Caroline Cain is literally living the dream.
She helps women entrepreneurs build their business as a lifestyle business, based on the the values of freedom of time, of location and doing it their way. (A woman after my own heart right there.)
I’ve not yet met today’s Introvert Spotlight guest in person yet. We’ve spoken over Skype a couple of times and we’re both members of a number of online communities.
Like me, Caroline was never tempted by the fast pace of big corporations so she worked in small to medium sized companies. Unlike me, she got to work in the French Alps, enjoying glorious winters in the mountains and summers at the beach.
I look forward to meeting Caroline in person some day so I can pick her brain on how to create more freedom into my business. And being an introvert, I’m sure we have a lot more in common.
1. Can you give us a brief insight into your background? What you were doing before you became an entrepreneur and what led you to this path?
Having been ‘groomed’ for corporate going to the best schools and top University I was never tempted by the fast pace of big corporations so worked in small to medium sized companies. In my late twenties, I left that behind to go and work seasons in the French Alps as a resort manager for a five star tour operator and ended up doing that for two years, winter in the mountains, summer at the beach. Clearly, after this it was nigh on impossible to go back to a regular job! I did though. For a couple of years, whilst I studied for my natural health qualification evenings and weekends, gradually going more and more part time in the office. By this stage I was not a great employee. Dedication to the job was practically non-existent as it was all focused on creating a business and life that would totally light me up.
I studied natural health due to a serious condition in my own life, having been given five years of healthy living left at age 18 (20 years ago now…). After working in this area for a few years, due to demand, I started doing lifestyle business mentoring which is what I do now – business mentoring for freedom seekers!
2. What does being an introvert mean to you?
It means holding my personal space sacred, making it a non-negotiable. It means living a simple, slow life and bringing all decisions back to this. Being close to myself allows me to be of more use out in the world as my best self. It means not being in a race with myself or anyone else. It means a deep trust with who I am, a deep connection with nature and profound connections.
3. When did you realise or discover you were an introvert? Was there a particular experience that you made you realise you were or an a-ha moment? How did that happen? What were those a-ha moments?
I realised this in my mid 30s! It wasn’t until I actually read a description of introvert/extrovert – and ambivert actually, which I guess is what I am more of – and realised that introversion was not synonymous with being shy, which I wasn’t.
I always had the underlying feeling that perhaps I was somewhat anti-social because I loved spending so much quiet time away from crowds and had no problem saying ‘no’ to the hot events because I much rather spend time on my own or with a friend or two. ‘Youth is wasted on the young’ was a prominent feeling until I realised that actually, the way I did my 20s, was the way I needed to do them. And that there was nothing wrong with me. That there were people called introverts and I was a part of that normality ;).
4. How has being an introvert affected or shaped your life?
Since becoming aware that I have strong introverted tendencies I am better able to nurture my needs in a harmonious way, embracing their qualities without thinking that there is something wrong with me for wanting to live low key with a lot of time off. It means that I structure my business and family life around how it most energises me. This has a profound effect on my personal life, my relationship with my boyfriend and daughter and how I make my business decisions – always based around how I want to feel. This shapes my every decision.
5. What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned over the years about running a business as an introvert and life in general?
To be crystal clear on your fundamentals, your core values, your desired feeling that you want to experience in your everyday and to trust that this is the best place to make decisions from. And at the same time it’s about finding that balance of being visible so that you reach your ideal clients but in a way that feels good.
6. Can you talk a bit about how you approach your work? What are some of the ways you stay grounded and inspired?
Simple, slow living, parenting, working is really where it’s at for me. Not filling my schedule, having and making time for a lot of nature and down time is fundamental for me to enjoy this crazy business owning journey that we’re on! When I make sure that this is a part of my regular living this leaves a lot more room for life happening and much less stress and drama.
7. What’s been key for you in building your audience online?
Consistently putting myself out there and staying in the room no matter what. Building relationships over time and being myself all the time without hidden agenda. I’m well travelled and experienced in matters of the world and yet at the same time pretty naïve so what you see is what you get!
8. How do you tackle fear, overwhelm, self-doubt, unexpected surprises etc?
I acknowledge what I’m feeling, where it comes from and why it’s come up. I’m honest with myself and then I’m able to let it be there whilst I carry on with my business. I take quick action so I don’t sit and wallow and therefore am not held back my negative emotions. Big emotions, yes. Taking them too seriously, no. There are bigger fish to fry out in the world (in the words of a true vegetarian!). This is something that has become second nature after years of being a practicing Buddhist. Before, although I would take consistent action, I was plagued with underlying negative beliefs which stopped me dreaming big, clearly and with a bigger purpose.
9. What have you been working on? Can you tell us where people can go to find out more?
At the moment I work only with clients 1:1 clients as this is where I’m at. I’ve got some plans for 2015 but I’m not 100% sure on what that’s going to look like yet. Anyone interested in building their business as a lifestyle business, based on the the values of freedom of time, of location and doing it their way can find me at www.carolinecain.com.
I feel aligned and energetic when… I spend a lot of time out in nature, walking in the forest and spending time at the beach with my family (sometimes without!).
I’m inspired by…. Courage, honesty and displays of the highest view of human nature in the simplest of situations and easily enthused by pretty much anything!
3 big myths about introverts are… that they are shy, that they do not create big change, and that they are not leaders.
Oh I love having you here Caroline. Thank you. xx Show Caroline some comment loving below and let us know some of the key insights and inspiration you got.
The Freedom Seeker’s Business Mentor, Caroline Cain helps women define the lives they want to live and build profitable businesses to support them.
A mother, girlfriend, practicing Buddhist, and successful entrepreneur, she is doing her part to create an exceptional new generation by traveling the world with her daughter and boyfriend, and living a life she is totally in love with based on the principles of freedom of time, location, expression, and financial independence.
When she’s not empowering women to craft a life and business they love, she’s playing with sweet Myla, strolling the beach, and basking in the scents of new places.
If you missed the previous edition of The Introvert Spotlight, go and read Kylie Saunder’s interview.