If you are a coach, a consultant, a creative, an entrepreneur, or someone who has considered just dropping everything and making a huge change in their life; this is for you. Meet Caterina Rando. She has over twenty-five years of experience educating and empowering entrepreneurs. Caterina has her own take on business; one that includes wearing your heart all over it but more about that later. 

We talk about what it takes to start a business today, how to lead with authenticity over anything else, the one thing that is required to pivot your career. And, if you happen to be looking for a coach yourself, she’s got some really solid tips to finding one that works for you. 

Caterina is a great balance of positivity and a kick in the pants go-getter; I love that in a woman, but it wasn’t always like that. Here is her story.

Leading with Authenticity

Caterina: One day in my early 20s; I’m sitting in my therapist’s office, I’m talking about how F***ed Up my life is. And I had this, kind of, out-of-body experience where I saw myself complaining about my life, and it clicked for me that this is not who I wanted to be. I didn’t want to be this person saying that my life wasn’t good. 

And that’s when I actually hired my first coach because I wanted to be more about action rather than ‘why am I so screwed up?’ And, the truth is that we could spend a lifetime looking at why are we not the way we want to be, but with coaching, it’s really all about, what do you want to create and how do you want to get there? 

Not to discredit counseling or therapy as they play very important roles in our overall wellbeing but sometimes this isn’t enough and taking action is key.

Caterina: Now, let me be very clear. I’m a big advocate for counseling, therapy, and all of that. I also though think that taking action to create what we want can also create a lot of positive change, and that’s what happened for me. So, I have had to work at being positive, and it’s not fake. It’s an intention. It’s an intent. ‘Hey, I am going to be positive in my life.’ You know, we make a decision. A goal is a decision that has been made. And I want to live my life as a positive person.

Jackie: I see a lot of women who struggle with positivity, with action, with coaching, with all of these things, because they feel like they have to choose a lane; and I think we’re more than just one lane. Would you agree? 

Caterina: Absolutely. The thing that I think is very important is authenticity. You know, I don’t claim to have it all figured out. I’m very open with my client community about struggles that I’ve had, that I’ve gotten through, and my struggles now. As long as you’re above ground, there’s going to be some area that you want to upgrade. 

And if people see you as a real person, that’s way more relatable than the coach or speaker on the stage; who is super fit, who tells you about their amazing life; their amazing travel, their perfect spouse and kids who are off to the perfect schools; and, you know, everything is ideal. That’s a little bit intimidating or unrealistic, and even unrelatable for a lot of people. And so the more we can be our self, our authentic self, who we are and bring that forward and say, ‘Hey, here’s some things I’m working on and here’s what I’m really good at that I can really help you with’, then your people will step forward to be served by you. 

I want to say, I actually encourage people, not just to wear their heart on their sleeve; I encourage everyone to wear their heart all over their business.  And to infuse love and kindness as the standard operating procedure in your business, and to look for big and small ways to do that, because don’t think just because we’re grownups, that we don’t appreciate love and kindness and acknowledgment. We do and we can never acknowledge anyone too much.

Being more vulnerable in business, and life in general, is scary and something we as women have been conditioned to not do. Let’s start wearing our hearts all over our businesses!

Caterina: Don’t be afraid to be loving and kind in your business. This is important for us to point out, Jackie, because a lot of women started their career in a corporate environment where they were told it’s not okay to be emotional at work. It’s like you said, ‘Hey, don’t bring your personal life to the office.’ 

You’ve got to be yourself. You’ve got to amplify your authenticity and also get clear what you’re not because I do agree with you; there’s a lot of cookie-cutter out there. And the other thing is that people get very intimidated because they look at everybody’s everything and they think ‘everybody’s more successful than me’. No, they just are good at social media. But you’re also not seeing the days that things are not amazing. And this is why it’s important to put yourself out there in whatever way works for you because when you’re making yourself available to your people, they will show up. 

What Does It Take To Start A Business Today?

Many of The Grown-Ass Woman’s Guide community are coaches, entrepreneurs, creatives. Some are really in a state of transition; so maybe have been working corporate, maybe working within the family, who are ready for something different. I asked Caterina “Do you believe as a business coach, that all women have the capability to start a business?”

