Episode #39:
Networking, Connecting and Embracing Clubhouse with Karena Calhoun

In this impactful episode, Caterina speaks with Karena Calhoun, a Certified Mindset and Life Coach who helps women entrepreneurs to level up their business by unveiling their authentic selves, discovering their purpose, increasing their self-confidence and destroying self-defeating obstacles. Karena is also the founder of the Women’s International Network (WIN) on Clubhouse, and she shares some of her top tips for success using the Clubhouse app. Listen to this episode for super tips on networking both on and offline!


Karena Calhoun, is a North Carolina native currently doing life with her best friend and husband in Richmond, Virginia for the last ten years.

Karena; a Certified Mindset and Life Coach helps women entrepreneurs to level up their business by unveiling their authentic selves, discovering their purpose, increasing their self-confidence and destroying self-defeating obstacles!

Karena began her coaching practice in January 2018 as a side hustle. In 2019, after 22 years and an abrupt corporate-wide shut down; Karena began full-time in her coaching business.

In 2020 Karena began a journey of unveiling her authentic self and discovering her true purpose. During this time Karena began to understand that what she had been doing to help women since 2009 through outreach was definitely her purpose and calling. Today Karena helps women entrepreneurs destroy negative self-talk, overwhelm, and other malicious obstacles that come against their purpose. Karena has become for other women entrepreneurs what she needed when she first launched her own business as a side hustle.

Today Karena offers a range of programs and services – from individual coaching, to group coaching, webinars, summits and as a host of an international podcast launched in January 2020.

Expand Your Fempire Podcast #39 Transcript

Networking, Connecting and Embracing Clubhouse with Karena Calhoun

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.

[00:00:25] Caterina Rando: Welcome back to another info-packed, exciting episode of the Expand Your Fempire Podcast. I’m your host Caterina Rando, and I am so excited. Today I am interviewing one of my new BFFs, Karena Calhoun. She is an amazing life coach and mindset coach that, guess what, I have not met live and in person. I have had the privilege though, to be with Karena in many Clubhouse rooms.

[00:01:02] She is the founder of the International Women Network on Clubhouse. And I get to have also the privilege of moderating some rooms in her Clubhouse, and she is an amazing woman that I am excited to be here with today. Karena, thank you so much for being with us on the Expand Your Fempire Podcast.

[00:01:28] Karena Calhoun: Thank you, Caterina. I am so honored and blessed to be with you today.

[00:01:33] Caterina Rando: Now, Karena, you are a confident, successful, powerful woman entrepreneur. Let’s though, take a minute to tell everyone, because I think this is so important for the ladies that haven’t gotten started yet. For the ladies that want to get started with their entrepreneurial journey, tell them a little bit about how you got from not being an entrepreneur to being an amazing successful entrepreneur.

[00:02:00] Karena Calhoun: Absolutely, Caterina. So, my story is probably not unique. As a lot of women have experienced going to work one day thinking they have a job, everything is going well, and the company announces, “Hey, we’re actually shutting down within the next 24 hours.”

[00:02:20] And so I had already been, you know, kind of doing my side hustle, thinking, “I have time I’ll branch out. I’ll start my company, you know, I’ll start it now, but just kind of do a little side hustle.” And that really forced me to go full force into entrepreneurship.  My husband and I had just purchased a brand new home, a second home, within that 30 day time period and the company that I was working for seven years shut down abruptly. And so that forced me into entrepreneurship.

[00:02:53] Caterina Rando: Wow.

[00:02:54] Karena Calhoun: Yeah.

[00:02:55] Caterina Rando: That is quite something. Now, are you grateful that you lost your job?

[00:03:01] Karena Calhoun: I’m extremely grateful. Now not every day have I been grateful. I am extremely grateful.

[00:03:08] Caterina Rando: Now, say a little bit Karena, then, what you began to do when you realized, Hey, I don’t have a J.O.B., I don’t have a safety net, I don’t have a paycheck anymore. What are some of the things you did right away that supported you to really get going with your entrepreneurial activity?

