Our interviewee today, Camille, started her entrepreneurial journey how many of us do – working 9 to 5 (what a way to make a living). She knew she had a message and mission to share but was afraid to take the leap.
Camille, as you can imagine, is filled with great wisdom – so let’s get into it…
HOC: Great to meet you, Camille . You started your journey to being an entrepreneur while working 9-5, is that right?
Camille: You too! Yes, you’re right. I started toying with the idea of becoming an entrepreneur around the Summer of 2016. I knew I had a message and mission to share but I was scared to take the leap and go out on my own. I’d been struggling with loving the work I did at the agency I worked for, but hated having to answer to the bureaucracy of an employer and being required to work a set schedule while raising three little boys. I’ve never been one who has worked well with a set schedule and wanted more freedom.
Since 2008 I’ve worked in social services and found it frustrating to always be limited by policies and procedures that didn’t always fit every situation for the clients I worked with. I’m a very creative and innovative person and if I saw a way something could be done better and challenged it, I would often times hear the reply, “this is how it’s always been done and will continue to be done”. If upper management did agree that my recommended changes were reasonable, the policy or procedure in question would have to go to some type of human resources or quality control department to review and make changes themselves, who had limited knowledge of what they were even working with. It was so frustrating for me.
HOC: And where did you go from that point of frustration?
Camille: I started baby steps over the next year and a half by building my websites, getting my LLC and developing documents I would need to run my businesses. Sometime around Spring 2018 I was notified by my employer that they were shutting down the program I was a part of. I was offered a position in another department, but I knew I wanted to continue the work I had been doing, and that I could do it on my own. I saw it as a sign from the universe that it was go time; that was the push I needed to branch off and really launch.
In August 2018 Camille Marie Coaching, LLC officially opened. It was terrifying, and exhilarating. I’m not sure I would have done it, at least not that soon if I had not been laid off from the position I had. That was a huge lesson to me that the universe creates what looks like obstacles, but are really doors opening if we allow ourselves to get uncomfortable and move through it.
I launched my second business Sacred Sensual Soul shortly after. Initially, I was going to have them both under one business name but got market feedback in a soft launch that it was weird to people to have sex coaching and parent coaching under the same business, so split them up into two separate ones. They function completely separately although over time I’ve been getting moms I’ve worked with as a parent coach initially, who then become clients for sex coaching.
HOC: Such an amazing progression. How did you get your businesses off the ground, who were your first clients?
Camille: My first business, Camille Marie Coaching (CMC), LLC got a contract with Washington State’s Children’s Administration in August 2018 to teach evidence based parenting classes to parents involved with Child Protective Services. For this contract, we serve families who have lost custody of their children due to abuse or neglect and have been court ordered to attend parenting classes in attempts to regain custody of their children. At that same time CMC began offering the same classes to the public sector as well, both in person and online. The online classes have been awesome to launch because it allows parents from literally anywhere in the world connect with me and has allowed more families access because of the easy accessibility. I’ve also noticed that some people just engage better when they have that veil of the screen between you and them. It’s just the world we are in today with technology. My agency also started offering trainings to foster care agencies on topics related to children such as anxiety in children. Because I had been in the industry so long, word spread quickly that I had an agency offering these great parenting classes and trainings.
Soon after this, CMC started offering additional programming to support families who have children with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia and Dysgraphia, as well as other diagnoses such as Anxiety, ADHD and Autism. Most of these children need specific accommodations in their school setting to be successful, and CMC works with the school staff to ensure that there is written documentation of the accommodations that child needs. CMC also helps come up with behaviour intervention techniques that will help the child thrive in school settings as well as at home.
HOC: What amazing work to be doing, but quite different from the work you do with Sacred Sensual Soul, as you mentioned…
Camille: I guess so! I’ve always been comfortable talking about and learning about human sexuality. In 2016 I started a Masters Program in Human Sexuality which gave me a lot of detail about female anatomy I had NO idea about.
