Charrise McCrorey, Founder & CEO, Arms Wide Open & Coach Charrise
Charrise McCrorey’s BIO
I’m a leading business and personal coach/consultant, writer, speaker, entrepreneur, spiritual guide and resident ass kicker. Indulging my passion for business, I bring extreme clarity to murky situations, supporting leaders in creating strategy that works and teams that hum. My superpowers include a finely tuned sense of intuition, mad courage to say what’s true, and an unremitting ability to inspire and light people up.
I’m the equivalent of Dorothy’s magic shoes, helping people see what’s always been inside them.
My work is powered by my belief that people already know the answers to their most provocative questions, and they benefit from the space I hold for the answers to emerge. Through revealing conversations, I encourage people to question the beliefs that no longer support their full expression, while gently guiding them into bold action resulting in a magnificent life and business.
I have guided the transformation of thousands of people in my own uniquely fierce and gentle way, through talks, workshops, one-to-one leadership coaching and consulting, and my published work.
My commitment to life-long learning has led me to invest heavily in professional development; by reading thousands of books and participating in several experiential programs. I have trained with the best coaches in the world. I have invested more in my professional development than most people will invest in a lifetime. I’m certified as a coach (as opposed to certifiable). Most important, I have a track record of success. I do the work I ask you to do, leading the way with vulnerability and a commitment to showing both the darkness and the light.
I am especially committed to the empowerment of girls and women, convinced that girls who get educated will serve the world in profound ways, like ending hunger, poverty, and human trafficking. Girls and women who have access to their own light and power illuminate the way for others, and I have made this work my legacy.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
1. Tell us about the inception of Arms Wide Open
Charrise: Arms Wide Open Corporation was born in 2013 as a way to serve and support women leaders. Since its inception, our scope has broadened to include both men and women. As our world problems increase in complexity, my belief is that a more conscious approach serves to solve the biggest problems effectively. By conscious, I mean that we not only consider profits and bottom lines – we also take care of our people and our planet. Arms Wide Open Corporation teaches leaders to lead with love rather than leading with fear. We tackle the topic of gender in the workplace, seeking to celebrate our differences by inviting each leader to work from their highest purpose.
2. There is no typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. Please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.
Charrise: After an average of 7-9 hours of sleep, I wake up excited about what I get to do today. I drink water as I’m waking up, and check my cell phone for my morning text from the love of my life, my husband. I check technology for any urgent matters, then have a check in chat with my mom, who lives with us. 3 days a week, I work out in the morning with my physical trainer. I have a morning self- care ritual that is vital to me showing up at my best each day.
I don’t schedule any appointments until 10:00 am, which is when I hit my stride. On a typical day, I will engage in 3 client sessions, 90 minutes long. Most of this work is done via telephone, and sometimes I’m traveling to a client location. I will typically do some kind of writing every day, either for one of the books I’m working on, for marketing material, for my blog, or answering emails. I engage with social media in between things, generally attempting to limit my chase down the rabbit hole to 15 minutes.
I sometimes meet with collaboration partners and prospective clients as my schedule allows. I usually finish working from my office by 6:00 pm, when I go home to have dinner with my husband and mother. During dinner, we spend quality time catching up with one another’s day. After dinner, my husband and I are generally together as he gets up much earlier and therefore goes to bed much earlier than I do. Between 9 and 11 pm, I am either reading, chatting with family members via instant message, or writing if I’m inspired. I am usually in bed by 10 or 11 pm.
3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ Smartphone or desktop applications?
Charrise: I am Mac based, though I use Google products every day (Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Cloud). I use Quickbooks Online for my accounting system. I use Scrivener for writing. I use Dropbox for file sharing, iTunes for music, and iPhoto for photos. I also use Adobe Photoshop. On a personal note, I love technology and use FitBit and MyFitnessPal to track fitness, and Instagram to post cool photos. My iPhone is loaded with cool apps (and only 2 games!). Technology makes so much possible.
