We had the good fortune of connecting with Helena Goto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Helena, how do you think about risk?
Risk to me is opportunity.
Taking risks has, without a doubt altered the course of my life.
At 20 I was living in New Zealand and randomly won a trip on the radio to Los Angeles. Obviously – having never left NZ, the Kiwi dollar being 36 cents to the American dollar, and knowing no one in America, let alone NY – I decided to go to NYC for two months before I met my boyfriend in LA for my “Hollywood Experience”.
When I arrived in New York, I felt at home for the first time in my life. That was a big deal because it made me realize there wasn’t anything wrong with me, I just didn’t fit in in NZ.
I’m not saying it wasn’t hard, because it was, I’m saying that taking that risk put me on my path and made my life begin to make sense. Reflecting on it, without taking that extra risk, winning the trip could have been 5 stupid days in Anaheim, with a boyfriend who didn’t drive or read a map (you have to do one of these two things in LA), instead it changed the trajectory of my life.
Other risks I have taken that have had a massive impact: Going back to school and getting an MBA (and a student loan), getting married to a man from a completely different culture after 5 months, having three children in three years, moving into a house I couldn’t afford at the time and ultimately saying yes to the regular random opportunities that show up.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business, Goto Solutions inc. helps clients resolve workplace conflict, and live healthier and more fulfilling lives, professionally and personally. We do this by coaching individuals and teams and partnering with companies to implement systems that encourage and enable honest and robust communication and accountability.
Running my company has allowed me to get the work done, on my and my family’s schedule. Thankfully the pandemic has made this situation more accessible and mainstream. That said after homeschooling my three boys and working from home for 18 months, I am so happy to be getting back out in person to support companies as they navigate the challenges of continuing to work from home or returning to the office.
Being an immigrant and an entrepreneur requires a similar skill set.
What do I want the world to know? Be kind to each other, to animals and to the planet.
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.
Firstly my best friend lives 10 minutes away. However, if my fake best friend came into town, I would make them stay with me and experience the real LA. We have dogs and kids and guinea pigs and everyone knows each other on my street. We would walk around and probably go shopping in Bev. Hills. Probably grab food at a good Italian restaurant. I don’t like tourist stuff, so we would be grounded in real life stuff, maybe costco…
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My friend Claire Date deserves a big shoutout. Claire has contributed in a necessary and fundamental way to the wife, mother, daughter, and sister that I am. In her words, nothing can’t be solved with a good chitchat, and we have had many.
In the category of, “It goes without saying”, is my husband Jun, the first person who I was number one for and who has always been unwavering in his dedication, love, and vision for both me and our family.
Finally, Beau Marie St Clair, my mentor, and friend who died in 2016. My life will be a success if I manage the peace and poise that Beau had.