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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