We had the good fortune of connecting with Carla Royal and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Carla, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?

It was clear early on in my life that I was not cut out to work behind a desk 9-5 for someone else. I took a stab at it but quickly discovered that I wanted more freedom and flexibility. I saw the toxicity of the rat race and I wanted something different.

After receiving my degree in counseling and becoming a licensed therapist, I quickly made the transition to private practice. I stumbled along for quite sometime unable to get my feet firmly beneath. Running one’s own business is tricky! It actually took me a few decades to figure it out.

During those challenging years, I burned out, broke down, came back as a certified master coach, and finally faced the backend of my business. I was a good therapist and coach but didn’t know how to actually run a business. The best investment I ever made into my business was to hire a business coach. From there, my business has soared.

I work with high-achieving, high-performance entrepreneurs who are quietly dealing with hidden anxiety. They chose the entrepreneurial lifestyle for the same reasons I chose it. They want freedom, time, and flexibility. When they come to me, it’s often because they have found themselves caught up in the very rat race they had intended to avoid.

I help them overcome the overwhelming mental chatter, find more headspace, be less guarded, value mistakes, sleep better, find more meaning, be less judgmental, be more confident, and lead more effectively. Perhaps most importantly, I help them come home to themselves and to find the balance and freedom they long for.

It is possible to find freedom and balance through running your own business but it’s not for the faint of heart. While it took me quite a long time to stabilize and excel as a businesswoman, it has been worth all the heartache and struggle. Running my own business gives me the freedom and fulfillment I had hoped for. It just didn’t happen as quickly as I thought it would.

What should our readers know about your business?

Getting to where I am now in my business was not easy. It’s been one of the biggest challenges of my life. I had many fits and starts before finding my way. I believe that those difficulties, both personally and professionally, have prepared me to be excellent at my job. As I often tell my clients, mistakes and failures are the paths to success.

One of the things that made it difficult to get my business solidly off the ground was my reluctance to become part of the rat race. I had seen what it had done to others and I wasn’t interested. Another issue I faced was the old message from my family that I wasn’t smart enough. Because I was a sensitive child and creative, they didn’t believe I had a head for business. I bought right into that belief for decades. Yet another issue I faced was the belief that I didn’t deserve to be successful financially. So many others were suffering, why should I thrive? And still another issue was the one of anxiety. My own anxiety kept me in hiding to avoid pressure, failure, and even danger (or so it seemed to me).

It took me quite some time to realize that I do have a head for business, I do deserve to thrive, and I can handle pressure, failure, and even danger. I discovered all this through years of therapy and coaching. Hiring a business coach to help me understand the backend of my business was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my business.

Anxiety was one of the biggest hindrances in my life. Learning to see anxiety differently, understanding its origin, understanding that I am not the anxiety, and learning to quiet my insecure or anxious thinking and overactive imagination, have been life transformative for me. As I looked through my client notes from my work as a therapist and coach, I saw the clear theme that ran through most of the notes. The majority of the clients I had worked with over the decades were dealing with anxiety but they were hiding it from those around them. I picked up this thread and ran with it.

At some point, I enrolled an entrepreneur in the internet marketing world and things exploded from there. He sent me many other entrepreneurs from the world of high-stakes internet marketing and my practice has been thriving ever since. Subsequently, I have been working primarily with high-achieving, high-performance entrepreneurs who are quietly dealing with hidden anxiety and stress.

The world of entrepreneurs, especially in internet marketing, can be quite toxic. The need for constant growth, success, and keeping up with and passing the Joneses, can be overwhelming. I help these highly successful entrepreneurs navigate their toxic world, learn to trust themselves, calm their internal chatter, take time for themselves, value their mistakes and failures, celebrate their successes, become more flexible and resourceful, and find peace of mind. It is possible to be extremely successful in business AND have balance and joy, personally and professionally.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in the quaint little village of Dunedin, FL, just north of St. Petersburg and west of Tampa. I own a small boat and my favorite activity is being out in the gulf on the boat fishing or on one of the many small islands hanging out with friends. Once back on land, I love taking my friends on the golf cart to one of the many delicious restaurants or breweries. Right by my house is a 100-acre park, mostly woods, where we can see all manner of waterfowl, otters, owls, and much more.

While I rarely leave my little bubble right here in delightful Dunedin, a visit to St. Pete or Tampa is only a 45-minute drive. Nine miles north of me is the largest greek village in the united states and home of the sponge docks, Tarpon Springs. Six miles to the south of me is Clearwater beach. Fun, interesting activities, and places of interest abound in this area.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Honestly, there have been so many, from therapists and coaches I’ve hired throughout the years, to family and friends who never gave up on me through my most challenging and difficult years. But in terms of helping me become a kickass businesswoman, I’d give a shoutout to my business coach Jennifer Flynn known as the Balance Maven. She’s always got my back and is brilliant in the soul and strategy of business.

Website: https://www.carlaroyal.com/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlaroyal/

Other: Riffing on Realness Podcast: https://www.carlaroyal.com/riffing-on-realness

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