We had the good fortune of connecting with Carmalyn McCracken and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carmalyn, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have always been someone who has enJOYed coloring outside of the lines. I appreciate that there are lines, but I always wonder who put them there and are those lines for sure for me? Which side of the lines am I even supposed to color on? I am a question asker. I want to know people and their stories and their motivations and their intentions. I want to better understand myself and others which is why I think I am always asking questions. I love to listen to others’ stories. I love to listen between the words they are saying and then respond with clarifying questions. I say all of this to help you understand what my thought process was behind starting my own business.
When I first became a Life Coach- there weren’t many of us out there. I got certified in 2001 after learning more about what Life Coaches do. As a woman with her Masters of Arts in Counseling, and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, I realized my philosophy in helping others was a more forward thinking approach. I first had heard about Life Coaching when Cheryl Richardson was on the Oprah show in 1992! As I listened to Cheryl talk about self care and taking care of yourself first, I was hooked! I had goosebumps! I thought YES! How can I help moms discover THAT? That was the beginning of my journey in helping others discover their joy in the chaos. I love coaching others to discover their JOY!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When someone asks me “what do you do?” I always pause a moment…and wonder…how should I answer that?
I am a serial entrepreneur who sees a problem and tries to find a solution. With that type of wonderment, I have found my place. Mostly I am a Joyologist. I study JOY and help others find theirs. Especially when their life is in chaos. I have been a Life Coach and Professional Speaker for 20+ years now. My company, You Got Joy, is the umbrella under which I run all of my projects. Because I think words are so very important, I started Good Carma Hand Stamped Jewelry, my own jewelry line in 2011. I stamp people’s favorite words, mantras, prayers, etc. onto jewelry for them to wear as reminders. Raising two adult college graduates has led me to my third and newly favorite position of Adjunct College Professor at Lone Star College. I get to teach EDUC1300 to college freshmen. The curriculum consists of all of the hard things in life, such as tools to manage stress, fear, time, finances, and more.
What I have learned over the last 3 decades is that if you love what you do it will never feel like work and I think that is why I have so much joy. I truly love what I do. I love that I get to be part of others’ discoveries of what being fully alive is all about. It’s funny, because I think I am a pretty traditional type of person, yet I don’t think any of my jobs are that traditional. I am grateful that I can spend time working in areas that help others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ohhhh, this is a fun question. Actually, in early March 2020 (literally right before the world shut down with covid….) my favorite childhood friend KWB came to visit finally after all of these years from Chicago. I was so excited to show her why I love H-Town. Of course, the first thing I did was get us tickets to see Lizzo at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo which sadly got cancelled that week -so she will have to come back. However, here are some of the highlights I share with all visitors.
First we head to the Galleria area and take in the gorgeous Wall of Water -Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park, often we bring a picnic and enjoy.
Then we head to Montrose for some great vintage store shopping.
Next we go to EaDo for some mural hopping and a cold brew at 8th Wonder.
Next we head over to Buffalo Bayou Park -sometimes we rent bikes @the Bike Barn and bike the bayou out to the Heights and back and sometimes we head down below to check out the Cistern. Buffalo Bayou Park is a great place for photos too!
Next we head to the Heights and go to El Gato Cat Cafe and relax with some tea and kitty cats. We also find more great murals in the Heights and then enjoy happy hour at the Heights Bier Garten.
I always take friends out to the Woodlands Waterway for delicious lunch and sometimes we then rent kayaks at the Woodlands Riva Row Boat House and enjoy some fun on the water.
We can’t forget the live music scene here in Texas so we will check out Main Street Crossing in Tomball or Dosey Doe in The Woodlands for a great night of live Texas music! If the season is right, we might head back downtown to the Miller Outdoor Theatre and chill out with some beautiful music while we sit under the stars.
If we do make it back down there, we would definitely enjoy a walk around the Herman Park!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shout out to my tribe. Have you heard the saying, “you may be too much for some people…those are not YOUR people!” ? That couldn’t be more true for me. I know I am a lot. I am from a big Chicago Italian family where we are loud, passionate, emotional, and loving. That can be a lot for people. I could not be more grateful for my people who have let me be me, encouraged me to be me, and celebrated me becoming me. Starting with my super supportive family, my childhood bestie KWB, my college West End girls, my JVC Gano-ites, my Garden Oaks Mommies- especially my dearest CH, my presby girls and #DDs and my MNW wandermates. These women have lifted me up and carried me through! I am blessed. My biggest and most amazing support comes from my sweet love who I met and married 26+ years ago. RCM is my everything and he has given me everything – especially my MLM and my JCM. I am forever grateful!