IAM1663 – Wellness Coach Invites Her Clients with Empathy

Podcast Interview with Kara Simon

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: Kara has an awesome business and this was a phenomenal interview as she is able to leverage multiple modalities to help support her clients but also herself. She knew that she wanted her work to have an aspect of connection which I believe feeds us as humans.

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Kara Simon Teaser 00:00

If you can connect to a mindset that serves you and align that with your action, with your motivation, that's the key. That's the key for manifesting. That's the key for succeeding, whether that's professionally or personally in a relationship, not just with others but within yourself as well.

Intro 0:19

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs, without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is to the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:46

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. And if you've been listening this year, we're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes under certain categories or topics. That we think are gonna be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners. This month is going to be about not forgetting about the human part of business. Often we forget about the human part of life. We often forget about the human part of business. So look for self-care tips, fitness, burnout, purpose, biz and personal, personal branding, motivation, drive success, understanding your why, and of course, how important customer service is. But at the heart of it, it's all about, remembering the human part of business. So sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I am CEO podcast.

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today, I have Kara Simon of Loving Heart Holistic Wellness. Kara, super excited to have you on the show.

Kara Simon 01:44

Yeah, thanks so much, Gresham. I'm really excited to be here as well and appreciate the invite.

Gresham Harkless 01:49

Yes, absolutely. I appreciate all the awesome work that you're doing. And before we jumped into the interview, I wanted to read a little bit more about Kara so you can hear about some of that awesome work. Kara founded Loving Heart Holistic Wellness in 2016 in Bedford, Indiana. Currently located in Arlington, Virginia. Loving Heart Holistic Wellness provides mindfulness meditation, Reiki personalized yoga and weekly yoga classes, emotional freedom techniques, sound healing, and other healing services. Kara believes in compassion and sustainability and provides classes and services that are trauma-informed and accessible to all. She is passionate about promoting resilience, nourishment, and enrichment for your mind, body, and your spirit. Kara, super excited to have you on again. Are you ready to speak to the I am CEO Community?

Kara Simon 02:33

I am absolutely ready. Thank you.

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Gresham Harkless 02:35

Yes, absolutely. Appreciate you as much too. And before we jumped a little bit more into it, I wanted to kick everything off by rewinding the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more on how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

Kara Simon 02:46

Yeah, definitely. It's actually a fun story. I was working at a coffee shop in 2014 selling coffee and I was a vendor at a yoga and music festival and had the opportunity to take a yoga class. I was there selling coffee and took a yoga class and it really changed my life. So I was born with generalized anxiety and taking this first yoga class was like the very first time that my mind felt quiet and clear probably for the first time in my life. I was like, what is this feeling? What, I didn't know this could be a thing. I didn't know I could live in this headspace of not chatter all the time and feeling calm and centered.

So that's really where my journey started. From there, I just found my own practice at home. I had always been into kind of natural and holistic medicines in general using essential oils even before yoga showed up in my life. So I've always just had this interest and drive for things that maybe were not taught in this Western culture that I have found really to be beneficial and soothing and supportive for my own life. And that's how my journey got started.

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Gresham Harkless 03:56

Nice. We don't sometimes realize the impact that it has on ourselves, but it ends up, sounds like in your case as well too, it's had an impact on a lot of the people that you've worked with as well too.

Kara Simon 04:04

Yeah, definitely. Doing this work is really phenomenal. Getting to just meet people where they are and reach clients in a way that I know helps and benefits them because these are all things that I received the benefit from for myself, first. So I love that that is my mission and my drive because I know the benefits that these services provide because I also receive them.

Gresham Harkless 04:27

Yeah, absolutely. It starts to I guess provide a little bit more clarity sometimes to the reasoning that we go through that journey. And what I wanted to hear is, how you were letting people know how you were impacting people and drill down a little bit more to hear about your business and how you're serving the clients you're working with.

