I think it is important to continue to find ways to explore and grow your passions in order to be more successful in all areas of your life: job, relationships with others, relationship to yourself.

-Cara Caulkins

 

We live in such fast pace world that our personal relationships are being conducted by technology.  Most of our days consist of  being on a tablet, mobile device, laptop or desktop for personal or professional use.  It’s great that we have the technology to connect with people across the globe instantly, but we are disconnecting from the ones we have closer. Well, imagine having this problem as a business owner. Not being able to connect with your clients because you don’t know how to get your message across can lead you to failure.

This week Cara Caulkins is featuring on the blog, a real woman that inspires me with the work that she does. She is the founder of a public relations boutique and marketing company located in Austin, Texas. I love that she focus on small business owners, she knows how hard they work and how important it is to build strong and valuable relationships with them in order to make them succeed.  She is peaceful, warm, stylish and have worked in a variety of markets.  She has traveled the world and being exposed to different cultures gives her a competitive edge, and the opportunity to bring those insights into her business to better serve her clients.

Today she opens up and tells us her experiences as a woman entrepreneur, traveler, and how her passion met her professional interests.  Please read on to her interview and let her share with you the importance of taking risks and pursuing the life that makes your heart smile.

 

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Who are you and what do you do?

Cara Caulkins, I started my own Public Relations company, Cara Caulkins Communications in 2016

Where did you grow up and how does that shape what you do today?

I grew up in Chicago, IL. I have always been more of a city girl which led me from the Windy City to New York, around the world, and now in Austin. I think being comfortable living and working in urban environments helps me to be independent and able to work and think fast. I also think having strong midwest roots has made me a very friendly and compassionate person- people are nice in Chicago!

Name something you love, and why?

My family and friends- they are always a source of support, advice and laughter

What skills or talents do you think would make you even more successful?

I really want to learn some basic graphic design skills and of course knowing more about coding, building websites and analytics would definitely grow my skillset.

How did you find your passion?

I started my career as an intern at a global award-winning PR agency, at the time I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I had the opportunity to work on an amazing beauty brand and learn from even more amazing women managers that led me to where I am today and showed me how fun public relations was!

What is your ideology as a creative person?

I think it is important to continue to find ways to explore and grow your passions in order to be more successful in all areas of your life: job, relationships with others, relationship to yourself. When we are passionate about something we are driven, excited, happy…I could go on. It is also what attracts me most to others.

How do you overcome your fears?

I take as much advice as I can from others (hopefully those that have maybe accomplished what I’m afraid of already) and sometimes you just have to approach things head on and know it is okay to fail.

Please tell us how traveling around the world has changed you.

Traveling has literally changed my life. I have learned so much more about myself: being a much more independent person as well as more confident in talking to complete strangers! I have learned so much about other cultures and traditions, other global markets that give inspiration to what we can do here in the U.S. I think overall traveling has made me a more compassionate, inquisitive and adventurous spirit.

Who inspires you today?

There are so many! As a female business owner, I’m very much inspired by other strong women. My grandmother’s (only one is still alive) were such strong women throughout their life, paving the way as business owners and yoga teachers and still holding a strong family unit. My mom and my sister are my best friends and support everything I do. My girlfriends are like my family, I rely on them for advice, creative inspiration, sources to vent frustrations and of course always a good time! My clients (both male and female) are all small business owners or start-up companies and I learn so much from working with them about operating businesses, marketing, sales, struggles and triumphs! And of course there are some notable figures that I look up to in a variety of professions: Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Michelle Obama, Amal Clooney, Meryl Streep, Sophia Amoruso, Whitney Wolfe…Badass Girl bosses that are paving the way for the rest of us.

Professionally, what’s your goal?

At first I just wanted to make a living by working for myself, now my goal is to see where I can take this company in the next 2 years. I’d love to have full time employees and a large retainer of exceptional clients. I want to work with people that are making Austin great. Mostly, I just take things one day at a time.

How is it owning a business as a woman?

I think as women we put more pressure on ourselves to succeed, to be perfect, well at least us A-types do….and sometimes falling short of that perfection can feel like a failure even though it really isn’t. I think one of the greatest challenges women also have in the workplace overall is recognizing and fighting for our worth, whether that be for a promotion or to ask for more money or to sell a new business proposal. It is a struggle to want to please others, but to also hold your own. In Austin, I have found a community of other women business owners that support each other and collaborate with one another to help each other succeed so I feel very fortunate.

What business advice have you happily ignored?

Start with a business plan. I never did it, maybe I should have, but I didn’t always have the intention to start my own business. It moreso developed over time and I think if I had tried to plan it out too much I never would have done it.

What is the best piece of advice you will to someone who wants to be start their own business?

Sometimes you just have to dive in and hope for the best. I literally wake up most mornings with anxiety and am like, holy sh*t how am I going to get this all done? but you just move forward and make it happen. I tell people a lot of the time just “fake it until you make it”

How did taking risks changed your life?

I think I’ve always had a bit of risk-taking, adventuresome independence as part of my personality, I’m an Aquarius after all, but I think taking this leap to completely rely on myself and my skills to support myself has made me a more confident and happy person. I really do love my life 90% of the time and I don’t think that would be the case if I was doing something where I felt stuck or restricted.

 

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