Welcome to the latest edition of How She Does It, where I interview my real life friends who work remotely. Each female has a different story of how she got her job, how she lives her remote lifestyle, and what advice she wants to give other girls. This week, I interviewed my new friend Kris.
I met Kris just two months ago at the Digital Nomad Girls Retreat in Las Palmas. She helped organize the retreat and I really enjoyed getting to know her that week. I also saw her blooming into her own confidence as an online holistic health coach. This is her story.
Kris Oak, 29
Online Holistic Health Coach
How did you end up in the digital nomad/virtual world?
I ended up as a digital nomad after a couple of failed attempts at office jobs. I worked in several different start-ups but never stayed more than 6 months at one company. Despite having had amazing colleagues and really liking what the start-ups did, I usually knew after 2 months that I wouldn’t stay much longer.
I never understood though why it was so hard for me to stay at these companies.
I always knew that I love traveling and seeing new countries, people and cultures. So after work, one of my main hobbies was reading travel blogs. At some point, I came across this German blog called Planet Backpack. The founder of the blog is a digital nomad and she got me totally hooked on this topic. When I read about it the 1st time, I knew that’s what I want to do. I want to be location-independent, I don’t want to be bound to an office anymore.
What were some of your first months starting out on this journey ACTUALLY like?
I was scared shitless and had no idea if it was the right move to quit my job with no back-up plan. My first months were mainly convincing myself that it was the right move and keeping myself from not just applying to a normal office job again because I was so unsure.
I thought that as soon as I quit my office job, I could just go ahead and travel, be super productive and find what I want to work in immediately.
That was not the case though. I learned that working from home requires a ton of self-discipline and it took me quite some time to build up a routine where I can be really productive working from wherever I am. I didn’t travel in the beginning because I was too scared that my savings would run out immediately if I didn’t find a way to make money.
How did you decide the way(s) to make that money?
I knew that for me it needed to be something I actually believe in and something where I’m in contact with people.
After having a major mental breakdown while I was still working my office job, I realised I needed to change my lifestyle, especially my diet. That’s when I realised that I’m fascinated by understanding the effect that food has on our physical and mental well-being. That led me to become an online Holistic Health Coach. It’s something that allows me to combine my passion and be location-independent… and the 1st job I’m not getting tired of.
How did you start making a name for yourself in the health world?
Where did your first clients come from?
Loads and loads of networking, face to face but also online. I went to meet-ups, organised meet-ups, asked questions in Facebook groups, and answered questions in Facebook groups etc. Additionally, I organised a free Healthy Habit Challenge and people seemed to like it so much that I had some influencers share my challenge with their followers and even participating themselves.
My first clients were friends and acquaintances who followed me along my journey and some of the people who participated in the free challenge. But all of that takes time, that’s nothing that comes within 2 months, that’s more than 6 months of work.
How important do you think that free help/content is in a service related field like yours?
It’s very important because what I write about makes people relate to me and give them the feeling they already know me before they get in touch with me. I think that’s how you find out who identifies with you and will become a potential client.
How do you keep track of clients, video calls, emails, social media posts, etc.
Are there any planning tools you use?
Yes, I use Calendly to schedule my calls, makes it super easy because people see my available slots and can book their call without all the back and forth. Additionally, it takes care of the time zone problem because it converts everything to the time zone you are currently in.
For my clients’ files I use Evernote, where I add all my notes from the calls.
I’m using Later to schedule my Instagram posts, I usually try to schedule my posts about 1 to 2 weeks ahead.
To keep an overview over all my tasks I use Asana, which is great to keep track of recurring tasks but as well for a one time project, like redesigning my website or rewriting my copy.
Time for the good stuff. What have you learned about yourself since working remotely?
Everything, who I am, what I like, what I don’t like. Turns out, I had no idea whatsoever who I was before that…
I learned that I’m not totally introvert. I used to be convinced I’m a total introvert, but since I have a job I really love, it’s much easier for me to talk and connect with people. I guess you could call me an extroverted introvert.
Something that really surprised me is that people love reading my blogposts. I never considered myself a writer or anything but people keep on telling me how great my content on my website is.
Oh and another thing I’m super happy about, I’m actually pretty creative. If you ask anyone that I studied with or went to high-school with, no one would ever describe me as creative but ever since I started my own business, I am super creative, which makes me really happy.
To be honest, even after more than 1 year into my location-independent and business owner life, I’m still learning new things about myself.
Speaking of personality traits, what would you say to women who think they are too shy to start a career where interaction with people online is a must?
It’s not as bad as it sounds. I already worked in customer service and recruitment where I had to take a lot of phone calls. And believe me, when I still worked in an office, I was super shy and introverted and calls really freaked me out. I just tried to prepare as much as possible, writing down the main questions people would ask and writing down the answers. So that during a regular call, I could just take a look at my notes, and that gave me a little more confidence.
Okay, before you go, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
My travel plans for the rest of the year are North of Portugal in June, then Luxembourg and Germany in July. Eventually France in August but that’s not sure yet. Then I’ll be at the 7in7 conference in Barcelona in October and I’ll spend Christmas and New Years in Cape Verde. But these plans might still change and that’s the beauty of being location-independent.
As for my business, I want to be able to live completely from my income because right now, I’m still relying partially on my savings. Additionally, I want to expand my services more. Right now, I’m mainly doing 1:1 online coaching but I’m planning on doing online courses and paid challenges as well.
If you want to find out about what Kris offers, head to her website.
Want to read more inspiring stories just like this one? Check out previous editions of How She Does It here!
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