Are you tired of working the same day-to-day job that leaves you feeling stressed out and unfulfilled? Are you sitting on a great business idea that is sure to take off, but you just don’t know where to begin?
No need to fret! There are many others like you out there who are in the same boat.
In fact, many entrepreneurs who are now thriving initially started their business in just the same way. They were working at their regular day jobs when something clicked, and they realized that the thing they were already doing in their free time could easily turn into a money-making venture.
That’s exactly what happened with our guest on this week’s episode of Do The Damn Thing. Karissa Williams went from working a stressful job that just paid the bills to creating a consulting company that helps stressed-out individuals to refocus and concentrate on what’s most important to them.
Like many of us, she also used to struggle with finding balance in her own life. But then she had an “Aha!” moment that motivated her to move forward and create what turned out to become a very successful coaching business!
But how did Karissa get started? What challenges did she face? And how did she turn her side hustle into a booming business that she now loves?
Be sure to watch our video now to find out how she did the damn thing!
Read the script:
Laura: Hello everybody. My name is Laura Foy. Welcome back to another week of Do The Damn Thing. This is HipCat Society’s… opens in a new tab to HipCat Society website homepage… weekly show where we talk to entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and up-and-coming people who are out there doing it. And this week, I am very excited to introduce my guest, Karissa Williams. She is a Boss-Babe and the CEO and founder of 365 Daily Hustle… opens in a new window to 365 Daily Hustle website…. Welcome to the show.
Karissa: Thank you, Laura. I’m excited. I’d like to say that I’m the founder and Boss-Babe of 365 Daily Hustle.
Laura: Very nice. And what is 365 Daily Hustle?
Karissa: I’m a success coach, and I work with high-performing female entrepreneurs and just total badass women that are ready to Do The Damn Thing. And I help them balance their lives, their health, and their business or their careers, which really takes them from surviving life to thriving in all kinds of areas. We all strive for this sense of balance, but we know it’s just so hard to do. We’re being pulled in so many different directions. So I really help them through my signature coaching programs.
And then I’m also a motivational speaker. So it’s my mission in life to empower, inspire, and motivate women and men. I want them to live their best life. Show up and live it and do your best!
Laura: Well, that sounds like you’ve got a full plate. You’re doing it all, which is awesome! That’s the kind of people I like to talk to. It’s always a little warmer in my heart, though, when I see badass women out there doing it. But just poking around, knowing a little bit about your history, this wasn’t always the case for you, right? You didn’t always have the balance. You were a mess like me. Tell me about that. What happened?
Karissa: Absolutely. So, 10 years ago, I weighed 213 pounds. I was ashamed of my body. I had zero confidence. I had lots of self-doubt and tons of beliefs that I had to learn to let go of. I had just come out of a really toxic, abusive relationship – a relationship that I almost took my own life for.
So I had this huge “Aha!” moment in Germany. I was stationed there with my husband at the time, and I was in a doctor’s office. She was like, “You’re five feet tall. You’re 213 pounds. If you don’t change your lifestyle right now, you might not be around later. You need to do something.” That was like a punch straight to the gut. I know I’m overweight, and I hate the way I look. I’m ashamed of my body. I don’t even feel confident in my own skin, and you just call me out. At first, I was hurt. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I was like, “Oh my God.”
But the true “Aha!” didn’t come until the next day. I was sitting on the couch, and I looked at a picture of my mom. Then I saw for the first time in my entire life how heavy she was. I saw 320 pounds. I saw her battle with cancer. I pretty much saw myself, if I didn’t change my life, 20 years from then. And I was like, “I’m a mom. I want to be around for my kids. I wish I had more energy. I want to feel sexy. I just want more for myself.” And that was the rock bottom moment that sparked everything in my life. It truly did.
Laura: Now, just knowing my own personal struggles with finding the balance between self-worth and body image – this is something that so many of us struggle with. And granted, we all don’t get the wake-up call that it sounded like you got. But there’s gotta be something miraculous in you that you were able to turn it around like that. And I’m assuming that’s what you go into in your course. Can you give us a little bit of info about what was going on that gave you the ability to change?
