Sassy Side Hustle to Savage Business with Carissa Johnsen
Sassy Side Hustle to Savage Business
with Carissa Johnsen
I was born in Las Vegas (fun fact), but was raised in the suburbs of Chicago-- GO CUBBIES! While I loved Chicago, there was always something burning inside of me to move to somewhere warm and near the ocean.
So a few weeks ago, I picked up my belongings and moved to my DREAM location--Southern California! I have a long term boyfriend who is former military, so naturally I have a sweet spot for veterans and am in the process of trying to make the community squirrel, who visits me twice a week, my new pet! I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology because I am literally obsessed with helping others and love growing to new heights myself.
How did you get inspired to start doing what you do as an influencer in your industry?:
I remember sitting on my cold bathroom floor crying because I didn't want to live another day and the deep and visceral pain of that moment drives me.
Growing up I had a really difficult time with anxiety. I was raised by a single mom and felt like I didn't "fit in" and I didn't know how to deal with my mental health. I started using drugs and alcohol at the age of 13 in order to gain friends and ease the pain of my anxiety and before I knew it, I was fighting with class mates, getting arrested and eventually expelled from high school.
I continued to watch more and more of my peers get addicted, pregnant and drop out of school. I started to question if wanted to exist anymore, but thankfully I had a very loving mother who decided to move our family and I had an opportunity to start over.
At my new school I built a good relationship with a teacher who believed in me and would not only encourage me, but call me out on my BS--I needed someone to challenge me! I thank God for him everyday because this was my very first mentor. With his support I began to change the way I felt about myself and developed drive to wanting to do something with my life.
I got into college, on a whim, and decided I would dedicate my life to understanding people, helping them along their journey and serving the masses. I started my business right out of graduate school and began helping people with their careers and self love, but found a knack for implementing psychology as a way for my clients to grow their business.
I help online coaches learn how to master psychology to create mental and financial freedom through psychology, spirituality and business strategy.
We often have a book, podcast, video, or event that stands out to us and is instrumental in shifting our perspective in business. Do you have one that has been a significant impact for you moving forward? If so, can you share?
Ugh, I can only choose one?!? One of the biggest transformations I have EVER experienced in my life came from a book by Tony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within! I then went on to his seminar and had so many more breakthroughs. He is amazing!!
What are some of your biggest lessons learned over the years and what are you applying to your business today that is working for you?
I've learned that while it may be good to take a look at your "competition", it is never helpful to concentrate on their every move as I believe it distracts you from your creativity, your mission and your overall joy.
Stay in your own lane!!
What has been your biggest challenge and how have you worked to overcome it?
My biggest challenge was STARTING the business. I quit my corporate job without having replaced my income and that jump was TERRIFYING, but once I was able to get my mindset in the right place I was able to grow exponentially! Hiring a coach was the only way I was able to get through it.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
You cant say the right thing to the wrong people and you cant say the wrong thing to the right people.
I am all about business strategy and having sales scripts etc, but I think when it comes down to it, you just have to focus on building a relationship and making people feel seen, heard and understood. If they know you and like you and trust you, they will want to buy from you.
Focus less on being perfect and more on connecting to others!
What’s your best advice for handling criticism?
If it bothers you than it is usually shedding light on an area that you have fear/doubt in yourself. Things usually only bother us when we have those thoughts/feelings ourselves. Identify why it is triggering you, work on developing the area that still needs support or healing and always remember that people respond to you based on their own perceptions and judgments. Criticism doesn't need to be a "bad thing". Take the growth and move on!
What do you believe your true purpose is? What value and impact do you hope serve and give to others?
My purpose is to help others see themselves differently. To support them in not only believing in things that seem unrealistic, but by also creating it. The value that I offer is that I genuinely believe that people can have anything that they want and I've proven it by the things I have overcome in my own life. I hope to be a source of inspiration, but also a catalyst for change.
How do you structure your days?
I wake up at 4:45am-5:00am everyday and the first thing I do is gratitude. I spend time alone, with my thoughts (there are so many up there) and journal on what I appreciate and what I am excited about creating in the future. I turn on a podcast, some rap or Ariana Grande (lovin' her vibe lately) and head to the gym. Around 9:00am I start engaging with my audience and throughout the day take client calls, run my group coaching program, work with my team on tasks and have fun (I schedule 1 hour of fun each day) Every day is different, but I make sure to plan it ahead of time and take breaks!
How do you find time to follow your entrepreneurial journey while juggling other life responsibilities?
I'm pretty structured, but I communicate about needs/expectations with others, I find grace when I am not perfect and I say no to things that I don’t want to do, that do make me feel good and don't add value to my life. I also don't "find" time, I make time for the things that are important--we ALL have the same amount of time as Oprah. Am I right?!?!
What tools do you find indispensable in your day-to-day business?
Kajabi is like my long lost best friend. It is where I host my courses, have my email list and my website. Other than my coach, it was the BEST decision I made in my business.
Social Media is such a gateway for influencer’s today. What platforms work best for you and why do you choose to use them the most?
I mostly use Instagram because I think the platform is easy, straightforward and personal. I love the creative photos, the short bio descriptions and the behind the scenes action I get to share with my audience. It's fun and easy and I have had the biggest success here.
What are you tips for maintaining a present influence on these platforms and how do you encouraging continued engagement with your following?
Stay on top of what changes and be a first adopter. Know that CHANGE is constant and that relationships are the foundation of ALL businesses. Stop being robotic, be human and connect with people!!! I spend time daily getting to know my followers, answering their questions and building connection.
What can people expect to see when following you?
They can expect to see edutainment (my specialty)--education and entertainment. Business tips, personal stories, behind the scenes of my life and some curse words (I'm Italian.. what can I say). I am pretty vulnerable and love to share it all!
What do you believe set's you apart from others in your same industry?
There is a lot of smoke and mirrors in the coaching industry. I set myself a part by being honest, vulnerable and real! I'm also pretty cooky and am authentic AF!
What’s next for you?
A PODCAST! I am going to be launching a podcast in a few months and cant wait to support my audience with FREE content! I also have several speaking gigs lined up, some VIP days and a mastermind!
Are you involved with any organizations, foundations, or clubs? If yes, please describe.
I just moved to Southern Cali and am joining Dames Collective. It is a networking organization for this generation's female leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators. I also donate to other small local organizations, but am looking for new clubs and foundations to be a part of!
Lastly, what legacy do you hope to leave behind and imprint do you hope to make on others?
I want to leave the legacy of being ballsy. I want women to know that courage is all they need to change themselves and the world. It's going to take some grit to grow a business, but on other side of fear and doubt is a SAVAGE life and business! Be ballsy and make bank!
I’M WHITNEY KAY
JUST YOUR AVERAGE MOM, WIFE, AND MULTIFACETED BUSINESS WOMAN. I AM A SERIOUS COFFEE ADDICT, FOODIE, DESIGNER AND DEEP DOWN A LITTLE BIT OF A TECH NERD. MY PASSION? TO INSPIRE FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS TO PERUSE THEIR PURPOSE AND BUILD THE BUSINESS AND BRAND OF THEIR DREAMS.
TEMPLATES, OH MY!