I started meeting women, other women, I would say in layers. The first layer was meeting women who were at a place that I wanted to be so that I could glean from them. And then meeting women that were right where I was so that I would have that support system. And then going out and meeting women that wanted to be where I was. -Coach Karena Calhoun

[00:03:27] Karena Calhoun: I really started networking. I started meeting women, other women, I would say in layers. The first layer was meeting women who were at a place that I wanted to be so that I could glean from them. And then meeting women that were right where I was so that I would have that support system. And then going out and meeting women that wanted to be where I was. So it was a threefold… I guess you could say… strategy. Because that way I could begin to get clients, I could be learning to hone in on my craft.

[00:04:07] Caterina Rando: Okay. This is really good Karena, because in all the years that I’ve been doing my thing, I don’t think I’ve quite heard it said this way, which is very strategic. And I know me and you, we like strategy.

[00:04:19] Karena Calhoun: Yes.

[00:04:20] Caterina Rando: So, three layers of networking. Networking with the ladies that are where you want to be, because, hey, those are the best gals to learn from, right? And then networking with your peers. So that you have that ongoing support. And then networking with the ladies that want to be where you are, because hello, those are potential clients, right?

[00:04:40] Karena Calhoun: Exactly.

[00:04:41] Caterina Rando: Okay. Karena, you are super smart. My friend, I am going to be talking about you and your triple networking strategy, because I think, you know, what happens is a lot of gals just go for the middle layer.

[00:04:53] Karena Calhoun: Mm-hmm.

[00:04:54] Caterina Rando: Right? And then what happens is they start to complain, “Well, I’m not getting any clients.” Yeah, Mama. You’re not getting any clients because those are not your ideal clients, right? The ladies in this other category that are not yet where you want to be, those are your potential clients. And sometimes people don’t network with that top layer because they’re too intimidated by those gals. And then, so they don’t want to feel uncomfortable.

[00:05:20] So Karena, I’m going to call this Karena’s triple networking layer for success. I love it. I’m going to be talking about you Tuesday night, my friend on our next Clubhouse. All right. Beautiful.

[00:05:32] Karena Calhoun: Thank you.

[00:05:33] Caterina Rando: Now, Karena, so we met through your room, your club, that you host on Clubhouse and what I did was I stepped up when you said moderators, I stepped up. Because nothing happens when we wait. And you were kind enough to invite me to mod a room every week.

[00:05:50] Now I’d like you to share a little bit about first of all, what Clubhouse is. I know most people know, but not everybody knows what Clubhouse is, why you started your club, how somebody can start their club. Let’s start there.

[00:06:04] Karena Calhoun: Absolutely. So, Clubhouse is a new app that just came on the scene in April of 2020. It is by invite only. You must have an iPhone. They are working to get Android in hopefully by the summer, but it’s audio-only. And I love it.

[00:06:21] Really, starting the club was a vision that I’ve had for so very long to be able to bring women together to not just network, to say “hi, I’m connected to you,” but really that three-fold strategy that I spoke about. Having that three-fold strategy there in place for women. They may not recognize it, but that’s really what it is behind the scenes.

[00:06:47] And being able to pull and push each other through a door, you know, just to be able to help and link arms really is what I like to call it: link arms.

[00:06:58] And, Caterina, the way to start a club on Clubhouse is to simply, if you’re on there already, you have a profile you’re able to scroll down, hit the plus button and create your club. You have to be on there for, I would say a couple of weeks and you have to be active. Because the, I call it the machine, the algorithm and all of that other good stuff, it does detect if you’ve been active in rooms, if you’ve held your own rooms, you have to be consistent. And so, I’ve been pretty consistent. And so, when they released it, to start your club in app, I was able to get it immediately.

[00:07:36] Caterina Rando: That’s beautiful Karena and yeah, share a little bit about what “consistent” on Clubhouse looks like. And once you start your club, how do you make your club rock? Because you’ve got a great club, every time we do it, there’s lots of ladies there. How do you have a club that is an active club? Because everybody can follow or become a member, but that doesn’t mean [00:08:00] they’re going to participate.

[00:08:01] Karena Calhoun: Absolutely. So being consistent on Clubhouse in order to create a club, I believe it has to be at least once a week that you have to create a room, for about three weeks. They are looking for that type of consistency. What I did was, I created a room Monday through Friday 7:00 AM, which is really in line with what I do anyway. I’m really doing a morning mindset alignment. So that was, that was a no brainer for me. So, you can incorporate your business model into it.

[00:08:34] And so being consistent, doing it at least for three weeks, once a week, and that should be able to get you over that threshold of the consistency requirement.

