SEEING people empowered and watching them grow are some of the things that drive successful Nelson Mandela Bay emotional intelligence trainer and business coach, Karen Kelly.
Kelly is the director of Xtreme Learning Academy, a company specialising in performance improvement training, neuro-linguistic programming, emotional intelligence and stress and anger management.
Kelly has been an entrepreneur since 1994, when she started recruitment company Headhunters.
She started the business because she “wanted to be self employed and make a difference in people’s lives”.
After 11 successful years in the business, Kelly sold her company and went into a new business venture with her husband, Kevin.
The couple started Xtreme Projects – a successful environmental spill response company which her husband still runs. While at Xtreme Projects, Kelly completed an emotional intelligence course, a life skills coaching course and an enneagram course, qualifying her as an accredited EQ trainer and life skills coach.
In 2007 she established her training company, Xtreme Learning Academy.
“I saw how people were battling with negativity and I thought of starting my training business, which is still linked to human resources.”
Kelly has been instrumental in the establishment of four successful businesses and has a unique understanding of business.
“The work that I do enables people to know and manage themselves. It teaches them responsibility and accountability.”
Her work involves rebuilding teams in both big and small companies. She also facilitates when there is a conflict in the workplace and as a bonus her work allows her to travel around the country.
Kelly said she was empowered by seeing other people grow.
“Touching people’s lives is what drives me. I’m also intrinsically motivated and I was raised by a mother who told me that nothing is impossible.”
According to Kelly, emotional intelligence is a vital ingredient to succeeding in life.
“Self knowledge is very important. You need to know what you are feeling and where the feeling comes from. Once you understand yourself, you can understand others.”
Self care was another important factor in order for a person to make it in life, Kelly said.
“Self care is the very first step to building a successful life, whether you work on the factory floor line or you are an MD of a company.
“Communication is another important tool to a successful business or relationship.”
Apart from being a trainer, Kelly has a 10 minute slot on Cape Radio Pulpit every Thursday where she talks about health and emotional wellness. She also writes a column in Fabulous Woman magazine and acts as an emotional expert for MTN Business Unit on Summit TV.
“Success is a long journey. It’s not easy but one needs to be resilient and you can do anything if you know yourself.
“It’s also important to brand your business correctly,” said the passionate entrepreneur.