Karissa Karmali

The Nature of Resilience: With Karisa Karmali

As we all know, life can quite often be tricky and challenging. But that’s just part of what makes it so interesting! But... we often tend to think that we need to solve every challenge by ourselves, forgetting the importance of considering and relying on those around us to give us a helping hand.

My guest today is an amazing, passionate, and highly-driven individual.  She also happens to be a former client of mine. I’m super excited to introduce to you the one and only Karisa Karmali, Founder of Self-Love and Fitness, an online lifestyle brand and retailer of fitness bundles, wholesale fitness equipment and coaching.

In this episode of The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, Karisa comes to me looking for some guidance for her business, and as a result we wind up exploring some solutions to the issues of wanting to multiply yourself and how to keep growing as a leader.

We also discuss the value of a good support system, the wonderful benefits of group coaching, and the pitfalls of taking on too much and not executing the right strategy with perfection. And Karisa recalls an episode from our other podcast, Resilience Radio, and talks about how she connected with the guest John Register through resilience. Click here to listen!

Are you struggling with a challenge? Something got you stuck? Let’s talk! If there's a challenge you'd like to talk about on the podcast or privately, please reach out to me at:


To learn more about emotional resilience, check out this episode we did with Cherie White!

Episode Transcript

Kim Ades: [00:00:05]
Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades and I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching, and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we welcome leaders from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in person.

Today, I have a very special guest. She's not just anybody. She is the one, the only Karisa Karmali and she was a client of mine. She was working with me in a group coaching format, and I have to say she just jumped out at me, both in terms of her journaling, her passion, her enthusiasm, her drive, she has plans, she has goals and I'm thrilled to introduce her to all of you.

Karisa, welcome!

Karisa Karmali: [00:00:48]
Thank you for having me.

Kim Ades: [00:00:50]
So tell us a little bit about you. Where are you in the world? What do you do and what is your big goal that you have?

Karisa Karmali: [00:00:58]
So I'm located in Ottawa and I have a full-time government job that I absolutely love. However, I also have a side hustle, which when I started coaching with you, it was just a blog. And very shortly within that time span, it turned into a business. Although my intentions with it was just genuinely to have fun, make it a hobby, and if a hobby can pay you, why not? And if that can advance your financial goals even better.

But it has turned into a business and it's like, the tide has really taken control of me in a good way, because while I was coaching with you, you had reminded me of what my goals were that I actually said those were my goals myself. It's not as though you are telling me, this is what you want. You literally just took what I said and said, "Hey, isn't this what you wanted?"

So in the past three months, I started a drop shipping wholesale fitness equipment business. I have some B2C, but it is not that much B2C, it's more B2B because my clients are mainly gym owners. Those are the people that know product quality that are willing to invest.

I don't waste time on that with B2C right now, because you have to really know your fitness equipment to buy from me because that's how good the products are. My-- the warehouse is in Toronto, though.

So we can only serve Canadian clients for the time being with the retail store, everything is done online. I typically get back to people within a few hours. So it's very  seamless. The same way Amazon and Uber fully conduct service online. It's no less caring and enthusiastic, you just feel the energy online.

So the other thing is two weeks ago, I finished my certified personal trainer certificate and my certified nutrition coaster certificate.

Kim Ades: [00:02:54]

Karisa Karmali: [00:02:55]
Yeah, I know. They said it would take me a year and I was like, "Nope, not me". So yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:03:01]
Never you, never you. You're always the fast tracker.

Karisa Karmali: [00:03:04]

Kim Ades: [00:03:06]
So, finishing these certificates. What does this enable you to do? Does that increase your credibility? Does that increase your relate-ability? Like, what does it do for you in terms of growing and running your business?

Karisa Karmali: [00:03:18]
Essentially I have... I'm in-- I'm piloting one or two of the programs right now that I want to run. So I have like a nine point list of things I want done in the next, like one and a half months. And I look at it--

Kim Ades: [00:03:33]
Why am I not surprised?

Karisa Karmali: [00:03:35]
And it stresses me out! I have it in front of me. But the thing is... Oh, yeah, I just read more.

Okay. So I want to trademark my business name, which is Self-love and Fitness. Nobody else has it yet, so I'm good. I don't think anyone's going to take it. 'Cause I've pretty much... I have the website, I have the social media handles, everything like that. But the coaching, essentially, I have one stream of the business that is simply selling workout plans with nutrition, and journaling prompts included in that package. I don't know where I got that from.

Kim Ades: [00:04:10]
I don't know either. So sorry, you have workout plans with nutrition?

Karisa Karmali: [00:04:16]
Yeah, because I'm both, right?

