If I could start again, I’d focus more on the tasks at hand and less on the performance. I spent the first year of my business judging myself and my progress. I realize now that it’s not so much about the progress and performance as it is about the quantity of the task at hand.
Ciara Kamara is the Expat Business Coach and is the creator of the FREE 30-day reset challenge for expat women and trailing spouses at Life Reset Coaching, LLC where she supports expat woman and trailing spouses design balanced and all-around fabulous, location-independent lives with candid reflections and no-nonsense advice.
Where did the idea for Life Reset Coaching come from?
The idea for Life Reset Coaching hit me after about six months of working through a major life transition. I got married. I left my job, and I followed my husband to the Dominican Republic without any Spanish language skills, no friends, no contacts, and no job. After about six months, I got my sea legs, and I realized that my experience as a trailing spouse wasn’t new. So, I created Life Reset Coaching to support military, diplomatic, and trailing spouses create fabulous location independent lifestyles. As I worked with more and more military and diplomatic trailing spouses, I realized that the type of trailing spouse has transformed, and trailing spouses (still mostly women) want to create more than just a job. They want consistent professional development and income. So, I realized that the day had come for the Trailing Spouse 2.0 who creates a fabulous location independent lifestyle to accompany her spouse’s job. A lot of times, these women are making MORE than their spouses. We’re turning the concept of the trailing spouse upside down at Life Reset Coaching.
What does your typical day look like?
I wake up at 4:30. By 5AM, I hit the gym and work with my trainer or meet a friend for a run. By 7AM, I work on my 16-month bridge job. By 4PM, I head home and work on my business or meet with clients for two hours. By 7PM, I start dinner, and I eat by 7:30 with my husband. By 8:30 the kitchen is clean and I spend an hour with my husband before going to bed by 9:30.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I experiment. I have a TON of ideas and one of my major flaws starting out was that I would spend more time thinking about my ideas than experimenting with my ideas. Now, if I have an idea, I run with it. That looks like doing interviews with actual or perspective clients. It looks like investing in a little advertising to see what kind of responses I get back. I used to be afraid that my ideas would fail. Now, I just want them to release them into the world to see what they can create.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I’m loving the trend of married women (and moms) starting businesses! Being a working mom is a superhuman responsibility and now, more and more women are opting out of the workforce to create more income and more flexibility in their lives to create the family, the income, and the personal space. It’s not easy but it’s amazing that women are choosing to the challenge of entrepreneurship in service of a greater commitment to create more out of their lives.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m decisive and don’t waver in indecision. That means that sometimes I create some HUGE wins and other times I create some pretty BIG losses. The best part though of being decisive is that no matter what happens, I own whatever I choose, and I see the wins and the losses as opportunities to learn. As an entrepreneur, the most important part about my job (after helping my clients) is learning. Learning every day makes me massively productive.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
The worst job I’ve ever had was a management position that involved a never-ending work-load. I got emails after I went to bed and woke up to a list of time-sensitive emails. I worked nights, weekends, and holidays. Oddly enough, I actually loved the people in that job, which is why I stayed for as long as I did, but what I learned from it was that I need definite boundaries between my work and my life. So, now, I just make sure I have some quantity down time for myself.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
If I could start again, I’d focus more on the tasks at hand and less on the performance. I spent the first year of my business judging myself and my progress. I realize now that it’s not so much about the progress and performance as it is about the quantity of the task at hand. The more I focus on the task at hand, the better my ultimate progress. Now that I know that, I wish I could start again with that knowledge. I think I’d have a bit more fun and have a lot less stress.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I’m constantly refining and defining my client. When I started off, my ideal client was very generic and the more people I work with and the longer I’m in business, the more I can drill down and refine my ideal client. The more I’m able to move from the generic to the specific, the more I’m able to refine my service offerings to satisfy their specific needs, and I get happier more satisfied clients and much better referrals.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Having one-on-one conversations and connecting with new people is the number 1 strategy that has helped me grow my business. Granted, it’s old school, but it works. There are a TON of great strategies out there, but I realized that you can’t guest post unless you make a connection. So, I’ve built my business on connecting with people. If I read something I like online, I find an email address or a contact form, and I reach out and connect. Sometimes connecting is just connecting and other times there’s an opportunity available for both parties.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Early in my business career, I fell out of integrity with my word. So essentially I said I would do one thing and I ended up doing the complete opposite, and I let a lot of people down. Of course I felt horrible, and I just ended up apologizing and moving on. It was a really difficult time for me because I never like letting anyone down, and I spent a lot of time working to forgive myself because I realize that I had no control over anyone but myself. So, I spent several months working on getting that whole scenario complete and forgiving myself for not being my best. Because of that experience, I learned what commitment means, and the consequences both internal and external of breaking commitments.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think it would be really cool for an accountant to specialize in international individual and business taxes for US citizens living abroad. The thing that would make the business remarkable would be some kind of database or system that allowed for the secure transfer of tax files via the internet. A BONUS idea that some of my clients could use right now would be a lawyer that understands internet-based businesses and the logistics of business formations in a variety of countries.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I’m a total introvert and would usually prefer to spend the entire weekend at home with my hubby on the couch to going to parties and social events.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I use Satori for client scheduling and contact management. I use Paypal for all financial processing. I’m a big WordPress fan for my website and blog. I use mailchimp right now to communicate with my community, and I have a program that I run solely through mailchimp. I use Vonage to call and receive calls from people all over the world, and I use Skype from time to time for video conferencing but I’m learning to use Google +.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I can’t just give one, I have to give two because these books really supported me on my path of entrepreneurship. The Four Agreements totally helped my mind game, and Creating Sales Velocity helped me to transform the way I communicated my services and products.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Creating Sales Velocity by Matthew Ferry