Kara Simon 04:41

Yeah, sure. So right now I teach virtual weekly classes through yoga. So I have three days a week that I teach online yoga classes which is really cool because even though my business was founded in Indiana and I'm now in Arlington, I'm still able to reach the clients that have been with me for the last five years. Doing a 600-mile move wasn't as traumatic as maybe it would've been on my business had we not already shifted to an online world anyway. And I see that, being an offering for my future as well, just doing a hybrid of in-person and online services. I just got a physical space, so I have space where I'm able to see private clients whether that's for yoga or tapping emotional freedom technique or reiki. So really excited about that. That just came to fruition earlier this week actually, so super excited about that.

It feels like I have a little more, roots in the ground here, so to speak, than what I have the last couple of years that I've been in Arlington. So, really excited about that. And I'm hosting other things too like I've got some partnerships going on with some local businesses doing a few workshops of my own. And one cool side piece of my business is that everything I do is about connection. And so this year I launched a non-fiction book club, which I am super excited about. So it's a space for us to just gather in connection, in conversation, and in community. I really just wanted to provide a space for us to discuss and to live, in a space of community. I've done a lot of personal growth and personal development on my own and by myself through reading and decided that in my thirties, I really wanted to do that in a community setting. So I am hosting a book club.

Gresham Harkless 06:31

Nice. What I wanted to ask you now is what I like to call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself, the business, or a combination of both, but what do you feel sets you apart and makes you unique?

Kara Simon 06:40

Yeah, when I saw this question, I loved it. And the reason I loved it is because I have spent a lot of time on personal growth and personal development, and something that's really important to me is providing services that are trauma-informed and services that are accessible. In the yoga world, in the holistic wellness world, I think that is what sets me apart from other studios, and other teacher's places that are offering similar things because I have done extensive study and research on being trauma informed and have done a lot with nonprofits that are maybe working with people living with homelessness.

I was a board member of the United Way when I was living in Indiana and being somebody who can meet you or anybody exactly where you are is so powerful. It puts the power in your hands, right? Like it gives my clients the permission to be who they are, to show up with whatever they're showing up with, whether that's mental or physical or emotional, and I'm really proud of that. I'm really proud to say that I'm a business owner that can show up in the community. To be trauma-informed and also provide services that coincide with, other therapeutic services or other medical services that those clients might be needing as well. So that's my secret sauce is Meeting people where they're at and being trauma-informed and inviting a space of compassion.

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Gresham Harkless 08:09

Yeah. And that's so powerful. As you said, it starts to empower people to realize that no matter where they are, or what they've potentially gone through, they can have that accessibility to each of the awesome things that you provide. So I absolutely love that. And now I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Kara Simon 08:33

Yeah I love reading as I've already shared, right? So of course I wrote down a book when I answered this question. And one of the most powerful books that changed my life is by an author called Mastin Kipp and the book is called Claim Your Power. And it's almost like a journal. It's a very like workbook type of setting in his book where you really have to be honest and take a good look inside at what's holding you back. What limiting beliefs are you carrying? What's stopping you from being successful, whether that's as a business owner or in your career, in your family, or whatever aspirations you have, right? Really taking a look at who you are and what that means, and how to step into your full power and to be the exceptional person you are. And, we're all unique, right? Like we all have our place and we all have our own power. And the world likes to tell us otherwise sometimes.

I'm also a huge Brene Brown fan. The first book we're gonna read in the book club is Atlas of the Heart. So I'm actually super excited to dive into that cause I've read all of her other ones, but because I've read all of her other ones, I wanted to read this one in a community setting. And then the last tool I would say is there's a really cool meditation app that I love using personally. It's called Medito and it's a free app. It is run by a few different universities, so they upload different types of meditations on there and it's a really simple tool to use. There are no subscriptions. It's all free. They have some sleep stories on there as well. So it's just a great tool to have, that's a completely free and accessible resource that really anybody if you have a smartphone, could utilize.

