Kareen Aristide, owner of Convergence Plus, is a mom with five kids, a pastor and a full time business owner. So, yes, she’s busy! With such a full plate, Kareen has learned that setting business priorities is key in finding a side business that works for you.
As an employment counselor by profession, Kareen’s expertise was previously spread among several businesses. She was doing contract work from home, and then, started a successful team of 30 women with Mary Kay. She loved Mary Kay’s philosophy of empowering women’s lives, so from there, got the idea to take all her skills and experience to start Mompowered, a career-based, inspirational counseling firm. Her passion was helping other women make profit out of their dreams and passions.
However, in the midst of working with other women, Kareen realized, “My business model was a bit out of whack. I started doing so many things that I ended up not being able to balance my family life as I was helping other people do. It was really a big shocker. At some point I was doing a tradeshow, had my own office, I was doing workshops, a whole bunch of different things in order to be able to make enough money to balance everything and provide for my family…” and then, she had an accident.
That was the turning point.
“And with that,” Kareen realized, “it really hit home. I began to understand that you have to see what your priorities are, and how you want to make your priorities work for getting you the income that you need. But also at the same time, you need to keep sane, and be who you want to be for your family.
“It was really hard to see that, but when I made that decision to quit everything because of this car accident, then I was really able to see what I want, what I don’t want, how I want to build this next business to be able to achieve the things that I was trying to achieve with the first business.”
In January she decided to merge all her businesses into Convergence Plus. The advantage has been less stress and a business that fits more with her values. It helps her set business priorities because it meshes more with who she is as a person.
Priority 1: Self examination
Kareen re-examined her priorities and refocused her business by asking herself, “Is it more important to be out there, or to be running my business from my home?” How do I want to make sure that most of my time is spent at home?” By asking herself these questions, she turned her business around. “My number one desire was to be more at home than out there.” That meant taking a part time job in order to stabilize her financial situation, until her business was on a more stable footing. [Learn how Kareen used her job to bootstrap her company.]
Priority #2: Stay true to who you are
Kareen’s other priority is to be judged for who you are, not what you do. According to her, it is the foundation for how we interact with others. Her business ensures that people follow their passion, and are authentic to who they are. “Society judges based on what you do, instead of who you are – it’s so important to get paid for who you are so you don’t spread yourself out too much.”
Priority #3: Be flexible
Kareen’s schedule now works by focusing her work days from Tuesday to Thursday. Monday is strategy day, Friday is for tying up loose ends. She keeps her weekends reserved for pastoring and family. But she stays flexible. If she needs to move a Tuesday to the Friday, it happens. Or, if she needs to complete a project on the weekend, she finds time before the kids wake up. It’s more of “distributing energy in the right proportions…juggling balls in the air, so you can see the balls when they come down.”
Priority #4: Have an overall purpose
Convergence Plus conducts training, coaching for individuals and families. “Our mission is to help people get to their full potential so we can build a better world together,” Kareen says. “There’s no sense being behind a desk at a job that you hate. You’re not just polluting your office, but your home as well, and depleting yourself. You might as well take some time off, or if you can’t, just dedicate some time to focus and reflect in order to figure out your passion and how you want to get that going. Don’t just focus on what you do for a living, but what you’re passionate about.”
Convergence Plus’ next move is to develop training videos and webinars for clients to learn how to live their dreams.
With these strategies, I look forward to seeing how Convergence Plus continues to succeed.
- Learn how Tony Hsieh of Zappos sets business priorities
- Find out how to set business priorities using the Rule of 3