Dawn Camacho | Director
Whole Life Solutions
Q: Why did you start your business?
A: After years of jumping from place to place and project to project, I finally found my calling-unexpectedly. I had spent over 20 years in social service and then just felt a desire to serve people in a different way and a series of events led me to join an interfaith seminary. When a couple of friends asked me to marry them, I knew I had found my place. Right around the time I was ordained we arrived in a new city for my husband's work. I didn't know anyone and was launching a new career from scratch. I built a successful business very quickly and realized early on that I was waking up every day doing what I love, that it was meaningful work, and that I was good at it. I'd never had all three lineup before. I've now officiated over 500 ceremonies and worked with hundreds as a premarital counselor. I found that while folks were there to talk about relationships, I started hearing an underlying theme: "I'm frustrated with my job, I don't know if this is what I'm supposed to do or if I just fell into it. I'd like to do something else but I don't even know how to begin that search. Maybe work is just work and I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth." That was the a-ha moment for me. I decided to start a career coaching business that flipped standard career coaching on its head. Instead of focusing on your education, your skills, and your background, we start with what you're drawn to, what you're passionate about, and what you value above all else and then figure out how to turn it into your career.
Q: What are some key factors or decisions that contributed to the success of your business?
A: The one most important thing has been having a very, very clear sense of my ideal client. My ideal client has a lot in common with where I used to be: a driven, passionate professional in their late 30s to early 50s who is often a creative entrepreneur but feels overwhelmed. Generally this person has either jumped from thing to thing every 18 months to two years or fell into something that they've been in for a decade or more and now wonders how they can make the "right" choice.
Q: What are some challenging aspects of your business?
A: I'm in the incredibly fortunate position right now where the only challenge I really face is to practice what I preach in terms of work life balance because there are so many yearning to live a life of more calm and ease and purpose. I have always been very intentional about making one-on-one work the focus of this work but I am now doing many more speaking engagements and group options, as well as considering some online options. My challenge is that I don't have a business background.
Q: Do you feel you made any serious mistakes as you were starting or growing your business? Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?
A: I would have stopped worrying about trying hard to delineate between the counseling work and the coaching work. I have learned that the reason I've been successful with Whole Life Solutions is because people often want a format where they can express all the emotions that arise in major life transition and then still get really concrete and practical about how to make change.
Q: What other advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?
A: I love this quote from Jim Carrey: “So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect so we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m saying, ‘I am the proof that you can ask the universe for it. Please.’”
About Whole Life Solutions
Whole Life Solutions exists to assist professionals in a holistic way with conquering overwhelm, making difficult decisions, and mastering major change, for more calm and purposeful lives.
Dawn is a motivational speaker and career coach offering talks and group and private sessions on mastering chaos, making the "right" choice, and living in true balance. Her specialty is in offering very simple, scientifically proven tips and tools for making major changes through small daily shifts. She assists clients in decision-making, developing goals, achieving clarity on their greater purpose and developing time management, motivation, and accountability.
"I built a successful business very quickly and realized early on that I was waking up every day doing what I love, that it was meaningful work, and that I was good at it."—Dawn Camacho