In this blog, #YesSheCan speaks to Kali Fraser about her varied career journey from telemarketing to starting her own business.
All about Kali…
I’ve been very lucky to have had a very varied career and have changed paths several times. After finishing my Psychology degree, I went into sales for a business to business telemarketing firm and quickly rose through the ranks to become their Telemarketing Manager.
Although I loved my role, there was something missing for me as I’d always aspired to running my own business and in 2004 I took the leap and started my own dance business – quite a leap from telemarketing!
Over the next 16 years I grew my Ceroc Franchise to one of the largest in the country.
In 2014 I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis, so I decided to go back to my psychology roots and retrain as an NLP Practitioner and have since completed my Master Practitioner training. I sold my dance business and now work full time as an NLP Coach.
I am currently studying towards my NLP Trainer Certification and will spend October this year in Australia completing my course. I am passionate about helping people move forward in both their lives and careers and becoming the very best versions of themselves.
Why this industry?
For me it’s all about people. I love seeing clients create their own change and move forward with either their lives or careers – it’s very rewarding!
Seeing that shift in them and knowing I’ve helped them get there is the best feeling in the world.
Did you face any big challenges on your way to the top?
Running any business has its challenges, but I believe it’s all about attitude.
If you have a deep belief you are doing the right thing, are passionate about what you do and ask for help when you need it, you’ll get through any challenges that come up.
My biggest challenge has been my arthritis. When you’ve been used to being a very active person and this is no longer physically possible it can be difficult to get your mind-set in the right place
In July last year, my arthritis became acute and in quite debilitating pain. None of the medication was working and I had days when I really didn’t know if I was going to be able to walk unaided again. I got through it by making sure I looked after myself – Self-care is a must, and looking what I could do rather than focusing on what I couldn’t do.
Are there any initiatives at the moment that increase your passion for your role?
One of my passion projects at the moment is the NLP and Coaching Convention, we ran our first one last year with over 140 coaches attending. It’s a fabulous day of CPD, learning and networking. We were due to have our next one in Nottingham on the 27th March but due to Covid 19 we took the decision to postpone till later in the year. It will be great to get together with other coaches and exchange learnings when things start to ease back.
“Henry Ford said ‘whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, your absolutely right!’ – The times I’ve doubted this, I’ve failed, the times I’ve believed in myself, I have always succeeded”
What’s great about being a female in your role?
Coaching does seem to be quite female orientated! That said, I really don’t think gender makes a difference to being a great coach. The best thing is being able to inspire other women to take the leap into running their own business and mentoring them to be successful coaches.
Biggest life achievement?
Bit of a cliché, but definitely my two girls! I’m really proud to have brought up two daughters that are growing into very strong women.
“If you believe in something don’t let anyone else negatively influence you. If you want something enough and you take the actions you need to, you can achieve anything!”
Have you ever felt that your gender has brought unnecessary challenges to your career?
Only once, during a meeting with a venue owner that we were negotiating a deal with for my dance business. I was at the meeting with a male colleague and even though I was the owner of the business and the decision maker the venue owner not once addressed me directly and only spoke to my male colleague. It was a very easy decision not to use that venue!
Outside your work, what are your favourite hobbies and pastimes?
I still try to dance now and again when my arthritis lets me but that’s not so often these days. I love to travel and have already been to Amsterdam and the Bahama’s this year with plans for Spain, Singapore and Australia later this year. Travelling is as much about spending time with my family and friends as it is about experiencing new places and cultures.
Do you have a mantra you live your life by?
“It is what it is, no more, no less.” – There will always be bumps in the road and challenges but they are rarely personal and just things to either work out how to get past or learn from.
“Just do it” – I say yes to most things, even if I’m not sure I can do it. Getting out of your comfort zone is where the magic happens and you grow the most.
What three tips would you give to young females starting their careers?
“Always wear great underwear! – No, honestly, it’s a great piece of advice. If your walking into a big boardroom presentation and you have awesome underwear on under that suit, you will feel uber confident.”
One women who has impacted your life…
When I worked in telemarketing I had the most fabulous boss. She was brilliant at developing her staff and, although tough, was one of the most supportive, inspiring women I have known.
What are your key motivators?
My values. If you truly live and work congruently with your values, you will live the life you aspire to.
Do you think enough is being done by businesses to address gender imbalance?
I think it’s better that it was but still not good enough. The recent scandals over pay inequality and the #metoo campaign has highlighted just how far we still have to go and is just shocking in this day and age.
What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?
Stop imagining that glass ceiling! I see so many women who stop themselves progressing because they believe they can’t. Your only limit is yourself.
Don’t try to be a man! Be yourself and show how women can be great leaders. You don’t need to be in a leadership position to be a leader so start behaving like the leader you are today.
What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way?
To listen. And by that I mean really listen. A leader isn’t someone who has all the answers but is someone who can develop a team that does. Listening to your people and genuinely caring about them will build a great culture.
What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
You’re going to have the most amazing life, look up and enjoy the ride a bit more!