Illuminating Your Inner Leader with Karen Renee Halseth
As a leader of leaders, Karen Renee Halseth helps women entrepreneurs discover the innate leader within themselves. In this insightful and illuminating interview with Caterina, Karen Renee shares her unconventional journey to entrepreneurship and her secrets to taking “the leap.” She also discusses the qualities that make a leader and shares super tips for women to become the best leader they can possibly be!
Karen Renee has been on a curvy road to success, with careers in Medical Office Management, Hotel Operations, and director of an Internationally renowned Day Spa. She has been an entrepreneur for 15 years. Her blend of practical business experience and psychic abilities creates a unique combination that supports clients to achieve their potential.
Expand Your Fempire Podcast #25 Transcript
Illuminating Your Inner Leader with Karen Renee Halseth
Welcome to Expand your Fempire with Caterina Rando, the podcast for women in business on a mission. Sharing ideas to support you to grow and thrive. Now here’s your host, Caterina Rando.
[00:00:00] Caterina Rando: Welcome! Today’s episode of the Expand Your Fempire podcast is going to be insightful, heart-opening, and hopefully full of amazing insights for you in your business and your life. Today my guest is the illuminating, the heart-centered, the fabulous Karen Renee Halseth.
[00:00:53] I like to call Karen my “spiritual mentor.” I have known her for several years] now, and she is someone that you’re going to want to get to know. Karen Renee, welcome.
[00:01:05] Karen Renee Halseth: Thank you so much. It’s an honor to be here and I appreciate being invited and being with you.
[00:01:11] Caterina Rando: Karen Renee, before we talk about you, your journey, your path to Fempire building. Please take a moment, because I know that you could explain it much better than me. Take a moment and share with the ladies what it is that you do with your business.
[00:01:30] Karen Renee Halseth: Wonderful. So the name of my business is Leaders Beyond Limits: Illuminate Your Innate Brilliance. And I’ve found that I get various responses to the word “leader.” Most often it’s “Yes, and I want to be a more evolved leader beyond limits. And then the other response is, “Oh, it doesn’t apply to me, I’m not a leader.”
[00:02:01] And I’ve done a lot of research and inquiry into what brings about that second comment. And it’s the vision that leaders are high profile, that they’re internationally known, they’re actors, actresses, Oprah quality. And that the gap between business owners that are doing phenomenal work – they can’t see themselves in that word “leader.”
[00:02:36] And where we are now is creating the model of the emerging leader with the higher frequency qualities. Both the leader we want to be in our businesses and the leader we want to follow in the world. So, it is a very evolving and provocative conversation. Now in a simplistic term, if you’ve ever made a well-thought-out post, shared inspiration, were vulnerable on social media, you are a leader.
[00:03:21] You are already sharing energetically out within that medium. If you’ve ever given a tip or helped someone with encouragement, you are a leader. And often we lose track of the innate leader within us because those qualities come so effortlessly and yet compare it on the big stage.
…often we lose track of the innate leader within us because those qualities come so effortlessly.. – Karen Renee Halseth
[00:03:53] Caterina Rando: So many women, if they’re not running a multinational company or they’re not head of a big organization, don’t consider themselves as leaders. And I love, Karen, how you’re defining it, because anytime you’re using your voice to be of service, anytime you’re using your voice to uplift or inspire or to shine a light where something is going on that is not okay. That is leadership.
[00:04:24] And I love that you’re pointing that out, because so many women don’t see themselves as leaders when they’re leading all over the place…
[00:04:34] Karen Renee Halseth: Yes.
[00:04:36] Caterina Rando:…in their life. Now, Karen Renee, today you lead leaders. You work with so many inspiring women. I know, because we’re friends, I know that your path to transformation and your path to being out in the world was not an easy one.
[00:04:59] I’d like you to share a little bit about your history because one of the things leaders are is we’re also role models, and it’s important for women to know that just because you look gorgeous and you are positive, that that is something that you have created in your life, that it could have gone differently. Would you share a little bit?
[00:05:21] Karen Renee Halseth: Yes, I’d love to. Thank you. So, I come from a background in an extremely dysfunctional and abusive environment. When I was 19, I went into therapy because I didn’t really expect that I would still be here at 25 if I didn’t do something. And that decision put me on a journey of no matter what, I was going to rise above the conditions that I came into in my family and overcome the effects of the abuse.
