When Sarah Kaler left her job as an executive at Lululemon in 2013, she didn’t have a website or business cards. “I had me, and I had a network,” she told Business Insider.
However, after years of travelling around the US and meeting businesspeople in all sorts of situations, Kaler had started to recognise some common threads in the challenges they faced, whether it was executives confessing that their marriage was on the line, that they couldn’t figure out how to hire great talent, or that they didn’t know how to navigate the boardroom when they were the only woman at the table.
“I was like, ‘I can help all of you!'” Kaler recalls. “The lightbulbs were going off that women stepping into leadership roles don’t just need to know sales and marketing. I knew this whole other world where I came from both professionally and personally as a leader, and that’s what these women needed.”
After exiting the corporate world, Kaler sat down with a notebook (one she still has today) and started to sketch out what she really wanted to do next. “I knew I wanted to develop and empower women leaders in the world,” she remembers. “I’d done a ton of that and helped develop thousands of women, but now I needed to do that outside of the four walls of one company.”
She turned that notebook into SoulPowered, a coaching practice to help women entrepreneurs create and lead businesses without sacrificing the rest of their lives to do it. In February 2015, she had her first $100,000 month. In a typical month, barring any huge launch and corresponding revenue spike, the company earns $25,000-$50,000.
As far as transitioning out of a successful corporate career into a new career path, Kaler says the biggest impression she sees among women is that this kind of change isn’t possible, especially with highly knowledgeable people coming from the corporate space who fear their skills aren’t transferable. “Was I scared to make a leap? Absolutely! Worried about not having regular paychecks? Totally.”
What got her past that fear, she says, was focusing on the value she could bring other people, rather than simply what she was passionate about:
For me, the difference between being passionate and purposeful is that purpose serves others. Passion can be a little more self-serving — not that it’s not beautiful and wonderful, but how you’re going to build your business and create momentum and resonate with other people is when you’re being of service to others. If you’re truly serving others, you’re going to connect.
That actually was the thing that had me niche down and say, ‘This is what I’m best in the world at, and this is how I can help other people change how they do business and change their lives.