Photo by Lila Buarque
If there is a word that describes Caroline, it is multipotentiality. Back in the day her biggest challenge was to choose that one career path to follow among more than seven hundred highly compatible options all while trying to leave a legacy of positive impact.
“From offshore oil rig supplier to a sustainable developer, from lost and undecided to becoming a successful business and career coach, from Paraiba Valley in the countryside of Brazil to Silicon Valley – if I was able to figure out my career, everyone else can,” Caroline said, and today she is going to share her secrets of how to succeed and find fulfillment at work.
Caroline Vieira Barros, best known for her wisdom and leadership, is a life mission coach and a transformative business consultant. She earned a masters degree in International Business and Disruptive Innovation at Hult International Business School in San Francisco, California, and to be able to attend it she was awarded two scholarships (Future Global Leader Scholarship and Global Citizen Scholarship) based on her academic achievements and social impact initiatives.
This business woman prefers being called Caroline Shalitari; “Shalitari” being her tribal name which means “blossom of light: the one who innovates for the benefit of humanity.” Sure enough, just as her name suggests, Caroline Shalitari helps change the lives of people who come to her struggling to find their calling, build a positive impact through their career, and leave a legacy aligned with their values even though they at first think it is impossible to achieve.
Before she began helping aspiring entrepreneurs and executive leaders with their decision-making skills, the Brazilian entrepreneur yearned to find her one true calling. However, her journey was not as straightforward as she had hoped, taking numerous paths before strategically landing where she is now. As a teenager, Caroline dreamed of being in the military and helping humanity somehow, eventually becoming a ship’s pilot for the Merchant Marine. She loved the whole challenging experience as she spent most of the time occupying a leadership role and participating in all kinds of sports and extracurricular activities in the military academy, also, all types of thrilling adventures and responsibilities while working onboard.
Despite her enthusiasm towards being in the military, she decided that this was not the path she wanted to take even though it was one of the highest paid careers in Brazil. So she left the Merchant Marine, took a year of sabbatical and found many outstanding professionals who helped her along the way: career coaches, consultants, shamans, indigenous people, spiritual mentors, and many more.
At the time she decided to leave the force Caroline was a little perplexed. After wanting to do everything – dance, art, modeling, quantum physics, engineering, architecture, business, etc – and being assessed by many career tests, she took one of the most well-known personality tests worldwide. The assigned career consultant said that this test usually shows people that they are +40% compatible with around 2 professions so it would truly help her to pick one so she was excited. However, a career consultant actually encouraged her to become a career coach herself after realizing she was +70% compatible with more than 720 professions so then she would be able figure it all out by herself.
Although disappointed by not finding her one true calling with the test, she eventually gave in expecting that she would finally figure out what she was meant to do. She became both a life mission coach and a transformative business consultant in 2017. What surprised her the most was that helping her first coachees would bring her so much joy and fulfillment.
When she found her true calling, nobody could stop her from seizing every opportunity to build a positive impact in Silicon Valley, Africa and Latin America. Indeed, she successfully worked as a coach and business consultant for the United Nations (UNDP) working directly with social entrepreneurs in Africa to establish their companies, alleviate poverty and advance their countries’ economy while aligning the founders’ life missions to a profitable business model. She also worked for a social impact startup incubator in Silicon Valley coming up with business solutions to real global social challenges; for a big tech company in Palo Alto; and for an award-winning Business Administration major as a professor of Social Impact Innovation. Caroline lives in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Francisco, but her heart is still so much with Brazil; therefore, she dedicates a good portion of her time to bridge the gap between Brazil and Silicon Valley by exchanging knowledge, mentoring, building partnerships and connecting talents with investors. Nowadays, she continues her mission of bettering the lives of many aspiring mission-driven professionals, using her very own approach: the Nascent methodology.
Nascent incubates founders, not start-ups; as business coaches focus on the business itself, Caroline Shalitari focuses on the people who start the businesses.
Incubators and Accelerators focus on the companies’ growth, however, in order to incubate or accelerate a business it has to be born first, it has to be alive and have a soul, and that’s what Nascent is for. While unique in its way, Nascent helps to train individuals to reach professional satisfaction and profitability while building their legacy. And Shalitari does that by guiding them towards what she calls the three Ps of success: purpose, profit, and positive impact, so these individuals can continue to provide meaningful jobs and raise employee retention and satisfaction. As Vanessa S., who was a talented director in a male dominated multinational company and couldn’t feel welcome or empowered to even speak up in a business meeting. She was coached by Caroline Shalitari and found her gifts for public speaking, humor and leadership to walk her way up to be able to accomplish her ultimate dream of creating positive impact through the company she cherishes the most. Not only employees but also aspiring entrepreneurs benefit from Nascent, for example, the manager Marcelo G., who had always dreamed of helping the youth in the slums of Rio de Janeiro but had never found a way to make it come true as a career. It was when he met Caroline that everything became crystal clear and he took the long-awaited leap. He left the company he had been successfully working for 40 years and founded the non-profit that is bringing professional opportunities and emotional stability to public high school students in slums in Brazil, all while he was turning 60 years young.
Caroline guided Vanessa S. and Marcelo G. through the 4 steps of the Nascent Methodology to balance their 3 Ps of success: awakening their purpose, identifying the positive impact they want to leave as a legacy and building a business model or career model in which they could be profitable.
The 4 Steps to succeed and find fulfillment at work:
Caroline says that the usual coaching methodology focuses on the future and actions in the present to help the mentee to get there. However, being taught by indigenous and shamans made her realize the importance of cleaning the past to open space for the bright future. So the first step for finding fulfillment according to her is acknowledging the origins and the influences we had along the way that shaped who we are today. Identifying what shaped us helps to identify who we really are and who we are not. She says that only then, we can ask ourselves “what do I want?”, because now we know who the “I” we are talking to is.
- Inherent Tools
Oftentimes we look for answers outside of us: “Should I maybe advance to a PhD?”, “Maybe take a new course?”, and we forget to look inside to acknowledge and empower ourselves with the unique tools we already have. Here Caroline teaches how to leverage dissatisfactions, passions, strengths, talents, values, vision and mission to build a fulfilling life.
- Career/Business Model
Caroline Shalitari says that most of her clients, at first, thought this would be the very first step, mostly because they are excited and anxious to get into action as soon as possible! And that’s exactly where most consultants and coaches fail, because there is a necessary mental, emotional, physical and spiritual housekeeping to be done in steps 1 and 2 to prepare for this important step in which Caroline and her Silicon Valley network of experts help to build transformative business models that allow the inclusion of the environment and underserved community to the equation, for example, that are usually neglected in the core business activity.
- Genuine and Sustainable Positive Impact
That’s when the aspiring mission-driven executive or entrepreneur has a clear vision of the journey ahead and how to get there – even though they may have had no idea about it in the beginning. Here Caroline Shalitari helps to build a thorough, organized and feasible roadmap and to develop discipline and protagonism to follow their – now clear – career path supported by a community of other high achiever mission-driven professionals.
Certainly self-awareness is the key to launching a successful and sustainable venture and Nascent has helped dozens of mentees in doing so. Focusing first on the people behind the brand will ultimately help the business grow and as soon as we understand ourselves, we will be able to understand others much better. Only with empathy leaders can serve their employees and their customers with exactly what they need. However, developing empathy requires self-awareness, which most of the players in the market neglect.
Caroline strongly believes everyone has a so-called hero’s journey, and she is the mentor who helps to find their unique gifts and set them out on their call to adventure.
———– end of the article ———–
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