|Marvel Comics heroine - Arana. Art by Mark Brooks|
According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary:
A heroine is a: a mythological or legendary woman having the qualities of a hero
b: a woman admired and emulated for her achievements and qualities
So let's meet December 2010's Heroine Entrepreneur...
1. Tell us about your business, products, services and what makes it special or unique.
I am the Chief Body Reorganizer and Extreme Food Whisperer of Karen Langston.com. What makes it unique is the fact that I was blessed with the opportunity to not only to be raised in Toronto Ontario, Canada but to be trained at the world renowned Institute of Holistic Nutrition. My first rate education along with Live Cell Microscopy gave me the opportunity to work in a chronic illness and cancer clinic where I truly understood the connection between food and deficiency and how it can either lead to disease and chronic illness or prevention.
I then moved to the U.S. living in Texas, Alabama and now Arizona I realized that there is such a disconnection between food health emotions and consciousness. From this I created one-on-one programs; Body Rehab programTM, Business RehabTM program which are an intensive 3 month program where we meet for 1.5 hours weekly and cover not only the physical aspects of nutrition, but the emotional connection and the release of those emotions. We also dive into your internal, exterior environment and business environment and how all of this impacts your health and wellness on a daily basis.
These two intensive programs have been broken down to other components such as E-guides, and detoxification programs. My programs have become so popular that I am in the process of putting them onto DVDs and for those who are not in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. You can get a complete list at KarenLangston.com.
2. How was it birthed?
When I moved to Arizona, and spent some time really connecting with the culture and realized that it is about the quick fix; nip, tuck, the magic pill and avoid the food issue at all cost. It seems that most of the general population is more concerned with building their business and getting to that 6 figure income at all costs. They would pay astronomical amounts of money for a course, fad, program and coaching and yet they are still struggling to this day trying to reach their failed Visions, or New Year’s resolution, or goals. I was at one of my many breakfast morning meetings when it hit me. What is the one thing that everyone does every day? They eat. I started to pay attention to what people were eating at breakfast and lunch and researched the emotions attached to those foods. I realized that what people were consuming each day was directly responsible for what was stopping them from getting to the next level in their personal and business success. The food we choose to eat is based on our unconscious thought process; which later becomes are conscious thought pattern based on the foods we ate earlier that day can alter not only our thought process, but our behavior, prohibiting us from following through with our tasks and goals to get to our desired vision. This is basically what birthed a complete evolution of how I did business. I had to tune into what was missing (the disconnect), in order to be of service to others. This is how My Body Rehab programs, especially the Business Rehab program was born.
3. How did you begin? What were the first steps that you took?
The first step I took was watching the local morning shows; see what guests were on there, what their services and products were, write it all down and figure out what was missing. I observed articles in all of the local free health magazines and newspapers, to see who and what the advertisements were, what they were offering to the general public. This was a hands-on affective and inexpensive market research. It let me see the community’s perception on health, or at least what the advertiser’s products and services perceived as health, and how they wanted to shape the health perceptions of the community essentially, the quick fix. I then looked through the messages to see what was missing and provided my services to fill the gap. Superficial temporary quick fixes, was sending people to the next provider, the next, and so on. I changed my 30 second commercial to reflect questions that would impact people on a different level than advertiser’s perceptions. For example, “how many of us here today have business and personal goals? How many of us find that we are not reaching them? Do you realize that what you ate this morning is a direct influence on what is stopping you from going forward in your personal and business goals.” That usually gets their attention.
Soon I found that networking was only a part of the equation. I needed to reach mass amounts of people and connect and be of service, in order to receive the abundance the Universe had waiting for me.
I turned to social media and video marketing. I did not realize how much I would enjoy social media and I consider myself an official social media junkie-never an expert. Like health, social media is always evolving, and there is no possible way one could be an expert at it.
I partnered with a friend who is also a person of service, Joey Sampaga co owner with Linda Hall of First Priority Financial. Joey and I wanted to provide value to our clients thus The Karen and Joey Show (.com) was born. It is a weekly health show that is sent to our email recipients as well as over 14, 000+ social media viewers. Basically we engage and interact with our viewers while giving valuable health information with no catch. It is a successful adventure and is now at the point of sponsorship and advertisement, and that excites me! This lead to another show 6 Degrees of Health and Wellness, where I interview people in the health and wellness and green industry. It is so much fun to be a part of other’s lives, increase awareness and give back to the community. What I did not expect was while being of service; I increased my business 300% and Joey 500% .
