Let’s get the basics out of the way. Who are you? Where are you from? Children? I am Karen Wells, therapist, author, wife, and mom, of http://www.mybestlifepossible.com and http://www.walktogethermarriage.com. Karis Counselling Services offers counselling support to women who have been impacted by childhood sexual abuse, after abortion distress and relational abuse. I have been married to my husband Simon for almost 23 years. We have two children (Angela, 22, and Dean, 18) and two grandchildren (Kale, 5, and Paiton-Jade, 3 years old). We live in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada.
When and why was your business started? I began counselling in 1999. I founded Karis Counselling Services in 2001. My services are also available by Skype/phone/ webinar, so it’s really a global service. God began stirring the idea in my heart while I was in seminary. I began dreaming about how I could be a “Have Counsel, Will Travel” counselling business. It was then that I decided He put a vision in my heart to run with my dreams and open my own services. Through prayer, I felt to call it Karis Counselling Services (the word charis stands for grace).
What do you love about being a female entrepreneur? I love the freedom to pursue my vision and dreams that God has placed in my heart.
How did you launch your business and/or dream? I prayed a great deal about this idea. While in seminary, I began doing research to see how others started a private counselling service. I stepped out in faith and launched my practice in 2001. Since I am globally minded, I first started reaching to counsel others by driving to different communities and meeting clients there. Over time, this was quite physically draining so I rented my own office, and instead of driving to others, I had people come to me. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled about not reaching beyond my community and the idea of online/phone counselling was seeded in my heart. My business has evolved to where it is today.
What is your mission statement? With Jesus as my guide, it is my mission to provide women (and men) with hope, acceptance, and change, so they can have the best life possible.
How do you stay inspired? On the rough days, I remind myself that God placed this desire in my heart. I also reread testimonies that people have given me to tell me how I have helped them. It helps me to not give up. I have become a member of organizations like NACWE, in order to gain insight, support and direction. I dream beyond what I am already doing now, knowing that there are so many opportunities to reach out to the world.
Why do you feel Inspired Women Succeed? I feel Inspired Women Succeed because they have God as their guide and inspiration.
What are the biggest challenges you have overcome as a female entrepreneur? My biggest challenges are time priorities – between family obligations and boundaries with my time in my work.
What is your BIG DREAM for your business – what do you hope will happen? My greatest dream to reach at least one million women with hope and healing.
I want to do this by traveling around the whole world and plant seeds of hope in every place God will allow me to go. Where I cannot go in the physical body, I am now able to have a chance to reach into all parts of the world through the internet. Although my dream seemed so big to me at first, I now see it as very doable. It is very exciting!
How do you incorporate your faith into your business? The principles I teach are based on God’s principles. I pray for/with those I counsel. I always attempt to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit for an opportunity to share Christ as the hope for a person’s life.
What are your favorite biblical parallels and verses that encourage you? Why? I have 3 favorites. John 14: 2B – “If it were not so, I would have told you.” This scripture reminds me that God is trustworthy. He would never lead me astray.
Isaiah 61:1 – “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the broken hearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” This scripture is what Karis Counsellling Services is founded on. Freedom from pain and hopelessness is how I pray God will use me.
Matthew 6:19-20: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.” I make every effort to filter my motivation and direction of my business through this scripture.
How do you promote/market your business?
I market in numerous ways:
- Social media – slowly developing (ezine, blog, website, upcoming webinars, Facebook)
- Online/in person networking
- My radio show
- Writing books
- Speaking venues
- In the church as much as possible
What is the biggest risk that you have taken in your business? Has it paid off? My biggest risk in my business has been going internet based. Yes it has been a great.
What risk do you need to take now? I need to seek out joint ventures.
What media opportunities have you had? If you’re featured online, please list the links: I am presently featured on the www.BTconference.com as one of the speakers.
I have also been interviewed on Koinonia Business Women’s radio show at: http://cwaradio.com/kb-women-radio/kbwomen-radio-follow-gods-call-even-wyour-knees-knocking/
What one woman epitomizes (for you) a model of Christian entrepreneurial leadership? Why? My model of entrepreneurial leadership is through women like Diane Cunningham and other online women that I have met who are self-employed.
What 3 tips would you share with a friend setting out on her own entrepreneurial adventure? My 3 tips for a friend would be never give up on your dreams! Join local/on-line business organizations that teach you how to start a business. Outsource those areas of business building that you aren’t gifted in – virtual assistants and specialists in all areas of your business needs are a great support. It will save you so much time, stress, and money (in the long run).
What resources and books would you recommend—the ones which have best helped you? So many of my resources are internet based and are so vast that I can’t pick any specific one.
What do you have coming up? Events? Book Signings? My second book, Unhooked! 7 Steps To Emotional Freedom, is a self-help counselling book for women who have been impacted by a trauma in her life (childhood sexual abuse, after abortion distress, relational abuse). It will be out in October 2011.
At Breakthrough Conference 2011, I will be one of the 10 speakers on the virtual Breakthrough Conference on Nov 14-18 www.BTConference.com.
Tell us about your family and your support group? I have been married to my husband Simon for coming up 23 years. He is my greatest support. He is also a counselor and we work together at Karis Counselling Services. I have two children (Angela, 22, and Dean, 18) and 2 grandchildren (Kale, 5, and Paiton-Jade-3 years old).
Who were/are your mentors? I do not have a mentor at this time, although I have had a business coach from time to time. My husband has been, and is, my greatest support.
What else would you like to share with us? I fully believe that emotionally healed women will change the world. If a women is “hooked” from some past trauma, she can only reach into other women’s lives to the degree she herself has healed. So I encourage women to get “unhooked” so they can live their best life possible with as much freedom as possible.
Karis Counselling Services offers counselling support to women who have been impacted by childhood sexual abuse, after abortion distress and relational abuse. Therapist Karen Wells is the author of Even With My Knees Knocking I Will Follow God’s Call and the upcoming Unhooked! 7 Steps To Emotional Freedom book, hosts a weekly radio show, and provides teaching and speaking venues. Learn more at http://www.mybestlifepossible.com.