Karissa: I realized that most of my clients have hit that point where enough is enough. “My relationship’s on the rocks. I need help. My business is failing. I need help.” So they’ve hit this kind of moment, and they just don’t know what to do. Through my journey of transformation, I was so focused on health. I just wanted to weigh less. I wanted the physical side to look good. And through that transformation, it took me about five years to lose over 90 pounds the healthy way. But it also took habit change work, which I want to get to. I needed to get through everything in order to get to where I’m at now. I truly believe that my past really helped me get there.
We ended up moving back from Germany, and then my mom passed. And so, there was my biggest motivator, right? I was like, “Okay, I don’t want to be like my mom, even though I love her.” But I wanted more for myself.
And so this inner drive – you just have to like spark it. And I realized that it was up to me. I can either stay stuck, or I can choose to rise up. I can choose to be the victim like, “Woe is me. I’m overweight. It’s baby weight. I’m unhappy, and this is how I cope.” Or I become the warrior of my own life.
And ultimately, I have to remind every single client and woman out there, “You’re responsible for that. I can’t do that. I can lead you to the water, but I can’t make you drink it.” So you have to choose. You have to take that empowered action to say, “Yes, I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m willing to get the help that I need.”
So, I moved back, and I opened up my own tuxedo suit and cigar shop because that was the industry that I came from. And then I’m like, “I think this is what I’m supposed to do.” I didn’t know anything about starting a business, but I went to Google and figured it out. Then I started this business.
The community was seeing my weight loss. And they were like, “Wow, she’s looking fit. She’s getting active in her community, and her success is rising.” So they saw not only that physical transformation, but they also saw my confidence rise. They saw everything in my life just start to thrive.
And what I realized is that my health journey isn’t all about physical weight. It was truly about the mindset that goes into it. It’s about emotional health. It’s about every kind of health. And that business led me to an opportunity. I always said, “Follow your gut. Follow your heart. It never steers you wrong.”
And then a gal walked into my place of business who was looking for her replacement. She began telling me about all these qualifications she was looking for. And I’m like, “I don’t know any girl like that. I really don’t.” And she’s like, “I’m here for you! We want you!” And I’m like, “Well, I have a business. This is my business. Did you forget?” And she said, “You’re driven. You’re focused. We see what you’ve done in the last two years.”
This whole work-life balance piece really came into play when I was at this next career. So I let my business run itself for six months. But what I realized was that I love marketing and I love HR. And so I eventually sold that business, and I was just the marketing director. One day the boss comes up and says, “Karissa, I need you to help fire someone.” And I’m like, “Absolutely not! You shouldn’t want me to do that.” And he’s like, “Well, you’re the only lady in this shop full of men who has lady balls big enough to fire someone.” And I’m like, “How can I use this as an opportunity?”
And so I said, “Well, I want a second salary, and I want to go get HR training.” And so now I have this full-time marketing job. I’m running this very successful collision center that now has a full-time HR department. I had to start everything from scratch.
And I’m a go-getter. I’m a hustler. I’m a hard worker. And I just put my family off to the side. I was reaching goals. I’m getting involved and winning awards. I was so caught up in this spotlight that I completely forgot about my family. Not only was my family suffering, but my health was suffering. All of a sudden, all this other crappy stuff started happening.
Then one day, someone on Facebook was looking for a recommendation for a health coach. Three people in this community tagged my name, and I was like, “Oh, they think I’m a health professional.” And I was like, “That’s awesome!” And then it was, “Oh my God! What if this company sees that? Am I doing that?” I was helping women lose weight on the side by just simply keeping them accountable to stuff.
So I was like, “What does a health coach do?” And I Googled it, and I was like, “Oh my God! I could get paid to help people. I’m already helping the women at my gym establish healthy eating habits and talk about stress, and I help them with getting sleep.” I didn’t realize I was coaching and mentoring these women until they were all meeting with me on Sundays and losing all this weight. And they were like, “Karissa, you need to be doing this. You need to be doing this for a living.”
So, while working two full-time jobs, I’m like, “Yeah, I’m going to do this. This is gonna be my retirement job.” Well, then I started going to school and getting all my certifications. I’m a knowledge junkie because there was once a time that someone said that I was worthless and that I was stupid.
And so I realized again that I was stretched, maxed out, burnt out, and overwhelmed. I had clients who wanted to pay me, but I didn’t have the time. There I was building trying to build two businesses, and something had to give. And it wasn’t until my coach said, “Why is it that you want to help these people?” And, you know, I was like, “I want these men and women to feel like I do. I want them to have that transformation, and I don’t want it to take 10 years to get it that way.”