Gresham Harkless 10:14

Awesome. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this is a little bit more of a word of wisdom or piece of advice. Something I'd like to say if you were to hop into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Kara Simon 10:26

Yes. What I would tell my younger business self and anybody listening to this is that the power of your mindset is huge to not write that off. And that when mindset matches your action and matches your energy and matches your motivation, that is the key for manifesting absolutely anything that you wanna manifest in your life. It took me several years to learn this, in my thirties now, so I guess I'm doing okay. It's just so true. And if you can, I don't necessarily like the term master. I really love the terms claim and connect. If you can connect to a mindset that serves you and align that with your action, with your motivation, that's the key. That's the key for manifesting. That's the key for succeeding, whether that's professionally or personally in a relationship, not just with others, but within yourself as well.

Gresham Harkless 11:23

Yeah, that's absolutely powerful. Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote-unquote, CEOs on this show. Kara, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Kara Simon 11:33

Yeah, so being a CEO to me means being compassionate to the community, compassionate to one another, and just living a life of compassion. It also means being exceptional. So being exceptional in the work that I provide. Being almost ahead of the game, like being trauma-informed. Really making sure that I'm meeting people where they're at. And then the last piece to that is staying open-minded being, willing to learn more, to receive more being willing to give and to balance my own self-care. So staying open to possibilities and staying open to resources and accessibility for people.

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Gresham Harkless 12:12

Yeah, I absolutely love that, especially the word, compassion because I feel like that encapsulates like so many of those aspects of meeting people where they are. You have to have that compassion to be able to do that. Of being open-minded and being ahead of the curve and ahead of the game. You have to have compassion and understand that you can always kind of  get better and improve and learn more about people and everything in between and things that they've gone through. So I love that piece. And it sounds like, and you might've led with that cuz that seems like be a very foundational piece in the work that you do and everything that you've been able to build

Kara Simon 12:43

Yes, definitely. If you go to my website, you'll see right on the front that, like one of the very first pieces I talk about is being sustainable, trauma-informed, and compassionate. Because that is the root of my mission and my purpose in this business. And also the other side of that is my willingness to be authentic and my willingness to be vulnerable and my willingness to not just show compassion to others, but to myself because I'm human, right? I don't always have good days. I have bad days too and so really encompassing what that means and, letting it be a lifestyle as opposed to just a word that is connected to relationships.

Gresham Harkless 13:25

Yeah, absolutely. Not just being a buzzword, but something that, you live, breathe, and have manifest itself, but also understanding and not I'm really big on saying, especially over this past couple of years, it's giving yourself the grace to understand that we're not perfect. We live an imperfect life. We do imperfect things. But I think a lot of times you get the idea of like where that foundational element comes from, what somebody's truly striving for. Absolutely love that definition. Of course. Love, that's a foundational element as well in the business and everything. Kara truly appreciate that definition of course I appreciate your time even more. So what I want you to do now was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best people get ahold of you, find about all the awesome things that you are working on.

Kara Simon 14:08

Yeah, thanks so much, Gresham. So right now I do have a few upcoming workshops. All of that information is on my website. That's really the best place I can send you. It has all of my contact information there is more information about the classes and the services, and you can also just book sessions straight from my website as well. That website is

Gresham Harkless 14:31

Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate you tremendously and just the English major in me as well too, wants to know, is the book club information also on the website as well too?

Kara Simon 14:39Y

Yes. The book club information is on there and I am holding it. Information session coming up this Sunday the twenty-third.

Gresham Harkless 14:50

Yes, absolutely. I appreciate that so much and we will definitely have the links and information as well in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you, and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on. Appreciate you, Kara, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Kara Simon 15:02

Thank you. Thanks so much, Gresh. Have a great day.

Intro 15:05

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast, powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Check out the latest and greatest apps, books, and habits to level up your business at This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless, Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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