Kim Ades: [00:04:17]

Karisa Karmali: [00:04:18]
But that doesn't give people the one-on-one. They can check in with me via email throughout, which is fine. But we have like a 30 minute session, I intake their eating habits for the week before. I go through an extensive health questionnaire, it's almost like a clinical level. And then when we talk, I figure out "okay, let's do a strength assessment. Okay, these are the workouts that you can do for a full month". It's progressive overload.

So from the beginning to the end, there's going to be like a jump in strength and a jump in hip hinges and other principles of basic workouts that most people don't do... that they don't know how to do. But I also give them access to a video library.

So I will not train over Zoom with people. I'm not looking to train people one-on-one. I'm looking to sell workout plans and nutrition strategy.

Kim Ades: [00:05:08]

Karisa Karmali: [00:05:08]
So, the nutrition strategy is also included in that package. The only thing is that doesn't give them one-on-one. So there's a one-on-one program that I'm trying to develop. But all that keeps coming back in my head is that there's only one of you.

Kim Ades: [00:05:23]
Okay. So then it's a good problem to have, right?

Karisa Karmali: [00:05:27]

Kim Ades: [00:05:28]
So... And so really that's your challenge. How do you multiply yourself?

Karisa Karmali: [00:05:33]

Kim Ades: [00:05:33]
So there are a variety of ways of doing that, that I've done in my own business that I can happily share with you.

One of the ways is as you experienced group coaching, right? And what happens when you have a group coaching program is that you have many people in the group at the same time. They're journaling, they're tracking together. And in an ideal setting, the group is interactive. So they are working together, supporting each other and reading and commenting on each other's progress through the journaling program.

Right. So that's one way to multiply yourself is by one to many, the one to many approach. And you can have as many people as you want in the group coaching program. And I've played around with many different modes of group coaching.

One style is where you have a 10 week program. You have all 10 people going through the 10 week program at the same time. That's one picture. And the challenge there is getting your first 10 people in and getting them all to start and end at the same time. That's one picture.
Another picture is having an ongoing group coaching program where people are coming and going, coming and going.

Karisa Karmali: [00:06:49]
Like a membership?

Kim Ades: [00:06:50]
Like a membership. Exactly. So, the benefit of that is you don't have to have 10 people all the time. You could have eight people one month and 25 the next. It doesn't really matter. There's no limit. There's no start and stop time. Everybody's at their own pace in a way, but together, and they're still supporting each other. And it's easier from a technological perspective, but also from a sales perspective to run in an ongoing manner.

The thing is the engagement level is different. When people start and end at the same time, they're tighter as a group.So your challenge is how do you get people, to really connect with one another and interact. Because then you're delivering a lot more benefit. So again, one picture is group coaching.

The other picture, and I do this also, is I have a team of Coaches. So I certify coaches in what I call The Frame of Mind Coaching Method. And they coach people who come to us for coaching. And they are extremely equipped to deliver coaching. So we do group coaching, but when we want to do one-on-one coaching and we want to coach many people one-on-one, I can't be the only person. Right? I can't deliver all the coaching.

So I have people that I absolutely trust who only coach for Frame of Mind Coaching to deliver that coaching exactly as it's prescribed. So they use exactly the system and there are all kinds of checks in place to make sure they're delivering at the highest, highest level.

So those are the two ways that you can scale so that not everything depends on you, from a delivery standpoint.

Karisa Karmali: [00:08:35]
I love the idea of an ongoing membership. Because I think people think of it as, "oh, they're less committed because it's not a 10 week program". And-- but you're still delivering, like, from product to solution. But that depends on the person's pace because right now with the two people I'm piloting the workout plan with, the-- I don't think that they both would benefit from an eight to 10 week program. It's completely different.

One person who is already a pro athlete, the other person's a beginner. Like, you can't-- it's hard to combine those two. And then if it's a membership, that commitment depends on them. They can leave when they want, they can come back mostly when they want. And I'm still delivering what I promise, it's just going to be on a different time table, based on the person.

Kim Ades: [00:09:19]
Right. And in your case, one of the things that could happen is as your membership grows, you can start to predict revenues. Right? So... which I think is something that's up your alley.

Karisa Karmali: [00:09:33]
Yeah, that would be good!

Kim Ades: [00:09:35]
That would be good. So, yeah, I mean, that might be a good thing that works for you. And you have to figure out how do I address the needs of these two really different people in one membership group. So that's a different kind of challenge.

Karisa Karmali: [00:09:49]
Yeah. Like, they're both the target market in terms of who they are. Like, they're busy professionals who don't have time to work out six hours a day and actually neither do I. And they want more efficient strategies that actually work. Just by analyzing three days of their eating, it's easy to spot the issues. And then it's just... I can spot things from miles away. I feel like I already had the knowledge before the certs, but that was just to legitimize myself. But it's just, there are different in terms of speed and needs.

Kim Ades: [00:10:22]
So you're equipped and now you just need the system in place to support you.