[00:06:05] Now it was a long journey. I ended up numbing my pain with alcohol and drugs for quite a long time. And at the age of 32, I said, “That’s it. Either I’m going to thrive, or I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I am not going down in this way.”
[00:06:27] So it’s the decisions that were made along the way that I was going to find a way, even if the pathway wasn’t clear.
[00:06:39] And one of the things that I was always ashamed of was I never had mentors or family members that helped me to look at what was possible in my life. So, I looked at other people. I thought they all have it figured out. They know their path. They went to school, they did this, they’ve got their certificates. And I was always ashamed that I didn’t have something like that. So, I began on a journey of getting a certificate in this and a certificate in that. I mean, I am certified.
[00:07:15] And the jobs the positions showed up. Not that it was part of the plan. It was, I said yes to this one and then ended up being promoted and then other things happened. And I went to another position. I was a front desk clerk, and the doctors love me so much. They opened a new practice and took me as their office manager. And I really wasn’t qualified to be a medical office manager, but I got qualified. And over the years, my diversified employment through hotel operations, a day spa management, medical office management – I realized that I had a real unique set of skills that everybody seemed to be really happy with. And yet I couldn’t see it as a package that I could bring into my own business.
[00:08:20] And it took a huge leap of faith and courage 15 years ago to leave structured employment and decide “well, if all these people, all these employers, corporate level, upper management, if they see I have, I have all these skills and they’re willing to pay me really well and promote me, then how about if I apply it to my heart calling – to uplifting and inspiring and seeing what is possible in others.”
[00:08:59] So that’s taken me on this journey that was very unconventional.
[00:09:05] Caterina Rando: And Karen Renee, how long did it take you from wanting to have your own business to having your own business?
[00:09:13] Karen Renee Halseth: Well, it was actually about a year where I was really pondering it and I was getting really sick. I called my weekends “damage control.” I had no energy left for my life. I was burned out. And I knew if I didn’t make a change, I would lose everything. I would lose my health. And so, I had debt, I had a mortgage, I’m a single woman. I had three months of paychecks coming in and I decided I was leaving. I was leaving structured employment, although I didn’t have it all lined out.
[00:10:02] That seems to be my theme. You know, people say, “what are you going to do?” I’m like, “well, yes, it’s going to come.” And for that first month, I could not be awake for longer than four hours at a time. That’s how thrashed I was.
[00:10:19] Caterina Rando: Wow.
[00:10:20] Karen Renee Halseth: And then all kinds of magic and miracles happen. Two employers hired me back as a contractor to rewrite manuals and just things showed up that kept me financially afloat.
[00:10:33] And I decided I was going to take time for myself within the first three months. And I found this program at Esalen Institute in Big Sur. And it was “Circle of Life Coaching Program.” Now here again, I wasn’t looking for a coaching program. It was the only thing that fit into the time I had and the finances I had. And it turned out to be their “give back,” their “pay it forward.” It was their entire $5,000 certification coaching program that started in a week-long intensive and then went from there. And that’s what changed everything. I emerged coaching and realized it’s what I’ve always been doing. It just wasn’t a thing yet.
[00:11:26] Caterina Rando: Right. I understand Karen Renee, it sounds like then, that you are of the school of not having it all figured out before you take a leap. Would you say that’s true?
[00:11:40] Karen Renee Halseth: It is true. It’s that courageous heart that knows that staying is more detrimental or painful than the unknown leap.
It’s that courageous heart that knows that staying is more detrimental or painful than the unknown leap. -Karen Renee Halseth
[00:11:54] Caterina Rando: And I’m sure that we have some listeners that may be in that place. And they want to go, their heart is not perhaps very courageous at the moment. How would you recommend…because I’ve been an entrepreneur forever. I’ve had some “J.O.B.s” over the years. Well, I shouldn’t say over the years – in the very, very early years. And I never had the opportunity to have a long corporate career. I’m wondering, for you, what you would say to encourage those people that really do want to get going with their own thing.
[00:12:36] Karen Renee Halseth: To begin planning, envisioning and talking about it while you’re still in your position, your structured employment. Let’s just use the example of coaching. So, you start talking about it to friends and say, “Hey, I’m, I’m just developing something that I think would be really exciting. Are you willing to play with me? Can I practice on you?”