[00:08:47] The way I get, Club WIN, is what we like to call it, Women’s International Network where I get Club WIN to rock is to get people that are, they really have a servant’s heart, on the leadership team.

[00:09:01] It’s myself. And then I have two admin who really want to serve. And then yourself, I’ve asked you recently to join that team as well, to bring in the sales and speaking aspect of it. And we also have another lady who does the leadership. And so really getting people engaged is providing what they need, providing what they want.

[00:09:23] Now I recognize those are two totally different things. Sometimes people need something and don’t know it. So, we really make sure we are out front and letting folks know that these are the things that we have to offer, and this is a well-rounded room.

[00:09:40] We don’t have the chaos; we don’t have negative speech. We don’t have profanity and perversion. There are so many different things that you can get in any social media platform. So, we make sure we are for the women and we want to increase the women.

[00:09:58] Caterina Rando: That’s beautiful. Yeah. Cause Karena, I’ve stumbled into a few rooms on Clubhouse that I’ve stumbled right back out of because the conversation is negative or there’s crosstalk and, people upset about something. So yeah, that’s definitely why I’m not there. I would say for you Karena, that you not only are looking to be of service, but also you bring positivity. You have an attitude of uplift. These are some of the things I would suggest if somebody wants to be a moderator, that they have as a guiding principle.

[00:10:36] Let me ask you that, if someone else wants to start, because our listeners, I’m going to tell them all my friends start your own club on Clubhouse ASAP. What would you suggest are some of the qualities of a great moderator?

[00:10:50] Karena Calhoun: I would say a great moderator is someone that really wants to give value. You know, listen, as entrepreneurs, we want to get a client. We want to sell a product. We want to sell a service. However, the deep-down best person as a moderator is someone that wants to give value, and your passion, whatever your passion is, comes across.

[00:11:16] And so being authentic, which I know that’s a word that’s being thrown around a lot, but just really being genuine, being who you are and being willing to hear other people is the main thing that’s going to get you front and center for being a moderator

[00:11:36] And having something to talk about also.

[00:11:39] Caterina Rando: Right. Have something to talk about. And I would say too, if I could say a couple of tips about being a good moderator. You know, of course you can’t do it when you have a really large room, it’s always really great to get everyone’s voice in the room. Which I always like to have all the ladies introduce themselves. It’s kind of a challenge though, [00:12:00] because some ladies like to talk too much, and we maybe need to have a class on how to give a brief introduction because some ladies go on and on and on. But that’s one thing is to get everybody’s voice in the room.

[00:12:14] And to really maintain an attitude of positivity, I think is really, really important. Okay. Well, good.  anything else you want to say about Clubhouse before we get off the Clubhouse conversation?

[00:12:26] Karena Calhoun: So, you know, I would really encourage people to get onto Clubhouse with a strategy already in mind. It can be extremely overwhelming, and it can take up a ton of your time. So, I would say time-blocking, decide on when you’re going to have that time to be able to be on there and listen. Already know who you want to follow, do your research on who you’re following so that you don’t have to deal with the negativity in the [00:13:00] rooms and, the nefarious conversations and things of that nature. But make sure you follow the right people, whoever is going to spark your true interest.

[00:13:12] Caterina Rando: I would agree. Absolutely. And then the other thing is, I would say, start your own club, as we’ve discussed, as soon as you can. And you know, just like I create a criteria for who are my ideal clients, now anybody can join your club, but if they’re behaving in a way that doesn’t support the mission of your club, then you can ask them to leave or uninvite them. Is that right, Karena?

[00:13:39] Karena Calhoun: Yeah, you can actually remove them from the club and you can do it without having a conversation with them. If there’s something that’s going on, but absolutely you can remove them from your club.

[00:13:50] Caterina Rando: Okay, good. Cause we’re going to maintain a high level of awesomeness in all of that. Yay. Okay. Right. My friends. Women International Network, that’s Karena’s club. And you know, if you’re not already a member of the Thriving Women in Biz club, which is our club on Clubhouse, please come and join us. Bing, bing, bing!

[00:14:16] Okay now, Karena, I want to ask you a very important question because I wrote a book many years ago called Learn to Power Think published by Chronicle books and published in 13 countries from a publisher in London. And so, I would not call myself a mindset coach, but I would say I’m a mindset enthusiast and absolutely have some principles that I follow.