Karisa Karmali: [00:10:28]

Kim Ades: [00:10:29]
So here's what's interesting. And again, what I know about you is that no matter what it is, you choose to do, it'll unfold and you just have to pick strategically. And, you know, the other piece of it is, like, you have this incredible outreach. Like, people are following you. There's something about you that people are drawn to and they want to follow you. And they want to hear what you have to say, what you have to advise, and they want to hear your story. And you and I have spoken about this.

They want to hear your story. So whenever you are ready for that--

Karisa Karmali: [00:11:04]
Yeah, I think I'm going to have to... It doesn't matter if I'm ready anymore.

Kim Ades: [00:11:08]
That's going to compel a lot of people to want to work with you all that much more.

Karisa Karmali: [00:11:15]
Yeah. And I think it's not just that, for some reason... so, my sleep schedule has been a little bit off lately. So last night, instead of going to bed, when I should have, I was very awake. So I got work done, and I listened to another one of your podcasts where this gentleman was sharing the story about losing a leg and all of that.

Kim Ades: [00:11:34]

Karisa Karmali: [00:11:35]
The thing is there's a resilience methodology there that could easily be sold and packaged. And it's on my nine point list in front of me to share that somehow. I don't know when and how and in what manner, but if I want to start writing for publications that have a wider reach, like, in the millions, well, I'm going to have to say something significant. You know what I mean?

Kim Ades: [00:12:01]
Well, yeah. And you might want to start writing for Medium. Are you familiar with Medium?

Karisa Karmali: [00:12:06]
I am. I have been. I just don't-- it's not-- it's very, like, fitness tips for walking. Yeah, it's not--

Kim Ades: [00:12:13]
It depends-- that's what you're curating.

Karisa Karmali: [00:12:16]

Kim Ades: [00:12:17]
Right? 'Cause that's what you're interested in. So I'm interested in other things. I don't get fitness tips at all. I get other things.

Karisa Karmali: [00:12:25]

Kim Ades: [00:12:26]
Right? Like, I get, you know, how to maximize your productivity. I get, you know, how to do marketing things, how to write more efficiently. I, you know, I get all the-- kind of the more business development, leadership development stuff. I don't get any tips on fitness, right? So that's what you're curating. And so that's an amazing, amazing place to start writing for a massive audience. And your mission is to write as often as possible.

Karisa Karmali: [00:13:01]
Okay. True.

Kim Ades: [00:13:06]
And to speak from the heart, because that's what people want to hear. They want to hear your stories and you have an amazing story. And the minute you're comfortable sharing that story, like, that's going to skyrocket you.

Karisa Karmali: [00:13:22]
And I have, like... not just the gentleman that you were coaching, but there is another person I follow on Instagram and their story is what made them get on a TEDx stage. Like, that's the level. Because there's no way that people go through what they go through to just keep it to themselves. You know what I mean? That's not what it's meant for.

Kim Ades: [00:13:44] Right. And I've spoken a lot about resilience over the span of my career. And I'm happy to talk a little bit about it again, but what is resilience? It's having adversity, being able to bounce back from the adversity and leveraging the adversity. So, you have bounced back. There is no question.

Karisa Karmali: [00:14:03]

Kim Ades: [00:14:04]
But for you, the question is how do we leverage the adversity? How do we turn it into an advantage? How do we turn it into something that becomes a gift that propels you forward? And for you, like, you're all... like, everything's lined up for you, you're in place for that to happen.

Karisa Karmali: [00:14:23]
Yeah. And I think with the thing about jade rollers, I used to feel like I won't have time for individual sales. And I think that now... for example, last night it was doing laundry, fulfilling an order, getting someone else a quote, and then doing some other things. It's just becoming very natural.

Like, I can be on a walk while fulfilling an order. Like, it's not complicated anymore. Because at least there's a system for that portion of the business. It has yet to happen for the coaching, but I will work on that very soon.

I do have a fundraiser in my head. But it's, like you said, it's more compelling and that's-- it's related exactly to the story. Like, that's what the fund is for.

Kim Ades: [00:15:01]

Karisa Karmali: [00:15:01]
So that needs to happen first, so that the sales are coming in.

Kim Ades: [00:15:06]
And as you grow, the question will be what resources do I need so that I can keep growing. Right? So you can't be the one to do everything by yourself over time. Now, the question is who's available? What is the talent that I need at my disposal? Who do I trust? How do I work with them? What systems do I need to have in place in order for us to work effectively together? And on and on and on.

Karisa Karmali: [00:15:30]

Kim Ades: [00:15:30]
And you're on the cusp of that.

Karisa Karmali: [00:15:31]

Kim Ades: [00:15:32]
And at that point, you'll come back from work coaching.

Karisa Karmali: [00:15:36]
Oh, it's like in the plans for-- within the next three months.

Kim Ades: [00:15:38]
On your nine point plan?