It fascinated me that I had so little knowledge about my own body, ( didn’t even know what I didn’t know, until I knew!) and realized many other women were in the same boat. I took courses on communication in sexuality. I began to learn about what my turn on was. I studied almost obsessively about mind-body connection and became incredibly familiar with the philosophy of Tantra (which I use in my work with women) and the importance of mindfulness. I read all things divine goddess.
In the process I came across exercises and techniques to get more and more in touch with the body which in the process, led to a deep understanding that the body is a vessel to my own divine goddess. I also began coming up with my own techniques to connect mind, body and soul which was incredibly healing. Throughout this process I developed a knowing that if I could tap into that energy, it could be an endless source of vitality. I began sharing my ideas with friends, asking them to apply some of my concepts and exercises and had such good feedback!
That was when it became clear to me that I wanted to bring this information to other women as a practice. To help women heal, to feel empowered, to find their voice for their body, their temple, their needs, wants and desires. And so, Sacred Sensual Soul opened for clients the summer of 2018 as well. I have been working on an interactive workbook for women putting all of these ideas to paper, that I hope to one day publish.
HOC: It’s a very interesting topic and not one we hear too much about here in the UK.
Camille: I work with women to help undo any stigma they may have around their sexuality that may have been placed by society, religion, family messaging, or experiences with partners they’ve had. It’s astounding, and sad to me how many women have rejected their own feelings and desires due to conditioning from these sources. It’s astounding to me how much emphasis there is on the man’s needs, wants and desires, and yet women feel uncomfortable even being curious about, or asking for their own. When I work with women, I really try to help them feel comfortable with identifying things like figuring out what their turn on is; kink, intellectual conversation, romance, physical touch, quality time. This is so important for a woman to know, because it’s an example of how her desire matters, and this knowledge can then give them a voice to ask for what they need to actually want to, or look forward to intimacy with their partner.
I teach women how to identify what about intimacy they enjoy, (and how to speak up about what they don’t!) and to practice that so that the focus isn’t on orgasm alone. Through this process I give them tools to learn how to embrace, honour and get in touch with their body, so that they learn that mind-body connection IS their source of their sexuality and it doesn’t have to come from someone else. Often times I will give women homework of doing some of the exercises I was talking about before to learn to connect with their body. For example, teaching women how to do breast massage. I will encourage them to make it a part of a routine in their day, such as after getting out of the shower. I’ll suggest they use a lotion or oil that smells good to them so that it is another way they are intentionally serving themselves. This may sound trivial, or nonsensical. However, the breasts are a beautiful gift to women that can be honored as a piece of their femininity. Not only is breast massage a way to take a moment to slow down and serve your inner goddess, it circulates the lymphatic system, and can also provide self pleasure. For women who are not comfortable with their bodies, this simple exercise, with the intentions can be helpful with that. I love that it requires no one else.
A huge part of the shift towards empowerment that sex coaching gives women, is to learn how to communicate with their partners. It is not uncommon that many couples can have sex, but are uncomfortable communicating about it which can result often times in a woman’s needs/wants/desires to go unmet. I’ve found often times that when a woman opens up communication with her partner about these things to honor herself, he is more than happy to oblige.
I also help women learn to turn within for their own sexual gratification, and power. Rather than relying on what family thinks, or even their partner. This helps women to learn to connect with their inner goddess and let her guide how they show up each day. The book, Pussy, A Reclamation by Regena Thmashauer is a great resource for more information about that.
HOC: Being someone that has worked in a number of fields, how did you know that what you do now was right for you?
Camille: I’ve always loved working with families and children. Even before college, I worked at a preschool and loved babysitting as a teenager. I always knew I would work with youth in some way. When I learned about the parenting classes curriculum I knew it would be perfect fit for me and have done it for the past 11 years. It’s been easy for me to continue that work in my own business.
For the work with Sacred Sensual Soul, as I mentioned, I’ve always been fascinated by human sexuality and comfortable talking about it. When I had my spiritual awakening start in 2016, I noticed that I started to let go of what society around me had told me I “should” feel, act, dress and respond in regard to my sexuality. And when I say sexuality, I mean my inner goddess, my divine soul, my true nature…I wanted all of me to be in alignment instead of how I thought I “should” be. As I began to educate myself on female anatomy, female orgasm and pleasure, societal conditioning, the trauma women endure from suppressing their truth, it all came down to this innate piece in women needing to be seen and understood; their sexuality. Because it can be the powerhouse of every female.