4. Have you always been in this particular field? Do you have a history in this area? Have you always had an interest in this field?
I was not always in the alternative health and wellness industry, In fact I did not believe in it at all. I believed this portion of the population to be a bunch of woo-woo hippie shaking tambourine kind of people. Sad but true. I grew up with Crohn’s disease, and was very much absorbed in the medical field. It was not until I was literally in diapers, my hair falling out, skin and bones, miserable and just waiting for death that two individuals who did not know each other recommended a naturopathic Dr for me to see. I was intrigued with the thought of two people in a large city recommending the same person, and given the fact that I really did not care anymore I went. Three months later, I was in remission for the first time in years. It is sad, and I see this all the time in my practice, especially when I worked in the Chronic Illness and Cancer centre that we are not driven to the alternative until it is out of desperation.
I learned quickly that there was something to this, and wanted to go to school to absorb as much education as possible. My only problem was the financial part. I had been nominated for a prestigious award at my work place that came with a substantial money award. I decided that if I won, it was a sign for me to go to this school. I did win the award, and after taxes it was the exact amount of the two year tuition-coincidence? I think not! What was even more incredible, my company’s school program actually covered the cost of tuition, allowing me to purchase my books, and maintain the rent on my home. I have never looked back and have been pain and medication free for 10 years!
5. How much support did you receive when you first started out?
Toronto is a big city, and it seemed that support was not an option. I modeled myself after others, and partnered with liaisons for referrals. One of the biggest supports is the fact that in Ontario, my credentials and registry was covered under the Ontario Health Insurance plan via extended health care benefits. My registry allowed for clients to pay me, and be reimbursed by their company. Moving to the United States was such a shock. I no longer had the prestige of coverage under insurance. My biggest support at this point came from my daughter and my husband. Without the two of them, I would not have become the success I am today. I also met another through twitter another support, Carolyn Aken, Raw Food Chef and Health Coach to Women who was my sounding board, and would look over my material. I am grateful for her too.
6. Is there anything that you wish you would have done or handled differently?
I don’t think there is anything I would have done differently or handled differently because I believe that everything happens in the right time place and sequence. What I know now, I may not have been ready for a year ago, etc. However, with that said, I do wish that I had taken my material and put into E-book form long ago. I wish I had gotten on the social media band-wagon long ago so that I could understand how effectively I could use it to grow my business. But then again, I probably was not ready. You see; the right time place and sequence.
7. What was your biggest hurdle in developing and growing your business?
My biggest hurdle was living in limbo for three years waiting for my Immigration Visa to come through to move to the United States. It was tough not knowing how long I was going to be in Toronto, and could not lay roots in Arizona during that time. It was difficult to understand the culture via the internet, as I really needed to be there to understand how it all worked, after all not only was it a new city, but a new country.
As a “solo- entrepreneur ” start up with limited financial resources meant I had to do it all myself, creating a huge learning curve, but has made me a stronger person. I am the social media coach, writer, author, editor, producer, video editor, sales, marketing, life coach, Mom and chauffer. I am grateful to learn new roles as it makes me stronger and more knowledgeable.
8. How did you stay motivated or what kept you motivated whenever you hit a bump/pothole in the road or a difficult time?
Motivation is having a plan. When I would lose steam, I would refer back to my goals and plans. My ultimate goal is to own my own island with my home and wellness centre on it. That picture, keeps me motivated.
I also believe in taking time for myself, because that regenerates and reconnects me with the Universe. I find people in business do not take time out for themselves out of guilt. What good is a stressed out ill person in their business? Absolutely no help at all! I take mental days and go hiking with my best friend Lisa and reconnect with nature, which grounds me and puts me back on track. Once a month (I try for more) I gather up the family and spend the day exploring a part of Arizona.
My husband Ernie is also my rock. He is there when I need a boost of confidence, to see things differently or to keep me motivated. He travels weekly and is not with me physically, but is always on the other end of the phone when I need him. I am fortunate to have the time to bounce ideas off of him and have his “consulting-MBA business brain” to see where that would effectively fit in with my business model.