Karisa Karmali: [00:15:40]
Yeah. Let's add "attempt coaching with Kim". I'm not even kidding, like, it's so detailed, but I look at it and I'm like, who is going to be able to deliver if I do work with other people? Because there are people that I've worked with that were amazing. Like, they can make decisions without me, as long as they're following the vision, I've never yelled at anybody for doing like a little mistake.

But the last store that I was managing, there was a lot of calling me and making sure I'm happy with everything all the time, texting me, be like, "are you happy with this? Are you--" like, just please make a decision on your own, because I can't be bombarded. I need independent thinkers. I can't have the...

Kim Ades: [00:16:22]

Karisa Karmali: [00:16:23]

Kim Ades: [00:16:23]
And so, what you set up for yourself. Will...

Karisa Karmali: [00:16:27]

Kim Ades: [00:16:28]
...will determine not only who comes to the table, but how you work with them and what you expect of them. Right?

Karisa Karmali: [00:16:33]
Yeah. Very true.

Kim Ades: [00:16:34]
Because everybody wants to succeed. Everybody wants to succeed. The question is, are you setting them up for success?

Karisa Karmali: [00:16:40]

Kim Ades: [00:16:41]
Right? And so, you know, you're growing not only as a business owner, but as a leader. You're growing in so many ways, again, given your starting point, it's amazing, amazing to see how fast you're moving and how much you're getting done and how many people are following you. And it's just remarkable.

Karisa Karmali: [00:17:02]
Like, the thing with followers and things like that, I feel like I... like on Twitter it's good. But that's another thing I was going to ask you. I don't sell from social media to business owners for gyms because they're not on social media. I have like, other channels that I use and it's working, and they come back for more because their inventory is always growing.

But then I have to update the catalog, update the website. It's a lot of administration for sales only, but all that to be said, I still think it's good to grow the social media for, like, the story, but then it's like, how much am I going to invest in a YouTube channel? How much am I going to invest on this and that?

And then I want to do a self-paced online course on edX in the next month, so that I'll have a self-paced option to give people who aren't necessarily needing the coaching. I don't know. It's a lot.

Kim Ades: [00:17:50]
Well, so here's the thing, right? Like, for you right now, it's very important, and for all business owners to identify, let's say the three strategies that are working and grow them. So let's not get distracted. Let's not thin out our resources. Let's not look in a million different directions. And for you, on top of that, you're working full time...

Karisa Karmali: [00:18:14]

Kim Ades: [00:18:14]
...you're exercising and you're doing all these things. Let's focus.

Karisa Karmali: [00:18:18]

Kim Ades: [00:18:19]
Right? So if you're doing something that works, keep doing that.

Karisa Karmali: [00:18:22]
Okay. Yeah, no, it is. It's really the fact that he even did work at first was shocking to me. Because I had my first sale before I had my catalog open. It was weird.

Kim Ades: [00:18:33]
I'm not surprised. But here's the thing. And I really want to emphasize this. And I've seen this a million times over with leaders that I work with. They pick a strategy and they implement it, and then after a while they say it didn't work. But what I have discovered is that they pick a strategy, but they don't do it well, they don't execute with perfection, right? They don't execute by dotting their I's and crossing their T's.

So if you find something that's working, work on making it better, perfecting it, make sure that-- you know, in our processes, there are typically gaps that we can address. And in those gaps, there are massive opportunities. So look at your process with this one strategy and say, how can I do a better job here?

Karisa Karmali: [00:19:23]

Kim Ades: [00:19:23]
Okay? So instead of choosing a million strategies and doing them all sort of half-half, pick your strategy, do it really well. When that's nailed down and you can hand it off to someone else to manage, bring something else in to the mix.

Karisa Karmali: [00:19:40]
Okay. That's a lot of issues.

Kim Ades: [00:19:46]
That's a lot of issues. You know what? I don't know. Ever since the beginning of time when I met you, I have a soft spot for you. It's just the way it is.

Karisa Karmali: [00:19:54]

Kim Ades: [00:19:54]
So thank you for being on the podcast. Thank you for joining me here today. Thank you for sharing your story. Continue to do that. Please do.

Karisa Karmali: [00:20:03]
Thank you for having me.

Kim Ades: [00:20:05]
For those of you who are listening, if you have a challenge that you want to share on the podcast, please reach out to me.

My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

If you have a challenge that you're not so willing to share on the podcast, please reach out to me anyways.

My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

Karisa, before we go, where do people find you if they want some of your awesome products?

Karisa Karmali: [00:20:31]
So my website is selfloveandfitness.com and my email address is info@selfloveandfitness.com

Kim Ades: [00:20:39]
Reach out to Karisa if you're interested in fitness products, she's the one to talk to.

Karisa, thank you for spending this time with me.

Karisa Karmali: [00:20:50]
Thank you.

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