Carol Ann Korpi spent her childhood split between NY and Florida—early part in NY and teen years in Florida. She went to college back in NY state, at Colgate University. By then, Carol Ann was a FLA kid who was ill prepared for the Hamilton, NY winters to say the least! After Colgate she moved to Boston and received her MSW from Simmons College. After a brief stint in Social Work, Korpi transitioned into the Internet business as it was evolving and proceeded to work in Sales and Sales Management at Start-ups for the next twenty years. The Start-up companies ranged from Data to SaaS to Global Payments and Virtual Reality Training. The main theme of Carol Ann’s career has been building a business from the ground up, usually as the only Salesperson to start, and growing each company into a world class business and building successful Sales’ Teams. Carol Ann Korpi had been privileged to work with some of the greatest people and true experts in their field in Pleasanton, CA. She had taken that experience and built a Consulting company to offer her expertise to new Start-Ups and Founders as the CEO of CA Consults, LLC.
Where did the idea for CA Consults come from?
I started my consulting company, CA Consults LLC as a play on my name and the state I live in. I wanted it to be broad enough to allow for multiple types of Consulting work in different industries as my experience ranges from Start-ups in Global Payments, SaaS, and Virtual Reality Training.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I make my day productive by keeping it simple. I start early and take the time to work on being healthy mind, body, and soul to give me energy and motivation to bring my best to the people I am working with. Right now, my working hours are filled with analyzing the start-ups I am working with and seeing how to best pivot their offerings to fit into this new world order during the pandemic. I am fortunate that the companies I work with are nimble and flexible, and their content is a great fit for companies adjusting to coming back to work and working remotely.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I love the engagement process with the Founders—working with incredibly talented CEOs and bringing their vision to life by helping them build a Sales strategy and Execution plan.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me is using Virtual Reality and AI in training to really understand another person’s point of view—literally be able to walk in someone else’s footsteps. Another trend is the ability to easily make payments all over the world to create less friction to do global business and connect easier for consumers as well.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
As a hobby I am a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher and meditating every day is my #1 habit that makes me more productive at work—and much happier in my life overall.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be teachable. Being open to learning new things and not having to be “right” is a huge advantage for anyone in business. Younger people often feel they have to know it all or be “right” as they start out because they don’t want to look foolish, but being open and flexible enough to admit another idea is better is the sign of a leader and true team player.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
You have time to meditate! Everyone tells me how busy they are and can’t make the time—and I get it! But taking that 20 minutes will ensure the rest of the day flows much better.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Help others and be kind. It’s so basic, but so important to share your knowledge and efforts, and be as kind as possible in every interaction. People don’t forget who was kind to them, even in business. The world is your mirror—so you will always get back exactly what you put into the world during your work day and in your personal life.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Work with companies whose product resonates with you and work with people you like. The more I connect with both the company mission and the team, the more effective I will be at advising them.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My second Internet start-up company I joined folded 3 weeks after I joined. I had no idea a shutdown was coming and thought we were doing great as I was at a lower level and not privy to executive discussions. That experience taught me that a great idea isn’t enough—and be prepared and flexible. The proper people, strategy and execution is necessary, and start-ups needs mature leadership advice and planning.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I don’t have a specific idea to offer, but I do think people can find the best business for themselves by identifying when they get “in the flow”–when they get lost in the work and the day flies by. That effortless focus and commitment will be the first step and catalyst to building a successful business.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently purchased a new tire for my son and that was pretty important and needed!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Lately it’s an App called WhatsApp. WhatsApp allows me to connect easily globally and most countries use it. I use Wechat for China.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It is a life changing book and allows a deeper understanding of who we really are and how we are all connected. When you feel connected to all, you are much more interested in cooperation, win-win deals and less about your own ego which often gets in the way of success.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you don’t swing the bat, you’ll never get a hit”. I am not sure the original author, but my Dad said it all the time and I think his coaching helped me to take risks and dream big.
• The world is evolving to be more connected in every way, and the way you conduct yourselves with others to enhance that connection matters
• Give of yourself in every interaction. So simple but with this action your days are much more meaningful.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.