This month’s Fearless Fridays interview is with Kristyn Caetano, who abandoned her horrendous commute to the office for a more flexible and purposeful career as an intuitive business coach and lifestyle strategist.
From facing her own challenges to navigating the desire to do it all, Kristyn shares how she worked with a business coach who helped her clarify and focus on what she really wanted to do. Now, she helps her clients overcome blocks, find clarity, and create success using a range of practical business-building strategies on the one hand and more spiritual tools as well as a big dose of love on the other!
Watch the full interview or read on for the highlights of Kristyn’s story!
Fearless Fridays: From public health to intuitive business
Kristyn Caetano spent more than 20 years in public health, specifically in women’s health, managing non-profit health clinics and doing a lot of health-related community work. Having found herself fed up with an awful commute and seeing no further advancement within that career, she decided to start building her own business. There have been a few twists and turns but, through the help of a business coach, Kristyn found a way to combine her healing work with practical business-building strategies. Today, she helps spiritual entrepreneurs build a thriving business that allows them more freedom and prosperity in their life, while also making a positive impact in the world.
1. At what moment did you decide it was time for a change?
I always had jobs on the side and was always doing some kind of healing work. My whole adult life, I was on this quest to find my ‘aligned work’ in the world and knew that I wasn’t quite in it yet, even though there were pieces of what I was doing that felt right.
A bunch of certifications later, I finally arrived in my early 40s and I was in a very damaging, toxic, miserable job. I was a bit stuck because there was nowhere really to go within my public health career. I was driving to this horrible job every day in a treacherous commute, and every day I would either be crying in my car or feeling sick to my stomach, or angry. I felt like, “I don’t even recognise myself; this is not me.” I was just done.
Finally, I said, “You know what? I’ve got to do this thing for real.” So I set up a brick-and-mortar side business combining my hypnotherapy and life coaching. I knew I wanted to do online work, but I was just throwing everything at it. I thought, “I want to do online and in-person and maintain a full-time job!” And that wasn’t very practical.
After a while, I realised that this business model was never going to liberate me from my day job, so I needed to figure something else out. The other thing I realised was that I really liked to work with people in this deeper, longer-term way. Then the third thing I realised was how I loved doing this inner work – but something was still missing.
I finally hired a business coach who changed my life pretty much immediately and helped me get a giant breakthrough, which was realising that I actually loved the business coaching itself – the practical side and the teaching – and so I pivoted and combined those. My coach also helped me remove some blinders, and I built my path slowly and steadily on the side as I gradually reduced my time at work. I went from five days to four days to three days, and I finally quit at the age of 44. I’ve never looked back! And I’m never going back. Ever.
2. What was the biggest challenge you faced in making the change?
I believe that business can be our medicine. What I mean by that is that you’re going to be faced with all your stuff, all your limiting beliefs, all your childhood wounds; so I think of building a business as a healing modality in itself.
I would say for my challenges that I was incredibly fearful and terrified about the stability piece, that “Am I going to be able to eat?” kind of thing. That’s such a basic human lizard-brain fear – I think we all have it.
Another challenge was in the form of my money blocks, one of which was a deeply subconscious scarcity belief, which came from my parents and their parents before them.
Those are just a couple of examples of the things that I’ve had to really work through and overcome.
3. Where did you get the support you needed to make it happen?
I’ve always had support from different coaches, therapists and spiritual healers to help me move through my blocks. To be honest, I think my path was slower than some other people, and it took me several years to work through that incredible fear that I was feeling. On a practical level, I set myself up well because I saved a certain amount of money to have a ‘cushion’ and I built my business up to a certain place before I took the leap. But that inner journey is ongoing: once you get to one level, there’s always the next level of limiting beliefs or fears that you need to unravel.
To be able to form relationships, friendships, and supportive collaborations with fellow entrepreneurs and people in my mastermind community has been an absolute game changer; that’s actually something that I’m looking to build more of this year. I’ve suffered from what I call the ‘independent woman’ syndrome: I haven’t been good at receiving help, and always think I can do everything myself. I don’t want do that anymore! It’s still not easy for me to actually ask for and receive help, from peers or even people who are a little ahead of me. We absolutely can’t do it alone, so I encourage everyone to find mastermind buddies and so on: people who believe in you.
4. What’s the best part of your lifestyle today?
I think the best part of my work is that I know that I’m genuinely helping people move the needle on their dreams and create their fullest expression in the world. There are so many people who are unhappy in their desk jobs and so many people who are trying to find their ‘purpose’. That’s kind of a buzzword, but there is a reason for that. I believe that we do have a purpose and there is a massive feeling of dissatisfaction when you’re not in your right, aligned and joyful work.
So my joy is to actually help all the coaches, healers, guides and mentors be able to create a structure that supports them financially, consistently, and actually also allows them to creatively express themselves and do good in the world. What’s better than that? Who doesn’t want that?
I also get a lot of joy out of the fact that I get to sleep in! I’m just being totally honest: I am not a morning person. Gone are the days where I had to wake up at the crack of dawn and drive forever in treacherous traffic to get to a horrible, soul-sucking desk job. Now I don’t schedule any clients before 10am and I love it. I also feel healthier. I carve out time for my yoga and myself and it’s really a joy.
It’s not perfect – there are good days and bad days, of course – but I feel so blessed and fortunate that I had the courage to design a different kind of life. That’s where a lot of people get stuck, and never make it.
5. What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is considering making a big career or lifestyle change?
When you’re faced with that indecision or uncertainty, if you remain stuck in limbo land, it’s not only painful but you never get anywhere; you spin your wheels. And we know that action begets clarity.
I advise people to really ‘go inside’ to help them make important decisions. If you’re asking yourself, “Should I do A or B?”, then close your eyes and imagine yourself doing A. Does it feel heavy? Does it feel buoyant? Get out of your head and into your body and just ask the question; be curious. Then try choice B. Does that feel good?
Nothing’s ever a sure thing. You might just feel, “Okay, this feels more buoyant to me, so I’m going to move in this direction.” I used to want to know for sure that it was going to work out before I took the step, but it doesn’t work that way. Know that this is an ever-unfolding journey and you’re not going to know for sure. You’re only going to know the next step that’s right in front of you; and you’re going to discover what happens after that when you get there.