[00:14:40] I would like you to share, for our listeners, and I know because you work with so many women entrepreneurs, what are three of your top tips? And of course, now, as we’re hopefully coming out of the pandemic lifestyle, what are some mindset tips at this time you would like our listeners to embrace, to thrive in their lives and in their businesses.

[00:15:02] Karena Calhoun: Absolutely. I love this question, Caterina. The three tips that I would give are really the three pillars that I teach on. And the first one is, unveil your authentic self. Once you unveil your authentic self, then you will be able to grow by leaps and bounds. You’ll be able to accomplish the things that you want to accomplish, and you’ll be more fulfilled.

But once you really unveil your authentic self, your purpose begins to come through and that’s what’s going to give you fulfillment every single day. And that is where you have the joy, true joy. -Coach Karena Calhoun

[00:15:26] The other tip that I would give, the second tip would be to discover your purpose. And I tell people a lot, often your purpose and your passion are two totally different things. Your passion is something that you absolutely love to do. Your purpose may not even be something that you’ve considered. But once you really unveil your authentic self, your purpose begins to come through and that’s what’s going to give you fulfillment every single day. And that is where you have the joy, true joy.

[00:16:00] And then the other thing is, as it relates to goals. A lot of times we set goals. We have different goals that we want to want to achieve, but if your values are not aligned with your goals, then you’re gonna have a lot of resistance. There’s going to be a ton of resistance in there. So, I would say, make sure your values are aligned with your goals, so that you’re able to really crush them. So those are the three things that I would say I’d love to leave with the ladies.

[00:16:32] Caterina Rando: Karena, I am all about values. You are speaking my language, I 100% agree. Ladies, take these super tips that Karena has shared, evaluate them and utilize them in your own life. Because, really, mindset is the foundation for our success. If we do not have the right mindset, we do not cultivate the right habits, we do not [00:17:00] take the right actions. And that is essential for us to accomplish what we want.

[00:17:05] Karena, one more thing before we wrap up. I want you to tell the ladies, because you’ve got a couple of virtual retreats coming up and you know I love retreats. Tell them a little bit about that and let everyone know how they can connect with you. We’ve talked about how they can find you on Clubhouse, but let’s talk about what else you’ve got going on.

[00:17:26] Karena Calhoun: Absolutely. Thank you, Caterina. I do have several retreats coming up at the second half of the year, August and October. They are women’s retreats, virtual retreat and we will be releasing additional information about those in the coming months. And I’m really excited about it. I love to, you know, when we talked about this briefly, not just empower women, but provide strategies for women so that they’re able to move from A, to B to C to D.

[00:17:55] And so these retreats will be strategy filled. Not just empowering, but impactful. And so I’m really excited about that. And you can find anything you want to know about me at link tree backslash, coach Karena, K-A-R-E-N-A. And so I have everything there, everything that you need to know, any offerings that I have, everything is there.

[00:18:21] Caterina Rando: Wonderful. Okay. Everyone’s going to check that out and we’ll also have that information in our show notes for this podcast episode. My friends, after our time together with Karena, I’m sure you have an awareness that Karena is a woman of action, and I’m hoping that you are inspired by her action and you are going to take some action yourself.

[00:18:47] And there’s a difference between being in action and taking action that moves us forward. Karena started her club on Clubhouse right away. She started being all in with her business as soon as her J.O.B. went away. And where is it that you can use some action right now to support you, to get where you want to go?

[00:19:17] My friends, this is Caterina Rando. You are listening to the Expand Your Fempire Podcast. Make sure you’ve connected with us on Facebook in our Thriving Women in Business group. That you’ve connected with us on Clubhouse in our Thriving Women in Biz group. That you’re following me on Instagram. That you’re on our list so you know about all our events.

[00:19:40] And, oh, by the way, if you haven’t downloaded your Expand Your Fempire app for your phone, run don’t walk. Well, you don’t got to go anywhere. Just pick up your phone and do that.

[00:19:51] All right, my friends be with you next time. Remember you’ve got massive value to bring. There’s a lifetime supply of people to serve. Be loud, be proud, take action so you can sell more, you can serve more, and most importantly, you can uplift more lives.

[00:20:08] Talk to you next time. Bing bing.

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Expand Your Fempire with Caterina Rando.

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