Gervase C. Kolmos, Life Coach & Founder of Shiny. Happy. Human.
Inspiration behind business/becoming an entrepreneur: I ended up as an entrepreneur quite by surprise, and since diving into entrepreneurship I’ve realized it was the dream career I never knew I always wanted. When my daughter was born (she is now almost 2) I was working at a corporate job where I had been for almost four years. After what felt like a luxurious three-month maternity leave I returned to work and felt like the metaphorical rug had been pulled up from underneath me. My perspective about everything had shifted since becoming a mother, and returning to the workforce to a comfortable, but unfulfilling job that kept me away from my newborn was slowing killing me. Literally. I developed postpartum depression, fought with my husband constantly and my unhappiness in my work started to contribute to this growing belief that I was failing in every area of my life and letting everyone down—especially my daughter. I realized that if I died tomorrow (morose but powerful), the legacy I was leaving to my daughter was not one I could be proud of. I wanted to be a role model, and crying every morning before work was probably not putting me on the right path to being one. So after a conversation with my husband and embracing “the hustle,” I quit my job and abandoned everything I had previously believed about what being successful meant, what was important, the “right” choices to make what a “responsible grown-up” would do. I knew anything had to be better than my current situation. And I was right. Soon after (as in, the day after) I discovered life coaching as a career and instantly realized it was my perfect fit. It allows me greater work/life balance and flexibility, more time with my family, purpose, impact, creativity, and the freedom to write from the heart about things that are moving me each week. It is everything I thought it would be, and I’m still learning every day. So, like I said, entrepreneurship was a happy accident for me, but the moment I bumped into it I knew it was what I had been searching for for a long time.
What’s most unique/special about your business? I truly believe my purpose is to support and empower women to design THEIR happy marriage or motherhood through unapologetic truth-telling. And the reason I believe that is my unique purpose, is because I don’t think a lot of other people are telling it like it is right now, and that’s dangerous for us as impressionable, perfectionist women. I always start my talks by saying, “I’m not interested in talking about the shiny and happy moments of marriage and motherhood without paying respect to the human moments we all experience and struggle through.” I’ve found that approach is unique, and my hope is that it also empowers women I meet to let themselves off the hook and just be REAL, which can be the difference between setting a mom or wife up for success or personal “failure.”
How do you keep a balance in work/family/life? Oh, the elusive balance. I honestly think that balance is like fountain of youth: a noble purpose we’re all searching for but can’t quite find. I would not say I stay “balanced” on a weekly or even daily basis! I would say I give attention to the areas of my life I notice need me most on any given day. Some days, it would be ideal if I went to a barre class at 6am, then worked on my computer during my daughter’s nap and then had a playdate with friends, and instead I stay in the house all day watching Sesame Street and vacuuming because life is unpredictable! My body will tell me it needs rest more than exercise. Baby won’t nap. Friend will cancel playdate. And so on. So it’s a matter of setting up a lifestyle that affords me the flexibility to make quick decisions about who or what needs my attention the most right now and respond in real time. And that is what I love about being an entrepreneur! Sometimes it’s my friends who need me (they really get the least of me these days), often it’s my daughter or husband, and sometimes it’s just ME. So I would say I keep balance by creating a lifestyle I am passionate about that also fills me up and by being responsive and mindful in every moment. For me it’s about redirecting my focus to the bigger picture every time I feel overwhelmed or unbalanced.
how has BE influenced your entrepreneurial journey (#befluence)? The other day I dropped my daughter off at childcare at 8am and raced to an 8:30 barre class and then walked next door to write from Starbucks. I loved starting my day with ME time and what I wanted to do without the guilt that tends to creep up on me (and every mom I know) when we take time and money to do things for ourselves. Discovering barre has allowed me to change the story I’ve been telling myself about my personal fitness goals to “It’s more than ok if I spend money on ME and getting my body in shape and take time during the day to just nurture that part of myself! In fact, it’s hugely important to my overall success!” Plus I love barre, even though it kicks my butt, it’s such an amazing and targeted workout! No entrepreneur can be successful without nurturing their WHOLE self (mind, body and soul).