Caterina: Well, everyone has the capability, meaning, they know how to take action, but there are a lot of traits that will allow them to not only start but to continue. One of the things that we’ve seen during the pandemic is that everybody has a great excuse. The pandemic is a great excuse for not following your dream, doing your thing, growing your business, shutting the doors on your business. You need an excuse, you got a great one. 

Well she’s got a solid point there!

Caterina: And then there’s a whole other group of girls that have demonstrated the determination that they have to make sure their business continues to thrive, to make sure they continue to serve. When the pandemic started, Jackie, I did all community meetings on Zoom for my clients. Now, some women did that; ‘Okay. Let’s get busy.’ And some women chose to let it have them put aside whatever they were doing. So, it’s not just about what we do in business. I know you know this; it’s about who we are. And I would say that determination is one of the ingredients that I see more and more is so important for us to thrive. Yeah, anybody can start a business, but who’s going to be in business the same time next year.

Jackie: And if knowing what you know now, I came to you and said, ‘Caterina, I would like to start a business’, are you giving me the same advice as you would’ve given me two years ago?

Caterina: I’m talking a lot more about determination these days than I did two years ago; that’s for sure. Absolutely. I’m talking more about a willingness to be uncomfortable. The other thing I’m talking more about is moving towards mastery. We’re talking more about how to be masterful at your thing and get support with those things in business that are not your job because let’s take, for example, Jackie, a woman starts an image consulting business. She wants to help ladies be more confident. She wants to help them look good. She doesn’t realize; she’s got to be a social media expert, she’s got to be a sales expert, she’s got to be a speaking expert, she’s got to be a strategy expert. And all she wants to do is help ladies look good, but there’s so much more when you have a business. And that’s why we want to get support for those things that are not our job so that we can actually focus on the areas that we do have to master to thrive in business.

The pandemic has offered us ways to look at things differently. What does resilience look like in brick-and-mortar businesses that had to close?

Caterina: I’ve got one fabulous client who has a spa, you know, ‘come to my location and get a massage’. And of course, pandemic, no massaging happening. What did she start to do? She got certified as a Mindset Coach, Money Mindset Coach for women because again, all under the umbrella of women empowerment. Now she’s back doing her massages. It’s wonderful. But she’s not just doing that. She’s no longer relying on ‘people have to be able to come to my spa for me to generate income’. She now has other revenue streams that she’s created. 

My clients, with brick-and-mortar or not with brick-and-mortar, they’ve all stayed in business because they pivoted. And I don’t even necessarily like that word. They shifted their service to ‘how can I do it without having to meet with people live and in-person?’. I recommend everyone have a Zoom thing every month, a one-hour free something so that they always have something to invite people to. Because if you don’t have something to invite people to that is one-to-many, not one-on-one, in my opinion, you’re working too hard. And there you get to showcase your massive value and build influence, and then you can invite people to a conversation. 

By the way, I don’t do discovery calls. I don’t do whatever those things are. And, I didn’t do it when I started. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t talk to people about working with them. I don’t do it until after I’ve built influence. Come to my workshop or hear me speak; then we can have a conversation. 

Jackie: It’s like expecting somebody to propose to you when you haven’t even gone on a date!

Caterina: Exactly.

Being Ready Is A Myth

But don’t I need the certification, the degree, I need, you know, the letters behind my name?

Caterina: Poppycock, because here’s why. When I was young, I’m in my 50s now, when I was in my 20s, people would say to me, ‘well, what’s your background?’ Which is another way of saying ‘who the hell are you to talk to me about whatever it is?’ But as soon as you get a few years under your belt, what people care about is, ‘how can you help me?’ That’s what they care about. 

Nobody has asked me in many years, what’s my certification because when you bring your massive value, people see you can help them. And let’s just mention here; nobody buys from us until we have influence. The influence equation is visibility plus value plus consistency. As long as you’re bringing your value, that’s all people care about ‘how can you help me?’ Many women have the perfection gene, Jackie. It’s like they want to get it perfect. Well, I want everyone to know perfection is not required. It’s not even encouraged. And ready is a myth. How do you become masterful at something? You start to do it, and you do it over and over and over. And if you want to do a workshop or a program, or start to speak; the way to do it is to do it. And the more you do it, the better you’ll get.

