Sanna Kinanen | Personal, Business and Wealth Coach
We interviewed Sanna Kinanen….Coach, Real Estate Investor and Entrepreneur. Read Sanna’s path to success and the core principals that have made her the successful businesswoman she is today.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your amazing achievements.
Being a nurse by profession, I have wanted to become an entrepreneur for quite some time. My mom was an entrepreneur and I always admired her drive and dedication. I was also well aware that being an entrepreneur also had its downsides, as I often saw my mom working long hours while maintaining a household. But this never put me off the idea of becoming a successful entrepreneur myself.
I gave up my career as a nurse and started working in marketing and public relations. I have always been social and my existing network has been very beneficial in the industry and to me as an entrepreneur. Soon after, I opened up a restaurant, but unfortunately, this business was unsuccessful. Thankfully I always kept the phrase, don’t give up, close to heart and did not let this get me down. I started up an e-commerce business selling maternity wear and baby clothes. I was confident that my business would be a success and was ready to grow with it.
My business became very profitable and I decided to sell it. It was an unconventional business deal, as I sold 100% of the business to a woman who was not familiar with e-commerce yet. She approached me to be her business mentor, so I still generated a monthly income from the business, even though I was not the owner anymore.
By chance, I started investing in real estate. I sublet my apartment and generated a respectable income from it and was soon able to afford to buy another apartment as an investment. My real estate portfolio has been growing since. I am proud that it is now, in less than five years, one of my main businesses. I have found that the property industry is a source of passive income and feel that real estate investing is not a high-risk form of investment. There are still risks, of course, but I am involved in all four asset classes to ensure I don’t keep all my eggs in one basket.
Being in business has been a learning curve, and I advise prospective entrepreneurs to invest in business training and coaching. You can only gain from it, and no one can take your knowledge away from you. When you become a business owner, you are in charge, which means the responsibility is on your shoulders and you can’t blame others if the business fails. In good and bad economic situations, there is always someone who makes a business great. You will mostly find that these individuals who make a business great are the ones who never blame external factors and they invest in themselves to gain knowledge on how to succeed.
My knowledge in business and investing has expanded tremendously, and I now work as a personal, business and wealth coach. I never before considered coaching as a career option but found that I am very passionate about it. When I saw the impact my mentoring had on my clients’ businesses and lives, I realized that it is my calling and my life purpose to guide individuals who are embarking the same journey as me. To see my clients reach their full potential on both personal and professional levels has been very rewarding.
I have another e-commerce business I am attending to while coaching and mentoring and speculating on new investments. I just love doing business, one way or the other!
What are three business and life lessons you have learned?
There is no shortcut to success; you have to be willing to do the hard work. Life is a paradox. Many of us are in a hurry to succeed, and so was I. But honestly, the moment I found peace within myself, success started to follow. I found that different situations teach us great lessons in life, but it takes an effort to learn from these lessons, especially if we want to succeed.
Business is solely about you. It’s not about the external factors. I love the quote by Jim Rohn who I had the privilege of meeting before he passed away: “If you work more on yourself than you do on your job, you will succeed.” This quote has much power in it!
How did you choose your niche and why?
I started out my entrepreneur journey being very indecisive about what I actually wanted to do. As you may have noticed, I have been jumping from one career field to the other! I have never been someone who “always knew” what profession they had in mind. My path has been versatile (and full of surprises!), which is a blessing since all these different experiences have given me the knowledge to be able to do what I am doing as an entrepreneur today. Ultimately, I did not choose coaching as my niche; it chose me!
What do you think is more important, motivation or execution? Why?
In business, it’s essential to have a plan and to stick to it. And you need to work on your plan every single day, even if you don’t have the motivation to do it. Realistically, we know that we are human and we have our bad days too. I also have bad days sometimes! The world is changing rapidly, and right now we are challenged to really grow as human beings in our everyday lives. This is why execution will always be more powerful than motivation. You never know what tomorrow holds and you can lack motivation big time. Listening to yourself is important, but it’s also crucial to execute your plan.
What inspires and motivates you? What wakes you up every morning, make you get the work done and do it all over again the next day?
My clients are my number one reason for waking up every morning! There is no better feedback than what I get from my clients! I feel that it’s time for everyone to realize that, if you want to be wealthy, you can be. It does not matter what you did before or where you came from. Everyone, even me as a nurse, can be successful, so why can’t you?
