Rosa studied engineering in University, but traded in working with machines to work with people. Born in Spain, Rosa now works online as a Life Coach while travelling the world. She gives us some great insight into what it's like to run an online business as an introvert, a woman and a life coach. Find out the most challenging aspects of being an online entrepreneur and living a location independent lifestyle.
Why did you decide to become a life coach?
My whole life, people talked to me about issues they were having, and they felt relieved after doing so. I provided them with peace, a broader view, and I helped them to open their minds and consider other options. I studied Engineering in College, which helped me to gain some other skills too. I had some issues when I was a teenager about being shy, eating disorders and not having many friends, and self-help books helped me to get rid of labels that I allowed other people put on me (Anthony Robbins helped me to think deeply about things). So when I grew up, I discovered that with training, I could even earn money doing what I liked: helping people to look deeply within themselves, to find new ways to solve their issues, and help them to build an authentic life. And that's what I did. There's no better thing that doing what you love and being paid for it!
Do people who want to work and travel have a different mindset to those who prefer to settle down in one place?
Absolutely. Because of my father's job, I lived in many places when I was a little girl and I learnt to value that. Moving around doesn't only allow you to meet new people and discover new places, but also gives you the chance to get to know yourself better, to develop your own tools to adapt to any situation, and to seize every learning opportunity that comes your way. This can sometimes make being stuck in one place for a long time very difficult to bear. And when you work and travel, you not only learn that the world has no limits, but you also discover that you are unstoppable. Travelling gives you a different and non-traditional point of view on everything, which allows you to enjoy the world that little bit more.
What are the advantages/disadvantages about being introverted in terms of running your own business?
For me, the world is filled with special people with different talents. Maybe being introverted doesn't make me "the soul of the parties", but it has allowed me to develop special talents such as being an excellent listener, connecting very easily with others, and being able to drown out all the noise and focus on the important things... I think it's important to find your place in the world, and the first step in doing this involves looking at yourself, instead of trying to change the world. I always tell people that the world is as it is. It's not an "extroverted world", as many of them say. It's about making the world your own, not trying to be someone that you aren't (you mustn't try to be an extrovert if you are not), but learning to respect yourself and your talents and and building upon them every day. The world is a beautiful place as it is and it's even better if you enjoy it exactly as you are, not trying to be someone else. Maybe your life won't be the same as those who are extraverted, but you are not them. You have a special way of doing things and the world needs that too.
What's the benefit of not knowing what is in store for your future?
For me, it's about not limiting myself. I grew up with a traditional education and adopted a new way of doing things when I became an adult. For many people thinking about the future can be difficult due to feelings of uncertainty, but for me it's about not having limits, and trusting myself enough to know that whatever comes, I will be able to face it. And finally you can learn to love the unexpected, and you may even crave some level of uncertainty in your life, so as to not feel bored.
What's the scariest thing you've ever done?
In business, leaving the "safety" of the corporate world to become an entrepreneur. In my personal life, meeting my fiancé online and finally meeting him in person. And both of them were huge successes. Even though jumping into the unknown is scary, most of the time it works for me (after some studying and preparation of course, not just doing things without thinking.)
What's the best advice you've ever gotten?
"You are enough. You have within yourself everything you need to succeed". And a teacher once told me that he would surely see me on TV, because of all the great things I would accomplish. Having someone who believes in you like that is truly special.
Does being a woman hold you back in the business world?
Not at all. In my college class there were 4 girls and almost 100 boys. Teachers were used to male pupils because of the kind of career (Industrial Engineering). I learnt to do things better than the men in order to avoid being suspended. (Yes, I once got suspended on account of being a girl, but it gave me the determination to better myself, so for that I am grateful.) Later I learnt that everyone has their own talents and a unique way of doing things, not only on account of being a man or a woman, but because of who they are as an individual. I don't really think about the issues that may affect me, just because I am a woman. I am more about "solving issues and continuing forward", regardless of what problems may cross my path as a female entrepreneur.
What advice would you give to women who want to start their own life-coaching business?
I think that the most important things to keep in mind are:
You must love completely what you do. Life coaching is not a job that you can do if you don't love it.
Respect others and remain extremely professional. You have a lot to do with your clients' wellbeing, and so you have to be really aware of what you do and say to very vulnerable people. Be aware that you hold a lot of power, which you shouldn't abuse, but instead you should
Don't listen to anyone who tells you what you can or can't do, or where you can should or shouldn't go. People are often trapped in their traditional ways of doing things, and usually think that you won't succeed if you do things differently. If you are committed enough to succeed no matter what, you can take whatever road you like, even the one that doesn't exist yet. It's just about being aware of this, and that maybe things will take a lot of time and effort. But if it's meant to be, then carve your own path.
How did you start building your client list?
It's a never ending task. I began by sharing my opinions in Facebook groups and then I created my own ones. I posted on my blog and I created valuable freebies, and then eventually people starting sharing my content... The secret is to not become overwhelmed by having a small list, and to not be disheartened when you don't see any growth. People join your list gradually, so you must not consider it as a sign of failure if your efforts don't match up to your previous expectations... Building a mailing list is a long process, but is definitely worth it in the end.
What's the hardest thing about running a business/working while travelling?
Being consistent and having a system. I am not a really organised person, so I need to follow a system in order to do things consistently, and to not get lost doing a lot of things at the same time. Being surrounded by people who don't have the same occupation is sometimes challenging, because you have to share your time between your work and your loved ones. Many people don't understand the freelance lifestyle, and the fact that sometimes things can get complicated. Running a business is about setting boundaries, finding your most productive times, and not forgetting to enjoy life (and that you are doing this because you love the lifestyle).
What's your favourite quote?
I have two favourite quotes.
"You are not normal, you don't have to behave like that."
It's important to remember that even though sometimes being yourself and doing what you love can be considered to be weird, that's what you consciously choose to be or do, and you don't need to be like everyone else just to fit in. I have my own tribe. I choose who I spend my time with and what kind of people I want around me.
"Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won't, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can't."
This quote inspires me to keep working hard and to keep at it when the going gets tough.
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