After spending nearly 12 years in the financial services industry, Kamara Toffolo, 31, has recently discovered her life’s purpose to be a life coach. She is currently building her coaching practice while continuing to work full time. I met up with Kamara to talk about how she found her calling.
R: Tell me about you career path so far.
K: I went to college in British Columbia for Financial Management and Financial Planning. After a two-year diploma I was hired right out of college to work in sales support for a large financial services company. Over the next few years I worked for a few different companies and I even spent a year in Japan teaching English. Five years ago I moved to Toronto and I’m currently working in financial software. It’s been in these past few years where I’ve felt very unfulfilled…desperately unfulfilled. When thinking about what I wanted to do, I began to notice that a lot of people came to me to be heard. They would tell me their dreams their goals, their problems. I thought I must have a knack for listening and so that took me down the path of life coaching as a new career plan. I’m currently taking courses at Erickson College.
R: What is life coaching and what does a life coach do?
K: When talking about life coaching, it’s often easier to say what it is not, rather than what it is. Life coaching is not advice giving, it’s not counselling, it’s not therapy. It’s not anything that a psychologist, a psychotherapist, or even a manager would do. It’s very much a collaboration between the coach and the client to help the client explore their deepest values, their deepest dreams and goals and then work together to put steps in place to work toward achieving those goals. A life coach is a supporter and collaborator. A life coach creates a sacred space where a client can completely open up and can deeply explore their values, worries, dreams; while the coach will always bring the focus back to solutions.
R: How did you come up with the name, Greater Good Life Coaching?
K: I have a great deal of passion for non-profits, volunteering and philanthropy and I was wondering how I could blend life coaching with that. So my intent is to complement my services for paying clients with pro-bono coaching for youth and for people who are in financial need as a way to give back. I thought, I could help the greater good this way, and the name came from that. When I saw that the URL was available, I bought it immediately.
R: How are you developing your personal brand?
K: I still don’t think I’ve completely figured out my brand. I think it’s something that comes organically. You identify it through doing, through action. And through observing what you surround yourself with and what you excel at.
R: What made you realize you could start a business by being you?
K: I see that there’s a definite need for life coaching, especially here in Toronto it seems to be a fairly new occupation. I’m at the start of the industry which I like. I feel like if people were coming to me already for what is essentially life coaching, then I could apply that to a business. Millennials especially are really focused on self-improvement and living an enriched life, so there’s a demand and I think I can make a business out of it.
R: What doubts do you face as you think about transitioning to self-employment?
K: I worry about money and financial security, but I try not to dwell on it. I use the life coaching technique of putting your attention on your intention. My intention is to succeed, not to fail, so I put my attention on success.
R: What advice do you have for others who feel unfulfilled?
K: If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your day job, you really need to observe how you feel in your happiest moments and really, consciously know where you are and what you’re doing when you’re at your happiest. Build on that and identify what you’re drawn to and what’s drawn to you. I really believe that if you are open to possibilities then you’ll be able to find something a lot better than your day job.
Kamara is currently building her business and her client base. If you’re interested in her services, feel free to contact her to set up a FREE session. I’m excited to see where Kamara’s life coaching path takes her, and I’m sure that she’ll inspire many others on her journey.