Welcome to It’s A Magical Life Podcast. I’m your host Magic Barclay, lead practitioner at Wholistic Natural Health Australia and today I have the gorgeous Karen Kamenwa with me who will be talking about Family and Value.
Karen is an entrepreneur, certified online business manager, business coach, and Amazon best selling author of “Stay At Home Moms Making Money: The Seven Steps to Starting Your Own Virtual Assistant Business.”
Karen has spent the last 10 years mastering the Art of running a successful virtual assistant business, while raising her two sons. Along with her continued education, training and years of experience serving diverse and dynamic small business owners and online enterprises, she’s considered an expert in the virtual assistant industry.
Now, you have a very interesting story. How did you get into the virtual assistant area?
I got into virtual assistants when my sons were three years old and one year old. At the time, I was working a regular nine to five job. I used to experience so much guilt, mom guilt, dropping them off at daycare centers every morning, and worrying sick all day long.
That’s just not the life I envisioned for my kids or for me as a mom. I wanted to be present for them. I wanted to be available, I wanted to raise them myself, and I did not want to miss any milestones and I wanted to capture all of that in pictures.
So while I was working the nine to five job, I started really contemplating what I needed to do in order to make that dream that I had a reality and so, I looked at my skills and, cut the long story short, at once I assessed my skills and researched, I discovered that I could offer the same services from home. That’s what virtual assistants is; you work remotely, virtually from any location, and serve your clients with the skills and gifts that you have. So that’s what I did. So, fast forward and so that’s how I started my business.
That is fantastic. Now, what kind of area were you working in beforehand?
I was working for a manufacturing company and I was in the customer service department. I started just as a rep, and then went up, up the ranks and became the customer service manager and so that – those are the skills I took with me. I started offering the same services in my own business. So my virtual assistant business specializes primarily on customer service.
That’s fantastic. Now, Karen, we ask the same three questions to all of our guests and the answers are always diverse and interesting. So here’s the first one: What can your expertise do to accelerate health? Emotional, spiritual or physical?
Okay, so according to the new Stress In America survey conducted by Harris Poll for the American Psychological Association, money is the top source of stress in our lives. According to that report, 64% of Americans and I believe that’s a good sample, that reflects the whole world, 64% say that money is a significant source of stress. Also, women tend to have higher levels of stress in general, and most of them say money is the number one thing that they think about and worry about most of the time.
So my business, my expertise, which is helping women particularly, to start virtual assistant businesses, the way that helps in accelerating health, is that it gives women an opportunity to start their own business and to be empowered, and to have more control over their lives and how much money they can make.
Being able to be financially independent, and not worrying, worrying so much about money is a health benefit, as I see it, and so that’s what my business does. That’s how it accelerates health by creating opportunities for women to be financially independent and financially empowered. My own business, hires many women who are looking for the same flexibility to raise their own kids at home and also make money, have a good income, and so that helps to relieve that daily stress, not worrying about money so much.
How do you accelerate your own health?
Myself personally, well, financial independence is good and has been a good health benefit for me because I don’t worry about money. Also just being conscious about what foods I’m eating, and I really value sleep, I aim to sleep at least eight hours every single day. So taking – prioritizing my rest, and also exercising. I try to exercise at least 45 minutes a day, five days a week.
That’s terrific. Now through your business, you said you give women the opportunity to work from their homes and raise their children. We know that children that have the opportunity to have one or both parents around, really do increase their educational opportunities and their life opportunities. So for any women out there that might be listening that you know, just say that the kids that are not with them enough, what would you say about going down a virtual assistant path?
I would encourage any woman who has kids, because we don’t have our kids too long; 18 years sometimes seems like a long period of time, but really, it’s not. It goes by so fast. When I started my business my kids were three and one year old. Now they are 14 and 12 and they’ll soon be leaving by the time they’re 18, 20, 21. You know, they’re out.
So we have a very small window, to spend quality time with our kids, to raise them, to impact and influence them, to really impart all the things that we would like them to know and to have so that by the time they’re adults, they can become responsible citizens. So that is such a joy.
It gives you a sense of fulfillment when you see your kids thriving and doing well and excelling in school, in college, and in the workplace. So that joy is also a health benefit. When you look at it that way, when you’re not worrying about your kids, or their stresses do not become your stress because they’re able to manage their lives successfully. That is a benefit to you as a parent.
Great. Now what are your top three tips to creating wealth, be it personal, financial or emotional?
I would say the first thing is just do what you love, do what you’re skilled at and are gifted in that you love. I believe that we feel most fulfilled when we do what we like or what we enjoy doing. Another thing is to have a vision or a dream or goals for your life. Because without a vision people perish. Without a vision, without knowing what we are aiming for, where we are trying to go, then we live mediocre lives. We don’t feel fulfilled. We never accomplished anything significant because we’re not aiming or shooting for anything.
So having a dream of vision really gives our lives purpose and meaning, and when we feel fulfilled, so when we feel that we’re doing the things that we were created to do, we really have a great sense of fulfillment and well being.
And what’s your third tip for creating wealth?
My third tip is work hard and stay focused on your goals. Many times you have stress because you’re trying to juggle so many things, yet 80% of these things actually don’t really matter. So figuring out what your values are and those are the things that are really truly important to you.
Once you know those things, and focus on those things and making sure that everything that you’re doing aligns with your values, then it’s really simplifies your life, it’s very easy to say no to things. You have less on your plate when you really know what’s important to you. So, working hard and stay focused, once you know what your values are.