And through all of that, I just put these signature programs together that are really designed to take people from frazzled to focused and thriving in life. It’s not like that every day for me, of course. I don’t allow myself to get stuck in that nasty spot with no motivation and no drive. I just hit the reset and go.
You just have to spark your inner drive. And I realized that it’s up to me. I can either stay stuck or I can choose to rise up. I can choose to be the victim or I become the warrior of my own life.
Laura: For anyone just joining us, we are live on Facebook at the moment. So feel free to send in your questions or comments for Karissa. But I have a couple of questions for you. You mentioned that as you were losing all the weight, and that your community was noticing. So what community is that, because you didn’t have three 365 Daily Hustle yet? Were you just in various Facebook groups?
Karissa: I mean like a real, face-to-face community. The town that I’m from is small. Because of the marketing and PR, it’s your job just to schmooze everyone, to get to know everyone, and help everyone. So I’m sitting on multiple boards. I’m trying to be the PTO mom. I don’t know how to bake brownies, so I’m trying to Google that. And I’m like, “How does it all work together?” So I didn’t have the 365 at first.
Laura: But did you have a coach? Cause I think at one point you mentioned that you had someone helping you? And was that just to help you lose the weight and find the balance, or was that to help you launch this into a business?
Karissa: I didn’t realize the value of coaching until I asked my very first mentor for help. She came from 20 years in HR. And I started to realize, “Oh, this is really cool. You do this for free. That’s crazy. I love our time together.”
But it wasn’t until I was in school and learning to become a coach that I realized that I needed a coach if I wanted to go places. I have big dreams and big goals, and I still have a coach. I outgrow certain coaches. But I take something new away from every single coach. Finally, in 2019 I left my corporate job to become the Boss-Babe, which was through a coaching session. Realizing that my heart wasn’t in my marriage – that was the session that I was like, “I gotta go. This is not healthy.” It hadn’t been good for a while.
Many of my big transformations have come through coaching because it’s just a safe space to be authentically you without judgment and shame. And I love that. That’s magic.
Laura: I’m a firm believer in mentors, and coaches, and therapy, and anywhere that you can create that safe space. There’s room for growth. That’s where you do the growing. So is 365 Daily Hustle your full-time job now? Does it pay the bills?
Karissa: Yeah. I just jumped in. I was tired of pussy-footing around. I’d like to think I’m a Wonder Woman, but I can’t do it all. So I just jumped in and I was like, “I don’t really care if I fail or not. I’m just gonna do it because it makes me happy.”
Laura: You just Did The Damn Thing. There you go. I do talk to a lot of aspiring coaches and public speakers. What I hear is that they’re nervous that they either lack credibility or they just don’t even know where to start. So did you find that that was an obstacle for you? Or since you already had been helping and coaching people, was it word-of-mouth? How’d you really get started?
Karissa: Well, the side hustle was free. It was my passion. I love showing up and teaching women. I’m like, “Food prep is easy. Let me just show you. Let me show up and show you at your house.” I enjoy teaching and I enjoy coaching. But I started in the health industry because that was my background. And over just two and a half years, there was a huge transformation.
I have a client who came to me to lose weight and build confidence. Well, after just 12 weeks, she Did The Damn Thing. She texted me and said, “Karissa, I just quit my job and I want to become a coach or consultant.” And I’m like, “Hell yeah! Let’s work together and do it!” Cause I’ve been there. You gotta start somewhere. Whether you just start and do it for free and just see if you like it, or just jump in and figure it out. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re prepared. There’s never a right time to start a business. You just got to do it and figure it out. You’re not going to fall to the ground. You’re going to get yourself back up.
Laura: Now is the right time to start a business. So, as you were growing and learning, would you say that you fumbled your way at first? Did you make a lot of mistakes? Looking back, knowing what you know now, would you have done things differently?
Karissa: Yes and no. The only thing that I would have done differently is that I would have listened to my coach and my school when they told me to pick a niche. I’m rebellious. I’m like, “No. I’m working with men, and I’m working with females and entrepreneurs.” I was all over the place. But I was also realizing that I wasn’t totally in love with every coaching session. I was saying yes to the dollar because I needed money. I’ve been putting all this money out. But through all of that, I’ve realized who I don’t want to work with.