I learned through my awakening how powerful it can be to have a deeper understanding of all of those things and harness the power that comes from knowledge about one’s self in this area. I knew it was a calling to share this information with other women. It was like I HAD to do it.
That purpose gets stronger the more women I work with and, the more I learn about the different journeys that bring so many women to the same space of just craving a deeper understanding and knowing about their bodies and sexuality. So many women think there’s something wrong with them and a little education and undoing of social conforming goes a really long way! I’m still working on my interactive workbook that I know will be so educational and moving.
HOC: Really fascinating businesses you run. We imagine that it’s not always been smooth sailing; what challenges have you had to overcome to build your business?
Camille: One challenge I’ve had in being such a small agency, is that I’ve had to learn to do a lot of things that are not strengths of mine. If something is not a strength of mine, I tend to put off taking care of it which can have negative impacts.
To overcome this, I’ve really learned to hone in on what I can delegate to others, so things don’t pile up. I’ve hired an accountant to handle my billing and now have a virtual assistant to manage things that are just not in my wheelhouse.
At first it was hard for me to do, asking others to do things for me. But I’ve learned that it allows more creative space for me, and gives me the time and freedom to focus on what I am good at and can grow my businesses more. These investments have been tremendously helpful so that I don’t get bogged down on details that I’m not good at.
Another challenge I’ve had is that I’m a mom to 3 little boys who is driven by her career, and also doesn’t want to miss a moment of my children’s life. I have to constantly be weighing each day. This is where time blocking is helpful.
HOC: Great advice! For our readers looking to start out on their own, what would you say?
Camille: Know that it’s scary in the beginning. And you WILL get resistance. Lean into it. Don’t let the challenges convince you that it means you’re not doing what your soul knows is right for you. If you have passion burning inside of you for something, if you have an idea, you have the ability. The universe wouldn’t give you the idea if you couldn’t do it.
Don’t listen to the nay-sayers. There will always be someone who will try to convince you otherwise.
It is helpful to write out exactly what you want. Refer out work that is not in your wheelhouse as soon as you can, however you can, so that those things you suck at and put off don’t slow you down. Do this by hiring people, or if you can’t afford that yet, do a trade or find a high school or college student who will do it for low cost.
HOC: You have such an energy, where do you get your inspiration from?
Camille: I get my inspiration from women in my everyday life who are examples to me of shining their light. For example, my natural path doctor, Dr. Kellie Lawler who is fierce and knows how to be soft, and give tough love at the same time is an inspiration to me. Or my friend Michelle Green who is an empath, and amazing mother, is an inspiration to me.
There’s also my son’s 3rd grade teacher who embraced the challenges he put in front of her with love, is an inspiration to me. My mom, who always sees beauty in nature is an inspiration to me. My grandmother who was always good to everyone is an inspiration to me. And finally, my cousin Lysa who is always standing her ground is an inspiration to me.
I also get inspiration from nature. I always find peace, and inspiration in nature. I plan quarterly “mommycations” where I find a cabin in the mountains and go for a weekend, typically by myself to just connect with nature and unwind.
HOC: And finally, how do you get yourself out of a creative funk?
Camille: I tend to get in a funk when I have too much going on in my life and can’t get my head clear. When this happens I’ll look at my schedule and usually see I’ve gotten a bit sloppy about time blocking and will then work on making that a priority again.
I’ve learned that for me it is crucial that I have time in the morning to work out, meditate and be calm before I get my day going. Days that I start off like this are my most productive.
I think it’s important for someone to know when they do best with getting their creative juices flowing. For some people, it’s in the AM, and for others, it’s in the PM. I do best with creativity in the evening after my kids have gone to bed, with a glass of wine. I think this works best for me because I know that I have no time constraints and it’s a peaceful time in my home.