Carol Ann Korpi is a successful businesswoman and the founder and CEO of CA Consults, LLC. Korpi spent her childhood in New York, before relocating to Florida in her youth. After adapting to her new roots, she moved back to NY to be able to attend the prominent Colgate University. Her time at Colgate exposed her to world-class professors and fellow students who would leave a lasting positive impact on her life. Soon after, Korpi was accepted into Simmons College in Boston, where she achieved her Masters of Social Work—an equally demanding and rewarding endeavor. Following a brief career in social work, Korpi discovered her true passion lay in business.
For two decades, Carol Ann Korpi worked at various start-up companies in sales and sales management. These firms included data companies, software as a service (SaaS), global payments, and virtual reality training. Her knack for business and unwavering work ethic allowed her to build exceptional sales teams and play a lead role in growing multiple businesses from the ground up. Currently, Carol Ann Korpi is the founder of CA Consults, LLC, which offers expert consulting services to startups in Pleasanton, CA.
How has your industry been impacted regarding COVID-19?
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has disrupted the global economy like never before, leading to swollen unemployment rates, reduced business and tourism travel, and plummeting consumer confidence. It’s no wonder that most industries are struggling to cope amid the virus—and the consulting sector is no different. Many startups and small businesses, in particular, are facing the possibility of shutting down as their financial burdens may prevent them from riding out the pandemic. With the coronavirus pushing economies to the brink of recession and countless store closures taking place, entrepreneurs are choosing to delay projects or forego them altogether. Consequently, many consulting firms will see a significant decline in revenue as consulting projects fall through, causing the sector to shrink.
What keeps you motivated during this time at home?
I’ve found that establishing a daily routine has helped me remain productive while working from home. For instance, I like to start my morning with meditation, an exercise which is usually a brisk walk, and then a quick cup of coffee as I prepare a list of all the items I want to accomplish throughout the day. By being organized, I can prioritize important tasks and complete work in a timely manner. I also prefer to schedule my breaks at the same time each day, as I would if I were in the office but working with global teams across time-zones can make that more challenging. Carving out sufficient time for work and relaxation allows me to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Suggestions of good ways others can cope during this time.
I believe taking care of our mental and physical health is one of the best things we can do during times of uncertainty. Reaching out to friends and family members outside of my social distancing bubble has been especially gratifying. Nurturing relationships is important to be able to feel connected to the outside world, maintain some level of normalcy, and provide support to the ones we love. As a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher, I suggest meditation for those that are struggling with negative emotions considering current events. In general, meditation can help achieve lower stress levels, improve attention, reduce anxiety, and remind us to live in the moment.
What does your typical day look like now versus prior to social isolation?
My workday does not look that much different. I schedule my time the same way I did before the pandemic. I am also no stranger to working-from-home. Consulting was one of the first industries to embrace remote work, given the growing technological landscape and opportunity to reduce costs. However, I am doing fewer in-person meetings with clients, to limit illness and prevent exposure to the virus.
What advice would you give to fellow businesses that may be struggling during COVID-19?
COVID-19 has exposed several cracks in the foundation of many businesses, regardless of their size or industry. My suggestions for businesses moving forward are to embrace digital technology and focus on resiliency. Organizations that leverage technology will be able to overcome obstacles much faster and more effectively than their competition. Digital tools can transform a business by developing enhanced products and services, creating customer value via online platforms, and allowing employees to work remotely. In terms of resiliency, organizations must revise their business models to be more agile and enduring. Resiliency may include modifying costs, re-evaluating supply chains, implementing succession planning, and tweaking products or services.
What are some things outside of finding work that you are doing now to stay busy?
I really enjoy hiking nearby and indulging in a good book on Health or Spirituality. Not only does walking and reading offer a temporary escape, but it also helps me relax and re-energize.
Do you think a work and life balance is important and how difficult is it in these circumstances?
I’ve always believed that a good work-life balance is important for your health and well-being. Now more than ever, we need to be participating in self-care. I have spoken to several of my employees who are having a difficult time ‘switching-off,’ and find themselves working longer hours now than they did before the pandemic. Taking scheduled breaks throughout the day is so important to be able to de-stress and re-charge and does wonder for my productivity.
What is one piece of advice that is getting you through these current times?
The expression ‘we are in this together,’ holds very true during this global health crisis. Understanding that everyone is facing a similar situation provides a sense of unity and cooperation amongst communities and nations. We all share responsibility in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and supporting one another is key during these uncertain times.
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