Meet Female Entrepreneur Karen Natasha, the CEO and Founder of Karen Natasha Coaching. Karen started her career in the corporate world, but she knew this would not be her end goal or give her a “forever” job. She soon discovered that she had a drive for coaching individuals and working as a Career and Life Coach. Hence, Karen began her journey of transitioning from her corporate job to becoming a self-employed Career and Life Coach.
Karen Natasha achieved her Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Having found her vocation, she went on to complete the ICF Gold Standard of Professional Certified Coach (PCC). She then diversified her coaching professional development by completing her Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (MLI-MP) designations through iPEC. Currently, she is working to further build her eponymous company together with her successfully growing team. The determination that Karen possesses has made her become a self-sufficient, strong and independent woman.
‘’My core values are connecting with others, building trusting relationships, developing discipline and establishing habits that lead to continuous learning, growth and results. As I have had a career change, I have experienced firsthand what my clients are going through, and I can help them achieve their professional goals with the help of an empathetic perspective.’’
Women On Topp spoke with Karen Natasha about her experiences as an incredibly motivated, business-minded woman.
What inspired you to start working as a career and life coach?
I was working in a consultant role for a large corporation. I knew what I was doing, and was good at my job, but I was miserable. I had a toxic boss who was an obstacle to my advancement and career growth. I knew I had hit the glass ceiling.
At the same time, my husband was going through health issues. We were sitting in the hospital waiting for his CT Scan. As soon as he went through the doors, I broke down. I was trying to keep all the balls in the air, and I just could not do it anymore. The tears started to flow, and they would not stop. Sitting in the hospital hallway crying like a baby, I reached out to a friend who worked in Human Resources, asking her what to do. She was the voice of reason, telling me it was time to take a leave of absence to heal myself.
My friend was right. After being home for a few weeks, I just knew I could not go back to that life of feeling undervalued and under supported, so I quit. Without knowing what was next, I walked away from it all and began to trust my gut instincts. I did not know what was next, but I started investigating coaching and discovered my purpose. I have always been known for helping others discover the ways they can excel. At the same time, I share my honest views and constructive feedback in an encouraging and supportive manner.
I relish opportunities to provide support to people, see them flourish and am a champion of encouraging their goals and autonomy. I enjoy the feeling of being united by a common goal and empowering people to be their best. I felt that career and life coaching was the best occupation that would provide me with a sense of fulfillment.
What has been the most difficult thing for you?
The most difficult thing has been taking the risks to follow my dream. I cashed in my retirement savings and returned to school at 45 years of age. There was so much of pressure. My husband was struggling with health issues and I had two teenage children depending on me to maintain their way of life. It was tough. Finances were very lean, but I stayed focused on my vision of the future and the life I wanted to live. I knew the only thing that would have been more difficult than taking this leap of faith and calculated risk on myself would have been staying in a job where I was miserable and building someone else’s future instead of my own.
How are you changing the world?
I am changing the world by challenging the negative assumptions that surround women, especially women of colour. I’m inspiring my clients to make uplifting changes to their lives, whether it is finding a job with purpose, establishing closer connections with family and friends, or getting involved in their communities.
I also help women see the importance of self-awareness and reflection. This allows them to create a greater sense of peace and harmony within themselves and with those in their sphere of influence. I love witnessing their self-esteem soar as they become more resilient, and cheer when they start focusing on the positives in their situations by adopting a continuous growth mindset. My life is wonderful! Every day, I get to inspire women to use their voices. Often these women felt unheard at the table, but through our coaching journey, they evolve and gain the confidence to stop shying away from speaking their truth to power!
Each and every woman who has participated in Karen Natasha Coaching programs has boldly painted our world in small and large scales! Their success stories demonstrate the change in the world that we all want to see. It is simultaneously exciting and humbling to know that I have made positive life altering impacts in people’s lives.
What is life coaching, what’s involved and how does it work?
The International Coach Federation (ICF), the leading global credentialing organization for coaches, defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
Coaching helps people feel more empowered as emerging leaders. In addition, coaches make a difference in improving their client’s effectiveness in communication, fostering healthy relationships, providing strategies for navigating change in the workplace and coping with stress. A life coach guides their coachee’s to achieve their personal and professional goals with a clear plan that holds the coachee accountable and leads them to live a more fulfilled purpose.
Coaching is about combining all the areas of your life that need fulfillment. A life coach provides an unbiased approach, without judgment or blame. Their role is to strictly help the coachee find their own answers. Coaches focus on what is going on in the client’s life, and areas that may need redefining or clarity. With the coach’s intervention and through a series of follow-up actions, they take their clients on a journey of self-discovery, helping them to find their passion, purpose and fulfillment.
At Karen Natasha Coaching, we help our coachees identify the obstacles and patterns of behaviour that are holding them back, and work with them to come up with practical techniques for overcoming them. As an accountability partner, we target issues and work with our coachees to co-create a plan designed to improve specific situations and/or all aspects of clients’ lives.
Top 5 reasons you might approach a coach
- You feel unhappy or unfulfilled in your career and/or relationships.
- You are in a transitional phase of life – empty nest, end of a marriage, job loss – and you don’t know what comes next or what your life purpose is.
- You are ready to stop repeating the same patterns of behaviour that are not working for you.
- You want to overcome obstacles standing in your way and accelerate achieving your goals.
- You have big ideas and want to stay motivated, on task and driven to produce amazing results.
In your own words, what do you do?
At Karen Natasha Coaching, our job is to help professionals and business owners navigate the path to their career and entrepreneurship goals. Our thought-provoking techniques and creative process maximizes their success in personal and professional development from present to future.