The minute I nailed that niche and realized who my unicorn was, people just started coming to me. I was like, “Why didn’t I learn this sooner?” So, start somewhere and do it. Get your feet wet. Get confidence under your belt. And then start thinking about other things that you could do.
Laura: They say that if you’re talking to everyone, then you’re talking to nobody. So you really need to narrow in and identify that avatar, that target person, or whatever the kids are calling it these days.
Let’s talk about how you really grew your business. Obviously, you’re using social media. We’re going to take a look at your Instagram… opens in a new window to Karissa Adkins Instagram page… right now, which is beautiful. I love that you’ve got this checkerboard design. What would you say are the tools that you use most to get new clients? Is it Instagram? Is it Facebook? Is it word of mouth?
Karissa: I find that my business grows with word-of-mouth referrals. I get a lot of repeat business or a lot of, “Hey, my girlfriend did great with you. I need to work with you.” I do get a lot of buzz on Facebook… opens in a new window to 365 Daily Hustle Facebook page…. It’s where I started.
Social media, word of mouth, and speaking to others. I share my story, and it’s very motivational, and people are like, “You know how to lose 90 pounds and not gain it back. I want to be with that girl. You started a business, and you’re successful two years later. I’m going to be with that girl.” So it just inspires them to say “Yes.”
You gotta start somewhere. Whether you just start and do it for free and just see if you like it, or just jump in and figure it out. It doesn’t matter if you’re prepared or not. There’s never a right time to start a business. You just got to do it and figure it out. You’re not going to fall to the ground. You’re going to get yourself back up.
Laura: You’re in a very saturated market. There is no shortage of fitness experts or personal trainers. But you go beyond just being a fitness expert, right? Would you say that you’re a life coach?
Karissa: Well, when you think about a peloton – that’s a tool. Your gym is the tool. I’m a master of habit change. I just help men and women build habits that support a thriving life rather than a depleting life. I will work with the personal trainer because quite often, my clients are like, “Oh, I pay the guy, but I never show up.”
Laura: I’ve been guilty of that. I had a trainer.
Karissa: So it’s habit change. But what keeps it all together – the glue, the magic of coaching – is accountability. Everyone’s so afraid to tell someone that honest truth and hold someone accountable in the right way. I hold my clients accountable to their highest self. And sometimes it’s working on that inner person. And sometimes it’s working on the external habits. “I find myself drinking at the end of the day because I’m not motivated.” Or they own their own business, and they hate their own business. I’m like, “Oh God, you’re killing me.”
I’m a habit change worker. So I work with therapists to make sure that the client is getting the best power-team possible. We all know what we need to do. The doctors can tell you how to change up your lifestyle and which diet to go with. But I teach you how to implement it.
Laura: This has nothing to do with your business, but I’m just curious if I’m the only one. Do you find that sometimes your clients lie to you? And I say this because I’ve been in therapy before where I maybe don’t tell the full truth. I give him the best version of myself sometimes, where it’s only hurting myself – and I know that. So I’m curious if I’m just like some weirdo, or maybe you have people that say the same thing.
Karissa: When we’re speaking about diets, numbers don’t lie. I can teach you the tools and strategies. But if you don’t implement them, you’re lying to yourself. As their coach, I can feel it when they’re just not putting in the effort. I call them out because they need it. For example, sometimes they say, “I literally show up, shut my notebook when we’re done, and put it away.” And I’m like, “Well, that’s exactly why you’re not getting the transformation that you want right now.” And they need to hear it.
They’re lying to themselves. And we’re all guilty of it – the excuses that we want to validate and justify, right? Why we don’t want to get up, or why our business is failing. And I say, “What stories are you telling yourself that you need to let go of?”
Laura: At least I’m not alone, so I feel better. Now let’s talk a little bit about people who are just starting out. Whether they want to be a life coach, a fitness coach, or whether it’s something else. I’m sure you get a lot of these people who are blocked and you need to help them get moving. What would you say to someone who wants to start their own business but they just don’t know where to go?