I have the opportunity to spend time in San Diego and I will go there and work just for a change of scenery. What grounds me the most is putting my feet in beach sand. Once I have ground myself, I then slip back into work mode.
I truly believe that the future, is what is happening right now in my life. If I don’t take care of me, rest and have fun, this will not be available in the future. I have days where I get frustrated, feel depressed, and have thoughts of doubt. I stop and look at what is out of balance, and deal with the imbalance and get back on track.
9. There are quite a few women who are seeking to do what you do. What advice would you give them to get started on that path?
Find your story and your passion. If you think you are going to heal the world, it will be like leading the horse to water...well you know. If you come from a place of passion and your story, you will be able to connect with others. It is your story that the passion comes from, which opens the Universe to bring you what you need. For example, I wanted to help people get healthy, and lose weight, and I was struggling with such resistance that I had to revaluate. I got into this field because of my own health issues. And that is where I have been able to make a difference in other’s lives. Struggling in my own business in the beginning allowed for me to come from a place of passion through my Business RehabTM Program.
• Have a plan; write out your 1 year, 2 year, 5 year, 10 year goals and what retirement looks like for you. Then write out what you need in order to achieve those goals. Revisit your goals frequently.
• Find a couple of people in your profession that are doing well, and figure out what it is that they are doing, and be inspired.
• Get into and learn social media and video marketing. Newsletters do not have the same Clout.
• Think of how you can be of service to your clients and potential clients. Give tips, write articles, have a blog with a sign up to capture emails.
• Connect with organizations that could use your services and give talks, workshops etc.
There are so many tips that I could give, but I really believe the biggest tip is to do just do it. Don’t allow peers, friends or family to talk you out of your passion. Seek out those that will support what you do. Don’t give up, if something does not work, evaluate and do it differently. Call me if you need motivation!
10. What is it that you want your business/service to contribute to the world? To people? To the environment?
Without health and wellness you have nothing. You can have all the wealth in the world, but if you are ill, how can you enjoy it? My business contributes to anyone who truly wants a better lifestyle. But it goes beyond that. I want to inspire through key note speaking so that I can reach the masses. If I can influence or inspire one person in that room, I feel I have changed a nation. My programs are about transformation and evolution, so that that person can then influence and inspire another; it is a viral effect. My programs are about educating on their environment, and the world’s environment. Through knowledge; that “aha-moment” is the conscious transformation of their environment, and the environment of others. We can be talked at all day long, it is not until we engage that we truly understand, and then want to make a difference. I bring the knowledge to them, I have them research their food products, personal hygiene products and cleaning products and it’s at this point that it becomes intimate. This gives them the empowerment to want change. I can then provide them tips, tools, techniques and resources to empower change. This to me is the biggest gift I can give to our planet.
11. Is there anything new & exciting that we can expect from you and your business in the future?
Great question! My business is always evolving. I am writing my story about struggles and triumphs with Crohn’s Disease. It will also involve my knowledge on the subject and what is out there to help another take control and live the life they were meant to live. I have my friends, Raw food Chef Carolyn Akens of CarloynAkens.com adding her expertise on the connection of raw foods and health. My friend Natalie Lauzon, Homeopathic Doctor and Director of Research and Regulatory Affairs at CanPrev Canada lending her expertise on how homeopathic medicine that can help with Chron’s Disease.
I am excited about this new adventure, and I know I will be touring and inspiring others with chronic illness to take control and get back to their life. Look for the release of this book late next year.
You can connect with Karen at:
My website (still under construction): http://karenlangston.com/
The Karen and Joey Show: http://www.thekarenandjoeyshow.com/
6 Degree of Health and Wellness: http://www.6degreesofhealthandwellness.com/
*A special note to Karen:
Wow! First, I want to thank you for doing this interview. I had heard and read of you before this interview, but honestly thought you probably wouldn't be interested in doing this. How silly of me! Secondly, I thank you for sharing your story, your journey to entrepreneurship. Thanks for allowing your experience and your words of wisdom to encourage, inspire and motivate other women. I can't wait for your book and one day hope to meet you in person.
Peace and blessings,