Step by step, we help to strategize actionable solutions and ensure measurable results that propel our clients to achieve their goals with a high degree of success. We lead our clients through tactics that cultivate discipline, and habits that lead to continuous learning, growth and results.
As a Black woman-owned practice, Karen Natasha Coaching specializes in supporting the personal and professional growth of Black, Indigenous and people of colour. We do this by building trusting relationships based on empathy and understanding of similar, yet unique experiences.
Please tell us how you are helping women?
Karen Natasha Coaching supports women, especially those who have often been marginalized and under supported, to achieve actualization and confidence through increased self-awareness, personality mastery, financial literacy and a continuous growth mindset. We empower women to recognize their strengths, get out of their own way, set boundaries and live their best lives through fulfilling careers and relationships. Our coaches love their lives and guide our clients to love theirs by taking them from dreams to goals, action items and their desired realities.
What are your current areas of focus?
At Karen Natasha Coaching we focus on life coaching, career coaching and business consulting. Our life coaching practice focuses on mental, physical, financial and spiritual wellness. Spiritual wellness is not about religion, though it can be. It is about the relationship between emotional health and one’s connection to their environment and the universe. This includes:
- Bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
- Learning how to make changes and accepting that making changes can be enjoyable.
- Gaining clarity about what you want, why you want it and how you can get it.
- Creating ways of developing positive patterns of thought, feelings, and behaviour that bring success, balance, and fulfillment.
- Discovering your values, talents and transferable skills.
- Exploring valuable techniques you can continue to use after coaching ends.
- Learning how to manage and develop healthy personal and professional relationships.
Career coaching focuses on professional development and achieving career goals such as:
- Becoming a more effective leader and inspiring high-performing teams.
- Adapting in changing situations and environments.
- Improving communication and building rapport with colleagues and clients.
- Breaking through limiting beliefs, setting new goals and holding yourself accountable.
- Improving your sales success, negotiating skills and influence.
- Identifying areas for growth and transformation.
- Overcoming bias and valuing diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Developing coping mechanisms to manage stress and anxiety.
- Gaining clarity in your purpose.
- Personal branding and marketing.
- Resume writing, interview preparation and negotiating compensation.
Under our business consulting umbrella, we help identify what you want to achieve with your business and create a strategy to get you there. We guide you to make profound shifts in your thinking and behaviours. Our company integrates coaching assessment of your business needs and learning solutions to support effective solutions.
We begin by quickly gaining an understanding of your mission, values, business objectives and use coaching tools and marketing strategy with our partners to find solutions that net sustainable results, including:
- A 360 assessment for yourself and team to evaluate where you’re at.
- Cultivate a high-performing and collaborative team that is connected to your organizational mission.
- Articulate your goals and SMART objectives.
- Identify your organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Identify blind spots, roadblocks and develop a map to achieve your goals.
- Brainstorm effective marketing and communications strategies that are in alignment to your mission and values.
- Develop an actionable tactical plan based on your team’s unique strengths.
Who are your clients, can you describe them and what they are looking for?
My clients are looking for a multitude of things. Sometimes it’s just more self-confidence or clarity on where they should go next in their career and life. Many are sick and tired of the job that they are doing, but they do not know what that next step is or how to do it.
Most of them are in situations that I was once in. Others are in transitions or feeling burned out and are struggling to cope with stress. They might have a well-paying, six-figure job that they have spent years working toward, but they are not happy. They have this external appearance of a life that the outside world thinks is great, but in reality, they are not fulfilled in their career, relationships and life in general. They are tired of feeling that way and have lost themselves – in their jobs, as a mother, as a wife, girlfriend, or friend.
That’s when they reach out to Karen Natasha Coaching, when they have lost themselves. They want more. They want a sense of purpose. They want to love their lives again. We help them do that.
What is a skill you think all women should learn and why?
Money management! Learn how to create and stick to a budget and investment plan. The younger professionals always value this aspect of our coaching, where they can learn the foundations of money management from our sessions and have impactful results. Never underestimate the power of repetitive behaviors and compounding interest – for better or worse.
According to a Statistics Canada Financial Capability Survey, only 31 percent of women considered themselves to be financially knowledgeable compared with 43 percent of men.
Women of all ages and backgrounds can struggle with the pressure of earning enough to support themselves, their families, and prepare for unforeseen emergencies and retirement. Single mothers are especially vulnerable and need to learn how to make informed decisions about money to ensure secure futures for themselves and their children.
We realize there is a lot of embarrassment and guilt associated with getting into a financial bind or not knowing how to manage money effectively. It is tough admitting that you need help because it is overwhelming when you don’t know where to start.
Here are some tips I have for women who want to start learning about money management:
- Get comfortable with asking questions about money.
- Contact your financial institution to set up a meeting with an account manager, ideally before you need credit. They can be a wealth of information and can help build a viable financial plan at no cost.
- Monitor your credit rating. If it’s low, reach out to your local non-profit credit counseling society for advice.
- Take the taboo out of talking about money with your partner. Schedule regular monthly discussions, make sure you are on the same page with your money goals, and avoid deferring to them because you are not interested. You need to know what is always happening with your household finances!
- Talks to friends and family members who you know are financially successful. Ask them what tips they have and if they’d be willing to mentor you.
- See a Notary about advanced and estate planning. You need to know that your children will be well-cared for if anything happens to you.
For more information, inspiration and to schedule a discovery call, be sure to head to https://www.karenatashacoaching.com/ and follow Karen on all social platforms.