I have met Kirsten Back through Linked In and have developed deep appreciation for the determination, resilience and zest for achievement that she shows in her passion to help her clients achieve the ultimate. She is a business consultant and a successful woman entrepreneur who works with other entrepreneurs to ensure they have financial freedom and power of choice. Her story involves very interesting journey of building up courage, overcoming barriers and breaking free from traditions to have a life that is non-conventional. She has got what she wanted no matter how the odds went. Here are few facts she has shared with me about her entrepreneurial and personal journey:
Breaking with Tradition
When I was a child my father was hardly ever there for us.
Not because he didn’t want to but because he had to work two jobs to pay our bills. He worked himself into total exhaustion. We always had food on the table, clothing and loving parents – although my father often had a very short fuse because he was so tired all the time.
I believed that there was something totally wrong with that concept. For many years I believed that this life was the life that my family was meant to live because my parents never tried to change it.
In fact, he planted and nourished the belief in us that everything is about safety, adhering to what you know and are familiar with, and that change is too unpredictable.
I lived with that mindset for a long time but deep down I knew that there must be a better way of living your life – a way of earning money without sacrificing your health and sanity.
As my first step to break out of this scheme I decided to get a university degree to get a highly paid job – so that I wouldn’t have to struggle with making ends meet.
No one in my family had ever done that.
There were two factors that made it almost insurmountable:
In the end I compromised and chose a teaching and a Masters degree that would enable to work as a High School teacher – one of the safest and most protected jobs in Germany. Getting a university degree changed everything for me. It started a journey that led me to build my own business.
My Masters and teaching degrees were only the beginning because I discovered my love for learning and constantly developing.
I experienced that learning and developing creates opportunities.
That was also why I obtained an MBA while working a corporate job in the pharmaceutical industry.
I believe in constant learning and self-development. Our environment is changing at a dizzying pace and the jobs that my children will do have probably not been invented yet.
Every day we are breaking down barriers that might enable us or stop us from living up to our full potentials depending on our efforts, plans and circumstances.
Keeping up with change is challenging and can be frightening. But change and development enable us to build the life that we want.
Knowledge is the key to everything – and I see myself as the key for others to thrive and grow, to help them achieve what they never dared dreaming of – and discover the strengths and talents that lie within them.
It is important that people use modern tools and technology to explore, create and inspire each other. There are no limits of what we can achieve if we work together and across all boundaries.
I was working in my Copywriting business before Aotea Consulting was founded.
Throughout my life I was driven by the desire to learn and explore – by finding out how things are working and why they are working the way they do. Every time I sat down with a new client, I asked endless questions, probed into their business, their motivations, their strategies and goals. And I ended up coaching my clients more than writing for them.
At that stage I was already developing a copywriting course because I wanted to scale my business and create a passive income stream. I ran a few online workshops with another online entrepreneur – Paula Eason – and that’s how I met future business partner. Paula was also creating a coaching programme. We had long discussions about our programmes and instantly felt “synergy”. We knew that working together would enable us to create a ground-breaking programme that would make a difference to many career professionals who want to build their own business but don’t know how to or don’t want to reinvent the wheel.
It is especially hard to start from scratch for someone who has had a successful career for many years. I see the overwhelm, fear, hesitation every day. And on the other hand, I see my children and how they fearlessly walk out into the world to make their way. I see them exploring, creating, testing and occasionally failing. But they are undaunted and never lose their spirit. =That’s what inspires me every day, that’s why I do what I do. I want to be an example and show that everything is possible if only you dare and create your opportunities.
We are working with career-professionals who have spent many years growing into leading positions but have become disenchanted from the organisations they are working in. These ladies have come to a point in their lives where they want change and start building their own business to leave a legacy for their family. Sometimes they have already started their own business but are struggling to overcome obstacles. Often they struggle with generating leads, marketing, or creating content. Usually, these problems stem from not having solid business foundations. Our programme is helping our clients to build a business with solid foundations from which they can grow and develop – even in the toughest market situations.
Our programme is designed around the personality, talents, strengths, expertise, and knowledge of our clients – and how they can help a very specific audience.
We have designed the programme so that our clients can start building their business while they are still working full time.
We work with them until they can reliably and consistently replace their 9 to 5 income.
Because we share the same experiences, we share similar mindsets, have gone through the same struggles of juggling career, children, family, households, pets, self-doubt…
We also share the same values and we finally want to go out and prove that we are worth investing in ourselves.
My family and my goals. My husband who has worked tirelessly even when he was burnt out, tired, discouraged, and sometimes unhappy that he was “stuck” in his career. I want to give him the option to do whatever he wants to do.
My children – they are my future and I want them to be able to become and do anything they want to do.
I want them to have as many experiences as they can so that they can chose a path that they are truly passionate about.
Seek advice, talk with entrepreneurs, network with people who have changed careers.
And then work with a coach. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel and try to figure everything out by yourself. It will just frustrate you, probably cost you more and take a lot longer.
As a copywriter I have learned that we are making 95% of our decisions emotionally. I am under no illusion that I am different in that respect. However, when it comes to larger investments, I try to rationalise my decisions. I take a step back, think about the consequences and discuss my decisions with someone I respect. You could say that for me it is a mixture of gut feeling and rationalising.
The future is very much up to you and what you do to work on achieving your goals. Sometimes, life throws us some curve-balls but with the right attitude and focus we can conquer almost anything.
The future is very much what we make of it.
Being more assertive and in control of their own lives. Making sure they fight for what really matters to them.
Trusting in their own power and strengths – women can achieve a lot more than they are made believe.
Being let go from a position after having done a good job. However, it was possibly the best thing to happen because it made me become an entrepreneur rather than pursuing my corporate career further.
No question is too odd. There is always an element worth exploring in any question.
There’s definitely more to achieve. My success is based on constant learning and development, hard work and total focus on what I want to achieve.
Never stop learning. It is essential to grow and stay on top of things. It also keeps your mind working and inspires innovation and change.