Todd Karehana – Founder and Director, Te Lab

Todd Karehana
Founder and Director, Te Lab
Film, TV and creative media production, Auckland

Kim: One of the pleasures of working with Todd was his positivity and courage in embracing change. Taking a ‘whole-person’ approach is central to my coaching, and Todd dived in with both feet. Each session was focused and Todd responded so well to a more agile and fast-moving approach.

It is essential for both Māori and non-Māori in business to understand how everything is interconnected. To operate effectively, you need all aspects of your life; career, whānau, personal, to function harmoniously and together.

This is very much a part of the Māori worldview and Todd got right behind the concept. Not only did we have the curve ball of Covid to contend with as Todd founded his new business, I quickly identified how I needed to support him to go back to the drawing board in his business, career and life.

We really capitalised on not wasting a good crisis. For clients that means instead of panicking or feeling sorry for themselves, take action, and do whatever you can to upskill yourself or work on the business. Todd was exceptional in that.

I assisted Todd in building his business literacy and filling up his kete (toolbox). We pinpointed and focused on what was important to Todd and brought a fresh perspective to his thinking.

We needed to cut away some of the excess in Todd’s professional life to focus more clearly on his many superpowers; to better envision what success looks like and what barriers are in the way to achieving success.

: I started working with Kim in 2021 through Activate Tāmaki Makaurau. I looked through the profiles and liked Kim's information on the site. I wanted someone who was Māori and sensitive to the cultural side, but I also knew some of the fantastic businesses Kim has worked with, businesses with a bit of a crossover, so I knew she was the right person.

I'd just opened Te Lab, my own production company. Then Covid hit, and I had a year and a half where I was at home, pitching for funding, and trying to understand what's unique about what I bring to the market. I was pretty much floundering, trying to keep my head above water.

Before our first sessions together, I thought all I needed was support on the finance side, but then, after working with her more, I thought, 'Wow, she's got all these other skills and insights!' I realised I didn't know as much as I wanted to know, so we took a deep dive into absolutely everything about the business; Who am I? What do I want, personally? What do I also that's unique? 

At the time, I was spread relatively thin. I was also doing some photography, styling, writing, and consulting but reflecting with her made me realise that doing it all wasn't making me happy, wasn't making me much money, and certainly wasn't fulfilling me.

Kim helped me cut those away and refine my goals, which was so helpful. She has a 30,000-foot view, where she can quickly and strategically pull out and see all the moving parts, but she can also zoom in to the minute details and be very specific with me.

A few things were stressing me out more than the usual business concerns, like chasing up payments or understanding that it's okay to have an upfront conversation with someone who you're working with.

I've got a people-pleaser tendency, and Kim's really helping me break through that and make those conversations not scary. She's helping me communicate in a way that feels authentic to how I feel and to what is my point of view. That's the big one; another is believing in myself and what I can bring to the world.

I don't have any debts anymore, the business is doing much better, and I'm clearer about what I am about as a business, which makes it so much easier to attract people to work with me. 

Kim’s very honest and always has a solution, a new and positive way of looking at whatever your task or dilemma is and making it feel less worrying and that you can do it. That's how I feel after each session.

Kim's a business coach and a life coach, and one of the many things I love about her is that she's always uplifting and full of positive reinforcement. I can see how far I've come. I feel like a new version of myself.