I also have materialistic goals, but those goals are minor. To be able to afford to buy “stuff” used to be my motivation, but I found that these kinds of goals did not make me truly happy. At the end of the day, it is how many people I have helped that makes my heart smile.
From your experience, what is the best way to market your business or yourself?
I have been involved with many businesses and learned that authenticity is the best way to market yourself. People are interested in hearing your true story. This is it! You do not have to come up with complicated marketing messages, just tell us who you are, where you come from and what you do! And, of course, why buying from you will help me?
People will always know when you are telling the truth. If you can’t come up with good things to tell other people, you might need to change the business and reconsider whether you are doing the right thing. There should be no problem selling your product if you are offering something valuable, and when you let the world know that you exist.
How do you handle negativity in business and what advice do you have for fellow female entrepreneurs?
It’s easier to handle negativity when you accept that some people just are that way. I usually think that those who have something bad to say are the ones that feel the worst inside themselves. This is how I manage to find empathy for people who talk badly about me. As my coaches say: there is no room for negativity, because “garbage in, garbage stays in.” This means that it’s hard to get rid of negative thoughts, so you have to filter out negative people and those who can’t handle you moving forward. It’s tough, but that is how the game goes.
What advice do you have for other female entrepreneurs on the same journey as yourself?
Oh! I love talking about success, especially when it comes to females! We woman have soooo much fire within that the world should be afraid of us, don’t you think?!
Woman need to step up and just start doing. We can’t be afraid any longer and let our (perhaps low self-esteem?) keep us from being successful! We have to find the power to do things without thinking about what other people would say. Honestly, guys don’t think about it either, do they? I would love to see women becoming more and more supportive of each other, and also getting the support we need from men in order to be successful. Admittedly, we can do it without the guys, but it would be a lot more helpful if everyone around would give us support.
Some women tend to be more hesitant when taking the steps they need to be successful, and this is something that women (including me a few years back!) have to overcome. Also, we should not overthink what we are going to do - it is vital to begin somewhere and allow the journey to be your guide.
How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? What makes you unique?
It’s not as hard to differentiate yourself when you stay authentic and tell your true story. I do not think of myself as a unique person since I know every one of us has what it takes to do great things if only we can find the power within! My aim to be the best coach in my country is something that automatically differentiates me. I spend tens of thousands of euros every year on coaching to invest in myself as a coach, and this is probably something that many are not willing to do.
As a coach, I feel I have the responsibility to walk my talk and therefore need to educate myself too. How else can I expect my clients to do this? If I did not want to be the best, then what would be the point of doing it all? And this is how I differentiate myself.
If you could do it all over again, what would you change and why?
Surely there are some things I would have hoped had gone differently. I mean, who wants their business to fail? You may have heard the saying; you should fail fast and go forward; this is what I have done. It is likely impossible to be the perfect entrepreneur and business owner if you hadn’t had any failures. This is why I also appreciate the failures. I have learned many great lessons. It might sound like a cliché, but I would not change many things. If I had to name one thing that I would have changed, I would say I wish I hired a coach for myself earlier. It’s impossible to achieve great things alone and I could have figured this out earlier. Now I know, and I also know, that It’s never a bad time to educate yourself and this is why I never try to save money on education any longer.
What changes can you make to move closer to success?
Success is mostly about the mindset we have and less about what we do. Doing is a very important part, but you first need to have a clear vision of the person you want to become. We all grow up with different belief systems and behavior patterns that, by the time we are adults, don’t serve us anymore. In my home country, Finland, we have taken on the belief that we are a shy nation. So, let me ask you: Do you think that by believing we are shy will bring us any closer to success? The answer is obvious; this belief will only move us further away from success. And this is something our entire nation is brought up believing!
A general example is that some people think the rich are bad people. We grew up not even talking about money and rich people. It’s easy to say this when you are standing on the one side, but in reality, it is just a belief system that is false. If you want to be rich and be successful you have to find a way to change the negative beliefs you have; otherwise, your thoughts are contradictory. These contradictions will make it much more difficult for you to succeed. Invest in finding out who you are, what beliefs you have and are not aware of and change them for the better! This will have an enormous impact on your life!
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