Who is Carissa Daniel?
To explain this in just one sentence would not do this mighty woman justice. A job title by no means defines a person, but rather their character is what carves their niche in the world and attracts abundance in all forms to their life.
It was last December that I sat down for a power meeting and interview all rolled into one, at the home office of this 32-year-old dynamo. I was a little taken aback as she took off her coaching hat and got comfortable enough to reveal so much of herself. Not a rare occurrence for me, so I welcomed the opportunity to find out what inspired the once law student to become a business coach.
Born and raised in Lambeau Tobago, Daniel got her foundation at the island’s prestigious Bishop’s High School where former presidents, chief justices and other prominent citizens have all walked the halls at different points in history.
It was here that her former form mistress, Ms. Braithwaite encouraged her to study law after observing her take part in debates and defend other students in her class.
“After reading The Emperor’s Nightingale at age 8, I knew I wanted to help people, so I told my mom I wanted to be a nurse. But that soon changed when I realized I could not stand the sight of blood!” she says half serious, half-jokingly.
This is also when her entrepreneurial story started. Daniel vividly recalls the day her father, a serial entrepreneur, told her it was time she started her very own business. She was eight. She started selling tamarind balls at her primary school and the young Daniel officially joined the ranks of her family members who were all entrepreneurs in their own right.
Her father was a visionary and believed that entrepreneurship was a viable option for his daughter and so continuously encouraged her by ensuring every vacation period she had a part-time job, either helping him in his own businesses or working at one of his friends’ establishments.
Daniel’s moment of truth came when she left Tobago and moved to Trinidad at about age 19 to pursue a law degree while working part-time at a law firm – her first job fresh out of high school. However, her well-laid plans to complete her law degree and establish her own law firm were shattered after a series of life-changing events, including the unexpected death of her most loved uncle Freddy. This caused her world to collapse and forced her to return home to Tobago to escape a toxic situation, which left her mentally and physically broken, uncertain of how to move on. She recalls the incident as clear as day.
After a major disagreement with her sister – the final straw to break her; with only the clothes on her back, Daniel took the 3-hour ferry ride to Scarborough and woke up when the boat was docking into the harbor. Back at home she overheard more distressing news and it was just too much for her body and mind to handle.
She temporarily lost her ability to speak which was directly related to the trauma she experienced. Her sickness was eventually treated after several consultations with various doctors. This coupled with the love and care of her mother and grandmother, in a few months she was on the road to recovery.
During her recovery, she made the conscious decision to use her experience as a well-learned lesson from which to grow. This traumatic experience reinforced her purpose and passion to help others.
Her decision became crystalized while working in Human Resources for 5 years at The University of Trinidad and Tobago where she rediscovered her love for helping others maximize their potential. It was here that she came up with many business ideas and switched from Law to pursue a degree in Psychology from The University of the Southern Caribbean.
Today, because of her past traumatic experience, she has developed a ritual for maintaining balance and peace of mind in her everyday life. This includes practicing silence, self-love, meditation, self-development and physical exercise.
Flash forward to several years later, Daniel formed the company Servu Lifestyle Management and Concierge Services Limited in 2014, where she helps busy professionals manage their life from paying bills, booking flights, planning the itinerary for vacations to running errands and light administrative work.
Through sheer inspiration and divine guidance, she took her entrepreneurial journey one step further and in 2015 formed The Business Radical.
“Since most of my lifestyle management clients were part-time entrepreneurs, they were always asking for advice and direction regarding their businesses. Over time, without even realizing I was actually coaching. One day one of my clients, said to me, Carissa, this is what you have been doing all along! So, after some research, I decided to undergo formal training and I made it official,” she says with a broad smile.
Daniel often wondered: “Why do entrepreneurs struggle so much and why do so many businesses fizzle out?”
She came up with The Business Radical to solve this very real challenge faced by entrepreneurs. Her coaching practice serves the unconventional entrepreneur. “It’s not only about making money. It’s about serving others: customers, team members, the community and the world. Something impactful and purposeful where the emphasis is on service.”
What are her goals for the future?
To create an online, community platform dedicated to Caribbean entrepreneurs, where they can develop and improve both on the personal and business side.
As we ended the interview, I asked her to share her greatest lesson. Carissa flashes her signature smile and says in her very deliberate manner of speaking,
“Happiness is a choice. While we may not always choose the situations and circumstances we experience, we get to choose how we react and respond. So, I choose to be happy and choose to use my time on this earth to serve others.”
–Carissa Daniel, The Business Radical
By Carolyn K. Correia www.carolyncorreia.com
For more info you can find Carissa Daniel at The Business Radical/868-360-0647.
Carolyn K. Correia is the author of Thinking out Loud, How To Find Yourself and Claim What’s Yours and she missed the boat on love. She is also a communications consultant, freelance writer, blogger and motivational speaker. Learn more here www.carolyncorreia.com or stay updated on Facebook –CarolynCorreia, Author.