4. What are your tricks for time management?
Charrise: My strategy is to always be aware of whether or not what I am choosing to do in this moment is moving something important to me forward. Sometimes it doesn’t, and I know I have a choice to either keep doing it or stop doing it. I get that I am always able to choose. This really helps me to stay conscious and in the present moment, which is key. I don’t manage time – because it’s impossible to do. The clock ticks no matter what I do to manage it! I can only manage my choices.
5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?
Charrise: That people and relationships are the most important place upon which to focus. My first professional job was in Human Resources (it was called Personnel at that time). I had a really great boss who modeled for me what it means to nurture compelling relationships, and that has served me well.
6. Given the current economic climate, what has been your strategy for building awareness of Arms Wide Open? (what you do for short term and long term growth)?
Charrise: I don’t buy in to the current economic climate having any control of my success as a business person. I believe there will always be a need for my gifts and talents, if I’m willing to do whatever it takes to serve someone. My business grew year over year for the past 7 years, in spite of much skepticism by others about the economy. I simply don’t believe the story.
I am an idea person. I am always thinking about new ways to serve people through products and service. The secret to success in my business is to commit to having powerful conversations with people every day, looking for ways to serve. Technology and social media grants me access to space inside a person’s life, if they choose to engage with me. While it’s helpful, it can never replace a live conversation with a person who is seeking transformation in their life.
I am in the process of creating products that will allow me to reach more people with my teachings. This will also be an efficient generator of revenue in the long term.
7. What is your proudest achievement as an accomplished business leader?
Charrise: The work I do with people make a tremendous difference in their individual lives. This, in turn, changes the trajectory of their life as well as the lives they touch. People get clear about their gifts, and how they want to express them in the world. I’m proud to be part of the difference -making equation.
Also, I’m proud to have created a financially successful coaching and consulting business from the ground up, over the past 7 years. Many people set out to do what I’ve done, and few actually create a thriving business model that supports their financial goals.
I do this by leading with love and compassion for humans, ensuring that the work that my company does is of impeccable standards.
8. How do you achieve balance in your life?
Charrise: I affirm that the relationships with the people I care about are my priority, including my relationship to Self. I pray without ceasing, I make space in my life for creation, I avoid using the word “busy”. When I get off track, I am gentle with myself and make the necessary adjustments. I know that slowing down has been important to my success and sanity, and I periodically come to a full stop to refuel and replenish my creative energy.
9. Your top 3 book recommendations?
Charrise: Oh! I may be reading up to 10 books at any given time.
My first self help book landed in my lap many years ago. It’s by Melody Beattie, and it’s titled Finding Your Way Home: A Soul Searcher’s Guide. From there, I moved on to Wayne Dyer’s The Power of Intention. I’ve enjoyed many books by Steve Chandler, who has written more than 40 books on self development. I loved Elizabeth Lessor’s Broken Open. Books are an integral part of my life. I love fiction, biographies, and of course self improvement. Did you ask for 3? That is an impossible question!
10. What are your most rewarding charitable involvements?
Charrise: I was an essayist in a book called End Sex Trafficking, by Erin Giles. 60 people donated an essay to create the book, which was sold to bring attention to the massive problem in the world with Human Trafficking. I donate to many causes that support women entrepreneurs. I am a mentor and donor for an organization called Kubmo.org, which supports women entrepreneurs in Africa. I have a heart for girls, and contribute to efforts to ensure that they have access to education. I support Girls On The Run locally, with my money and volunteer efforts. My goal is to give 10% of every dollar I earn to charitable organizations that support hand ups, rather than hand outs.
11. Who has influenced your career the most?
Charrise: My coach, Stephen McGhee.
12. What is your advice for someone interested in entrepreneurship?
Charrise: Starting a business can be one of the most rewarding endeavors you will ever experience. I believe that your relationship with your work is a vital part of your life in this lifetime, and you’re meant to be joyful while doing it. If you have a job that is not enabling your fullest expression, imagine what you could create that would support that. Know that failing is part of succeeding, and use everything as your teacher. It’s best to have money set aside for your basic needs for an extended amount of time so that you don’t add money pressure to the mix. However, I didn’t follow that advice myself and here I stand! 🙂