Enjoy reading about this weeks featured Red Hot Member. Here's what Patty has to say about being a part of the Red Hot Community…….
Being part of Red Hot Events really helps a business owner like me who flies solo feel supported and connected to a wider community.
My name is Patty Kikos
I’m a celebrant that teaches yoga and clears emotional blocks through the power of kinesiology.
Sydney – Inner West, Eastern Suburbs
4. What is your greatest indulgence?
5. What is your favourite cocktail?
I don’t have one J
6. What book changed your life?
There were many – Shantaram, The way of the Peaceful Warrior, The Feminine Mystique, Eastern Body Western Mind, Emotional Intelligence, To Kill a Mockingbird, 100 Years of Solitude, Harry Potter series, Meditation as Medicine, Fast Food Nation, Banker to the Poor
7. Tell us a bit about you and your background
My childhood was very strict and sheltered and I wanted to learn and experience as much as possible in this lifetime so feeling a little disillusioned in my 20’s, I made a list of all the things I wanted to do. It occurred to me recently that 10 years later, I still seem to be adding to this list…
After finishing school I went to Sydney University where I obtained my Bachelor in Social Work. I was only 21 when I finished my qualification and felt it was important to earn some street cred before helping others, so I travelled a big chunk of the world for 2 years.
After living in Europe, exploring Africa and experiencing India, I returned to Sydney armed with a plethora of experiences, a tri lingual vocabulary and a big chip on my shoulder about what I wanted to do with my life.
My hobby as a Latin dancer eventually turned into a part time job as a performer and a teacher of samba and salsa in Sydney a few years later. Looking back now, I see this period in my life was instrumental in giving me a taste of what it was like to be self-employed and discovering that I love to teach.
My spiritual thirst was quenched with a diploma of metaphysics that helped me start to formulate the idea that one day I might be able to do this sort of work for a living. The journey did in fact take off from here, but ended up in a different place.
I embarked on a jaunt to pay tribute to my social work degree and ended up working for the Smith Family as a caseworker within various departments for a few years. My yearning to help others was often cut short by the little I could do within such a limited framework of bad policies.
Disillusioned with the meagre salary I earned as a social worker, I decided to do something completely different by trying my hand at selling advertising. Ignoring the temptation to quit after a week of disliking this new job and environment, I was determined to give myself a year. After 9 months I accepted that my lack of competitiveness was something I had to embrace, as was the fact that I could not live in the superficial world of advertising.
I’m grateful for the stress I experienced as an account manager. To try and find balance in my life, I studied metaphysics and dance. When I initially started working for myself, it was as a dancer and a reiki healer. To alleviate my dance injuries, I would heal my body through yoga (a practice I had discovered years ago when I was travelling). To alleviate my lack of belief in myself I would see a kinesiologist to help me reprogram my negative thinking. She ended up becoming my teacher when I studied kinesiology and soon after, I started my first official business.
My weekly classes and sessions with clients became regular and it wasn’t long before I was busy. My life was full of magic and purity and the lack of morals and integrity from the director at Salsa Republic meant that I soon left the dance world behind. What then initially started as another hobby to help me develop my public speaking skills became an unexpected success. My love for ceremony was born and so too was another business as a celebrant.
8. What inspired you to start your own business?
See above J Most of my family is much older than I am so I welcome solitude in my life perhaps a little more than most people do. I was also never happy working for anyone else doing just one thing – so I decided to bite the bullet and do everything I love. The result is that I run 2 small businesses. Yoga and Kinesiology is one, being a celebrant is the other.
9. What difference has being in business for yourself made in your life?
I feel much more empowered and I get to appreciate life a lot more by doing what I love for a living. Yoga for me is a way of life and this is what keeps my teaching authentic. It influences the way I remain inspired through my students and the way I implement balance in my life via my daily practice. My deep connection to the teachings means that I try to be mindful in all areas of my life from what and how I eat to how I express myself both personally and professionally. Without the tools of yoga, I don’t think that I’d be able to work for myself as a celebrant.
10. What have been your biggest turning points in life and how did you manage these moments so that they shaped you rather than break you?
I think there have been many turning points. From the never-ending quest for more qualifications, the uncertainly of my career direction, the disappointment I’d feel in various jobs, the demise of key relationships, the overwhelm of initially working for myself without proper business training to even managing my initial financial strains mindfully.
Admittedly I didn’t always manage those moments as well as I would now. For a long time change was usually equated with a rollercoaster ride and recently I’ve realised that a turning point doesn’t always have to be so negative. In yoga we talk about how being out of your comfort zone physically, better equips you mentally and emotionally when life throws a curve ball. After working for myself for 6 years, I’ve learned to manage my time better so that I have days off, and I’ve learned to manage my reactions when things don’t always go to plan
11. What is your greatest piece of advice that you would give others in business?
Find someone you admire in your field and pay them to be your mentor! I wish I’d listened when someone had suggested this to me.
12. What have you found to be the most effective way to promote your business?
Talking to people about it! Initially I was hesitant to speak about myself but over the years I have found that people can sense sincerity and will often respond to my enthusiasm.
13. What has been your greatest success to date in life and business?
That I make a living doing everything I love and am inspired by.
14. What one piece of advice would you share with your younger self?
To stop taking myself o seriously – When your plans don’t seem to be manifesting the way you intended, go with the flow instead of fighting it. Often what the Universe has in store for us is greater than what we could ever have imagined for ourselves.
15. Lastly, what’s next?
I’d like to start writing more articles. Recently I’ve started blogging for both of my websites and am really enjoying the creative aspect of the whole process. I’ve also decided to limit the number of weddings I officiate so I have time to enjoy life’s pleasures such as walking, swimming, reading, cooking and travelling.