Jackie: That is the most powerful thing you could say to my audience, because including myself; we’re waiting for these letters, we’re waiting for this experience, we’re waiting for whatever this permission slip is, we’re waiting for a variety of things to actually get started. But if we’re not in motion, we start to really just look from afar, from a distance at what we can and cannot do. As opposed to just being in motion, just being in action. I teach my clients all the time, I mean, action is the answer to it all. You can’t pivot if you’re not moving.

When starting a business, you don’t know what you don’t know, so getting a coach or mentor is so important. It’s what Caterina suggests doing as early as possible.

Caterina: You know, you asked me, Jackie, earlier; ‘what would I have told the new entrepreneur?’ I would say ‘Get an amazing coach right away, but not based on what results the coach is getting.’ Of course, they have to have some good results, but your values have to match your coach’s values because we all teach and mentor from our values. 

Tips To Find Your Coach

So how do you find an amazing coach? Caterina shares some really solid tips on finding a coach that is aligned with you and more importantly your values.

Caterina: If my top value is integrity, which it is, I better have a coach that that’s their top value. If my value is community, then I better have a coach that that’s their value; so that they’re mentoring me because our values match. Now I’m going to get some really good mentoring. Too many women are picking coaches because they’re good at sales, and they’re good at the razzle-dazzle and not really looking ‘okay, does this person have the same values as me?’ And that’s what we want from a mentor. 

Look at the women that you admire. Look at the women that are ten steps ahead of you, five steps or three or two steps ahead of you that are doing what you want to be doing and they’re a little further along. Ask them, ‘who’s their coach?’ ‘Who are coaches that they’ve worked with previously?’

You want to watch, learn, spend some time with someone who you’re thinking about doing some coaching with, go to their workshop, go to their event, look at their website, talk to their clients; and see, if you can even ask them ‘what are the top values by which you run your business?’

But what if you are reading this and thinking “I’m not far enough along to hire a coach, I don’t have the experience or the money?”

Caterina: Here’s where the power of group programs comes in. It’s so much more affordable for them with a group program; that is what I want everybody to recognize. So, with that in mind, look for group programs. If you’re realizing you need to learn sales, go get a group program with a sales coach. 

Don’t feel like it has to be one-on-one. In fact, for many years, I thought maybe I’m not coachable because I was not thriving with one-on-one. Then I got a good one-on-one coach who really helped me. But group programs are an amazing and affordable way. And here’s the other thing, you don’t just get a coach, you get a whole community of people to collaborate with, to connect with, to be clients with. It’s beautiful.

Jackie: When I look at some of the groups that I’ve run before, and I see how those women are still connected and still empower each other and still support each other online; I get excited because I know that they met through that program and that’s where they were empowered to support each other.

There’s no better time for a woman to put herself out there to share what she does best or what she does differently. If you’re going to become someone who’s a guide, a coach, a mentor; really own that thing that makes you different. You know, we’re taught as young people, teenagers; to try to blend in. Those days are gone.

About the Guest

Caterina Rando passionately serves women on a mission. Her over twenty-five years of educating and empowering entrepreneurs makes her truly masterful at providing a ton of value. Caterina is all about, positivity, integrity, generosity, community, and providing massive value while uplifting others through your business.

Caterina is an award-wining women’s business mentor extraordinaire, podcaster, and retreat leader. Her books include: Learn to Think Differently, released in over thirteen countries and several languages, A Women’s Guide To Starting a Giving Circle and her latest book, the ABCs of Public Speaking which quickly hit #1 in four Amazon best-seller categories.

Caterina leads an annual Bliss Retreat for women Leaders on a Mission, a Sought-After-Speaker Mastermind Retreat, and The Expand Your Fempire Summit. She is also the founder of The Thriving Women in Business Center in San Francisco, a place for women to gather and host workshops.

Caterina also started the Thriving Women in Business Giving Circle. This is a group of big-hearted entrepreneurs, who raise money for women and girls’ education and entrepreneurship training. She wants women to know that they do not have to wait until they are wealthy or retired before they can embrace philanthropy and start making a huge difference.  Connect with Caterina on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.