[00:13:08] And energetically, that puts everything in motion, with less fear involved because you still have your income. And then little by little, the coaching, you can start charging for it, and then it starts replacing your income. And then there is a point that you do take the leap when energetically a position is full. So, let’s say your J.O.B. is holding this space. The universe cannot bring you all that you’re meant to have until you release that.
[00:13:52] In relationships, some people that come into my practice will say, “well, I don’t want to leave this relationship until the next one comes. It’s not going to – the space is full, right?
[00:14:06] If you’ve got it full with your job, you’ve got to loosen the reigns little by little. And there’s still that moment where the leap is required.
[00:14:17] Caterina Rando: Yes, the leap is required. Karen Renee, once you began your journey, once you started doing your own thing, I have an important question. What did you learn about yourself that you didn’t know before?
[00:14:31] Karen Renee Halseth: Oh, I learned that I was resilient in ways that I hadn’t owned in the same way. And that I was willing to take a risk and I’ll explain how that decision came up. When I was considering leaving structured employment and I had a lot of well-meaning people that said, “Oh, that doesn’t make sense. You should stay here for a couple more years and save your money.” Well, if I could have been doing that, I would have been, and I was thrashed.
[00:15:10] So I looked at “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” And the worst thing at that point that I saw was that my home would be repossessed, that I’d lose my home. And I asked myself, “are you okay with that? Can you live with that?” And I decided, yes.
Once you recognize what the worst thing could possibly be and you know you’ll live through it, then you can take the leap.
[00:15:39] I didn’t lose my home. I ended up selling it for a profit that helped to fund my business. So, but the resilience and the courage and the willingness to not settle for less. And as I looked back that had always been there in one way or another, but during that process of leaving structured employment and beginning my business, I really owned it.
[00:16:11] And now I know no matter what happens, I have that resource within.
[00:16:18] Caterina Rando: Having that resource within, that gives you a sense of personal power, I would imagine? And lets you know that you can handle whatever life throws at you, is that right?
[00:16:29] Karen Renee Halseth: Yes. It’s confidence and a resilience and also, you know, I’m really open to asking for help. I never did all this just on my own. There were times that I really needed to be shored up by someone who said, “it’s okay, you got this, you’ve got this.” “I don’t think I do. I see you do, so let me support you and energetically and be the cheerleaders.”
[00:17:04] So it’s important to have that and not isolate when you’re making huge changes or think that you have to just put on the happy face. There were times I’m like, “Oh my gosh, what have you done?” And there was no going back. I knew that. So then that inner strength said, “All right, what next?”
[00:17:31] I was willing to take short-term positions, all kinds of unique things showed up that I was able to bring in income until I had the coaching certification and the business going.
[00:17:46] Caterina Rando: And would you say Karen Renee, that self-employment having your own business, that that is a path to personal growth and transformation for all of us that choose to take that path?
[00:18:03] Karen Renee Halseth: Most definitely. I don’t believe that you can grow into the leader that you are meant to be, to have the business, the Fempire that you’re meant to have, without a tremendous amount of personal growth along the way. Because you get into a comfort zone and then the opportunity to grow more in your business shows up and you have the invitation to grow yourself from the inside out. That’s where it starts. That also makes you a very incredible, trustworthy leader when you are able to share with transparency.
[00:18:55] Yeah. It hasn’t been easy at times and [00:19:00] yet it’s worth it. And there’s something within that just can’t imagine doing anything but stretching. It’s part of the journey.
[00:19:13] Caterina Rando: And it’s a wonderful journey.
[00:19:15] Karen Renee Halseth: Yeah.
[00:19:16] Caterina Rando: Karen Renee, leadership is like speaking or writing or selling – there’s the beginning, what we do in the beginning. And then the more we do it, the more we move towards mastery. It’s the same with being a leader. In the beginning, we do the best we can and the more we do it, the more we have our attention off of us. Our attention on who we’re serving, how we’re serving, what we’re doing, what our goal is. What are some insights you would like to share with our listeners about becoming the best leader we can be?
[00:19:57] Karen Renee Halseth: Now, one of the first places to begin is to really notice and acknowledge the people that you admire as leaders. And spend some time really getting to pay attention – could be on YouTube, could be on podcasts and, and see what is it about them that you admire and their words, their transparency, their communication. Because everything that you admire in another person lives somewhere in you. And if you can’t own it in yourself yet, it’s an area that’s calling to be illuminated, to grow.
