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Pop Quiz, Monday with Dr. Kara Fasone, PhD

Dr. Kara Fasone, PhD
Photo credit: Dr. Kara Fasone, PhD

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Dr. Kara Fasone, PhD

Dr. Kara Fasone, PhD
Photo credit: Dr. Kara Fasone, PhD

What is your job role?
I’m co-founder and Chief Wellness Officer at Wise & Well Academy.

Tell us about your company?
Wise & Well Academy is a digital hub for online-based wellness courses and psychology-backed resources designed to help others live happier, healthier, and more productive lives.

It was born out of the mission to normalize a holistic wellness approach (that extends beyond physical wellness) and emphasizes mental and emotional components, as well.

This means our content is not only focused on optimizing health (through eating well and exercising), but also on growing your mind, handling your emotions, and finding fulfillment in your life and career.

What do you love most about your job?
Great question! A few things come to mind.

I love:

  1. Living out my passion. I’m a health and wellness “nut,” so creating content that inspires and impacts others in this realm is incredibly rewarding!
  2. Learning something new every day. Staring a business takes perseverance and limitless curiosity. I’m always “figuring things out” on-the-go. Whether it’s brushing up on e-mail marketing, learning new software, or brainstorming current wellness topics to blog about, I am ALWAYS in learning mode (and I wouldn’t have it any other way).
  3. Leveraging my strengths through my work. I’ve spent years researching holistic wellness and human behavior, building learning experiences, and teaching others how to make sustainable behavior changes. Building a business like Wise & Well Academy marries those strengths and allows me to feel proud and productive each and every day.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
That’s simple — my mission.

I want to help as many people as possible parse through the VERY cluttered internet to find and use valuable content that will help them reach their fullest wellness potentials.

I’ve had my fair share of past health challenges, and I’ve watched my family and some friends struggle through just as serious health battles.

I’ve learned that self-awareness and self-empowerment are key to making important health-related changes. So, equipping others with those key ingredients feels so good to me.

Whenever I’m writing a blog, developing a resource, or building a full-fledged course, I always ask myself:

  1. Is this helpful?
  2. Is this straightforward?
  3. Is this practical?

I like making things easy for others. It’s what I do!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Currently, I work with my co-founder, Dr. Ylenia Ossola. She has an incredible story, one that starts in Italy (where she was born) and follows her through multiple big life decisions.

She’s defied the “norms” and paved her own path. We share a passion for wellness and have similar levels of ambition and motivation, so we’re truly a match made in heaven from a productivity standpoint 😉

I’m currently in the midst of finding additional collaborators, and I’m always floored by the fantastic and creative things others are doing to provide value in the health and wellness sphere.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I mean, every day is a party when you love what you do. My co-founder & I like to have tons of fun, including:

— mid-day nacho breaks (homemade + extra guac, of course)
— making blooper realms from our video outtakes
— content creation marathons (snacks & laughs provided)
— “field trips” around Chicago to snap pictures for social media branding

As I/O psychologists, we actually facilitate team building for other small companies on a freelance basis. Never underestimate the value of bonding with those you work with!

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Starting a business is not all rainbows and kittens. There are indeed challenges that I’ve faced, including:
— Loneliness (it’s much different than working in an office)
— Lack of funds (sometimes income can be variable)
— Hazy work-life balance (it can be difficult to switch off when your work station is also in your bedroom)
— Scaling (identifying what you can automate can be daunting, but it’s necessary to scale!)

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
One valuable lesson I’ve learned is customer ideas > your ideas … ALWAYS.

As an online content and course creator, sometimes I’ll have an idea for a FANTASTIC online offering. In the past, I’d ride the wave of inspiration and complete a full course. This is a massive undertaking, and it was especially disappointing when I realized that the course wasn’t quite appealing to my audience.

(I guess as a speech & debate nerd, a masterclass on public speaking is much more interesting in my own head).

Now, I source feedback from my audience, whether through direct surveys, questions via social media, or focus group with my most candid circle of friends.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Find the sweet spot between your passions (what you LOVE to do) and your strengths (what you are AWESOME at doing).

The health and wellness industry is a HUGE space, so reflecting on the interaction above can be a helpful exercise in narrowing your business focus.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Website: https://www.wisewellfree.com/

Online Course Offerings: https://wise-well-academy.teachable.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wise_and_well_academy/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/wiseandwellacademy/pins/

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Written by Ricky Singh, MBA

Founder & Editor of The Startup Growth

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