Karissa: Well, I love doing this whole visualization of it all. I feel like when you can visualize your success, you can start to plant the seed within your brain, and you can start to feel cool and giddy about things. It’s like that new boyfriend. You’re like, “Oh, I’m excited for this potential dream that could possibly come true.” I feel like when you can tap into their feelings and emotions, now they can feel what it’s going to feel like. It’s like a creative visualization. It’s no different than a visual board, but it’s me talking through it all. I feel like if you can start to believe it, then you can start to create it.
And sometimes they’re not quite ready to take that leap, though. So let’s work on a plan where six months from now, you can get it done. Not everyone can just jump off the ship and say, “Bye corporate. Hello business.”
I was in a great spot where I could do that with. I’d been saving. And I made my expectations very clear. I was like, “I probably won’t make a dollar my first year.” It’s really important to create that visualization for them so that they can start to feel what it’s going to be like to see $10,000 months. You have to see it.
I do the same thing with my stages. Every day I meditate on big stages, big audiences, and crowd sharing so that I can prepare myself for what’s coming.
When you can visualize your success, you can start to plant the seed within your brain, and you can start to feel cool and giddy about things. When you can tap into someone’s feelings and emotions, then they can also feel what it’s going to feel like. It’s like a creative visualization. I feel that if you can start to believe it, then you can start to create it.
Laura: Absolutely. You have to manifest it. See it to believe it. Are there tools that you could not live without? Whether that’s a website or whether that’s social media or your daily planner that you write with a pen and paper. What are the foundations that get your business running every day?
Karissa: I’m old school. I have a giant whiteboard on my wall. It keeps me super hyper-focused. I realized I couldn’t do it all. I can no longer be the social media girl, and the coach, and everything else. I’m stretched too thin even now.
So it’s like business development, speaking, marketing, and then the upcoming. It just keeps me laser-focused. Pen and paper are huge for me. And not being afraid to be my authentic self and share my story. I go live, even if I goof up and I’m like, “Wow, that was a crap show. Let’s try it again tomorrow. Who cares?” So, it’s my voice, my authenticity, and my whiteboard.
Laura: We see this across whatever industry you’re in. People don’t want to buy from nameless, faceless companies anymore. They want to connect. They want an authentic human on the other side. And as long as you are staying true to yourself, you’ll find your unicorns. The right people will come to you. That’s a great message. I love that message. I also love that you really are old school. You talk to people face to face.
How has coronavirus impacted your business? Were you primarily doing virtual calls previously, or are you doing them now?
Karissa: Everything was always over the phone and virtual. My group programs are always over Zoom. But when that kind of hit, I had women who had put deposits down that wanted it back and said, “My husband lost his job, and they’re downsizing.” And so, of course, I did that because I truly believe that if you give back, then they’ll come back to you 10 times. So I wasn’t all about that. I did not change my marketing. I recognized that now people were at home and they’re online, and I’m like, “Perfect! This is my platform. This is awesome!”
But I want to say that for the first three months, I didn’t really bring in a ton of income. But once May hit, speaking engagements started rolling in. Clients were back. I was like, “Rock on!” And it makes life easier that it’s all virtual now. The world has hit a reset, which I love. When you’re overworked and frazzled, and you’re all over the place, you need to hit the reset. You need to think about what is really important to you. You need to pivot and switch directions.
Laura: You have to be able to adapt. We are just about out of time. What surprised you the most about launching your own business?
Karissa: As a coach, I meet you where you are and help you achieve your goals. I truly help babes boss-up. I had a therapist telling me, “I don’t know what you’re going to teach me.” And I’m like, “Okay, well, let’s just have this call.” And at the end, she said, “I now know the difference between a coach and a therapist.” So that’s probably the biggest myth.
Laura: You can find Karissa at 365DailyHustle.com… opens in a new window to 365 Daily Hustle website…. She’s on Instagram @365.Daily.Hustle… opens in a new window to Karissa Adkins Instagram page…. Thank you so much for joining us and for inspiring everyone that you come in contact with. I wish you nothing but success, and we cannot wait to follow you in your career.
Karissa: Thank you, Laura. I appreciate you having me on.
Laura: Thank you so much. We’ll be in touch. Bye-bye.
So please like us on Facebook… opens in a new window to Hipcat Society Facebook page…, follow us on Instagram… opens in a new window to Hipcat Society Instagram page…, and connect with Karissa at 365dailyhustle.com… opens in a new window to 365 Daily Hustle website….