[00:20:49] Now I use the image of like a rose bush that is in bud state. And it’s really attractive. It’s aromatic. It’s compelling. You want to walk up and, “Oh, look at the beauty.” But it’s only hinting at the splendor and the magnificence that is going to come as those buds open.
[00:21:18] And that is inside of us. That energy is inside of every leader. There’s a bud that’s ready to open to take you to a new level.
[00:21:31] Now we can’t always see our own brilliance. Leaders need a coach. Coaches need coaches, mentors need mentors. We are the wind beneath each other’s wings. To carry you to your next level.
[00:21:53] There’s a quote that I love and it’s “when you reach your edge, soften. Soften into the flow, just like water. The water smooths out all the rocks in the pathway. When you reach your edge, soften. Because we tend to get tight or fearful or “I can’t.” And the softening allows for energy to support you on the journey.
[00:22:30] Caterina Rando: I love that. When you get to the edge, soften. That’s a good “Karen Reneeism” for leadership.
[00:22:38] Karen Renee Halseth: Yes!
[00:22:39] Caterina Rando: Karen Renee, we really got to know each other when I had the privilege to participate in the organization that you cultivated for women in business. I want to ask you, what are one or two of the qualities that you feel have helped you cultivate community so well? Because I see you as a leader that is so authentic, powerful. I think you have a high attraction factor. Part of that is because you wear your C.A.P.E.: Certainty, authenticity, positivity, and enthusiasm.
[00:23:22] Karen Renee Halseth: Yeah.
[00:23:23] Caterina Rando: What do you think are a couple of the qualities that you have that we want our listeners to embrace for community building?
[00:23:34] Karen Renee Halseth: Great. Thank you for that question. Well, the first one that comes to mind is curiosity. Curious about the person in front of me, really getting to know who is this magnificent person. And allowing everything else to fall away, to be really present with the one person.
[00:24:02] And collaboration. Looking for ways that I can collaborate with someone or I can send other people to a collaborative venture. Introducing people. It really is that heart desire of uplifting everyone. When one succeeds, we all succeed. There’s no competition. It’s seeing the absolute brilliance in another.
[00:24:33] And through my intuitive skills, I really can immediately see the brilliance and it may be, something that they’re not even aware of yet, but it excites me to see that brilliance within people.
[00:24:52] And then I hold value in being, as you said, authentic and transparent that I am not better than anyone. We all have equal merit. We just package it differently or bring in unique gifts. So, a high level of mutual respect and acceptance.
And I love to be a cheerleader for others’ successes, you know, just really shouted out. “Did you hear what they did, or did you see this offer?” I deeply care about community.
[00:25:35] Caterina Rando: Karen Renee. You’ve done a great job of it. I’m very excited to continue to watch you on your journey of supporting leaders and serving women on a mission. Because if you’re a woman on a mission and you are, if you’re listening to this, see yourself as a leader. Karen Renee final thoughts for our listeners about leadership or entrepreneurial-ism, whatever you feel called to share.
[00:26:04] Karen Renee Halseth: Okay. Final thoughts. Well, the leader in you wants to be nourished in order to expand and bring gifts to the world in ways that you may not even have imagined. And it’s in every single one.
[00:26:26] If you just had, “Oh, the leader in me, I don’t know.” Just hold that, “You know? I think she’s talking to me also.” Because we are led to bring forth our gifts.
[00:26:46] It may be a major curvy road to success. It may not look like anybody else’s path. And chances are, if someone says they’re on an absolute well-laid-out path, potentially someone else has designed the path. And yes, there’s good input, but you get to choose the direction and the path and the support is there for you to learn, discover that you are more magnificent than you ever ever imagined. I can say that’s true for myself.
[00:27:35] Caterina Rando: That is a great place for us to end everyone. You are more magnificent than you could ever imagine. Find out more about Karen Renee on our podcast page in the show notes, connect with her, work with her. You will be so glad you did.
[00:27:54] Everyone, this is Caterina Rando, reminding you: you have massive value to bring, be the leader you are. Go bring it so you can serve more and uplift our planet. See you next time.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Expand Your Fempire with Caterina Rando.