Totally agree with you on all of those. And for anyone that is running a business from home or working in a business, and you’re bogged down with the mundane tasks of the business, be it paperwork or editing, or you know, anything that’s time consuming, but doesn’t just thrill you, then definitely this is where a virtual assistant would help, wouldn’t you say?
Yes, exactly. One hundred percent.
That’s great. Now, Karen, we talk about weight loss here on this podcast. And it’s something that many of us really needlessly worry about, rather than just accepting that it’s just a symptom of something else. So how would you tackle weight loss?
I would tackle weight loss by stress reduction and by stress reduction, I mean prioritizing yourself, taking care of yourself, doing the things that enrich you and enrich your life, getting adequate sleep and exercise and eating healthy, praying and meditating or you know, just those things that really fill you up, will reduce your stress levels.
I find that when we are stressed, we tend to eat poorly. We tend not to exercise or workout, we don’t sleep enough, we have sleepless nights. So all of that ends up becoming this vicious cycle. Then we start getting discouraged. We beat ourselves up, we feel bad about ourselves, and that affects our mental well being, our emotional state, and physical health. So really taking care of ourselves and prioritizing ourselves, I believe, sets us up for success as far as weight loss because our stress levels are reduced.
Then also managing our time and focusing on the things that are really, really important and planning for our futures. Because research says that money is the number one stressor. So planning, having a financial plan, is going to help us not be as stressed as we tend to be. So if you plan for our futures financially, save and invest, I think we’re going to attain financial peace, and that’s also going to affect our weight.
Totally, they are some great tips. Just before we continue, let’s do a quick recap. So the top three tips for creating wealth: are do what you love, have a vision and set goals, and work hard but stay focused on your goals.
Karen, that is great and with weight loss, obviously taking care of yourself, managing your time and planning for your future are your top three tips.
Now, to anyone out there, who, as I said is running their own business or even just at home, trying to get your kids’ pathway set through school or anything like that. We often come up, as I’ve mentioned before, against the mundane tasks that we just don’t want to do.
You said earlier that you got into being a virtual assistant by looking at the skills that you already had. So if we look at a mum who might be at home now, and might be saying, “Well, I have all the skills I used to work but I want to be home. What do I do with them?” How would someone get started with you, as a virtual assistant?
They can connect with me on Facebook. My handle is Karen.Kamenwa.3. So get connected. I usually take anyone who’s interested in pursuing virtual assistants as a business opportunity, I take them through a process where they take inventory of their skills. They also assess their own lives, their goals and values.
I help them design a business that supports their lifestyle or the vision or dream that they have for themselves and their families if they are moms. So through that process, I help them get very clear before they start the business, what kind of business they want, because you want to create a business that supports your goals and not the other way around.
Then once we get clear that, then I take them through the process of actually starting their own business. So we go through all of the steps from registering your business, to the equipment that you need, to how to market, how to position yourself, where to find clients, and all those things. So the best way would be to reach me on my Facebook account or they can join my Facebook group which is facebook.com/stayathome momsmakingmoney.
Terrific. Your website is www.stayathomemomsmakingmoney.com. So Karen, that has been some great information that you’ve given us. I myself, as I said, I’m an outsourcer there are 101 things a day that I just don’t want to do.
It’s not worth my time to be doing those and I definitely outsource as much as I can, so that I can concentrate on doing the things that I love. So you are definitely speaking my language here. How would you say being a virtual assistant and creating your business has enriched you personally?
I’ve become a leader. When I started my business, I had no idea what was ahead of me. I thought I was just studying a business just to be at home and be present for my kids and raise them, and just be a small one man show, one woman show business. But the business ended up growing and expanding to now, I have 10 virtual assistants and two call centers that I subcontract with. So we’ve become a big organization, bigger than I thought it was ever going to be.
I have learned to become a leader through the process because I lead various teams, I train my teams, I hire and recruit not only for my own business, but for my clients’ businesses as well. So this business has really, really turned me into a leader and along the way down the road, I thought, well, I have 10 years of experience. I have worked in this industry for 10 years, I’ve learned so much and I still believe that there are very many women, mothers, who are exactly where I was 10 years ago when I started this business. So I thought, I can take all my skills and share them, everything that I’ve learned, all my experiences as a virtual assistant business owner, and help them create their own so that they can be financially empowered, and also be present with their kids at home.
So I put all that information into my book, which is an Amazon best-selling book and I captured all that information to share with women primarily. But of course, the information is relevant to anyone who wants to set up a virtual assistant business. After that, I started coaching. I set up a coaching business to help women to do the same.
That’s great. Now, Karen, you’ve got a fantastic freebie here for us. Can you tell us about that?
So I have a freebie. It’s a PDF document that has a list of the most in demand virtual assistant skills or services that many business owners are looking for. So if you’re considering starting a virtual assistant business and you’re not sure whether you have what it takes or whether the skills you have are in demand, then this freebie is going to help you really get clear about what’s needed out there, and if those are skills that you already have, then you’re good to go, you’re ready to start your business. If not, but you’re still interested in starting your virtual assistant business, then you can also learn some of those skills and offer those in your business.
Right and that freebie is at https://bit.ly/In-demand-VA-Services , we will have all the links up on the podcast pages, so that you’ll be able to find that. But, if you want to get in touch with Karen, about anything to do with the virtual assistant realm or her coaching business, you can find her at www. stayathomemomsmakingmoney.com . Thank you very much, Karen for your time. We’ve really enjoyed listening to what you had to say and some great tips there.
Now coming up in Episode Four, we have Kenna Dean joining us. She is an actress, a mom, and an inspiring businesswoman and owner of KDean Consulting, and she will be giving us her insight into health, wealth and weight loss. For now, thank you again, Karen for joining us.
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