If you’re into self-growth, it’s likely that you’ve heard the name Carnisa (pronounced Caneisha) Berry before. If you haven’t then we’re glad you’ve stumbled across this article. We first started attending Carnisa’s workshops in 2016 and we can’t get enough of her wisdom. This month we had the opportunity to interview Carnisa to learn a little more about how she got so wise, how she’s turned her wisdom into a life coaching business, and what the overall journey has been like.
Q: Carnisa, in 2016 after attending several of your events I signed up for a mini term of Life Coaching with you that changed my life. Before I signed up, I was pretty skeptical about life coaching because I truly didn’t understand what it was. How do you describe the term ‘life coach’ and what you do?
A: Life Coaching is defined as a person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with careers or personal challenges. As a Life Coach, it’s my goal to help my clients create a vision and move forward towards that vision. I use emotional awareness to help my clients remove the obstacles that are keeping them from their dreams.
Q: What are some common challenges that your clients typically seek your services for? Any challenges that you notice are specific / more common among your clientele in Beijing?
A: Most of my clients are expats. When they contact me, they usually say things like “I feel lost” or “I feel stuck”. Living in a new country is challenging. Also, most of my clients are in some state of transition, new job, new environment, empty nesters, etc.
Q: How did you become so knowledgeable on these topics and what lead you to become a life coach?
A: I’ve always been curious about what makes people different, yet also the same. I decided to become a life coach after a coach helped me during one of the most challenging times in my life. I wanted to help other women like she helped me.
As for my knowledge, I think of myself as a wisdom junkie. I love listening and reading about human behavior. I’m intrigued by how each individual experiences life. I apply the things I’ve learned to my own life. Once I find something that has helped me, I’m excited to share it with others.
Q:Talk to us about going from being good at something to deciding that you are going to make this your life’s work. Where did you begin?
A: Years ago, before we left America, I was sad. I felt completely dissatisfied with my life. I had everything the “world” said I needed to be happy. A husband, 2 children, a 4-bedroom house, and a “good” job, however, I felt like something was missing. I didn’t have purpose. Life Coaching gave me purpose. It is the thing I believe I was created to be. It’s the first career I’ve had where I’m using my gifts and talents.
Deciding to make this my life’s work is possible because of the support of my husband. When we first left America, I agreed to be a stay-at-home-wife and mom so my husband could teach in the U.A.E. Since our family would now have one income, we couldn’t afford to send our children to an international school there. Because I was so unhappy at my job, I was excited to accept my new position as a loving, supportive wife. During our first 3 years aboard, I home schooled our children. It was during that time of homing schooling and experiencing my own personal trauma that I hired my life coach. My Life Coach encouraged me to become a Life Coach.
My first step in making this a business was becoming certified. It took me a while to determine what I would do with my coaching certificate. One small thing I did to introduce Berry Thoughtful was post inspirational thoughts on Facebook. This helped me build an audience while helping to create credibility.
I knew I wanted to help women overcome emotional hardship because that’s what my coach did for me, however, I didn’t know how to market this skill. I paid to attend a 3-day conference in Florida called, “How to Fill Your Workshops”. There they taught me that what I am offering is emotional awareness. This gave me the language to help potential clients to understand what I do as a coach. I use emotional awareness to help my clients gain clarity so they can create the life they want. I encourage anyone who has a business to get connected to others in your industry. Attend conferences, purchase programs, and read as much as you can about your industry.
After becoming a Life Coach, I quickly realized that I also needed to learn the skills it takes to be an entrepreneur. Learning about marketing, sales, and other business strategies has helped my business grow further.
Q: What have been some of the biggest challenges along your journey? How did you overcome them?
A: Fear has been my biggest challenge on this journey. Most people fear failure, I struggle with fear of success. I worry about how I would handle things if Berry Thoughtful gets really big. Currently, I’m a one woman show. I can’t imagine letting other people help me. But I realize this hinders my growth. One method I use to overcome my fear, is feel the fear and do it anyway. I wrote a program called “Do Life Afraid” because I’ve taught myself that if fear is the only obstacle, then I must do it anyway. I’m current working on seeking help with a few of my projects and meeting with more people to collaborate. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary.
My other obstacle is accepting the amount of work and time it takes to build a business. I love coaching; however, I find the business of coaching a challenge. I’m often overwhelmed by how much I have to learn and accomplish in marketing, sales, branding, and networking. But it’s all part of the job. It’s the part they didn’t tell me about when I was earning my certification.
Q: Can you give us an example of a specific moment/accomplishment that made you feel like “damn, I’m really doing this and I’m REALLY good at it”?
A: There have been so many moments. Last year my husband and I were visiting Shanghai and we ran into a lady that I only worked with for 3 sessions. She ran over and gave me the biggest hug. She told me I had helped her change her life. She was so happy, and she kept saying it was all because of me. When I initially met her, she was working a job she hated because her boss was extremely difficult to work with. Also, she was in a relationship with a man that loved her, but she was afraid to commit to him. After working with me, she learned strategies to deal with her boss and her work became more manageable. Shortly after, she found her dream job and married her boyfriend.
Another client was sad and feeling insecure when I met her. She was lonely living here and had a wonderful talent for singing. After working with her for a few months, she overcame her insecurities and began her own music business working with children. She was so successful before she left Beijing, she had to turn down offers. She still contacts me and thanks me for helping to change her life.
At BlackExpo, I met a young lady who cried and hugged me because she said I helped her change her relationship with her dad just from attending one of my free webinars.
I get emails and messages at different times of people sharing with me how much I’ve helped them. This is how I know I’m living my purpose.
Q: The cost of your coaching may seem expensive to someone who has never invested in this kind of experience before. What do you want to say to people who are interested in doing the work but are worried it’s beyond their budget?
A: Coaching is an investment. Anything worth having will cost you something. When people say my services are too expensive, as a coach I know that perhaps they are just not ready to move forward. When I was hurting and seeking my coach, I was willing to do whatever it took to overcome my dissatisfaction with life. If someone really wants to work with me, they will find I offer a range of coaching programs at different price points. My program Miracle Mindset is extremely effective and is only 150 RMB. I also offer group coaching for people who want to work with me but can’t afford to work with me one-on-one. I also have self-guide programs online that are very affordable.
Q: For those not ready to take the plunge yet, what resources / tips do you recommend for people to begin exploring self-work?
A: I offer lots of free content. In my Wechat group I offer daily morning inspiration and I consistently deliver other helpful content through my BerryThoughtful Life Coaching podcast, Facebook community, YouTube channel and a newsletter. My content usually offers tips and strategies about love, life, and relationships.
I’ve also written two books, Think Your Way to a Better Marriage and 5 Ways to Conquer Fear. Berry Thoughtful is about helping people overcome limited beliefs that are keeping them from the life of their dreams, and I use lots of methods to do this.
Q: Any last words? How can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
A: People can connect with me on Wechat: BerryThoughtfulLife or through IG: berrythoughtfullife or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I encourage the people looking to start with freebies to check out the resources available on my website www.BerryThougtfulLife.com
Before moving to Beijing, Lisa Alleyne spent over 5 years working in International Education. Lisa’s specialty in the field is connecting young adults to opportunities abroad and helping foreigners settle in new environments. An avid reader, Lisa also has a personal interest in career development, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and travel. Lisa has traveled to 27 different countries to date.