We had the good fortune of connecting with Camille Saltzman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Camille, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Early 2020, I had a regular desk job at a company I had been with for about a year. I started thinking about what I wanted my next move to be – I was unhappy at the job for a while and knew I didn’t want to stay past the two year mark. I knew eventually I wanted to try having my own coaching business but felt like I had to be very methodical about it – first getting my coaching business, then saving a bit more, maybe trying part time coaching then full time coaching, etc. Pandemic hits, half the staff (aka some of the best people I’ve ever worked with) is furloughed and nothing feels certain anymore. A company I already didn’t feel great about got worse and it kicked the steady plan I created into high gear. I had enough savings to last a year without making a dime. I wasn’t spending as much with most “costly” activities not on the cards at the moment. People needed help, the workforce as we knew it was changing, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go off on my own and take a chance on an idea that had been brewing for years! I was seeing an opportunity and circumstances made it so I went for it rather than eased into it.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I was always fascinated by the idea of turning your passion into a career. I constantly read biographies of famous people who got to be successful doing what they love – whether artistic or not – looking for answers on 1. how to find your true passion and 2. how to stand out and be successful at it. Even when outside voices told me that a job is just a job and that I should stop trying to be in love with my work, that never felt right. I would move through different jobs working in restaurants, marketing, pharma industry, manufacturing, etc. and meet incredible people who had enormous talents that were being wasted at these companies all because they also felt that loving your job was a myth; that they could never find a way to make money doing their passion. So when I decided to become a coach, I knew this was the issue I wanted to tackle. Especially when I saw a number of people seize the pandemic as an opportunity to finally go after what they really love…and succeed!! What I understood kept me apart from others, and where I like to help my clients gain clarity, is that they always had the answer to what was going to bring them more fulfillment in their work. Just in asking a couple of questions they would give away the answer. But societal myths, external messaging, and their own confidence kept them from believing that it could work. And that’s where my work comes in! Even if they don’t have that “one” thing that gets them excited, they know what doesn’t work for them and that’s just as valuable.
Starting a business isn’t easy and I knew that from the beginning. The biggest lesson I tell other new business owners is to find as many ways as possible to join communities within the realm of your business – whether it’s a friend connecting you with someone they know or joining a Facebook group. Having others who may be more seasoned business owners who can give you their lessons learned or other new business owners who can commiserate in the struggles has been a life changer for me!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a native Los Angeleno so taking them to some of the places I went to growing up and where I have fond memories would be crucial!! 1 day would have to be dedicated to downtown – going to grand central market and getting 1 item from each stand, obviously going across the street to see the Bradbury building, I would walk to angel’s flight but not go on it. And because I love art would go to either the Japanese American museum or MOCA. Probably head to hauser and wirth in the arts district because the space is so cool and then pick one of the restaurants in the area based on whatever we’re feeling. Another day would have to be a beach day. We’d drive along PCH to Neptune Net for fried seafood everything and then hang across the way on the beach. OR would pick up Bay Cities sandwiches and have a picnic on the beach (I head as close to Malibu as I can). On the way back we’d stop off in Venice to visit the shops and hopefully get a spot at Gjelina for a nice meal. Or go to high top for sunset and a drink and then Ospi for dinner. Maybe drinks after at Townhouse!
A day would have to be dedicated to tacos – there’s a whole street on E Olympic with so many options from seafood to birria. And they would have to experience burritos la palma.
The Torrance Farmers Market is one of my all time favorites. I have many friends from areas where fresh produce isn’t as abundant and they get excited when they see the variety at the markets. We would then get beers at Smog City or Monkish – they often have food trucks too.
Can you tell I’m all about food?
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shoutout my family who gave me the confidence and space to experience life rather than follow a mold, thinking critically at the standards that are set, and taught me to always be kind to others.
Professional photos are Summer Jones.